On Friday 15th of July, the e3 UX team embarked on a great day of insight and workshops for UX Bristol 2016 at the M shed. Different sessions were attended and they have shared their experiences below.

Sarah….

Structured content: scaling your ideas to create better experiences, with Bonny Colville-Hyde & Martina Welander.

I thoroughly enjoyed this interactive session focused on the relationships between pieces of data. At one point we were split into groups and each acted as the user, interface, service and database. In our roles we had to imitate how data was passed back and forth. I think as UX designers we are often absorbed by the end user experience so it was really interesting to have to think about how data is passed through the various systems and processes in order to provide the user with something useful. For me, this session highlighted if we want good UX we really do have to understand and communicate both audience and data requirements – I’ll be thinking more about this in the future.

Making performance a feature, with Stu Charlton and Joel Mitchel

Initially I didn’t know how relevant this session would be to me, but thought I would give it a try anyway. It turned out to be one of the best workshops I went to all day. Performance is not something I think about on a day-to-day basis when creating designs or running user testing, but during this session speed was brought to light as a major performance feature. We discussed different ways to reduce load time and raced some well-known sites against each other.

I want my MVP, with Alastair Lee

Alastair’s session focused on the concept of a Minimum Viable Product. I learned that as UX consultants we should question whether we should build something rather than if we can build something. Additionally, at the beginning of every project there are assumptions and this workshop demonstrated different ways to test these, including smoke tests, prototyping and the ‘Wizard of OZ’ technique. It was a really interesting session and I hope to incorporate many of the ways that he discussed to test assumptions moving forward.

Zoe…

Validating Ideas: Fast with Remote User Research, with Adam Babajee-Pycroft

This was really good session. It offered some practical advice about remote user testing which we could use on occasions where the clients budget will not stretch to test in person with a large enough group of participants. It is my view that it will always be more worthwhile to test in person but this was really interesting to hear and I will bare it in mind if it seems like it might be useful for a future project.

Prototyping connected services, with Stuart Tayler

This was an interesting insight into how we might create low-fidelity prototypes for smart services and those that use AI, either to communicate an idea to clients or to user test it, looking at the difficulties involved in prototyping chat-based or voice commanded interfaces.  This was a practical, hands-on session which was fun and engaging and we hope to be able to use some of these skills in the near future.

User research as a team sport, with Will Myddelton

GDS recommend all individuals watch two hours of research every six weeks and get involved in the note taking. I found the session to be a really useful guide to the best way to get all members of the project team involved in user testing, so all can be a part of spotting issues with the site, and quick methods of prioritising issues together as a team – it’s something we’re working on doing more of at e3.

Steph…

Visual note taking, with Makayla Lewis

This session explored the idea of creating imagery instead of pages of notes in order to capture key points from meetings. I think this would take a lot of practice to become good at and you require a bank of images that you can apply to words quickly to ensure you don’t miss important information. The speaker was great and did a sketch note of me to show how to characterise people!

Persuasive design, with Alberto Ferreira

This session explored a wide range of psychological principles which play a major role in user behaviour online. We were tasked with matching behavioural principles to particular design patterns. This workshop was great at reminding us of some of the basic principles that we perhaps take for granted when we are designing.

The UX of forms, with Sjors Timmer

This session explored the design of accessible forms with focus on the micro-interactions which enhance form design. Looking at this in detail allowed me to go back to basics and really think about the intricate details that can ultimately make the user’s life a lot easier - and increase conversion. I can begin to put the tips and tricks that I learned during this workshop into practice straight away.

Overall UX Bristol is always a valuable conference to attend and gives our excellent UX team a chance to see how their methods can be improved and what’s cutting edge when it comes to User Testing. If you have any questions about this article or how e3’s UX team create websites that guarantee happy users, contact miranda@e3.co.uk