UX Australia 2013 Day 2: Top 3 Insights

Here’re the top 3 insights from Day 2 which follow the top 3 insights from Day 1.

Groundhogs in the source code: Navigation as cross-channel sense-making by Andrea Resmini

  1. People create their own meanings in places within physical and digital navigational meshes.
  2. Place is a way to understand the world. Intent and meaning is more important than geometry.
  3. The web is a map that leads to somewhere real.
    Andrea Resmini, Groundhogs in the source code: Navigation as cross-channel sense-making

Andrea Resmini, Groundhogs in the source code: Navigation as cross-channel sense-making

One team, one dream: Practical ways to work better, together by Kelsey Schwenk

  1. Traditional methods (such as personality tests) of categorising people into cubicles is flawed.
  2. The VIEW model developed by the Center for Creative Learning looks at relative scales of problem solving styles instead.
  3. We lie somewhere in the following scales: Internal vs. External, Explorer vs. Developer, Person-oriented vs. Task-oriented.
    Kelsey Schwenk, One team, one dream: Practical ways to work better, together

Kelsey Schwenk, One team, one dream: Practical ways to work better, together

Gesture control: Wave goodbye to your remote control and say hello to the future by Sean Smith

  1. There are 2 types of gesture: pointing and semantic.
  2. A combination of the two is preferred by most.
  3. Use both universally common gestures and customised culture-specific gestures.
    Sean Smith, Gesture control: Wave goodbye to your remote control and say hello to the future

Sean Smith, Gesture control: Wave goodbye to your remote control and say hello to the future

From faith-based to evidence-based design: Design by numbers by Miles Rochford

  1. Design decisions based on just intuition are not going to cut it anymore. We need evidence backed by data.
  2. Data is not about proving yourself right or wrong.
  3. Data is not automatically useful.
Miles Rochford, From faith-based to evidence-based design

Miles Rochford, From faith-based to evidence-based design

Designing surveys to get the responses you want! by Hendrik Müller

  1. 10 steps to designing surveys that get unbiased, valid and reliable data: 1. Decide if the survey is the right method 2. Objectives 3. Sampling 4. Questions 5. Avoiding biases 6. Visual design 7. Evaluation 8. Building 9. Fielding 10. Analysis.
  2. People answer more honestly if the survey is anonymous.
  3. People cannot predict the future. Ask about shortcomings, not wish lists.
Hendrik Müller, Designing surveys to get the responses you want

Hendrik Müller, Designing surveys to get the responses you want

Getting UX done by Ian Fenn

  1. Call it ‘critique’, not ‘design review’.
  2. Have smaller pre-meetings before the big meeting.
Ian Fenn, Getting UX done

Ian Fenn, Getting UX done

Designing meetings to work for design by Kevin Hoffman

  1. To help people hear better, start with divergent thinking followed by convergent thinking.
  2. To help people see better, use graphic facilitation (visual note taking).
  3. To help people do better, present and design ideas collaboratively. For example, for each section on the homepage, collectively answer who needs it and what they will do with it.
Kevin Hoffman, Designing meetings to work for design

Kevin Hoffman, Designing meetings to work for design

Designing services for messy lives by Andy Polaine

  1. Identify crevasses in your product experience and minimise them.
  2. If you don’t design it, someone else will.
  3. People have lives beyond the screen. Try to observe and understand their lives.
Andy Polaine, Designing services for messy lives

Andy Polaine, Designing services for messy lives

Conference recap by Steve Baty

  1. Small details are important.
  2. We are the humanising force. Understand people. Bring them in the design. Work with them.
  3. Lines between digital and physical spaces are getting blurred more and more.

UXAustralia 2012: Some reflections

Brisbane, sunny Queensland: UXAustralia 2012 set off with a theme that was to run through the entire 2-days of intense UX thinking. That theme was humanity and the trail was blazed by keynote speaker Bill DeRouchey. Bill went beyond the need for empathy and called for designers to have compassion towards their users, to really understand their needs. In his presentation, ‘The power of “Why?“‘, Bill mentioned compassion (think Dalai Lama) and curiosity (think Curiosity Mars rover) as the key ingredients to great designs and great humans.


Bill DeRouchey’s depiction of what good design involves – Compassion & Curiosity

Windows Metro was a heated topic during the conference with both proponents and opponents of the new design guidelines being brought out by Microsoft. Shane Morris presented ‘How I became authentically digital‘ which took us on a journey through this new design language / interaction style / attitude (whichever way you look at it). Remember the Bauhaus principle – form follows function?

Bronwyn van der Merwe from Massive Interactive showed us how she helped the BBC create a global experience language to ensure consistency in their brand, vision, user experience, visual design, navigation and interaction in the different products and services offered by the media company across multiple platforms. The magnitude of the project was prominent and so were the outcomes. Check out www.bbc.co.uk/gel for the amazing work they’ve done and to download reusable assets and design patterns which you can use for your own projects.

Jake Causby talked about design transparency and framed his talk around the 3 pillars of design transparency – culture, sharing and collaboration. Some of key highlights of his talk were the benefits of having a design wall in the office and the definition of done (what done means to you and how getting early feedback from the client is important). His full presentation can be found at www.jakecausby.com/uxa.


Jake Causby speaking on design transparency

Maria Salas from Westpac took us through the design processes they used to come up with innovative solutions for the Westpac iPad app. One such process involved using physical objects (e.g. furry balls) to conceptualise designs. Maria pointed out that using these physical objects instead of mockups and prototypes resulted in the designers focusing more on the concept of (say, making a payment) rather than the nitty-gritty details of design or biases resulting from design elements such as wireframes. She also highlighted the importance of unlearning existing prejudices and old habits to form new insights.

