You can measure the value of an event once the dust settles – what are you left with that can inspire and motivate you for the future? There are many thorough and well written reviews already online from the event but I want to take a retrospective view of some thought-provoking presentations from UXLX Lisbon.
It was a conference that introduced me personally to some brilliant minds, and most surprisingly, they were not the minds already known within the UX field.
There is something unique about this community which is obviously born from it’s professional inclination. That of helping people do things better, solving problems and encouraging one another. It makes for a great atmosphere and the various actors on this set made for interesting viewing.
The largest collection of familiar names from any UXer’s bookshelf were assembled. All mingling, showing interest and generally being open to conversations whilst suffering from jet lag.
The format was intense and relentless – one felt at work for sure and the breathless nature of the schedule left little time to collect thoughts. But the most interesting talks were conducted by the new generation of practitioners who have read the headliners’ books and are now taking their craft to true cross-discipline thinking and application.
Silvia Calvet – CV&A Consulting
Silvia Calvet explained her approach to cultural change by combining the worlds of knowledge management, learning and UX to produce a system that a government department felt they owned. Anybody who has worked in the public sector knows that this is not easy but her enthusiasm and approach produced an outcome with some useful takeaways. View her slides to gain a fuller picture of her process for engaging a workplace to take ownership and be actively involved in improving working practices.
Seamus Byrne – Graphic Mint
Another enthusiastic entertaining speaker was Seamus Byrne from Graphic Mint who convinced us about storytelling being the best method for engaging users. This (as UX storytellers will no doubt testify to) is a sound logic and one that we know works, but applying the thinking in UX gives an interesting angle and one that Seamus is exploring over at the Graphic Mint blog.
Sarah Bear – LBI
Sarah Bear from LBI artfully looked at seduction as a subject for user experience design. Casanova’s three stage seduction was used with great effect as a metaphor for the UX journey. Carefully introducing social media in her talk, Bear made a plea to those in UX to get involved in the advertising world to ensure quality experiences would occur. ‘Be included or be ignored’ and this is true enough in certain firms and was echoed by the Interaction director of RG/A.
Karri Ojanen – RG/A
Karri Ojanen had a different take on this – that the advertising world is changing and that the old broadcast way of messaging is no longer valid within today’s society. User experience design he argued, lay at the heart of the shift in this well known, century-old paradigm. It was another great presentation that helped galvanise the keynotes by providing a relevant and useful backdrop.
All the small sessions I attended were well delivered and very interesting. The slides engaging and informative, the personalities likeable and eager to discuss their ideas. The tweets backed this up and it’s always amusing to see the flow from the audience – judging, commenting and evaluating statements and throwing them back to the floor.
Bruno Figueiredo organised a great conference, it was professional and enjoyable. But the selection of these less well-known speakers really provided an excellent focus and possible view into the future of this profession.
This conference gave me a reminder that this discipline has some excellent practitioners, whose work is truly inspiring and yet largely unsung. It was a great reminder of how many talented people there are in this evolving community.