This year I attended the UX Scotland conference for the first time. It was held in the lovely city of Edinburgh, at Dynamic Earth, overseeing Arthur’s Seat and the Salisbury Crags, which made for very pleasant session breaks.
The conference was organised and managed by a lovely team, which ensured things ran smoothly and everyone was well nourished and hydrated, and having a good time, as well as incorporating little nice touches to the conference.
Break times at the conference featured 15 minutes neck and back massage provided by Neal’s Yard therapists, lots of refreshments, and creative activities to entertain us, some provided by the conference sponsors.
Not only were we catered for during the conference itself, we were also treated to two social evenings.
The conference sessions ranged from experience reports, to tutorials, to hands-on, and therefore met various needs and preferences of the conference participants.
The subjects covered included exploring the usefulness of certain practices, learning / practicing UX design techniques, and exploring various viewpoints of the User Experience practice from a philosophical / intellectual point of view.
Service Design was a commonly mentioned topic, which triggered the question, among some conference participants, of whether UX and SD should be put together into a single conference, to bring both communities together. As with most things, opinions will vary.
My opinion is that, despite the obvious closeness of the two disciplines, UX and SD differ in their focus: the former takes on a more humanitarian focus, whereas the latter focuses on the wider system that enables the delivery of a product or service. One cannot / should not exist without the other.
That being said, it is not uncommon for both UX and Service Design to be delivered by the same roles within an organisation. The same way it is not uncommon for a UX Designer to fulfil the role of Information Architect, Interaction Designer, and other related roles. It very much depends on the context one works in.
All the above, along with a collection of nearly 50 sessions to choose from, and people from all over the world to meet and learn from, made for a fantastic conference.
I would definitely recommend and attend UX Scotland again.
All my UX Scotland 2018 blog posts:
- UX Scotland 2018 is coming!
- UX Scotland: interview with Cennydd Bowles
- UX Scotland 2018: day 1 takeaways
- UX Scotland 2018: day 2 takeaways
- UX Scotland 2018: day 3 takeaways
- UX Scotland 2018: Sketchnotes
Other people’s UX Scotland 2018 blog posts: