We can’t go on like this. The industrial growth era is, after many centuries, running out of oxygen. Democracy and justice are fraying; Covid has exposed deep systemic fragility; climate crisis will forever transform our planet and economies. Neither our infrastructures nor our imaginations are ready for the profound changes ahead. A reimagined world needs radical new approaches. For design, this means abandoning many beliefs and practices we’ve held dear since the industrial revolution. What does postindustrial design look like? We’ll discuss six profound shifts that will help us survive and flourish in the 21st century.
As UX professionals, we strive to be user-centred, and shape products around user needs. Often research doesn’t have an impact though, and I’ve observed ‘research fatigue’, with stakeholders questioning its value. In this talk, I will discuss how true insights can inform product strategy, with direct impact on the roadmap and metrics. Drawing on my experience as a research lead and product manager, I’ll share case studies and tools that are relevant for researchers, designers, and product leaders.
In a moment where “organisations are realising they aren’t self-sufficient and some of their anti-fragility depends on healthy internal and external relationships, on their ability to shape the best environment for collaboration”, I will invite us to look at the challenge of creating such environments and supporting the creation of such relationships from two complementary perspectives: The *perspective of the systemic team coach* : teams are complex adaptive systems, as human beings and any other living creature are. How do we approach the art of “teaming up” in a non-reductionist yet concrete and manageable way?
What are the interdependent dimensions involved in becoming an impactful team, adding great value to its environment? And how are teams instrumental to both build organizational resilience and nurture individual resilience (instead of depleting it as it is too often the case)?
The *perspective of multidisciplinary teams*: Exploring what it tells us about how we could team-up with our stakeholders, other fields and disciplines, going beyond empathy maps or stakeholder engagement maps. What would be made possible? And what kind of teaming behaviors would we need to develop and sustain to engage with our stakeholders, partners in that way? The intention is to propose a participative format supporting collective exploration and learning using the PERILL(c) model, a comprehensive, versatile and powerful tool helping us to read, understand, connect and influence all the dimensions at play in teams and teams of teams.
Designers, researchers and product managers tackle the product development process from different perspectives. Without a consistent approach to identifying the user problem to be solved, grounded in insights and data, we risk shipping products that people don’t really want or need. Or, when a team is overly focused on innovation, they may lose sight of the core tasks of the product – the baseline user goals that we need to address before tackling differentiators. At Google, we leverage the “Critical User Journey” (CUJ) framework. This framework breaks a product into three components: the user, the goal, and the tasks associated with those goals. Making these explicit forces teams to align on *who* they’re designing for, *what* that user is trying to accomplish, and *how* they go about it. Driving early alignment on these three aspects of a product increases our chances of shipping products that meet a user need and get adoption, engagement and retention. The CUJ then becomes the thread that connects the product lifecycle, from the front end of design (where we identify an insights-backed user problem to solve) to downstream evaluation (where the tasks that form the CUJ become the thing we test with users). In this talk, I’ll tell the story of how we introduced the CUJ framework on the Assistant team; what went well, lessons learned, and how we ultimately shifted the mindset of a product organization that was previously focused on technical feasibility and the market, to viewing our ideas, designs and products through the lens of the user need and user value. Attendees will take away concrete steps for using frameworks to align cross-functional teams around a shared vision of a real-world, high-value user problems.
As designers, we are striving for impact. We want to reach people’s experiences, make their lives better, and ultimately contribute to a better condition of humanity and our planet. But something is getting in our way. Instead of delivering breakthrough experiences, backed up by deep insight and relying on sound thinking, we are feeding bits into downstream implementation and operations. The enterprises we work for make us pursue arbitrary, short sighted goals, and chase after the next release date. The business decisions that determine the outcomes of our efforts have already been made.
The good news: today, enterprises are being challenged to make sense. Companies struggle to justify their mission to their staff, but also society at large, clarifying their contribution to the environment and the common good. Public institutions seek to deliver value to citizens and be useful. We are rediscovering that enterprises do have a purpose. They are humanity’s way to achieve agency at scale, to go after an ambitious entrepreneurial goal, together. In order to design experiences at scale, we need to design the enterprises we rely on to deliver them. This means to embrace them as both the material we design with, and the environment we seek to reshape.
Milan will introduce you to a set of facets and patterns to do just that, relying on your core skills as experience designers and information architects: understanding enterprises as systems embedded in a wider ecosystem and navigating their multifaceted nature. You’ll take away an approach for co-creating their future working with elements, dynamics and dependencies, and radically increase your impact on the outcomes they produce for people.
