I draw boxesA blog on user experience & design

March 22, 2010

UX People March 2010 review

Today I attended the first ever UX People event in London. The venue was the lovely King’s Place, a new entertainment and conference venue by the Grand Union canal. It was organised by Zebra People, a recruitment consultancy specialising in user experience recruitment.

King's Place conference venueI’ll whizz through the presentations and workshops, just giving a few throughts. Incidentally, this was the first event I’d ever twittered at (having recently caved in and joined twitter) and I did actually enjoy being part of the live feed of information, or conversation, that twitter enables. See the conversation about the UX People event here.

First up was Jason Mesut of The Team with some of his, erm, team. They were all talking about the importance of collaboration when doing UX work. This is a theme that’s been around the year dot (see JJG’s 9 pillars diagram) but I was particularly interested in Will Bloor’s thoughts around the journey graphic designers have come on over the past 15 years – from being in control of virtually the whole web creative process, then conceding quite a lot of their role to user experience designers & IAs, and finally getting a lot of it back with roles such as Creative Director or Creative Lead who work collaboratively. I’ve always thought that designers and information architects arguing over whether the designers just ‘colour in’ wireframes was a negative and unproductive debate.

View from King's PlaceNext up was Darren Evans talking about future trends in digital, for example LG’s recent unveiling of ePaper. There were a few titbits for thought here.

Then we had Robert Fein of Grand Union talking about the fact that communication underpins the work that we do – if we don’t communicate clearly then we’re wasting our time. He emphasised the value of the work we do, how to communicate this to stakeholders as well as stressing the importance of producing deliverables of the highest quality.

Finally, Jason Buck then discussed working at speed. He showed a series of techniques for producing quick and dirty (but actually very useful) outputs and also talked about the importance of under promising and over delivering – if you achieve things quickly people will respect your ability and ask for you to come back. In a way this links quite nicely with Robert’s themes of producing demonstrable value to clients.

UX People presentationIn the afternoon I had two workshops, one from Jason Buck on storytelling and from Robert Fein on pitching UX. I found both informative and enjoyable.

Overall it was a very good day, held in a lovely venue with good networking opportunites and informative talks. I’d say over time the curation style of the event will develop and possibly themes for each event, but for now it’s a great stake in the ground. The fact that it’s not-for-profit and relatively affordable sets it apart from other events and I think will see it grow in the future.


  1. 7 Principles

    1. Get over arguments quickly, and move on
    2. Make the right time for each other
    3. Recognise that we are all designers
    4. Get what you need from others, give others what they need from you
    5. Share the blame and the fame
    6. Learn from each other
    7. Care for each other


    1. Get others involved earlier
    2. Sketch together
    3. Feed back on each other regularly
    4. Put work in progress up on display
    5. Meet for regular stand-ups throughout a project
    6. Share links
    7. Involve others in user research
    8. Keep up with what your colleagues are doing
    9. Eat, drink and teambuild together
    10. Deliver quality outputs with the right level of care, detail and polish

    Comment by Jason Mesut — March 23, 2010 @ 11:37 am

  2. Hiya,

    Nice post. Was a really good day, wasn’t it?

    Nikki (AKA @analyticsgirl)

    Comment by Nikki Rae — March 23, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

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