Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

UX Insider 2018

This week I attended UX Insider 2018 in Bournemouth. However it was a slightly different experience from a normal conference as I was part of the crew!

A conference banner with the words 'a conference for people passionate about people'
"People passionate about people"

Although it was all hands on deck on the day, a lot of the organisational side of things had been done by Naz and she did a great job. I have worked on a few conferences over the years and this one seemed to go very well, even if there were issues with the wifi.

It was an early start with the whole team at the venue by 8am.

Name badges were laid out, teas and coffees set up, AV testing done and banners put up. On a dull and misty October morning the Bournemouth Pavilion was not a bad place to hang out.

Our first speaker was Jonny Rae-Evans from the Big Lottery Fund. I am sad I missed his talk as I love his Tech for Good Live podcast and I have heard him speak before.

Next up was Rob Johnson from Sony Interactive Entertainment. Rob runs user research on the PS4 games that Sony and their partners create. I was fascinated by the multi person tests they run with each person in a pod playing by themselves.

At the end of Rob’s talk I slipped out ready to pour many cups of tea and coffee for our delegates. Heather Brown's cakes were to die for!

Our next speaker was my new boss at Experience UX, Damian Rees. He spoke on the psychology of design and how we should not make people bend to use our technology but should design our technology to work for people.

Anna Dahlstrom from UX Fika came next. She spoke about how important story is, not just to our designs but when speaking to our colleagues and our stakeholders.

Again I slipped out early to help direct people to lunch, across the gardens, at the Hermitage Hotel and a very nice spread.

After lunch and a walk along the seafront, James Lang from Google had the hard task of keeping people’s attention, but he did really well, talking about what has worked for him in making sure his research has the most impact.

David Harding from the Home Office came next talking about how to store and pass on research findings, something I am very interested in.

Another sneak out early to help with coffee and more amazing cakes!

Then back into the room for Brooke Baldwin from Facebook to talk about how to plan a research trip anywhere in the world, often in a culture very different from her own.

Last up was Paul Boag, but I missed his talk as I helped to pack things away before heading over to Aruba, the bar on the pier, to make sure everything was ready for after talk drinks.

It was a great day but not quite finished for the team as we then took our speakers out for dinner at Neo. It was a bit surreal to be having ethical design discussions with Paul Boag, whose podcast I have listened to for ages and seen speak a few times, to find he really wanted to know my opinion.

From the people I spoke to everyone thought the event went well with a really great selection of speakers. I know I had a brilliant day even if I had things to do behind the scenes, and maybe because of it. I am looking forward to next year already.

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