UX Scotland 2015: talks, tutorials and workshops

UX Scotland 2015: talks, tutorials and workshops

UX Scotland 2015: talks, tutorials and workshops 560 420 Border Crossing UX

I was at UX Scotland conference 2015 a few weeks back. Yet again, it was a really good couple of days. The keynotes were brilliant, and the programme was rammed full of useful tutorials and workshops. Here’s my take on the conference:

Day 1

Practical creativity

Dan Saffer kicked things off with an apt keynote that seemed to get everyone thinking. Dan was incredibly candid as he explored his take on creativity and the practical steps, he’s taken to boost his.

User experience branding: How to design products that create loyal customers

Up next was Bill Beard who dived straight in to the importance of branding. This workshop contained a really stimulating balance between information, real-world examples and exercises that really helped me to appreciate the points Bill was making.

Download the slides

Using a manifesto for accessible user experience as a vehicle for change

David Sloan, from the Paciello Group, presented The Manifesto for Accessible User Experience. The aim of this community resource is to help people understand the importance of creating the best possible user experiences for everyone.

The workshop, which has been held at conferences around the world, involved participants sharing their experiences and ideas on how the aim of the manifesto could be achieved.

If you’re interested in accessibility I’d urge you to take a look at the manifesto and get involved.

Effective design reviews: how to give and receive meaningful actionable design feedback

Everett McKay’s tutorial on how to deliver constructive design feedback that’s focussed on the design challenges that matter most. His talk was great! What’s more, the resources he’ll be sharing should be a must-read for anyone involved in a collaborative design processes. On a side note check out Everett’s remote UX consultancy service.

UX Scotland 2015

Day 2

Designing engaging products

Jane Austin’s keynote was a whirlwind tour of how The Telegraph are evolving. It was fascinating to learn how this publication are confronting the challenges faced by all newspapers head-on. Jane made it clear this isn’t just about doing different things, it’s about changing culture too.

UX Leadership

James Chudley, from the brilliant CX Partners, shared his thoughts on how to navigate the challenges of moving into a management role. His talk was full of practical and actionable tips that will help anyone get to grips with the very different skills and approach required to manage and lead a design team. Check out the slides.

How to sell your UX vision

Jane Guthrie shared her experience of successfully selling UX within large organisations. I really enjoyed this session as it highlighted several day-to-day issues we face. What’s more she provided actionable tips on how to address these issues by framing what we do in a way that’s likely to resonate with senior business decision makers.

Fading money: the future of home banking and financial services

Antonio DePasquale, shared Frog’s take on the future of financial services. This high-level talk really reiterated to me that despite substantial (and in some cases much hyped) progress of Fintech the biggest blocker to the adoption of new products and services is the convenience of existing solutions, namely cash and cards. Check out the slides.

A UX Journey into the world of early drug discovery

This was a real highlight of the conference for me. It was amazing to hear how the UX team at The European Bioinformatics Institute have implemented a user centred design process on a long-term project. The speakers were incredibly generous in terms of sharing their approach to selling this process and how they made it work despite the constraints they were under.

On a side note check out Jenny’s awesome sketchnotes from the conference!

Facilitating Killer Workshops

Darci Dutcher 60 minute session whizzed by in the blink of an eye. Facilitation can be incredibly hard but Darci had a practical tip for almost every scenario. She also shared the references she turns to whenever she’s planning a workshop. So, I’ll post a link to her slides just as soon as they’re available to download!

Too many things, too little time …

Of course, I didn’t get to everything I wanted to. But given what people we’re saying I’m definitely going to try and catch-up with the following tutorials/workshops:

  • Designers: Guilty by Association by Lauren Currie
  • Designing for Cohabitation on 3 million websites: How Disqus Works Everywhere for Everyone by Jono Lee
  • From Aargh to Oh! Making Complex Information Understandable by Graham Odds
  • Remote user testing: the good, the bad and the ugly by Dr Louise Croft Baker and Rachel Littllefair
  • Pragamatic Product Strategy: Getting Products Done while adapting to new information by Jonny Schneider
  • Confessions of an EX UX Unicorn by Rachel Daniel and Amanda Stockwell
  • What the *UX?!? A structured approach to tackling UX strategy by Stephen Denning and Abi Reynolds


Closing thoughts

It’s three years now since the first UX Scotland and the conference has certainly grown. Yet, it’s still as warm as friendly as the first year. A lot of credit for this has to go to the amazing team at Software Acumen – thanks so much to all of you. We’re certainly looking forward to next year’s conference and we’ll hopefully be running into you at UX Cambridge too!

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