First day of UX Alive 2016: How Is It Made? Session

Opening the ‘How is it made? sessions’, global executive producer of world IA 2016, David Peter Simon will talk about the art of guerilla usability and small words make a big difference.David Peter Simon: ‘’Websites can be resolved, but I suggest informational problems need to be resolved with information architecture in the mind…. We need to start articulating exactly what we are saying’’.

Following in the how is it made session, Laurissa Wolfram-Hvas, Research Manager at MailChimp, is discussing the importance of research in building products and engaging people. Moreover, about the difficulty of communicating research findings throughout design teams which can be ‘’hard to do well’’. Laurissa Wolfram-Hvas, referring to research mentions that the goal in sharing it is not over powering but empower other team members to provide them with the right solutions.

Taking the time to establish communication with people, opening channels with them and bring the true research to the surface, are all important when using and presenting research, as Laurissa Wolfram-Hvas mentions. She says that: ‘’… because nothing inspires change faster than somebody struggling’’. Laurissa talks about customer panels, where they ask people about their challenges and desires related to business can strongly inform teams of factors that might need change from the users’ perspective. She leaves us today mentioning that research information is powerful and it can only be valuable if it’s shared properly.

Next,Ramy Nassar Director, Service Innovation at Architech is talking about ways of prototyping everything and the importance of prototyping. Ramy Nassar presents very low fidelity prototypes which that can very quickly simulate real world products as artefacts that can be easily tested as many times as possible and encourage people to discuss usability issues. Early testing and validation helps in learning about users very early in the process and inform further iterations, even in very short projects are all points made during Ramy Nassar’s presentation. Ramny Nassar: ‘’We should embrace test results and failiures rather than making excuses. Have an open mind and realize that things go wrong especially in digital. The purpose of a prototype is that it’s a learning tool’’ and that in their project the 5 week initial project period, making use of prototyping, the period was shortened to 8 days. In the end, Ramy Nassar is talking about Lego as being a very powerful prototyping tool used to visualize layouts, storyboards and user scenarios.

After a delicious lunch, Can Kılıçbay, lead product designer at Nordnet, is talking about designing for a fast world, while working slower, sharing his experiences and tips. The recipe, by Can Kılıçbay for a happy designer is approaching design as a team sport. The first step would be understanding and gathering user insights, learning from users in ‘the wild’. The second step is the use of a good framework such as the design sprint which would include all team members from different departments. Can Kılıçbay presents the five days of a design sprint: understand, diverge, decide, prototype, test & learn during which all generated ideas are good and their evaluation is done collectively having user research as a basis. A documentation of all the possible UI and UX elements that can be used in a design could help in taking design decision within the team, as mentioned by Can Kılıçbay. One important tip to take away given by Can Kılıçbay: ‘’Set goals everyday’’.

Next, Matthew Lee, UX director at Charming Robot, will be talking about conducting research for innovation and optimization, starting with a very interesting analogy and the formula: Idea + opprtunity = innovation. Matthew Lee speaks about the way innovation is seen by today’s entrepreneurs and the effect that these have on the society, while mentioning that innovation in products could be a user-centric loop process. Right now, Matthew Lee is talking about the way Optimization affected the website. ‘’A/B test everything’’, says Matthew Lee when it comes to ensuring the success of different elements on the digital medium. Image, review and price are three key things that came out from user studies and iterations, that Matthew Lee talks about when referring to an e-commerce related project. Even if basic usability rules were broken, through internal iterations, storytelling and testing before launching the products, the conversion rate increased drastically.

Emrah Sarıbaz is next, UX Strategist at Userspots and he will be explaining why web designers are abusing the current trend and how the context of design can change this. First, Emrah Sarıbaz talks about the overuse of Hero images and the way some pages today can be designed in a few seconds. Emrah Sarıbaz mentions that the overuse of trends is present in the physıcal world as well, talking about the way cars today are very similar when it comes to their design. Next, Emrah Sarıbaz, is talking about the modular layouts, parallax scrolling, carousels and loading pages as being overused elements that are not even used as much as they should by users and might even lead to a rather bad user experience. The uses of captcha and horizontal scroll could as well lead to usability issues as they can be perceived as being against human nature. One last thought shared by Emrah Sarıbaz is: ‘’Good design follows principles, it doesn t change trends.’’

