UX Poland 2015, one of the biggest UX events in Poland was a fantastic experience! If you were there just like me, you surely know what I’m talking about and in case you weren’t, I’m going to share with you some things that I found most interesting during this conference.
For 6 consecutive years UX Poland is making a great job in promoting the value of User Experience Design not only in Poland, but all over Europe. It was a great adventure to take part in this event for the entire period of 4 days and have a chance to meet all of the people who came with their stories about solving real problems with unique design.
The event itself was located in a historic building in the center of Warsaw: built in 1913-1914 and designed by Charles Jankowski and Franciszka Lilpop. This was the venue of the largest store in pre-war Poland and it represents a solid piece of history of our capital and our nation.
1. Jim Sterne and Big Data.
The first day entitled “Experience Showroom” was devoted to 15 inspirational talks. The opener, Jim Sterne got everyone on track and showed how we can change and improve our design thanks to Big Data. By illuminating the history of his own works he pointed out how we can combine quantitative and qualitative data to design great solutions that are not necessarily wanted by us UX Designers, but by the users themselves.
Thank you Jim for reminding that designers should not focus too much on their own panache, but instead they should consider how real people will cope with solutions that we have created for them.
2. Be agile – How to manage the project when it is growing.
Wiesław Kotecki’s presentation was a perfect way to describe challenges that we all have to face when we design solutions for corporations. It was good to hear that the key to perfect design is not about dealing with individual screens, as it is about solving problems. In Wiesław’s corporate banking b2b project he decided to use design guidelines instead of creating single mockups. Why? Because in comparison to the original assumptions, the project has expanded and it was a danger that it would never end. That’s why he and his team needed general principles to handle all the cases.
In the end, Wiesław reminded us to focus on creating a consistent experience especially in complex projects even if it requires a change in management.
3. Here and now – feel the atmosphere of a place and share it.
And Marcin Ukleja, what an interesting presentation you gave! For more than a few of us in the room Marcin’s bright vision of Vybe, a new app that bases on people’s emotions, creating an entirely new dimension when it comes to knowing your city.
The essence of Marcin’s talk was to show you how he mixed 9 different design patterns to create new values with Vybe Map. This simple app will let users explore the World by finding positive ‘vybes’ rather than reading too many old reviews. The great advantage is to show the current data of the places, by showing the freshest vybe in the most intense color and to let the vybes fade so that they disappear after a week. Useful and beautiful, I can’t wait when it will be available!
In between the fantastic presentations there was plenty of time for talks with people who share the same passion. If fact, it’s hard to imagine a better way to get so much inspiration! The Experience Showroom was full of interesting cases, not only about design, but about people for which we create.
4. Creative workshops
After the Experience Showroom we had two intensive days of workshopping. A wide array of subjects every day allowed everyone to find something suitable for their particular taste.
I think it is safe to say that we all learned something new. One of the best parts about this event was its atmosphere, people who get to UX Poland want to engage in progressive conversations which allows to create amazing teams and amazing ideas. Moreover, the organizers of the conference made a brave decision to connect with people from the City Hall of Warsaw and together create a Smart City – an improvement of the environment in which we all live.
Last day was full of inspirational talks of people from all over the World gathered in one place, in the Dramatic Theatre in the center of Warsaw. Throughout their talks, we were encouraged to reconsider how far we must go to create our designs. 35 minutes for every speech is not too long, in fact it is difficult to show a full case study with such a limited amount of time, but the speakers understood the challenge and provided us with amazing stories showing a new look at familiar topics.
My UX Poland experience was something I’ll never forget. On one hand fantastic presentations, from the other hands-on workshops, what more is there to say? In fact, it’s hard to imagine a better place for experience designers to share their passion. The conference was not about “how to design something” but about how we can change and improve the World thanks to good practices in UX design and for me that was the greatest value.
Agnieszka is a UX Designer at 10Clouds and she believes that with our design we take responsibility to shape the digital world. She has a psychological and sociological background, which helps her understand the needs of the user. Privately she is a dog-owner and is obsessed with climbing as many high peaks in the Alps as she possibly can (Matterhorn, here we come!).