UX Australia 2014



I attended UX Australia in Sydney last week. UX Australia is a four day event with two days of workshops followed by the main two day conference. I attended one full day workshop on the Wednesday and then went onto the main conference on the Thursday and Friday.

I wanted to share my notes with you all:)

[B]Wednesday 27 August[/B]
[B]All Day Workshop: Beyond Digital – Applying UX skills beyond the realm of digital channels[/B]
[B]Presented by Iain Barker[/B]
Workshop was fun – it took me back to my uni days designing for an experience that is not digital. We had a brief for the day to improve the Keepcup experience. We mapped out the experience from manufacture to disposal, brainstormed ways to improve it, and prototyped an idea that allowed users to drop the cup off somewhere and collect it again from the coffee shop. When we were brainstorming ideas we were also identifying pain points. We determined that carrying it, cleaning it and having to remember to bring it were issues we wanted to try to solve. There was playdoh too.

[B]Main Conference[/B]
[B]Thursday 28 August[/B]
[B]Keynote opening[/B]
[B]Design at Scale by Greg Petroff[/B]
My main takeaway from this one was be inclusive and let non-designers do design work. Don’t work with an us vs them mentality.

[B]The Neuroanthropology of us by Stephen Cox[/B]
[]As a society we are becoming more selfish and less social
]UX was born in the 1980’s and we studied people and applied 1980’s HCI and psychology to it
[]Now we are aware of neuroplasticity - the idea that our brains are always changing and that we can adapt and learn new things. When you find new things in your environment, your brain rewards you with dopamine.
]Smart devices are great because we can develop new pathways in our brains by learning new things but it’s actually making us less social and more disconnected with those around us.
[]How can we design more socially?
]We work like an extended family –we help each other
[]We know who we work for
]We use personas and scenarios
[]It’s easier to solve a problem if it’s in a social context
[/LIST] [B]New Users Matter Too – Krystal Higgins[/B]
]How can we build engaging experiences for new users?
[]How do we make the first impression more human?
]3 Principles: Guided interaction, Demos/Free samples and Personal focus
[]Make it relevant and make it easy – let them go in the water but don’t let them drown.
[/LIST] [B]UX Careers: The good, the bad and the ugly[/B]
[B]Matthew Magain, Emma Jones, Fox Woods, Jodie Moule and Luke Chambers[/B]
[B]Emma is a recruiter, Fox is a freelancer and Jodie is the CEO of Symplicit [/B]
Q. What should a portfolio look like?
]Less about the finished product and more about the approach
[]They want you to show them how you think
]It doesn’t have to be pretty and they are definitely not looking for a high fidelity finished product so don’t put it in
[]They want you to take them on a journey through your process and methodology
]“We look at the values of the person and we look for a good degree of humbleness” – Jodie
[]Show in your portfolio the things you feel you need to develop – they want to see that you’re capable of identifying your weakness and owning them
]Attitude is very important –they want to know will you fit in with our culture?
[/LIST] Q. Do we need a resume?
[]Emma says no. All about the portfolio.
]Fox says yes. In her experience it’s 95% resume and only 5% about the portfolio
[]Jodie says yes to both. As a hiring manager she wants to see how long people have stayed with an organisation because she wants people who will stay for the long haul.
]Q. What is freelancing like in Melbourne, Fox?
[]She started as a freelancer in January, thought she’d be rolling in gold but the first few months were tricky.
]Most places wanted her to join their team or take up a contract because they want the designers in there with them.
[]She charges by the day - $600. Also has an hourly rate but prefers to work an 8 hour day because travelling into the city for 1 hour is a waste of a day. She charges less for start ups and more for big organisations.
[/LIST] Q. General advice??
]Read everything Jared Spool writes
[]Learn to become a good story teller
]Presenting and facilitating is a huge part of the job
[]You need to be a person with an opinion who doesn’t mind sharing it (nicely)
[/LIST] Q .What skills will be in demand in 5 years?
]Lean UX methodology
[/LIST] [B]CCD – hero and villain by Ian Muir[/B]
]This one looked at customer centred design being the hero and corporate cognitive dissonance being the villain
[]The slides for this one were pretty awesome
]He discussed the death of Nokia and the demise of Kodak
[]Nokia failed due to blind spots and couldn’t figure out the right problem to solve
]Kodak drowned in bias towards film and completely underestimated the speed of digital technology. They failed to listen to the market.
[]Abductive reasoning is a super power
]Super Powers; peer reviews, re-framing, listening, abductive reasoning and awareness
[]Be the wise hero and create better designs
[/LIST] [B]Change Aversion and how to design for it by Hendrik Mueller (from Google)[/B]
]Change causes stress and uncertainty
[]You leave people asking “Who moved my cheese?”
]Something familiar is replaced by something new and you have to relearn it – people prefer what they are accustomed to
[]However the only constant is change
]Risks of change aversion: removes expertise from the user –they lose a super power and have to relearn it
[]There is a fine line between a loyal user and an angry mob
]How do we measure change aversion? – user attitudes through surveys and look at usage levels of the product
[]Google Drive case study
]Started as google docs in 2010
[]In 2011 and early 2012 they made small changes to the UI and the look and feel
]In April 2012 they re-branded to google drive and the workflows changed
[]At first they saw a decline in satisfaction (they did surveys) and then it climbed back up again.
]How to design for change aversion:
[]Improve key functionality
]Asses user impacts BEFORE launching
[]Plan the stages of the launch: announcement with opt in, transition with opt out and then full transition for all
]Prime users for the change –let them play with it
[]Promote the benefits of the change
]Give transition guidance and support
[]Let users switch between versions (temporarily)
]Provide a feedback channel
[]Address the user issues quickly
]Tell people what you improved
Continued at next comment…


