UX London

Rachel Graves

2013-04-25 00:00:00 +0000

Two weeks ago I helped out as a volunteer at UX London, hosted in the Trinity Laban, a world class dance school.

UX London 2013 Volunteers. Photo credit Andy Parker on behalf of Clearleft.

Aside from having the wonderful opportunity to get to know all of the incredibly talented volunteers, the conference was fantastic.

I learnt a lot in Jeff Gothelf’s Lean UX workshop. He taught me about asserting my own and others’ assumptions, creating hypothesis, and then building a minimum viable product to test them.

Claire Rowland provided an excellent workshop on “Designing Smart Things: the UX of ubiquitous computing and the Internet of Things” where people designed their own smart device. Claire also perked my interest by alerting me to some interesting new medical devices. There are pills that you can ingest that track what medication you are taking which feedback to the patient / doctor. The vitality glow caps bottle has a tilt sensor so it knows when you’ve taken out medication (presumably to take it, though patient behaviours are not all the same).

There were fascinating talks on the changes made at gov.uk to make it a much more usable platform than DirectGov. It was interesting to hear about how they improved the bank holidays information to be more relevant and easier to digest. They also talked about things that they removed, like how to keep bees, and tips such as “using a blanket when it’s cold”. Things that aren’t really the responsibility of the government to teach us.

Tom Hulme did an excellent talk where he discussed thinking about data stories when using algorithms in your products, and the emotional impact that can have on your users. For instance, an algorithm generated the “keep calm and rape her” t-shirt. Easy Jet increase prices on popular flights, which has caused distress when natural disasters occur in the world.

UX London even put my coffee making skills to the test, as the wonderful barista on location let me make a few flat whites on her equipment.

I had a brilliant time and would be happy to volunteer again next year.

Myself and @alexandtheweb registering attendees. Photo credit Andy Parker on behalf of Clearleft.