At Ladies First it was all about digital trends today when the sisters Astrid & Ingrid Haug stopped by Niels Brock for a talk each on the topic. Astrid just wrote a book in Danish which is on my wish list called “The future belongs to the fearless”, and Ingrid is behind the great conference called Design Matters which I hope to attend again in 2018.
Key Insights from Astrid’s talk was a nice overview of where we are currently withing digital trends (from SOME to wearables, robots, Internet of Things, AI, Big data, VR, AR, and thoughts about where we are going next.) We are part of shaping this new world through our Vision! As a thinking exercise you can ask yourself what you would do differently if you had to start your company today. Another thinking exercise is to design your own ultimate competitor. They think globally, have no office and few employees, not production costs and are very aware of their purpose and continually innovate.
Key insights from Ingrid’s talk were the 3 topics of: “Design for change”, “Immersive Worlds & Mixed Reality” and “Be a Rebel”. I hope these are some of the topics they will dive into in this years Design Matters conference.
Learnings from sketchnoting:
There is still room for a few details on especially the last sketchnote, which I will add tomorrow. I realized that I need to do a visual library exercise for different symbols and icons representing electricity, technology and digital, so my visual vocab is more varied. Right now the icons I think first, and use in the heat of the moment overlap too much.
I am currenlty jobhunting for a fulltime position as Designer/UX’er/facilitator and was lucky enough to attend the Meet and Greet at @pentialife yesterday! Amazing Office at Islands Brygge in Copenhagen, a huge candy bar, star wars all over and most importantly: a people first mentality.
Walking around in the office I felt right at home amongst a suit of amor, Star Wars, LEGO and best of all…. a whole arcade room! They even had packman and Mario in there. When the developers have a thinking break from work they often collect LEGO. When you are hired you even get some LEGO! And every year there is a dress up day where everyone comes to work in costume!
They employ UX architechs as well as Juniors. You work as a junior for a year in a sort of trainee position. This means they are not afraid of hiring people right out of college. The company language is Danish, although you may be considered for a job even though you do not speak Danish much.
Todays speaker at the Preely meetup was Marie Køhnke, previously from In2Media and now freelancing. The key take away from the talk titled “Client do you actually want UX” was that UX’ers should not be afraid of posing big questions. According to her there are 7 things to consider if you want to have UX (see the circles on the left page). The case she used as an example was about innovating on how to change digital letters/digital communication from the government.
Reflection on my sketchnoting process today
Practicing my speed, I strive to be finished with the outlining + make grey shadows + colored border + take nice images at the events themselves. Sometimes I am still not quick enough though. Especially if I also spend time networking, which is still one of the main reasons why I go to these events in the first place.
As seen on the coverimage, the right image shows the slideshow of how Marie presented her 7 key points. I made them visual in my sketchnote, wanting to really remember them for later. Marie went over the 7 points rather quickly, and I spend a few extra seconds of thinking time boiling each point down to a bulletpoint understanding while she talked. As seen by the cover image I was not able to finish this part of the sketchnote live during the talk this time.
I admit that sometimes I still rely on my blue mechanical pencil for layouting, partly because I think better when it feels more like a sketch than a drawing. Although the “prettyness” of my sketchnotes is not my main priority at all, I still am a designer who loves whitespace. Getting whitespace and clustering successfully is much easier when I have a few blue lines to guide me. Sometimes more than a few. Sometimes I have to force myself to put down the pencil and only use the black outliner pen. Without the pencil for sketching, it sometimes still comes down to luck for me when I choose a layout. Practice, practice, practice will help.
What can I do to get better?
Practice doing different layouts for the same ted talk perhaps, and practice listening for clues to where the talk is going to go. My favourite talks take me by the hand and say what they will cover in the beginning. Makes my job much easier, when I have to fill out a spread in a sketchbook. If I use another format like a roll of paper, it is an entirely different process that I also want to practice.
To sum up I plan to practice:
Not using my mechanical pencil at all
Doing the same talk in different layouts (perhaps digitally?)
I attended UX Copenhagen at DGI Byen this year, and did live portraits of all speakers as well as sketchnotes. Videos of the talks from the event can be found here.
The talk by Molly Wattwas about the importance of inclusive design and accessible tech. Her key takeaway was that inclusive design can benefit not only the minority but the majority.
