UXBristol talks are now online

We had a fantastic day of short talks at UXBristol this year.

Hopefully we managed to capture the essence of the event despite the online format – fingers crossed that we can get back to a face to face event next year.

Thanks again to all of our wonderful sponsors (Kaluza, cxpartners, Hargreaves Lansdown, ADLIB, Mace & Menter & Smaply) who made the day possible.

If you missed the event, you can catch up by watching the recording of the entire livestream or jump straight into specific talks as below.

Chui Chui Tan – Offering a better, localised experience for your global customers

This talk is about the steps you can take to make sure you can offer the best, localised experience to your customers in different markets. It covers why it is important to have a clear holistic understanding of your global audiences and their context. Practical tips will be provided to guide you through this process not only to inform your design, but also your marketing or other business strategies.


Ben Holliday – Asking design questions 

Design questions can be the real practical superpower of impactful UX and design work in all parts of an organisation.

In this talk, Ben Holliday will explore how anyone can start to ask design questions in the places and situations that they work in.


Flow Bohl – How to present design work to non-designers

A good presentation could get your design approved, or quickly dismissed if you don’t present it right.

In this talk, Flow will outline six useful steps to successfully present design work to non-designers.


Kat Husbands – Imposter syndrome in User Centred Design

Imposter syndrome: an insidious, inner critic. At best it sucks the joy out of a job well done, and at worst it can cripple your career.

Kat surveyed 100 user centred designers about their experiences of imposter syndrome and is here to share what she learned about where it comes from, who it affects the most, and of course how to beat it.

Tom Ridley – Beyond the Beeps: Designing with Sound

Tom demystifies the field of Product Sound (think: Alexa, your Microwave, that person on the train with their keyboard clicks turned on), and provide some fundamental principles, ideas and techniques, such that any design practitioner, without a shred of musical ability, could begin to explore product sound and put it to test.


Abby Covert – How to diagram

This talk aims to help rid the world of bad diagrams by teaching the purpose, process and craft of diagramming. Because your diagrams might suck, but they don’t have to.

Stop working on the wrong problem

I think ‘Build the right thing then build the thing right‘ misses a trick.

It makes you think too much about the thing that you are making and not enough about the fundamental problem you are trying to solve.

Peter Drucker, the ‘founder of modern management’, once said;

There is nothing worse than doing the wrong things right

Peter Drucker

It is sobering to acknowledge how many times we’ve all done ‘the wrong things right’.

I think we should focus instead on;

‘Solving the right problem with the right solution and delivering it in the right way (then continuously improving it)’

The continuous improvement bit is vitally important because things like products and services are never ‘finished’ they can (and should) always be improved.

Choosing the right problem to solve isn’t easy and can feel more like an art than a science.

I’ve used a few different approaches in the past and have tied myself in knots trying to devise complex methods to score problems to determine which are the most important ones to fix.

There is a much simpler method.

In a recent service discovery project I worked on, @_juliesun ran an excellent workshop using this simple ‘action prioritisation matrix’ to help us to prioritise where we should focus our efforts.

Action prioritisation matrix that we used to prioritise service problems by mapping them against the value of solving them vs the effort to do the work
Use this simple matrix to help you prioritise where to focus your efforts

You can use it to plot know problems as well as potential solutions to problems.

In this project having already identified the critical problems within the service, we used it to prioritise potential solutions to explore within our alphas.

It’s all well and good planning and prioritising things of course but vitally important to remember that the only way to learn what really works is by making things real and seeing what happens.

The faster you can test solutions to problems, the faster you can measure the impact they have on the outcomes you’re looking for.

This gives you the best indication of whether you are in fact working on the right problems and allows you to refocus your work accordingly.

So before you fall in love with what you’re going to make and how you’ve going to make it make sure you’re working on the right problem.

What ‘experience baggage’ are your customers carrying?

I recently finally cancelled my Abobe Lightroom subscription after years of putting it off.

I’ve been paying £9.99 a month for it ever since and not really using it.

Every month I saw the money leave my account and kicked myself for not cancelling it.

The problem was I knew just how difficult they were going to make it to leave and I just couldn’t muster the energy to do it.

I put it off because I expected it to be difficult, annoying and frustrating.

I must have looked at a reminder to cancel it on my to do list every day for years.

When I finally cancelled it I was amazed that it only took me a minute to do and was absolutely no hassle whatsoever.

My preconceptions of how hard it was going to be were unfounded but had cost me at least two years worth of subscription fees.

These preconceptions (both good and bad) are built from hundreds of previous experiences that we then bring with us to everything we subsequently do.

I’ve been thinking about this as ‘experience baggage’.

Woman looking at her phone pulling a suitcase
What ‘experience baggage’ are your customers arriving with? (Illustration from storyset.com)

This experience baggage moulds our preconceptions, anxieties and expectations of what an experience will be like and as such influences our behaviour.

As such it’s a critical thing for designers to understand and try and mitigate in our work.

By conducting user research you can identify the experience baggage your customers and potential customers are arriving with when they use your products and services.

Armed with this knowledge and insight you can then deliberately provide experiences that serve to dispel customers preconceptions that will surprise and delight them instead.

Now that I know it’s easy to unsubscribe from Lightroom for example, I’m more likely to re-subscribe in the future.

That’s the sweet spot of experience design, creating something that is both good for the customer and good for the business.

So consider what ‘experience baggage’ your users are arriving with and what you can do at all of your touch points to encourage them to leave it at the door.