Aras Bilgen, UX manager at Garanti Teknoloji is presenting how to gain solid insights from users in seven days from the perspective of user research, preconceptions and some companies’ visions of these. User research is not inexpensive, however not using research at all can lead to much greater costs when trying to reiterate published products, says Aras Bilgen. Aras Bilgen says that simply gathering all research material in a document and sending it to the rest of the team might be useless, the entire team has to discuss and analyze these findings together. Aras Bilgen talks about a field study example in which he and his team put themselves in the places of their users in order to understand their actions and context, afterwards talking about the questions that should and should not be addressed to users. ‘’Everyone can do user research’’ says Aras Bilgen throughout and at the end of his today’s talk.

Following, in the How is it made session, Amol Kadam co-founder of RRBI, UX/UI Director and Usability Analyst will be talking about data driven design methods and the complicated relationships among data and design. ‘’Data is so big, it overwhelms you’’, says Amol Kadam when talking about methods in which data can inform usability issues. Amol Kadam categorizes the relationship between designers and data as: denial, designers distrusting and totally avoiding it, indifferent, as not truly caring about data when considering the design and driven, when designers are blindly following it. They proper way of approaching data, according to Amol Kadam would be in an informative way, data informing design. Amol Kadam mentioned that, data can be found outside of the product usage, by looking at the entire customer journey and keeping an eye at the context, important aspects or facts can be discovered and influence design decisions and iterations.

Following in the How is it made? Sessions, Muzaffer Akay, UX designer at Deloitte is telling us about prototyping methods and ways in which these can enhance the design process, especially when the process becomes problematic. Muzaffe Akay explains why is prototyping important by saying that it expresses the manner in which a product works and it is crucial for testing before launching products and adding features. Dividing prototyping into layer and page based prototyping, Muzaffer Akay talks about the use of page based prototyping when using low fidelity prototypes during the process. Muzzafer Akay presents a set of tools that can be used during prototyping, such as: Axure, Marvel, Flinto, Pixate or Napkin. He mentioned that these tools can help customers visualise the overall experience by placing transitions and movements rather than static pictures.

Matthew Magain, Chief Doodler at Sketch Videos will talk about UX careers, by sketching his presentation on the go. Matthew Magazin talks about the importance of sketching as it help communicating ideas and helping the design process. Sketching his presentation, Matthew Magain, says that another important tool and skill that can help the design process is storytelling that can help informing and persuading stakeholders. ‘’To become a good facilitator is to become a good designer’’, says Matthew Magain. Regarding the skill of presentation, Matthew Magain said: ‘’Being a good presenter is a powerful and persuasive way to convince people of what are you doing’’ The final skill that Matthew Magain says he found useful as a UX designer and business owner is empathy: finding users’ struggles and inform and inspire the design process.

How to deal with mobile traffic expansion? Is the question brought by Mevlana M. Gürbulak, Mobile Applications product owner at and he starts with presenting data comparing the mobile data traffic comparing past and present. Mevlana M. Gürbulak presents a few takes on search indexes and deep linking using mobile applications. ‘’Create an app-like experience on the web for a better and richer experience and for different results’’, says Mevlana M. Gürbulak. ‘’Progressive web-apps can use push notifications to users, even if users are not using the browser anymore’’. The example given by our speaker, Flipcart, asks people whether they want an icon to be placed on their home screen after a few interactions on the Flipcart mobile webpage.

Closing today’s talks at UXAlive 2016, Mehmet Oğuz Arıkan, product designer at Hürriyet will be talking about creating sustainable and easy to collaborate design files using the Sketch software. Mehmet Oğuz Arıkan is presenting the most important sketch features that can ease a designer’s job, as: styles, symbols, plugins and measures. Right now Mehmet Oğuz Arıkan is demonstrating the usage of these features using the sketch software live, presenting its update and refresh speed, styleguide plugins and the measure plug in as well.