HomeEducationUX London 2023 key takeaways | The Global Today

UX London 2023 key takeaways | The Global Today

Senior UX Designer, Rachel Wong, attended UX London this summer time to listen to from specialists within the business about every thing from constructing higher design processes and digital sustainability, to what the UX neighborhood can do to assist create a greater world. She shared with us every thing she’s learnt.

Constructing design processes

Vimla Appadoo, Director of Tradition Design at Honey Badger, kicked off UX London 2023 with an trustworthy, susceptible sharing session about how she has carried out extra people-first design processes in her organisations, that she believes to be important for sustainable product progress, and offered some actionable suggestions for leaders to do the identical in theirs. Whereas not all of us are leaders, Vimla shared reflection actions that we are able to do as people, and likewise inspired staff at any degree to boost their voice in proposing a few of these concepts internally. 

Placing individuals first

Taking a culture-first method to constructing design processes means placing individuals first.

In observe this implies: 

  • Creating person manuals or workforce profiles.
  • Being an ally for others, that means you’ll assist name others out.
  • Discovering commonalities and variations to tell behavioural tips.

The sphere of affect ought to begin from you, and dissipate by means of your workforce, and throughout your small business:

On the ‘you’ degree, take into consideration the non-public belongings you carry to work that you just think about to be core to you (ideas, rituals, traits which can be non-negotiable elements of you) vs flex (these are things that you’re okay to compromise on or let go of). In a nutshell, what makes you, you? 

It’s essential to share this and for all workforce members to be thoughtful of others’ circles of consolation and be culturally conscious.

Designing processes for sustainable progress

Relatively than taking up a reactive method that focuses solely on purchasers, implement a tradition that may really assist in sustainable product creation, by means of values > behaviours > ideas.

When you perceive your workforce values, these change into behaviours, and finally guiding ideas.

Typically, we search for “tradition match” when hiring, however this isn’t sufficient. This method limits the organisation to the identical factors of view and the identical methods of pondering.

As an alternative, we are able to transfer towards the thought of tradition add, the place there may be added distinction (that goes past floor degree of token variety).

This doesn’t imply your organization values are susceptible to change – fairly, the best way that these values manifest can be completely different as a result of there are actually completely different individuals and views influencing it.

Actions you’ll be able to take at this time

  1. Overview your inner hiring course of: 
    • Have you ever ever considered the place you’re selling roles? The place it’s promoted will have an effect on who’s within the pool of candidates.
    • Be clear about the way you rent and the way you promote.
    • Acquire numbers and information concerning the varieties of individuals you’re hiring – “you’ll be able to’t resolve an issue you don’t know exists”, and make it an energetic effort.

2. Create secure areas to allow voices to be heard:

    • An surroundings that’s psychologically secure will assist in receiving trustworthy suggestions from staff.

3. Have fun microcultures:

      • For instance, internet hosting present and tells, product/meta-product faculties, and many others. 
      • Sharing and contribution results in emotions of possession, which results in change being made.

Digital sustainability

What’s now turning into increasingly more of an essential matter (and fortunately now an rising business), Hannah Smith, Director of Operations at Green Web Foundation, clarifies widespread misconceptions about what “digital sustainability” actually means and the way we have to critically assess and acknowledge the impacts of tech on the planet. 

Hannah shared an astounding incontrovertible fact that if the web have been a rustic, it will be the seventh highest polluter on the planet. The principle takeaway from this surprising, but essential presentation was the concept that “what will get measured will get managed” – by highlighting information and utilizing extra correct fashions, we are able to draw extra consideration to the necessity for motion.

A fossil-free web

What individuals usually get unsuitable is that they assume it’s nearly servers and vitality, however the calculation for electrical energy utilization contains the information centre (making ready information), community (information transfers), gadget (presenting information), and {hardware} manufacturing (producing units and infrastructures).

Some emissions and impacts are simpler to measure (such because the above) and others are a lot more durable (similar to customers’ use of the web and its influence).

With extra innovation, emissions additionally improve…It’s estimated that ChatGPT requires 500ml of water for each 20-50 questions answered

The golden query was: what if we have already got all of the tech innovation we’d like? And it’s not about making extra stuff, however to equitably distribute what we have already got? 


  • Begin amassing extra information: what will get measured will get managed
  • Use inexperienced software program – it requires much less bodily sources, much less vitality, and makes use of vitality extra intelligently by being carbon conscious and scheduling operations. 
      • For instance, a website might let you know “Vitality depth is excessive for the time being, you’ll be able to’t acquire your statistics at this time. Come again once more later”.
  • Recognizing greenwashing and critically assessing business sustainability claims.
      • Utilizing open information methodologies may also help stop greenwashing within the sector as a result of sharing information helps pace up change (i.e. making clear the Cloud Carbon Footprint software that was used to measure your web sites’ carbon footprint).
      • Truthful reporting and evaluating the total lifecycle of a product, not simply saying: “we use inexperienced vitality”, “we purchase offsets” or “we plant timber”.
      • Keep away from what they name the “carbon tunnel imaginative and prescient” as a result of sustainability is extra than simply decarbonisation.sustainable internet

Critically handle the connection between extractive industries and the tech sector

  • Think about what we’re enabling? When do we are saying no? 
  • Extractive industries should not simply digging up CO2, they’re constructed into person expectations for the issues we construct.
  • The aim is info and communication know-how that’s freed from slavery and advantages all.

