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Hello everyone,

We are excited to be here and i will be reporting to you live from UX Alive’17. The lounge started buzzing with people. Grab a coffee and go right to the conference room. We have a big day in front of us and make sure you follow the schedule of the conference and don’t miss out on the great people who are here to present their ideas.

Mustafa Dalcı — Opening Speech

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Mustafa Dalcı is starting off the conference with his plans for the UX community. Userspots team is a big part of it and he is excited to share them.

Userpots family has new members which are Loop, IOX and Taze! We celebrate the variety of approaches to UX. These new family members are what will take Userspots to the next level. One of the exciting developments for Userspots is their new rating system product.

As Mustafa Dalcı steps down from the stage we get ready to listen the first speech of today.

Will Evans — Redesigned to Disrupt: A Systems Thinking Approach

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Will Evans started off by taking a selfie and share with our hashtag #UXAliveTurkey and #beyondexperience. Join him and let us know how you are enjoying the conference.

Will Evans is the chief design officer at Semantic Factory. He started off by talking about innovation. How people treat innovation and innovative business approaches. The fragility of these systems source from the bureaucracy and the structure that is built around these businesses. Companies become more and more predictable and their innovation curve is disrupted.

When the innovative people enter the business they have to think about shareholders, insurance, the protocols and gets sucked into an abyss of paperwork. These processes and business models are disrupting the potential value of innovation.

“Companies over time become fragile. They come up with more and more processes and become highly immune to market changes. They are often incapable of listening to the market place and understanding where disruptive innovation can take place.”

Will Evans is examining what is wrong with the way we do business and the way we think we should work. Problems such as over-utilization are the outcomes of the way we think we should work. If your servers crash or a client has a huge request that great business plan can become a pain in the ass. Protocols and tight business structures can turn into a horrible line of traffic and we are stuck in a cab and lose money as we wait.

In today’s work environment we spend most of our time moving “knowledge” around.

In case you want to get your hands on the interesting presentation of Evans, he kindly shared his e-mail You can reach out to him and ask for the presentation.

Jamie Levy — Shoot for the Moon: How UX Strategy Can Transform the World

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UX Strategy is Jamie Levy’s big success that took her career to the next step. She wrote it as a text book for her courses at the university where she teaches.

“All of a sudden people became very interested in the ROI of UX design”

Her book was focused on creating innovative products however she felt like she lost focus in that. The heroes she took inspiration in were Andy Warhol and Steve Jobs. Andy Warhol made art accessible to so many people in so many forms. Steve Jobs is responsible for creating the disruptive innovations that changed the world for the better.

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“Are there any innovators that don’t wear a black turtle neck that inspires you? Maybe Elon Musk?”

Hyperloop: Elon Musk’s new open source dream: going from NY to LA in 30 min for 25 $ and Jamie wanted to be a part of it. So she told us how she stalked Elon Musk over Linkedin :) The closest she got was a message to Hyperloop’s CEO Dirk Ahlborn.

Anyway, she decided to solve a problem with a UX methodology. Traffic problem in her city. She started off with a passenger app and created personas, competitive analysis, prototype solution. She went for an innovative business model and worked for it. Her inspiration took her into exploring methodologies.

Her conclusion from this experience was:

“No matter where you are on your career path, you should always have both mentors and inspiring heroes.

If you want to work on innovative projects, you need to position yourself as a contributor. It’s not about money.

By applying a UX Strategy methodology to futuristic concepts, even student engineers can attempt to transform the world for the common good.

Alberta Soranzo — Our Eternal (Digital) Afterlife

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Soranzo started with a dark subject: death. Her experience with it was through a car crash. Her boy friend died and she had to go on living. Her life has become better yet she still kept a box of letters.

“In a hundred years what will be left of you on the internet?”

When you die Facebook doesn’t know if you are dead. It keeps sending notifications about their birthdays. And some people keep on celebrating the birthdays and we don’t have the heart to tell them what happened.

People leave their thoughts, life events and even more on social media. Their career is also a part of it, it resides at Linkedin. After someone dies it is possible to send the death certificate to government and they can close accounts. But is it enough?

Shockingly we have learned that Facebook has a button for it. Delete after death! Who knew? We can die at anytime but what is it you want for your physical and digital life. We all pondered about our digital will for a moment.

“Experience end for the product and for life. We need to design how our experiences and products end as much as we design how they begin.”

If you are interested to learn more join Alberta’s workshop tomorrow morning.

Mikael Gummerus — Future of UX — How to be Prepared to Win?

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“Every touch point, every time you communicate with the customer it needs to be so good that the customer doesn’t even consider switching to another brand.
How to automate this experience so that it still remains individual?”

As we pass 2.5bn smartphones in use, the issues that matter to us, to the world are changing as well. The augmented reality is a part of this change. It will become a new frontier for all the change that awaits to come. We are at a threshold of big things to come.

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We need to be ready for this change. The devices like smartphones didn’t even exist till yesterday. The processes are improving, phones are cheaper and we need to think about the next step.

If we start building new systems for the augmented reality we may still not be ready. But big companies like Google and Apple have made the choice for us. Mikael suggests Javascript as the new way to take advantage of new technologies. Building straight through the device can be done through Javascript.

After some great coffee and cool people to network with we go back to the conference room to cleanse our mind palette once again.

Hannes Robier — Innovation, Exceptional Experience and Sustainable Success Made Easy: The NI© Needs Innovation Model

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Hannes discusses his needs innovation model. He mentioned that customer needs are changing and working your way over that is not the answer. You need a different methodology which he offers in this session.

“Todays UX designers are ghostbusters! Change the colour of that button and it should be perfect! Needs Innovation model starts with insight research: ask 10 people, get a 100 insights.”

