A whole crew of Computerlovers headed down to the NUX3 conference last week. Here, they talk us through their best bits from the day and a little about what they learned.
"I found NUX3 inspirational and thought-provoking, and the things we heard during the course of the day only reinforced the importance of a human-centred approach to product and service design.
David Travis from Userfocus explained that when it comes to user testing its better to learn a lot about a little (deep insights), than to learn a little about a lot (shallow insights). And the best way to do this is through regular test sessions ingrained in your design process.
Ben Holiday, Head of User Experience at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), reminded us all that we should design solutions to help people get on with their lives. Good design should help people to complete their goals without getting in the way. Often, doing less can be better, and simplicity is key.
I also particularly enjoyed the interesting perspective put forward by Paul Adams from Intercom who suggested that by applying old methods such as print to new digital technology we are "walking backwards into the future" and that we should "stop designing pages and screens, and start designing systems" in order to become more future facing."
Lisa, User Experience Consultant
"For me, the talk by David Travis on 'The 7 deadly sins of user research' was the highlight of the conference, and there was one key theme that rang true for me: dogmatism (i.e. believing there is only one right way to do things).
Sometimes I find that our clients might initially think they only want (and need) to do one particular form of research. But we always try and work with them to assess what the objectives and key challenges are before identifying which research methods to use in order to get the right kind of answers -- this can be anything from audience interviews and surveys, to user testing or ethnographic research.
David also talked about the need to combine quantitative data on what people are doing with qualitative data on why people are doing it. This is something which we always do here at Code, as it allows us to get a view of the full picture, deepen our understanding, and therefore provide the best guidance and solutions for clients."
Lucy, Research & Insight Manager
"My highlight of NUX3 was James Chudley's talk on using photos in experience design. With our focus at Code on persuasion design, and with deciding on the right kind of content being one of the biggest day-to-day challenges we face, James' talk was interesting, powerful and especially useful.
I also very much enjoyed Paul Adams' talk. It was fascinating to hear views on the future of our industry from someone who has played a big part in helping shape probably the two most important destinations in our business -- Google and Facebook. Some of his predictions were challenging (I certainly don't think websites as a platform for brands and businesses will be going away anytime soon) - but challenges to our preconceptions are what keep us moving forwards, and what makes our industry so exciting."
Tom, Senior User Experience Consultant
"Like Lisa, I though David Travis did a brilliant talk, and the main thing that stood out for me was that user research should be used to learn a lot about little. In David's words: 'The more you cram into a dishwasher, the less that comes out clean'.
David suggest writing your questions on post-it notes, grouping these into themes using an affinity diagram and then prioritising your most important questions. It's all about 'build > measure > learn > repeat'."
Drew, User Experience Consultant
"I found Paul Adams' talk very thought provoking as his point about focusing on systems over pages/screens was a new way of thinking for me. He was absolutely right in saying that with new mediums people often just apply what's already out there and hope that will work rather than rethinking how to adapt, e.g. the first TV ad was a press and radio ad shoved together.
The third speaker of the day, David Travis, was perhaps more theoretical and academic with his approach to UX. I liked the analogy he used of different user testing methodologies being like different camera angles in a film.
I have to admit that keynote speaker Peter Morville's abstract talk around information architecture went over my head and I couldn't really see how it related to UX; however, the audience were asking loads of questions, so it clearly got lots of people thinking!"
Katy, Account Executive