Busting design system myths

Stephen Hay, Inventive Director at Rabobank, introduced clear, easy ideas about design programs that helped us see the larger image and keep in mind what’s essential (no, it’s not pixel perfection of your parts) when constructing one that may be thought of helpful and profitable.  

Fundamental takeaways

  1. Design programs should not glorified element libraries (a group of UI parts). The latter is critical, however not adequate. The previous is a meta system, a complete surroundings.
  2. Documentation offers readability. Having the precise items in place doesn’t imply they are going to work effectively. The best way they need to be used must be communicated as a set of tips, solely then can your system be utilized wherever.
  3. Don’t attempt for completion. There’ll by no means be perfection (similar to ship products), and iteration ought to be embraced. Create a design system that’s welcome to alter.
  4. Atomic design ≠ a linear course of. Many designers may have heard of the thought of “atomic design,” nevertheless it’s not a course of, it’s merely a psychological mannequin of the best way design programs are created fairly than one thing to use in all conditions. 
  5. Design programs can’t predict the longer term. They’ll’t be every thing for everybody. It’s higher to concentrate on the bulk 80% over the area of interest 20%, and use decrease degree constructing blocks in order that it doesn’t dictate or restrict your design. 
  6. The aim of design programs may be for magnificence! Aesthetics are a part of its perform – and that’s completely okay.

Expertise past screens

The way forward for expertise design goes past screens. Or at the least, that’s what Product and Expertise Designer, Stacey Mendez fairly convincingly predicts! In truth, we’ve additionally at all times believed that “expertise” is one thing that’s holistic and nonlinear. To embrace the way forward for design, we have to broaden our pondering when approaching any design and to attempt to not really feel constrained by its type, as a result of the chances go far past a specific medium. 

Evolution of product design

1900s: bodily objects for manufacturing (i.e. manufacturing unit machines).

2000: digital instruments for info (i.e. smartphones).

2100: objects, info and providers for full person experiences.

The way forward for UX just isn’t digital UX, however a lot a lot broader.

Blockers within the business stopping broader pondering

  • Specialist language (enterprise or design jargon) that makes it tough to share with others what you do. Working in a multidisciplinary vogue, means many issues might get “misplaced in translation”.
  • Working in silos.
  • Totally different instruments and deliverables.
  • Totally different timescales (i.e. agile vs levels).
  • Testing singular elements in improvement fairly than the entire .

Find out how to make it work

  1. Coordination:
    • Prototype early on in a mission along with your complete workforce.
    • Construct a typical understanding.
    • Have a North Star with cohesive design ideas that may be expressed throughout all disciplines and touch-points.

2. Data switch and sharing info

    • Undertake a bigger angle on inclusion and accessibility when enthusiastic about usability.
    • Align improvement and assessment occasions and have this constructed into construction and work processes.

3. Understanding the top person 

    • Construct an understanding primarily based on the pure behaviours of your customers and predict their intentions.

Including high quality and worth to customers’ (and everybody’s) lives

Worth-add may be useful or emotional:

  • Purposeful: B2B/C, tactile, effectivity, pace
  • Emotional: B2C, craft, storytelling, model engagement

Corporations who add worth have a deeper sense of buyer satisfaction and followers, higher possession over an issue area, and elevated workforce creativity.

Groups begin to have a united concentrate on the expertise (not the options), the place departments are clear with one another and collaborate, thus permitting higher peer empathy and appreciation. These contemporary minds can then assume greater and resolve issues in new methods.How to get into it

Ladies-centric design

Mansi Gupta, Founding father of Unconform, opened up the essential dialog of women-centric design – an important a part of design discourse – as a result of if we don’t discuss it, we are able to’t start to think about change. 

Rachel shared: “It was actually attention-grabbing to grasp the degrees of maturity in relation to women-centric design, and all of the extra highly effective that each one of this was backed by analysis. I liked the examples that have been introduced, particularly when so many of those have been recognizable services which have at all times felt somewhat “off,” however in methods which can be lastly explainable. As a ethnic minority girl myself, I felt empowered by the instruments that Mansi shared with us to speak about these concepts, and to problem the established order to begin imagining what may very well be.”

The 4 ranges of “women-centricity” in design; with quantity 4 being the end-goal

1. Offensive

  • These designs don’t genuinely serve ladies, and expose floor degree concepts that lack understanding.
  • For instance, colouring a product pink and shrinking normal-sized merchandise to promote at a better worth.
  • Glorifying “ladies’s empowerment”.
  • Examples: Levi’s AI generated “variety” marketing campaign that failed to deal with the true systemic points and as a substitute did the alternative of that.