Her talk provides an overview of the different categories within inclusive design (Vision, hearing, motor, cognitive) as well as introducing some of the assistive tech that has been a game changer for so many people. It was one of the most personal and moving talks at the conference, because it included her own personal story of constantly battling misconceptions about Deaf-blindness. After Molly’s talk I was Lucky and got to meet her sweet guidedog Isabella too!
Anne Thyme Nørregaard from Siteimprove spoke about accessibility from a business angle, speaking a language investors understand! She argued for accessibility not only being the ethical choice but the smart choice as well, because it it can bring you increased revenue and a better user experience.
Janne Jul Jensen, Senior UX architect from LEGO, says that you should not invest in tools, but invest in people! Her talk advocates for why you need UX in your company, comparing the UX field to the field of Architects (Would you build your house yourself?) and to cooking (a chef perfectly balances the rules of the field chen creating!).
Laura Kalbag wrote a book called Accessibility for Everyone, and is an advocate of that you should be the change you want to see in the world! She presented 7 ways to how you can be part of this positive change, from being the “advicer” to “questioner” or at least “supporter” of others doing it. During her talk she used the visual metaphor of carrots vs. sticks in order to show examples that the motivation for building accessible products can have two sides to it. Later she used an apple to illustrate the different layers in products, from the seed (your intent), to the core (human rights), the flesh (the content) and finally the peel (the visuals / the delight). One of her key points was that you draw the line when Technology goes from harming yourself to something that might harm other people! And you should not be afraid of talking about this even though it is risky!
Louise Fuglesang from Edenspiekermann makes a case for how work with children can inspire us to design more ethically. She talks of the design principles and rights that came out of a Unicef conference in Helsinki she was part of, and how these rules should perhaps not just apply to just children! What is all products and services considered these principles and rules? Because Kids might also use something that is not designed for them.
The talk by Mark Bowers on the new reality of image manipulation blew me away! Some of these examples I had seen before, but never collected together like this. What we will soon be able to pull off will be a game changer! His key point was that when our brains are able to recognize the images as real, as truth, what happens? When we can generate an image as easily as capturing it no one can trust images anymore at all.
Dramatic music. An Atomic Bomb going off on the big screen. Mike Monteiro has arrived and hands out his booklet of 10 rules of ethics to an intrigued audience. Starting with his reason for not being on twitter anymore (they are cowardly and opportunistic and should ban Trump…) he makes a case for why these “white boys” behind the big cooperation have a responsibility when the release something into the world that impacts so many people. “You need a license to be a doctor or even a dog walker…but not to work with our privacy” he says. His Key point is that You are FREE, help others be FREE. You are lucky. We are ordinary people. Your job is a choice, please to it right. Have a spine and say NO! And follow these 10 rules.
Rolf Molich From Dialog Design did a talk on Ethical Dilemmas in User Experience. His key point was that sometimes it is necessary to say NO and face the consequences. He posed 4 ethical dilemmas for a UX’er to the room that we had to answer through a survey on a phones live, and discussed the results. On the scroll you can see the UXPA code of conduct, which you should follow.
Stine Mosegaard Vilhelmsen from Design-people talked about Design and Innovation with a gender lens, focusing on the female consumers as a business potential. She begins with covering 6 reasons why you should design for women, from the fact that they control almost 80% of the spending worldwide to the fact that womens income is on the rise. Men design for other men, but that should stop because studies show that the traits that control spending decisions differs between men and women! There are no difference in abilities between the genders, but the motivation is different. Don’t just “pink it up” when you market a product to women, understand that they view the product as a whole experience rather than its features. Include women in the testing of products! Did you know a lot of medicine is only tested on men? And a lot of car safety is only tested on male dummies? When Apple released their health app they had forgotten about the menstrual cycle tracking in the first version.
The talk by Tim Daniel Hansen on the topic of Sex robots and ethics (and my discussion with him afterwards about the use of child robots…) will haunt me for a long time to come. During his talk he showed footage of how a sex robot is made – and it is much less like the elegant but scary techy intro of Westworld and more like making human sized Barbies… but somehow because of all the parts dangling around being assembled, it made me think of a slaughterhouse….
In his talk Tim asks the question “Do android get erotic nightmares?” and the answer is yes. If we continue to not take ethical and tech aspects seriously both humans and robots will get nightmares. His reason for asking this question is because first of all we are in a moment in history where singularity might not be far off. Secondly he gets furious when he sees tech titans not taking responsibility. And last but not least because responsible development comes from within!
