To help our Software Development team explore different ways we could approach design and development, Stacy Rendall and I recently went to the UX New Zealand conference held in Wellington. UX (User Experience) New Zealand is in its fourth year and is Aotearoa's biggest dedicated user experience conference.
This conference is a great event for beginners in the field and industry professionals alike. As an icebreaker, every attendee was given 8 stickers to swap with others. If you were able to collect a whole set of unique stickers you could go in a draw to win a prize. Sadly, we didn't come away with any prizes on the day, but it was a very fun and effective way to make new connections and meet people. This year the main conference was over two days and included a mix of local and international speakers, with one talk opening in a karakia and ending in an audience participation waiata!
A.I., designOps, data science, complex personas & strategic UX writing were a few of the topics covered. A personal favourite was Cara Klied’s 'Tales (and tools) of a UX designer in East Africa', where she recounted her time designing a mobile banking application for simple, old model, low spec phones in Uganda. Solving problems, by conducting research and building relationships with research participants in an un-familiar culture was a continual struggle. She gave some great inspirational insights as to what worked well and how she learned some valuable lessons the hard way.
A key takeaway for me was around the use of 'designOps'. This is a relatively new term that covers a broad range of elements, but basically boils down to establishing an efficient design process that generates high quality outputs and tracks the design evolution over time. Although it is mostly aimed at large or growing UX teams, I can see value in implementing it at Abley with the aim of embedding efficient UX and design practices that align with other work we do.
Blog written by Dena Emanuel, Senior UX/UI Designer