User Experience at UXHK
Last 17-18th of February 2012 saw the participation of Joel Sudiacal and myself in UXHK, a Hong Kong conference and workshop for User Experience thought leaders and practitioners, not just from Asia, but from around the world. Also joining us from Morphlabs, was Jeremie Lim. The list of speakers and topics can be found here. I will provide a quick overview of my experience from the event and I hope to post another on more specific topics.
This was the first time that Exist Interactive was able to join a high-caliber event hosted by industry leaders in the rapidly-growing field of User Experience Research and Design. It was a fantastic experience for me personally, to say the least. I wish more members from the team could have joined but there is always next year and many more UX-related events in Singapore and Australia as well.
UX is not just for designers, it is for anyone in an organization keen on delivering well-designed products and services. I guess our role, as participants, is to bring back with us the drive and awareness for UX to Exist, and given the opportunity, be proponents of UX for the Philippine interactive design industry as well. There were other Filipino participants in the conference from other organizations and we were all in agreement that we needed to somehow make things happen for a UX movement in the country.
There were key presentations and workshops that stood out for me. First would be Whitney Hess' presentation on Design Principles and definition of UX as "the establishment of a philosophy about how to treat people." She also defined Visual Design as "the establishment of a philosophy about how to make an impact." Her slides can be found here.
Second would be Whitney Quesenbery's presentation on Storytelling for User Experience, about crafting stories to facilitate design work.
Third, I was very excited about Bas Raijmakers workshop session on Design Documentaries - Visual Storytelling. To my delight, it included a survey of film history and a review of film documentary principles as an approach to research (filming), analysis (editing) and reporting (film screening). Though it cannot apply to every UX project, qualitative research and the emphasis on using visual language was very appealing for someone like me who has very little patience for graphs and tables of data. I guess anyone can appreciate anything that is more visually compelling, if they needed to be convinced of a User-Centered Design approach to building things. Oh, and in the teamwork activity, we were voted best in the video work.
Aside from the knowledge-sharing and the insights relevant to UX methodologies, I got to learn what it means to socialize and network, to hold your own in conversations with other people from various organizations and countries. It was great to meet veterans of Usability as well as meet young designers, even students, who were even more passionate about User Experience.
All in all, UXHK was a tremendous experience that allowed us to understand how UX can position itself as a culture within an organization, and to leverage it as a value, if not the foremost value, in producing and delivering excellent products and services.
With Exist's drive for Experience Excellence entering into 2012, UX has never been more relevant in our culture.
From L-R: Myself, Jeremie Lim, Jo Wong, Aireen Relucio, Daniel Szuc and Joel Sudiacal. Daniel Szuc and Jo Wong organized UXHK 2012. Photo courtesy of Jeremie Lim.