The format of the speakers was slightly different this month, with two lightning talks breaking things up between the two longer presentations. All our speakers offered some great insights into the world of user research, as well as some tips we can all put into practice.
They also gave us plenty to think about, such as: why does Telford have such an exotic looking industrial park? How would you categorise cycling shorts? Do you need a Slack channel for Love Island? And can your user research reports be as epic as Lord of the Rings?
We welcomed Samantha Davies to the stage first, who returned having postponed her talk at UX Bournemouth 5. Our two lightning talks were delivered by Ben Kay and Penny Rance, leaving Experience UX’s Laura Yarrow to round off the evening.
Establishing a user research practice in-house – Samantha Davies
Samantha gave us a look inside UX at Monzo, explaining how she’s worked to get everyone in the company to buy into the idea of user research in her time there so far. Sharing has been crucial and she’s used a lot of simple but effective tools to get people to engage with her research and its findings.
Slack is a firm favourite – and not just for UX – and she’s used Whatsapp and Trello to great effect. Initiatives like Testing Tuesday, where everyone is invited to come and observe user research, have also helped her create a buzz around UX and how it can benefit the whole business.
What I learned from doing 50 customer insight interviews in 6 weeks – Ben Kay
Next up was Ben Kay, UX Director at Cohaesus, who took us on a user research road trip to the exotic sights of… Telford, Aberdeen and plenty of places in between. He gave an overview of an epic project that resulted in 55 hours of recorded footage and 1,300 quotes.
Ben shared some valuable lessons from this large project, such as the need to be highly organised, have an experienced support team and look after yourself. But he also talked about how to share findings on that scale – from a 167-slide PowerPoint deck to videos and even a customer experience map.
8 steps to creating a new information architecture – Penny Rance
Wiggle’s Penny Rance then took us on a whistle-stop tour of the website’s new mega menu, explaining how you approach an information architecture that needs to include over 400 categories and 11,000 products.
She’s 18 months into what was initially scoped as a six-month project, so her top tip is to make sure you don’t underestimate how long this kind of work will take. We learned that testing has been essential, from card sorting to help group products to tree testing for the hierarchy using Treejack.
The Art and Science of Storytelling – Laura Yarrow
Our very own Laura Yarrow gave our final talk of the evening, when we learned that she loved to play with scissors as a child. By sharing some of her antics from the ‘80s she showed us how storytelling can enhance our work in UX.
As she rightly pointed out, flow charts aren’t as engaging as a story. A story will also create empathy and it’s this that will prompt people to act and make changes that improve people’s experiences and lives. This makes stories a powerful tool in any UXer’s arsenal.
We’ve made the slide decks from all our speakers available to download if you’d like to refresh your memory, or if you missed out and want to find out more.
Our next event
Don’t forget to see what the UX community thought of our latest event by taking a look at Twitter (#uxbournemouth).
Our next event will be our full-day UX Insider Conference on 16 October. We’ve got an excellent lineup of speakers for the day, not to mention breakfast bakes, hot drinks and lunch – get your tickets early to ensure you don’t miss out.
We’d also love to hear from you if you’d like to speak at one of our events, so get in touch if you want to share your knowledge with our UX community.