Day Two (it wouldn’t fit):
[B]Friday 29 August[/B]

Friday my CTS decided it was game over for me and my note taking abilities went out the window. It was that bad I had to walk out of Gerry Gaffney and Julian Huxham’s presentation halfway through to go rifling through my suitcase in the cloakroom for my wrist brace. It was kind of embarrassing because it probably looked like I was running out to answer my phone! Sorry Gerry and Julian!

Here’s what I went to:
[B]The Jury is In by Gerry Gaffney and Julian Huxham[/B]
It was a case study around the development of Juror, a portal for people attending jury duty in NSW. Project was done with consultants and the Department of Justice

[B]Embedding lean UX into agile in a large enterprise by Larissa Azevedo (from CBA)[/B]
She was amazing! Her presentation was covered in ninjas and she put dot points on her page in the conference booklet:
[]Embed UX activities into the agile framework
]Have agile coaches jump into teams (like ninjas she says) to keep them on track
[]The UX lead, the Product owner and the Technical lead must communicate with each other
]Everyone has to get their hands dirty
[]Assumptions are exactly that – assumptions…
]Commit to continuous learning
[*]Have a start-up mentality
[B]Starting right, with prototypes by Aras Bilgen[/B]
Aras was truly delightful. His slides were amazing– there is a prototype of a car in them that they built at a desk

[B]The dirty business of UX in hospitals by Tim Evans[/B]
Another great set of slides– this project looked at hygiene in hospitals. Are the doctors and nurses responsible for spreading germs? Do they wash their hands enough? If not why?

[B]Syntheate ideation: Tools for infinite UX creativity by Sarah Lloyd[/B]
Sarah is my new friend. We hung out at the preconference drinks and she’s an Industrial Designer just like me! :slight_smile:
This talk was fun – it was about understanding how our brains work and using it to our advantage when working. Simple techniques like squeezing a stress ball in your non-dominant hand while working can improve memory and taking a creative pause can also help. A creative pause happens when you stop what you’re doing and go for walk or something and clear your head. It doesn’t have to be long.

[B]Using behaviour design to change the culture around alcohol by Ash Donaldson and Jamie Moore[/B]
These guys were awesome. They created Hello Sunday Morning an online initiative designed to reduce binge drinking and create a world without hangovers. Their slides had a lot of videos on them and I got a lot out of watching them. They also had the largest affinity diagram I have ever seen.
[B]10 minute talks[/B]
[B]Ambient intelligence: The new AI by Katja Forbes[/B]
This one was creepy and made me want to turn my GPS off. It was all about how much data I’m leaking when I carry smart devices – the aura of privacy invasion that I project

[B]Wearables: empowering, transforming and inclusive by Sarah Pulis [/B]
I liked it. It was about quadriplegics using google glass – probably the only people who don’t look stupid while using it.

[B]Same, same but very different by Oliver Weidlich[/B]
This guy had four wearable fitness trackers which he wore together for an entire year and shared that experience with us.

[B]Industrial Design and UI Design by Eva Muller[/B]
Eva is one of my other new friends (another girly industrial designer yay) and I liked her presentation. It was about actually applying what we learn in ID (that does not stand for Information Design!) that form follows function.

[B]Once piece at a time by Boon Sheridan[/B]
This is my favourite presentation of the entire conference.
It had a kitten break! Besides that it was also amazing – he spoke so well and it was essentially the ‘how do you eat an elephant?’ concept.

[B]The customer is not the user: designing for the enterprise by Dave Malouf [/B]
Another amazing presentation. It looked at how designing within an organisation and therefore for it is a discipline all on its own.

Closing Keynote:
Attributes and aesthetics of experience by Xin Xiangyang
My biggest takeaways from this one were:
[]China is producing 2.4 million design grads a year
]A small town has 5 million people in it
[]And a small UX team has 0 – 50 people in it
]He was a very funny guy and very entertaining
[*]Best quote “An experience separates itself from the ongoing life experience”
[/LIST] General stuff I noticed:
I met the guys from Optimal Workshop – super excited to be guest blogging for them!
There was a giant jenga game at the Technocrat stand
PWC had a craft table where you could make up a pretty poster and write a hot UX tip on it – they also had a polaroid camera!
Lot’s of people came from overseas for it which I thought was very cool
All of those speakers were absolutely amazing and really lovely to chat to

I think I covered most of it - It was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it.

If you have any questions please ask! :slight_smile:


Wow, thanks for posting this, will have sit down later this week and read it. Paddy


Wow, awesome stuff Ashlea! Thank you very much for sharing your notes, sounds like it was a great conference to attend :).


Sterling effort!

Here’s our (less comprehensive but more visual) wrap-up: http://uxmastery.com/ux-australia-2014-wrap-sketchnotes/