This week I tried something a little different. Instead of going to London for a UX meetup I went to Bournemouth for UX Bournemouth 4. Experience UX are an agency based in Bournemouth and set this event up about a year ago.
They always looked like good events, but Bournemouth also seemed so far away. But now I work in Portsmouth when I looked into it I realised it was closer than London.
So all signed up I drove down there, in the rain, to see what I could learn.
Alan spoke first on how organisations could use UX to do better. He said that the companies who are doing really well are the ones looking beyond digital, looking at the longer user journey. After all people's journeys are more complicated now as they can and do include multiple devices and other touch points.
Alan said that rather than starting with the customer, we should start with our organisations. Many are attempting digital transformation however 84% fail! That's a really big number. He suggested that attempting a customer driven transformation might go better.
But this needs us to change our approach to research from something we do ad-hoc to something that is regular and planned.
And then there is the work we do. He wants us to take it up a notch. Alan said UX is not a design tool, but a business tool.
Next up Adam talked about how we can increase the testing we do, by using remote testing. There are two types of remote testing. Self moderated, where you set tasks, publish your test and wait for results; And moderated remote testing which is what Adam wanted to talk to us about.
The idea with moderated remote testing is it is very similar to a face-to-face test but is easier to do as no one has to travel anywhere, and as long as everyone can connect ok you should be able to see everything they are doing and ask follow up questions just like in a face to face test.
You do need a bit more tech for this sort of test, something for screen sharing, and something to record it. But there are many products out there that can do these things, it is just a case of finding what works best for you and the people you need to talk to.
He also made some good suggestions about how you decide what to test and how to analyse it after. Adam thinks it is important to have at least two of you on a test like this. One moderating and talking to the participant and one note taking. The risk of missing important insights is too high otherwise, even with a recording.
He suggests using metrics like how long participants took to complete a task and how many mistakes people made as measurements that can be compared fairly easily.
And he reminded us: alway test the test before you start.
Last up was Ulrich, talking about how he designed and built a chatbot for Burberry. I found this the hardest to follow as I do not know very much about chatbots and being an old fart think it is weird that I would want to speak to a shop over a messaging app.
For me these are very personal spaces for chatting between my friends and family, so introducing an extra advertising channel to the one place I do not have to see adverts seems strange to me.
However it was interesting to hear about the constraints they were working to and how things came up in testing that they had not considered, for instance how it would look on desktop and how a location service would work from there.
The whole evening was very interesting, each talk giving me food for thought, the venue was really nice and the whole thing very professionally put together. I will definitely be making the trip over to Bournemouth again.