This week I attended MUXL2018 (Mobile UX London). MUXL have a regular meet up but this was their annual conference.
It was a very busy event with many speakers and workshops, mostly focused on Augmented Reality (AR) and voice, which was interesting and a learning curve for me as I do not know much about either of these fields.
There were a couple of talks that really stood out to me. First was Peter Jackson from the BBC with a talk called 'Deceptively Simple: Designing a voice experience for preschoolers'.
As he explained, designing a voice interface for people who cannot speak very well yet is a challenge, but if they can do this, they should be able to apply the same principles to designing for adults.
'Digital as a Mirror of IRL Inequality' by Elvia Vasconcelos was also very interesting, not only because I found out that IRL means In Real Life, but the examples she gave, where people seemed to start with the tech rather than the problem, is something I keep seeing.
This seemed to be the theme across the day - start with the problem not the technology.
The workshop I attended was a perfect example of this - 'Designing for A Mixed Reality World' by the guys from Swift Creatives. Here we see the problem that we have augmented reality but no one is really sure what to do with it.
In this case we were asked how we could use it to improve the experience of cooking and had much fun coming up with ideas along the lines of bowls that could tell us when we had beaten our eggs enough or played music to keep us beating at the right speed.
It was a fun session which I really enjoyed, but I can not help wondering if there are better uses of our time than trying to force the tech to fit our ‘problems’.
The closing talk from Adobe designer Andre Jay Meissner was a fitting finish to the day as he spoke on 'Adopt an Unknown Unknown'. Do we really think we should continue to design as we have been, he asked.
He also showed us an interesting improvement to Adobe XD which will now let you design for voice interactions.
It was an interesting day and gave me a lot to think about. While I might not be working in these fields right now it is only a matter of time before it comes up and it feels good to know I understand a little bit more, even if there is much more to learn.
Lastly, a massive thank you to Ladies That UX London for sponsoring my ticket.