This morning at Talent garden Rainmaking I attended two talks by industry professionals. Emma-Catrine Hvid from Nordea, had a wonderfully analogue presentation on “Sketching and ideation” using in handdrawn sketches on a flipchart to guide her talk. The majority of her time was a hands-on exercise “crazy 8” – which I already know and love. It is a great tool for getting fun ideas quickly. In just 8 minutes, the room collectively came up with 300+ ideas. I had a blast and would love to see what others came up with!
Anja Thrane, Client Director and Niels Tybjerg, Head of MarTech at @adviceas held a talk titled: “Answering the what and the why”.
My key take-away was that you should not just stop testing after product launch, but keep going (Like in curling). Focus on evolution rather than revolution. Because users are like lions, they act different in the zoo (in a focus group) from the Savanna (daily life).
One way to do this is through looking at the details of web analytics, and then using qualitative research to interpret the data you find, looking at context, channels used, and other needs.
The past two days I have been live sketchnoting / graphic recording / visual scribing at the Design Matters conference in Copenhagen – an awesome conference for Designer made BY designers. A written summary of the sketchnotes will follow under each sketchnote.
I personally encouraged as many people as I could to start sketchnoting at the conference. I would love to see your notes if you did!
I have compressed these images – if you want a higher resolution image just contact me.
The first talk on the main stage was by Tobias Ahlin from Minecraft. My key take away from this was that he encourages us to:
Move from a paradigm of utilitarian work without any feelings, back to more expressive work! Emotionally engaging and simplicity is not in conflict!
Tobias used a matrix to prove this point – placing example cases from expressive to utilitarian and complex to minimalist.
I admit I am biased, because I really love the app, but the this talk was one of my favourites! Christine Cha and Vicky Tan from Headspace, did a talk about the brand journey of the company, as well as taking us through the their process of improving their onboarding retention. My key take away from this, was that:
Data can help you identify opportunities, not make decisions! Research and science can help you understand, and intuition can help fill in the gaps.
In just a few weeks Mckinsey Design will release a new big report on where to focus your money in the design process, based on looking at the 5% of cases that outperformed their peers. I am looking very much forward to reading it and perhaps summing it up visually in much more detail! Ben Sheppard, partner in Mckinsey Design, introduced the 4 areas tied to make design financials better. He emphasized that:
It is harder to outshine the competition and decide where to put the extra $. You need to focus on all 4 of these areas to elevate – or you should not bother at all!
These 4 areas are something we as designers would probably think is common knowledge, and now we have numbers as proof to celebrate the importance of design.
The 4 areas are:
More than a feeling (what would happen is half of your bonus was tied to your product’s amazon review?)
More than a department (no ivory towers, your team should work physically together)
More than a phase (involve designers in all phases)
More than a product (design for the entire experience).
Designer Jack Koloskus from the Outline spoke their platform and Why and how they plan to fix the big media struggle, and in the process enable non designers to make good content.
Masuma Henry did a talk about “the business of the underserved”. By taking us through a traditional design process and adding a step to each, she urged us to shift our focus to make a change!
You can make a change – no matter the design position you are in!
You need to start:
Including and representing people who isn’t today!
Promote shared values and expose viewpoints that need it!
Along the way she showed us great examples, only two of which were from Amazon themselves.
Starting with sharing her personal story about the first time she tried to create change and failed because she lacked the right approach, Anisha Jan from Dropbox, shared with us a talk about how small learnings can add up to big changes! She took us though the 4 steps in the arch of change, from listening for the unexpected to amplifying beliefs! This framework can be used to utilize findings that you have previously ignored, and turn it into big changes.
A fortune cookies without the words of wisdom would be a pretty bland experience.
Ben Hersh from Medium took us through how to make you use words better (inspired by cognitive science), by first making them clear, then friendly and then expressive!
Clear: Reading takes time and work, choose words carefully! Make the rhythm of a text more like a fairy-tale, to make it easier to read.
Friendly: When you are alone your brain makes conversations with yourself. Use “you” instead of “I”, and treat people like you do in person! Say thanks and be polite.
Expressive: Who says the words or its typography changes how you think of the text itself
Vanessa Li from TikTok (previously Musical.ly) took us through 3 lessons of how they reduced friction in design to create a more immersive experience. The lesson I took with me the most, was that even though they solved the problem of how to give money to broadcasters, they changes their minds and were not satisfied with the solution and made a new and much better one.
Did you know that 1/10 people have no clean drinking water? Charity water aims to change that, but how do they do that when 42% of Americans do not trust charities? Alyson Nakamura took us through the journey of Charity water and how their unique and close communication makes their doners feel close to them throughout their charity cycle of 21 months.
I am not personally into football at all – so to get me excited about Fifa19 was quite a challenge, and Felix Lai from Fifa18/Ea sports succeeded! The UX immsersion Matrix introduced in this talk functioned as a framework of describing how content go from abstract to realism, and functional to emotional. My biggest take away was that you can:
Use a UX Immersion Matrix and touchpoints to create a 3D emotional journey!
Man I wish there was a game like this but for something else than a sports – or maybe a different sport… like tennis or iceskating? I would be all in!