Continuing the theme of humanity and ethics (using toilet paper on stage!), Stephen Cox demonstrated how we humans are just the seedlings in the 4.5 billion years of earth’s history asking questions bigger than the ones we usually ask during a typical session of contextual inquiry. What does it mean to be human?


Stephen Cox on the evolution of Homo sapiens

The presentation touched on sociology (norm, scripts and breaching experiments) and showed how adding stories to objects can significantly increase the value of the object. Stephen stressed that design and anthropology  can change humans and urged the audience to make that change a positive one so that our future generations don’t turn into the kind of humans depicted in the sci-fi movie, Wall-E. 


Would you design technology that turns humans into these?

 Joji Mori from the University of Melbourne went morbid (not really) and talked about death, especially the death of users and the design considerations for the possibility of the user’s death or a user that has died. Check out www.deathswitch.com and www.legacylocker.com.

Steve Baty recommended researching not just customers but ex-customers (why they left) and even people who don’t want to be customers. In his presentation ‘Sources of Innovation‘, he inspired the audience to ‘Be extreme! Be Bold! Think BIG!’.

Chris Michelle-Wells talked about how great design is not enough and as designers we need to do the following :

  1. Involve the client in the journey.
  2. Be clear what you’re delivering.
  3. Do things that produces artefacts.
  4. Document everything (e.g. takes pictures of workshops)
  5. Keep clients informed.

While the rest of us have been designing websites and apps, Tim Horton has been busy designing cities! Tim wrapped up the conference in grand style with his presentation on the grand designs happening in Adelaide city. Check out www.5000plus.net.au or follow #5000plus. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and the great people and minds I had the privilege of mingling with.Thank you Steve Baty and Donna Spencer for another job well done! And thanks to Objective Digital for sponsoring our trip.

Did you attend the conference? What were your highlights? Feel free to share below.


Nirish is a User Experience Consultant at Objective Digital. When he’s not designing experiences for his users, you’ll find him tinkering with his DSLR in front of a sunset, testing his fiancé’s patience.

EyeTrackUX, Barcelona 2012

A quick update from Tobii

  • Tobii Eye Tracking Conference on User Experience

Tobii welcome you to the 5th edition of EyeTrackUX. EyeTrackUX 2012 (Tobii Eye Tracking conference on User Experience) is the premier international conference on eye tracking in the field of user experience. By bringing together leading researchers from academia and industry it forms an important knowledge base for eye tracking research and methodology. This event covers a wide range of cutting edge eye tracking methodologies that are either emerging or actively employed in user experience research today.

Date: April 25-26, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Venue: Hotel H10 Marina Barcelona, Av. Bogatell, 64-68, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
Useful Information & Hotel Recommendation: Click here

Conference Program and Keynote Speakers

The intense two day conference program includes a spectrum of user presentations, hands-on trainings and workshops. This year we have invited two keynote speakers who will share their knowledge and expertise regarding usability research and eye tracking: 


Silvia Zimmerman

CEO and Lead Experience Designer
Former President
Usability Professionals Association (UPA)

Title of Speech:
UX: New Trends, Remaining Challenges


Jim Hudson

Global Research Manager
Customer Experience and Design

Title of Speech:
The Double Edged Sword

Click here to read more about the biography, abstract and details about the keynote speakers and a special speaker

Call for Speakers/ Submissions

We would like to invite researchers and practitioners in the field of eye tracking in user experience research to submit papers for an opportunity to speak at the conference. The success of EyeTrackUX is highly dependent on the contribution of its participants. 

We encourage people to present findings from academic research, commercial research and client cases. It is also possible to arrange workshops and special interest group meetings during the conference.

Some suggested topics for presentations:

  • How you used eye tracking in user experience research
  • Methods and methodologies for doing eye tracking in user experience research
  • Lessons learned from eye tracking in user experience research
  • Interesting findings and case studies from eye tracking in user experience research
  • Eye tracking novel user interfaces and devices in user experience research

Each presentation is limited to 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for questions. If you wish to submit your paper for an opportunity to speak, please send your application by e-mail to eyetrackux@tobii.com no later than March 9th, 2012.

The application should include:

● title of the presentation
● short abstract of the presentation
● CV of the speaker

Please note that the number of speaking slots is limited and speakers will be selected based on the quality of their contribution and how well they match the conference theme (eye tracking and user experience).

Pre-conference Course – Using Eye Tracking in Web Usability Testing: 7 Different Study Designs

The day before the conference, i.e. April 24, Tobii offers the popular course given at the conference now for the third year in a row, i.e. Using eye tracking in web usability testing: 7 different study designs. Read more about the course here. Seats are limited and we accept attendees on first-come-first-served basis.

Participation Fee, Offer and Registration

Participation Fee: EUR 290
Optional Conference Dinner: EUR 30
(Include: access to all conference sessions and workshops, coffee breaks and lunches on April 25-26. 
Exclude.: Pre-conference course, accommodation, travel costs and VAT tax)

Discount Offer: 
10% Early Bird Discount is available for all online registrations by Friday, March 9th. (Discount Code: EarlyBird)
20% Student Discount is available for full time students with valid student id card. (Discount Code: Student)

Registration link to the EyeTrackUX conference: Click here

Important Dates

9 March (Fri): Paper submissions due
9 March (Fri): Deadline of the 10% early bird discount of the conference participation fee (Register here!)
6 April (Fri): Registration deadline (Register here!)
24 April (Tue):  Pre-conference course: Using Eye Tracking in Web Usability Testing: 7 Different Study Designs (Note: Separate registration is mandatory.)
25-26 April (Wed-Thu):  EyeTrackUX Conference