UX Scotland 2018: day 1 takeaways

A summary of the first day of UX Scotland 2018.

Day 1 Speakers

Christina and Rachel’s session photos and slides

Mike’s session slides

Jay’s session slides

David’s session slides

Rick’s session slides

David’s session slides

Designing services using DesOps in the Industrial Revolution 4.0

This year’s UX Scotland was kicked-off by Peter Fossick‘s keynote, an information packed talk which introduced the concept of Design Operations (DesOps).

Fossick’s premise is that Design Thinking – which has been around for about 30 years – was created in a data poor, analogue world, and therefore offers approaches that can be too slow and laborious for current times. DesOps is offered as an alternative approach, more fitting to today’s business world.

Data + Empathy = Insight

Don’t ask your users what they want, ask them what they think. Users live in cognitive environments that see, talk, and hear. That produces huge amounts of user’s data, but a great percentage of that data comes unstructured. Only by structuring these data can we make sense of it.

Customers don’t love a company for their technology, they love them for the experiences they provide.


Thoughtful growth: designing experiences for Instagram’s new and next users

Whitney Trump’s session started with a caveat – that there is no relation to the current president of the United States.
Being a content strategist for Instagram, Whitney explained how enticing users to sign up for the platform resembles inviting someone for a party: you want to show them how much fun existing users are having, and who from your social circle is already there, what they are engaging with, etc.
This is done by carefully thinking abour the content on the call-to-action features of the platform. For example, if you visit the profile of a user that already follows you, instead of having a ‘Follow’ button, you have a ‘Follow back’ button. Another example is showing which of your friends follow other accounts or content such as hashtags.

We need to talk about data

Chris Taylor’s love affair with data wasn’t love at first sight. He had seen it around, but didn’t immediately connect. It all changed when a change in search words made a world of difference.
The main takeaways of Taylor’s talk were:
✓ Look at the data
✓ Look at the bigger picture
✓ Venture beyond a single truth
✓ Speak to real people
✓ Remember: nothing will ever replace human thinking!

Intro to sketchnoting

Chris Spalton did a workshop on sketchnoting. I have done workshops on this before, but it always seemed way to complicated for my nearly non-existent drawing skills.
Spalton’s premise is that everyone can be creative as it is inherent to human nature. Creativity can be developed, like a muscle, and likewise it requires routine use.
Spalton provided very simple templates and suggestions on how to start small and he even shared a free sketchnotes cheatsheet.
It is just a question of practicing and experimenting from then on. It was fun and useful, not only to use as a tool for notetaking at conferences, but at work too, or even life in general.
Not surprisingly, there were many examples of sketchnotes being shared during the conference after Spalton’s session.

Be more certain: a practical approach to research practice

Gregg Bernstein shared some use cases on how to start building a research practice, even when the environment seems hostile.

1. Assume data exists (and work backwards).
2. Diplomacy and deputies (don’t assume the dots connect).
3. Some data is better than no data (information that leads to better decisions should not be off limits).
4. Small samples are large opportunities (small samples of data contain big stories).
5. Stories travel faster than reports.
6. Research compounds accumulated interest.


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