Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

LTUX - Lightning Talks

I have been attending the Ladies that UX London meet ups, once a month, for over a year now. It is a great group which made me feel so welcome when I joined, before I was really a UX designer.

Once a year they hand the floor over to the members of the group as a chance to practice speaking to an audience. Last year I stood up and spoke about making books and paper (and still get referred to as the ’paper lady’ sometimes).

It was a great if scary experience, so I was looking forward to this years event to see what people would come up with.

This year we were at the Moo offices and after a bit of networking and refreshments there were 10 speakers with 5 minutes to fill each. When you speak about a subject 5 minutes is nothing and it is really easy to over run. But everyone kept to time and spoke really professionally. Not only that, every talk was interesting and engaging and left me wanting more.

While thinking about this blog post I wanted to say “my favourite was ...” But it is impossible, they were all so good.

So what did they speak about?

"I wanted to say “my favourite was ...” But it is impossible, they were all so good"

Magdalena spoke about how you can break a state of mind to help you achieve your goals. (Try smiling even though you are in a bad mood. I found this a really inspiring and motivational start.)

Sanita spoke about how to set up a mobile user testing lab in 2 days. (Start by thinking about what you want to achieve.)

Sam spoke about how to get the most out of personas. (Make sure you are defining goals not tasks.)

Jana spoke about how to set things in the real world. (Do you really need a phone/screen to do that thing?)

Georgia spoke about what she learnt about people from watching 1000 users test websites. (She was not just talking about her users either.)

Sandra spoke about how she designed her own UX journey to get to where she wanted to be. (Her key words were Discover, Assess, Embrace, Share and Design. Again another very inspiring talk.)

Andrea spoke about moving beyond the wireframe. (It should not just be about visual design.)

Suzanne spoke about why FAQs are bad and what to do with them. (Firstly are they really questions users are asking and secondly get that content into the right place first time and users will not need an FAQs page.)

Alice spoke about how UX is like ballroom dancing. (A really good analogy and not just about the beauty of it.)

And lastly Tarah spoke about designing for behaviour change. (Remember it takes time for users to learn a behaviour and turn it into a habit.)

That is quite a list. They might have been whistle stop tours of each subject, but I think each talk had at least one thing I could take away from it even if it was just a desire to learn more. Good work Ladies.

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