Design

WCF Davos Lodz Conference – review on the go

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Here’s a short review of Davos, one of the most packed conferences in Poland. It has a variety of speakers that range from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. But, since it only has one stage, you have very little time for unnecessary filler.

How much knowledge can you fit in a 15-minute talk? Well, it depends. Some may try to squeeze too much and make their talk too complex. Some may try to make it funny but forgettable. Some may find the perfect balance and make their talk refreshing and interesting.

This will be a lightning article, just to give you a short summary of things I found interesting during the first day. You may expect some updates as the conference goes.

Ideo

Ideo has a great way of engaging stakeholders. They record a video that deals with the issue from the perspective of a potential user, instead of using a stock photo persona that doesn’t resonate on a personal level.

They also shared three rules you have to use to convince people:

  • Make it personal
  • Make it relevant
  • Make it human

In their own words, “Stories are highly shareable “.

Abbott and Braster

Both of these companies want to revolutionize health market. Abbott created a glucometer that works without needles, Braster – an affordable solution for breast cancer detection. I kind of wish they had exchanged notes before their talks – one started with a lengthy description of the problem, the other with too much shock value. But still – check them out, they might be onto something.

Abbyy

Abbyy specialise in text analytics and formatting. They had an inspiring talk about crowdsourcing for digitalization of Tolstoy. Volunteers from all around Russia have proofread 90 books by Tolstoy, his letters and other works, manually. You can read all of it online for free if you know Russian.

AmRest

New technologies will allow you to skip the line and get fast food even faster. Nice. With the emergence of a multi-billion dollar market of food aggregators (like Pyszne.pl and PizzaPortal), there is a need for traditional restaurants to improve the quality of their service and to make customer experience better. There is also a race for more reliable and swift delivery systems – with the usage of drones and robots.

NATO

I loved this talk. The general thought was that you should be in front of your message or someone else will do it for you. Optimise your content across all channels to make people interact with it more. Track and measure everything to make sure that you are indeed growing in every possible form of engagement (likes, shares, comments), not only general ones (number of people).

Wirtualna Polska

Their approach to User Experience is quite interesting. Instead of focusing on how the product will fit on the market and conducting pre-testing, they mostly focus on getting the UX right, releasing an app and testing it in the actual market with focus on the habit creation aspect.

Two highlights: design research is not very useful for new products and necessity is not the mother of inventions (inventors just do stuff because they want to).

Uber

The main outline of this talk was how Uber fixes public transportation issues in cities. Affordable ride that connects underprivileged or suburban neighborhoods with communication hubs, actually decreases necessity of using a car. There is also a growing need for shared rides (UberPOOL) which fixes another urban problem of people per car ratios (1-2 people per car).

Takeaway: private companies will always be faster than city officials when it comes to band-aiding problems.

InPost

Snail mail is dying. Even though at first InPost wanted to compete with Polish Post Office, they pretty soon realized that it’s not a viable business strategy. The business of courier transport doesn’t work as well because of the necessity of being at home to pick up a package. It’s why they created paczkomaty, their post boxes where you can pick up a package at any point over a 72 hour period.

Paczkomaty created a ripple effect: Amazon created their own boxes, as well as Google and a number of other big companies. It seems to be the best method of sending packages at this moment.

Honourable mentions

Depot WPF – Probably the best use of format of the day.
School of Ideas – for making robots fun (I love robots).
Legia – for building brand identity in a difficult market. They nailed it with both their approach and promotional materials.

Stay tuned for updates and final thoughts, I’m writing as the event goes.

by Jacek Suwalski, UX Designer

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