On Saturday I attended UX Camp London, my first BarCamp type event, and had a thoroughly entertaining and interesting time. Loads of interesting UXers turned up, delivered interesting talks and held fascinating discussions.

I went along with Matt Lucht, a fellow Osmosoft worker, and we decided to give a talk on UX in the Enterprise. Clearly not the most glamorous of titles but we were pleasantly surprised to see a number of similarly themed talks and discussions going on throughout the day. From my position UX in big business/the corporate world and Agile UX seemed to be the 2 main areas explored at the event so it was nice that our talk seemed to fit so well.

Matt has a great summary of our talk on his blog so I’ll point you there to save myself from repeating it here. There is also a copy of the slides on slideshare.

I’m going to briefly summarise some of my highlights and key points from the day to a) share them, b) remember them and c) remind myself to act upon them. Forgive the notey style.

After giving our talk in the first slot I went to see @clarencedglee give a post-tequila-fueled-night talk on Prototyping with Code. Key points:
It is hugely successful up to a point. Easier to demo benefits than talk about them. Be careful not to go too far down the line, it becomes harder to add more to the prototype and power of components can be diluted.
Not a developer anymore, your past life helps but you aren’t that person anymore. You are there to get it done and show it off, to get buy in. Needs a different mindset.

I’m a big supporter of prototyping in code so I was intrigued to see what he said and was pleased to hear we had similar beliefs about it’s strengths and weaknesses. I also liked the sound of Clarence’s job. He is an ex-illustrator (cool) that learnt to code, worked as a frontend developer on the Timeout website and is now on the Timeout’s UX team. It sounds like a fun job.

Next up I ended up seeing Stuart Cruickshank‘s excellent Creating the Ultimate Experience: UX + CX + CRM session. I really enjoyed it and have come away with a bigger reading list than before. The crux of the talk was about our activities being aimed at delivering Mutual Value to the company and the customer. The customer getting value via empowerment and experiences, and the company getting value via advocacy and profit. Key things for UX designers to remember:

  • you are now designing for multi channel experiences
  • need to ensure you are thinking long term
  • insights need to be driven by user research
  • Don’t forget experience is the goal!

The next session I attended was run by @stavrosUX. It was an interesting talk on what UX is and what skills does someone in UX need. He started off showing and discussing some UX models with by far the most compelling being Jason Mesut’s Warren Hutchinson’s (Stavros pointed this out in the comments), which is shown below.

Warren Hutchinson's UX Model

Warren Hutchinson's UX Model

He then went on to discuss skills UXers believe they need and skills employers are looking for in UXers. He is at an early stage in his research on this matter but it was fascinating all the same. If you work in the UX arena help him out by filling in his questionnaire.

Virginia Cagwin was next with her Making an Impact talk. Virginia has been working for a large company for around 5 years so had told us earlier on in the day that she had felt our pain but that she was coming up on the other side. That was good to hear. In her talk she discussed some of the things she had done to overcome the issues we had outlined in our presentation. These things included, educating people she worked with, creating a design pattern library that people could use, creating a UX community within the company and organising workshops where everyone had to sketch.
Something else she said that was interesting, given her experience, was that “developers are easy to get on board, it is the management that is harder and takes longer.”

I always find it amazing that with the web design and UX design industries being so young there is so so much that can be learnt from other industries and fields. Cennydd BowlesWay Finding talk is a perfect example of this. It was fascinating to see how we can look to the lessons of Way finding to discover help and inspiration for our own design work. It also highlights what an exciting and stimulating field we work in, and what a massive opportunity there is for us to do something useful for others.

The conversation continued in the pub long after the event and completed a educational and absorbing day. So thank you to all the organisers and the sponsors. It was very much appreciated.

If this whet the appetite I’d imagine that over the next few days many people will add there slides to the Lanyrd event so I’d recommend having a look if you get chance. I’m sure there will be lots more interesting stuff to find.

All in all a complete success! I’m looking forward to next time already.