2. Neutral

  • De-prioritises the divide in gendered duties.
  • Views ladies as monolithic and ignores intersectionality. 
    • Have you ever ever puzzled why voice controls like Alexa are at all times voiced by ladies as a default? How may this contribute to imposing gendered biases?  
  • An instance of impartiality is well being AI responses that perpetuates biases by basing solutions on one particular kind of girl.

3. Knowledgeable

  • “Femtech” that reduces replica to a “ladies’s factor” fairly than one thing that considerations us all (i.e. menstruation).
  • Designs that also solely simply scratch the floor (i.e. women-only trains are nonetheless not accessible, menstrual go away is permitted in writing however nobody feels secure to make use of it).
  • Ladies’s providers as paid “add-ons” (i.e. on the Nike operating app).

4.Holistic (the dream!)

  • Genuinely serving the wants of girls by first understanding them, then having applicable allocations to deal with ache factors (and never charging them as “additional”).
  • Examples:
    • Tala, a product that enables entry to “credit score” through a brand new definition of credit score rating. Typically, due to gendered duties, ladies have a decrease credit score rating and are thus barred from providers that they need to have equal entry to.
    • Callisto, a sexual harassment reporting app that helps customers acquire proof to construct a case that may shield victims.
    • Sehat Kahani, a service that connects displaced ladies and women with at-home feminine docs by means of telehealth know-how. 

How can we get there?

Shift your mindset from specializing in what exists already to imagining what may very well be and difficult the established order.

Be sure that to implement must-have ideas when designing: 

  • Security – bodily and psychological.
  • Belief – repair the system, not ladies themselves.
  • Non-linearity – account for organic variations in expertise.
  • Neighborhood – a task that builds resilience.
  • Optimistic masculinity – actively create and promote a constructive function for males.
  • Have the braveness to ask: “what about ladies?”

What if individuals weren’t the product?

David Dylan Thomas, CEO of David Dylan Thomas, LLC, provided the prospect for designers to self-reflect and collectively think about what the neighborhood can do for the world. He mirrored on the state of the online and what it’s change into, revealing the extent of the hurt that the eye financial system has had in making us lose our humanity, in addition to the evil that blinding chasing “engagement” has resulted in. He challenged us to do higher. And this name to look deep inside ourselves and do the precise factor is precisely what all of us want if we’re to craft a greater, extra virtuous and extra simply world.

Folks have change into the product

Over time, the online has change into a mirror… social media, profiles, focused advertising and marketing, our data-linked selves, all residing in what we name the “consideration financial system”. We now see ourselves as a product in the identical means that advertisers do.

F*** engagement

The pure engagement of human behaviour seems to be just like the picture beneath, the place the nearer we get to the road of prohibited content material, the extra attractive content material turns into.prohibited content vs engagement levels

It’s a really poisonous behaviour that we’re encouraging from one another and that tech leaders like Mark Zuckerberg are capitalising on.

The hunt for engagement has killed individuals – consider the 2017 Rohingya disaster the place over 10,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed, incited by the hate speech that Fb helped promote with out fact-checking and moderating.

Paradigm shifts

Check out indigenous communities programs of pondering. For instance, the Blackfoot imagine that wealth just isn’t measured by cash and property however by generosity. By that very same definition, the “wealthiest” man of their eyes owns nearly nothing as a result of he has given all of it away.

What if we reimagined an online that assumes everybody is nice and value serving to? An online the place engagement was measured by the variety of individuals helped?

Desirous about the programs that our world is constructed upon is a dreadful realisation that every thing is corrupt, however we are able to take steps to alter it.

  • Begin by figuring out your individual values:
      • Ask: am I getting nearer to my values? What are the issues I’d willingly go away cash on the desk for? 
      • What if the online mirrored again to me the true me? 
  • Think about how your work brings you nearer to or additional away from these values:
      • What are the issues my firm could be prepared to go away cash for? 
  • Co-imagine the longer term with the individuals damage by the current:
      • What if the online mirrored again to me the individuals I may also help? 

Selecting empathy

As designers, we at all times come throughout the thought of “empathy” as a vital guideline to raised perceive the individuals who use our services. However, Imran Afzal, Principal Designer at Co-op Digital requested: “as we proceed pushing onward within the identify of “innovation,” are we forgetting what empathy is basically about?” His speak questioned whether or not our relationship to empathy and the way we put it in observe is turning into extra fractured, extra superficial. 

In case you’re a designer studying this and in want of reminding your self why you bought right here and what we’re collectively making an attempt to do, join one among Imran’s talks – he’s persevering with to share these concepts exterior of UX London. 

A closing phrase 

Iman shared: “empathy is about discovering echoes of one other in your self… empathy is a alternative that results in change”. An important reminder of what actually issues in relation to nice design.

#London #key #takeaways



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