When we talk of design maturity it is usually in relation to the organisations in which we operate. We construct a multitude of maturity models, scales and assessments in order to encourage organisational leaders to create the conditions in which good design practice can flourish. However, by focussing purely what we’d like others to do, it is possible to ignore our role in all of this.
Drawing on her experience leading design communities in the UK Government, Katy will expand on what it means to achieve design maturity and why it is so critical to ensure our practice represents the diversity of human beings, contexts and cultures.
This keynote is about how to achieve genuine co-creation and how opening ourselves up to include the perspectives of non-designers allows us to build credibility and have greater impact. In this way we can move towards greater maturity of thought, practice and inclusion – and all of us will get there together
How do you create a design and engineering culture in one of the oldest Dutch financial institutions? Aafke (UX designer) and Sven (full-stack engineer during this process, currently UX designer) address the key actions to take in order to drive a culture shift within a corporate environment, allowing you to become customer centric and deliver services your clients want and need. This requires the company to seek internal and external collaborations to build a shared understanding of both the problem and possible solution(s). Over the past year and a half, we’ve started this transition in a small team. Based on our real-world examples, we take you along on our journey. Highlighting successes and pitfalls, we prepare our audience to take these steps for themselves, right after our presentation is finished. The presentation shows which colleagues/roles from your organization and which customers you can (and should) include at the early stages of problem analysis and design, to create a shared understanding of the challenges and possible solutions. We show you when and how to collaborate with the various roles on iterative design and development loops and how to use data & feedback to further improve your services. All of this is illustrated with actual examples, highlighting successes and failures. We touch upon the organization structure, the way management supported these efforts and the learnings we have gathered. But most of all, we encourage our listeners to start this process as soon as possible. Nothing will happen without taking the actual steps to realize your desired change. Intended audience: IA/UX designers (all experience levels), product owners, agility experts and anyone dealing with an organization that can’t or won’t change Presentation time: 30 – 40 minutes
Communication is how designers work together, it is the key for collaboration and how we tackle all design challenges around us. But what happens within bilingual environments, when communication sometimes becomes a problem, and not the solution? How can we practice inclusive design and connect as we collaborate? At denkwerk we asked the international community what was needed, and sought to better understand the problem around collaborating bilingually. Together we developed a community of practice centered around a language learning game, co-created and led by our team. The game consists of a small cohort of learners with a shared purpose: engaging with language learning challenges on a daily basis, in order to collect points to reach a weekly goal. With a miro account and just an hour a week, we challenged our concepts of what language learning at work can be. Playing together, we created a safe space to practice and discuss the ways we communicate and grow together. Engaging in shared activities and moments of growth allowed us to get outside of our silos and shape a better environment for collaboration.
Conversations, transactions and content are continuously moving to the digital space. We are often overwhelmed with the amount of tools, channels, roles, and other contexts we are living in. You certainly know the frustration of looking for a conversation and not finding it because you don’t remember which channel it took place in. This is an example of the lack of information architecture. Information spaces need to be structured in ways that support understanding, orientation, and decision-making. To achieve this and to make an impact, we need to look at information spaces from different perspectives and build relevant connections. In this talk, we will discuss a number of examples that illustrate the relevance, ubiquity and diversity of IA. We hope to inspire you to become more aware of IA challenges in your everyday life and to think about possible solutions.
In recent years, activities that focus on improving the organisation of design work have been re-labeled Design Operations (or DesignOps) and specialist roles and communities have been created. People with this role focus on coordinating and executing initiatives that improve the conditions for all designers, often in-house or at agencies. One aspect of DesignOps is improving the culture, craft, and collaboration between design practitioners. I’d like to present ways in which this happens at Miro as well as a few other companies, in the hopes of encouraging attendees to work on these – and other – aspects of DesignOps.
IA experience is wonderful preparation for product management, but the role of a product manager involves mastering additional skills related to software development, engineering, technical architecture, finding product-market fit, going to market, funnel optimization, revenue modeling, experimenting with hypotheses, managing products through lifecycles, sunsetting features, saying no to stakeholders, getting teams into alignment, and more. In this talk, Christian will explain how IA skills provide a great foundation for product management work, and then provide the basics and pointers for how to develop the complementary skills (such as those mentioned above) to qualify for product leadership roles.