Last week, a few of us attended UX Lausanne, a conference focused on “How User Experience Impacts Businesses and Organisations”. The first day was dedicated to workshops and the second one to talks. We had the privilege to listen to Aral Balkan, author of the Ethical Design Manifesto – Vitaly Friedman, editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine – Jane Austin, Director of Design and User Experience at Moo, and so many other leaders in the field Roberta Tassi – Jason Mesut – Ela Osterberger – Séamus Byrne (AKA the #UXLS dance creator!).
What a LineUp!
This 2017 edition was a blast, yes, and there are a few reasons for that. UX Lausanne is not only the first conference dedicated to User Experience Design in the region, it is a fantastic event where people open-up to share their experience and knowledge. Whether you are directly working in the field or not, I believe that this conference should find a spot in your schedule (yes, I’m talking about your next year schedule), and there are 8 reasons why.
1. Understand what User Experience is about
As you know, reading a definition on Wikipedia is often not enough to deeply understand the meaning of something complex, even more when the industry has a hard time defining its own field. This year more than ever, I had the feeling that enlarging UX to more than design was encouraged. Vitaly Friedman quoted someone that defines User Experience as “the net impression” users have when interacting with a product, a service or during an event. Séamus Byrne presented an infographic showing all the company departments involved in UX and this is great. Should UX become part of your company’s culture? We at superhuit believe so!
2. Enjoy great quality talks
You’ve seen the lineup… very special guests are invited to the event. But not only are they notoriously great leaders, they also give strong quality talks driven by experience. Aral Balkan opened the day with a powerful nearly political talk about our responsibility as designers and actors in the field towards user privacy. “We don’t need to create digital rights” he said, “We simply need to apply the Human Rights we have to the digital world!”.
3. Get inspired
45 minutes were given for each talk, but nearly all 7 of them surpassed the limit. And we believe this speaks about the conference itself. The subject is such a wide and diverse topic that its richness is hard to contain in the available time. Vitaly summarized it well when he exclaimed “Just 5 more minutes please.. oh no I still have so much to say… there is so much to say!”. UX Lausanne is a boiling world of ideas and insights. The speakers pour their knowledge out, and we get to exchange with the UX community.
4. Develop your skills
Talks are great, but it is useless if we can’t put into practice what we learn. This is also what the first-day workshops are for. Specific subjects are looked in depth, such as e-commerce or data, and you can even come with your own issues to ask the animator how the problem could be solved. This year the subjects were broad, going from conceptualisation to frontend development.
5. Connect with people
Eat together, think together and have a beer together. It is a wonderful time to meet new people. The workshops provide dynamic group thinking and the talks provide issues on which to talk about. Most of the local community is around, but you can find people coming from all over Switzerland and beyond.
6. It is for everyone
Yes. We really believe so. UX is an important aspect to be cultivated in any company (please, weigh every single word). It is not only about interfaces. It is about processes and techniques as well as how products and services should be designed nowadays.
7. Discover our beautiful region
If you don’t know Lausanne, well those kind of events are a good excuse to come and visit that city. Apart from the conference, you can enjoy the lake, feel the cultural vibe and nightlife of Lausanne and if you want to escape the city you can go to the mountains or the famous Lavaux Vineyard.
8. A small conference with a big heart
We indeed love UX Lausanne because Lausanne is where we come from and UX is part of who we are, but that is not the point. This conference really has something special. It is small. Yes, SMALL! And that is amazing! It makes it easy to talk to everyone, even to the speakers. Thanks a lot to :ratio for making this happen and especially to Gille and Caroline!