The UX South Africa conference was held in Johannesburg on 11 and 12 May. We were there, and this is what went down.
The conference was held at the The Focus Rooms in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. The venue was great – filled with quirky signage, and fun material for the guests.
The event consisted of ±200 attendees and 17 speakers from across the globe.
Here are some of the talks that caught our attention and left a lasting memory.
Designing for Cultural Diversity
By Chui Chui Tan, UX Editor at Smashing Magazine
This talk explored the diversity of cultures in different regions around the globe. It highlighted the need to carefully research and craft products that fit the target market whilst taking into consideration the cultural and language differences for the context that it will be used in.
Designing for the Future: Principles of smart interfaces and interaction design
By Basak Haznedaroglu, UX Designer at Microsoft Berlin
To build for the future, we must first understand the past. This talk explored the evolution of interfaces, from command line terminals, our “beloved” Clippy assistant, to today’s bots, and digital assistants. With new technology emerging, and new ways to interact with technology, there are more opportunities for designers to build great experiences. Basak urges us all to “Stay relevant!”.
Developing a Human Centered UX Strategy
By Jason Hobbs, Director at Firma
This talk aimed to show the difference in UX process when designing and evaluating a product. Jason took the audience through some real-world examples of how a human centered design framework can be used, and what value it can add to a product as well as to the end-users’ experience.
Design Thinking and Agile
By Rishal Hurbans, Solution Designer at Entelect, founder of Prolific Idea
Design thinking is an emerging concept that seems to be a buzzword at the moment. This talk started off explaining the meaning of design thinking and how it’s being used by giants such as Apple, Tesla, Space X, and Google. The talk took us back in time to illustrate the exponential progression in technology and why the sci-fi tech being announced is a soon to be reality. The talk dived into how design thinking concepts fit so well with the principles of the Agile Manifesto with a case study on a real-world local project. Rishal challenged the audience to define goals and strive towards them rather than being consumed by the problem space.
Done is Better than Perfect
By Anita Iles, Operations Director / UX Architect at Isoflow
This talk works through a real-world case study to highlight the importance of getting something in the hands of people instead of trying to perfect a product before launch. Perfection is impossible, stop trying to achieve it. Anita explains that UX processes and practices should not be done just for the sake of it. The use of a few sensible processes can add more value to a project than trying to squeeze them all in.
Combining Empathy and Data in User Experience
By Richard Omolio, UX Designer at Booking.com
Data analysis, experiments, and empathy can improve your website’s user experience and help achieve business goals. This talk took the audience through the journey of tweaking and optimizing Booking.com for a better user experience. Richard explains that the immense traffic to the site helps their UX team gather and analyze data that can be used to make design decisions for the product. He also emphasizes the use of design experiments and A/B testing for deciding on design decisions based on the feedback from Booking.com data.
The UX South Africa conference was insightful, and filled with interesting and fun people. It was great to see local and international talent showcasing their experience and sharing their knowledge. We’re looking forward to the next one!