The last talk of the conference was by Teyosh, also known as Sofija Stankovic and Theodora Stojkovic. This talk went though some of the projects created by this pair, that balances benefiting society with something they find interesting. Dictionary of online behaviour can be found here, and I highly suggest you to have a look!
Christine Loft Hunderup’s take away from todays talk on “Design thinking & Co-creation with customers” was that you should think BIG, start small and involve the customer. She went through how Nordea Liv & Pension (Soon to be an independent department) created a co-creative environment in the organization by using gv’s design sprint to fail fast.
Today I participated in an Innovation lab event with the speaker Anders Sahl Hansen.
The key learning was the approach to using connections as a design mechanism. First you generalise the problem, then do intuitive research, use the principles of connections and lastly describe the end solutions. If you create a personal connection to your problem you get better solutions! Anders had a lot of nice examples that I will try to find the references for a later time, as well as his resources for inspiration e.g Ask nature.
This week I had the pleasure of attending NextM / CopenXRealities and sketchnote for 8 of the talks. My key take away is that people and experiences are still at the heart of new technology. This event had multiple stages at the same time, so I had to make quick choices where to be. A written summary of the highlights from each of these 8 talks will follow bellow each image.
Sketchnotes from the NextM Main stage
Rich Astley (Not to be confused with Rick Astley) from Finecast did a talk on Addressable TV which lead up to a panel discussion on the subject. They are now able to “hyper Target” which enables really specific adds for each device. Get ready for your ads on tv being as specific as those online… crazy! My key learning from this was that it is a good idea to make ads optional for an extra charge. That way the people can understand the cost of content without ads, noone really misses them when they are gone, but it is necessary for keeping the cost of the content low.
Jonathan Epstein from Sentient Ascend did a talk on evolution, covering the difference between Deep learning and evolutionary algorithm, making a case for Neuro Evolution because it is faster, you spend time on highest value tasks, it frees creativity and you can democratize.
Pascal Finette’s talk dove into giving concrete examples of the exponential growth we have seen, linking it to what we will likely see in the future. Like cancer is likely eradicated in the next 20 years, energy is free by 2040 and in the next 7 years Siri will likely become 128x times better… meaning she will be far smarter than us!
In the talk by Ryan Pulliam from ST (Specular Theory), she introduced 8 case examples of immersive technology for business and brands. Her key point was that you should give people a reason to put on the headset! Don’t just sell the hardware of VR + XR + AR + MR, sell experiences! You don’t make people come to the cinema by doing commercials for the outstanding audio experience. You create movies people want to see and lure people in through movie trailers! These immersive experiences have the unique ability to make you not just hear or see, but do! When you do something that really creates an impact, which is the whole premise behind the ‘Perspective series’ created by Specular Theory.
Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi is co-founder of The Pirate Bay, and his talk took us through some Pirate Bay history detailing his time as an activist trying to win the war of the internet, covering some of their biggest acts of trolling.
His key point is that the internet of today is creating trolls! Real life trolls. We need to realize that the internet and the real world is not separate worlds, but one world! He says that “We lost the war of the internet”, and when asked during Q&A what a young student within tech could do to help… he says there is no hope anymore. Pretty bleak statement. Another question during Q&A was what he would say to this room filled with people who work in advertising?. His answer was: “Quit your day job!”
Sketchnotes from the CopenXRealities Main stage
Andreas Cleve from Nordic.ai and Corti.ai took us beyond Alexa and voice accessed Ai (Artificial intelligence) systems, into making a case for iA (Intelligence Augmentation). Where an Ai is good for answering questions, you at the moment need humans to ask the right questions. He spoke of a case from the healthcare sector, where the emergency call receiver employee was enabled to save lives through having decision support that helps them spot heart attacks.
Alexander S. Lopera from Neurons Inc took us through Neuroscience research on VR. From testing if meeting in VR is less stressful than through video or real life (Answer is yes, for introverts is makes a big difference), to testing peoples brain response to VR porn versus screen porn. That Lollipop in my drawing is not really a lollipop!
The talk by Peder Sandqvist and Filippos Arvanitakis took us through their 9 learnings from creating a lot of successful VR experiences. From keeping it simple and balancing the crazy with the known to being aware of the space around the experience as well, and the participants mindset
My sketchnote process review:
It was dark, very dark, during the talks at both of the stages. That is how most conference-goers prefer it I guess, unless you are taking notes like me. It took a few tries before I found a spot with a little bit of light, where I could also be able to read the text on the screens. I have good eyesight but it has its limits.
Another time I should really choose my itinerary a few days before, and factor in time for breaks and time to hang out in the conference hall.
I should practice my visual library for digital/technology/electricity.
My general review of the conference:
Food trucks, heck yeah! (Made all the better by sitting in the beautiful sunshine).
Really smart to have headphones for everyone at the talks in the open hall area.
Hourly meditation in the basement to balance out the conference buzz, nice!
Loved the NextM theme song and creative showreel of speakers – had to look up the song when I got home!
App for choosing your itinerary and reminding you where you need to be, great!
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.