Last week, I attended UX Live, the fastest-growing UX training conference in the UK, at the iconic London ExCel Centre (which was branded greener than usual for the occasion).
It’s an event that allows you to shape your own learning. While one stage was dedicated to the practitioner-level tools and practical knowledge necessary to deliver intuitive products, another was focused on the skills required to lead successful design teams. There was also a Google stage, hosting panel-based discussions.
The day kicked off with coffee and an introduction, followed by an icebreaker that involved writing down your details on a piece of paper and blindly paper-planing for another attendee to retrieve later. I kept moving, dipping in and out of talks between the three stages.
Morgane Peng, who is responsible for the design vision and strategy for Société Générale, was a real highlight for me. She offered her solution on “How to deal with people who don’t ‘get’ design”, starting with three characters: Hostile Jean, Contemptuous Paul and Manipulator Audrey. Each character had a certain skewed outlook on design, and Morgane broke down three strategies to overcome each of these. The talk helped me to understand how to better navigate conversations about design that I have every day.
I also enjoyed the two talks from Stef Smet, a product designer at Facebook, and Andrea Muttoni, an Amazon Alexa developer. Both talks were around designing for emerging tech, such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality and voice, the challenges that they impose and the opportunities that they have in a modern world.
I thoroughly enjoyed the day; I left with that warm self-assured feeling that being a designer allows me to (hopefully positively) enhance many people’s lives every day, without them ever noticing. And that’s how it should be. Good design allows users to effortlessly flow through an experience and come out the other side satisfied. The same could be said for my experience at UX Live.