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UX South Africa 2015

Last week was a bit busy! I was out three days at the UX South Africa conference. Here’s what I got up to.

Day one: workshop

Justin (Slack, of New Media Labs and CTFEDs) and I ran a workshop called Future Friendly UX Design. As we’ve done before, we used lots of ideas from Sharon Bowman’s Training From The Back Of The Room and asked the attendees to do things rather than sit and listen to us. We had one formal presentation near the beginning, to introduce the concept of Future Friendly, which was 15 minutes long. The rest of the four hour slot was taken up with activities.

We facilitated discussions about:

  • what Problems (assumptions and unknowns) do we have that have come about from changes in the tech landscape over the past few years;
  • what Patterns we use in our designs that are examples of those Problems;
  • what are some Future Friendly Principles that we can use to fix them;
  • what are specific Solutions to those problems.

We aimed for a lot of sharing of information: tables did mini presentations to the rest of the room of their findings, and all the sticky notes and posters that we made during the day went up on the walls.

I think for a second run of this workshop, I’d like to have more time for the sketching of solutions. For this workshop, we spent a lot of time discussing the problems, patterns, and principles, and didn’t have time to get into the sketching of specific solutions.

We gave attendees homework: they picked a partner at their table and gave them a card with a SMART goal on it, with the promise that they would follow up with each other.

Days Two and Three: the conference

As I sometimes do, I made sketchnotes of some of the talks. Here is a list of my tweets of the sketchnotes, mentioning the speakers, with the images attached. If you just want to see the sketchnotes themselves, you can view this publicly shared Dropbox folder.

There was a last minute cancellation of a speaker for the second day of talks, and one of the organisers, Theo, asked if I would do a fifteen minute talk to fill up some of the time. I said yes, and gave a short reprise of my hamburger menu rant (that I gave for CTFEDs a little while ago), and called it 2 Burger 2 Furious.

I really enjoyed talking. I find public speaking terrifying in the hour or so running up to the talk. With a few minutes to go, I tend to become suddenly calm. Then I switch into speaking mode and catch up with myself again on the other side. I love and hate watching the recording afterwards. I want to watch see whether I was any good and where I can improve for next time, but it can be cringe-inducing: especially when I see how much I swear, or how terrible my jokes are!