The talk by Dave Dylan Thomas on designing for cognitive bias was really interesting, and I will have to go through the 100+ different biases myself sometime! Some of the biases he goes through were, “Illusion of control”, “Confirmation bias”, “bandwagon effect” , “choice architecture”, “Recency” and more! His key point was that we should use these mental shortcuts for GOOD! We cannot avoid them even when we are aware of them, so we should design knowing of their existence instead. A good example is to do blind resumes.
The Workshop by Teo Choong Ching from Rakuten Viki (I am a BIG fan of their tv show Dramaworld!) was on using sketchstorming. During his workshop we were introduced to working visually with idea generation and its benefits, and guided through a practical demonstration in groups.
Preely invited my old professor and supervisor from Uni Emilie Møllenbach (now employeed at Mobile Pay) to talk about how she uses Sketching in Mobile pay.
It was a joy to hear her talk, and reminded me how much I miss her lectures. Besides case examples of how she uses sketching in Mobile pay, her talk was about different roles and activites within design VS. the different design perspectives. Her key take away is that is pays off to stay longer in the explorative low fidility phase.
The above is the examples she showed of low fidelity, medium and high from a real case.
Their key learning was that you should make good decisions as you go. Afterwards they told us what they look for in the ideal ux’er, which for them in short, is one who is able to produce as well as design, and has heavy knowledge about both software and hardware.
Is it a Bird held IIAB talks last night, where 3 talented speakers had 15 minutes to talk about the future workforce without power point slides! Although I do understand why this obstruction was chosen, I am a very visual person and find it hard to just sit an listen, and was extra happy to be sketchnoting – otherwise I would not be able to remember as much as I do.
My favourite talk was by Thomas Nørmark, “the robot whisperer”. The key takeaway from this talk regarding the future workforce, is that with new tech there will be new and different jobs. We should not fear to be replaced by automasation, but more expect to supervise and work together with especially chatbots in the near future. In fact he even build a “clone”of himself as a chatbot (and an actual physical robot with a whole bunch of sensors), a ‘Robome’ to function as a secretary when he is not available. This has freed up a lot of time which was previously spent on answering a lot of generic work inquiries. From employees asking permission to buy a book or calling in sick, to even booking appointments with him. Sometimes it knows things he does not, like the location of the first aid kit. The tech of tomorrow is chatbots in all shapes and sizes, starting as babies and through training becoming very valuable assistants. In 100 years he expects us to, on some level, merge with tech.
Martin Grønbæk (from HK Lab) spoke about the future workforce form the perspective of the trade union. His main takeaway was that technology does not create change in itself – it is the people implementing the tech that create that change. As an example he spoke of the new health platform in Denmark and its implementation. We should not fear that the exponentially growing technology will bring less jobs, just different jobs. Just that we are part of defining! Chatbots will be your future coworker, and we will need chatbot trainers or builders which are not necessarily from IT, but from the field for which the chatbot is used.
Testlab (now Preely) invited Anders Toxboe @toxboe (head of digital development at DR) to talk about using Lean Experimentation to build products this morning at their UX meetup @rainmakingloftcph. The event was in Danish but the slides in English, so my sketchnote of the talk is in Danglish.
Key takeways from the talk were that we have to validate already in the divergent stages of a process, and throughout the process in different ways, making experiments rather than building one big solutions. You should look at what questions you want answered and build the smallest experiment possible to challenge those questions. This is a notion which I have heard often – we all know testing early and often is good – but why does it not happen more?
Toxboe and the UIpattern team has created a tool that makes choosing between ways of validation more accessible. I am looking forward to get my hands on a deck of the ‘Validation Patterns’ cards for my growing tool collection. They are available for preorder here.
Creating the cards itself started as a practice exercise for expanding my symbolic visual vocabulary, and thus also functions as an external visual library. A deck of icon cards can be used in varying ways, and this set of cards was created in order to function as an icebreaker exercise for a workshop.
Icebreaker exercise with icon cards
Participants were asked to choose the icons they found most represented the answer to specific questions. Thus we got the participant to start thinking about the topic for the workshop before the agenda was even presented. The icons on this deck of cards may seem random, but are chosen because they have different typical symbolic meanings attached to them. Asking the participants to choose two or more cards, created a dynamic between the cards that further makes the participant think creatively. It is important to get the participants to explain with their own words why they have chosen their cards.