User centred design is driving innovation among people and the needs innovation model starts off there.

“We always start with the need. Then we verify these needs with customers and ask them for their KPI’s.”

Celal Cündoğlu — Designing a Cashless Society

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Celal is from a payment system BKM. He shares his vision for creating a cashless society. Their mission is providing new solutions to secure payment options. The new technologies are what they look for to integrate into payment options. However while doing so they have to keep in mind the security issues.

Turkey is in the 2nd place in Europe when it comes to credit card usage. This creates a big market for a cashless society. The number of credit cards are more than the population of Turkey which is baffling.

“Cash is our competitor. Our target is to create a cashless society by 2023, the 100th year of Turkish Republic.”

The evolution of payment starts from bartering and moves onto mediums such as coins, paper money, cheques to credit cards. Today we pay digitally and physical payment mediums are diminishing. This becomes a user experience issue by itself. A seamless payment process is what the future holds and requires.

Hakan Göl — The Convergence Between Exponential Technologies and UX

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Hakan is a partner at Deloitte and shares his insights regarding ux and exponential technologies. He uses a Game of Thrones analogy and shows the way to the Iron Throne of UX. It is digital transformation. He points out that different thinking is needed. There are new technologies that defines the way we interact with each other and the products. Data intelligence becomes the new field of customer experience that drives the improvement and growth.

“Our clients have two questions: whats going on in the market? And what can I do about it?”

Biometric systems like finger print IDs or the democratisation of learning like DIY or machine learning are exponential drivers of technologies and they shape the new frontiers. Technologies are developing exponentially however people are used to think linearly instead of exponentially. So data intelligence becomes an area where we try to understand these drivers of growth.

Andrea Picchi — How a Design-Driven Company Can Multiply Its Business Value

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Technology enters our lives in a substantial way. Andrea has lost his phone on the train once but what he lost was more than a phone. Our phones are more than their market value to us. We create relationships and sustain them through it.

How this relationship translates to design is the experience. Design is the practice of generating value through problem solving. We can’t directly design the experience. But we can design something that triggers an experience. In order to do so we need to think about the audience and their needs. We can create values which are both qualitative and quantitative.

“Companies can copy your product and even steal your employees but they’ll never be able to copy your relationships with your customers.”

When you design you enter a different type of thinking. You change dimensions through your designing experience as well. You can’t sell design thinking.

“If we want to grow the business and increase value we have to start designing relationships. To do so we have to have a human centred mindset.”

E. Altuğ Yılmaz & Akar Şümşet — Best Gamification is the Invisible Gamification

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Gamification is not about throwing badges at your users. Games are seen as the opposite of being serious. However as Altuğ says the opposite is depression. We crave dopamin to get through life and games are a good source of creating that energy we need.

Games have been in the human history since forever. Games are like Farmville which are creating addictions. But the farmers are the real reflection of that in real life. Gamification deals with this relationship. The design of the game needs to touch the real life.

In UX, people are expecting that you create a journey. If the user can interact with your app the same as the first day when it comes to the 90th day. However, this is not exactly true. The relationship between the user and the app should evolve and change.

“Gamification is 75% psychology 25% technology.”

When you look at UX next to gamification storytelling can be an intersection point. Another way is to unite the experience with an innate behaviour we have.

Akar has dealt with gamification through growth hacking. Mass interpersonal persuasion is a key point in this subject. People can be persuaded by many things such as psychology, sociology and today it has become technology.

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Social psychology has been affected by technology and technological advancements. Technology can affect the behaviour of the society now. MIP can be achieved through persuasive experience. The example we went through was for speed limit advertisements. One of them used death rates as a persuasive points on the billboards. The second example was a Sweden campaign which gives out free lottery tickets for law abiding citizens in the street with speed limit cameras. The second ones are more effective. The Swedish campaign provides an incentive and gets people to join the experience. Whereas the American campaign is providing negative information in a platform which is not in the traffic experience.

Akar has shown us different examples of great gamification projects from Airbnb, Duolingo etc. The social psychology of people can be created through these platforms because they put the experience in the centre and design into it. The process should be snappy and incentivising.

After a great lunch break we took a sip of our coffee and went back to the conference room. We are ready to work our brains some more.

Hazjier Pourkhalkhali — World-Class Optimization: Benchmarking 1000+ Companies

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“The more variations you have, the more likely you are to win. Having 5 variations provides the best outcomes.”

Conversion rate optimisation is a trending topic in UX community. While you create experiments you should always focus on the problem. You should divide the problems and prioritise the elements. The solution should not be the first thing that occurs to you. you should come up with at least 10 ideas for solution and go through them to solve the core of the problem. Then you should check the metrics that can measure their effects.

“First and foremost you need to drive deep insights and have a strong data culture.”

When you set goals for your test the biggest chunk of tests have fewer goals. The feedback should be clear and if you cannot pinpoint what sort of a goal you have will affect your optimisation process. However setting only revenue goals will not be enough for you to understand the effects of your test. If you implement 7 or more goals your business is 40% more likely to succeed according to Hazjier.

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Lots of optimisation crews are answering to their bosses and they are expected to create results in timelines like 2 weeks. However in order to test your website to understand you should know that time should be given. If you are interested in getting the right kind of data from a test you should wait for it.

Hazjier’s World-Class Optimisation Criteria’s require these testing elements:

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  • Heatmaps and analytics should be a part of your testing process,
  • You should have at least 50 lines of code in a test to make sure your test is complex enough. Don’t go for the low hanging fruit but go for the core changes.
  • 100k+ visitors should be included in your test.
  • Have 7+ goals to make sure your test is tracking the necessary metrics.
  • Have at least 4 variations.

Gabor Toth — Personalisation: Be Relevant or Be Forgotten

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Everybody likes their smartphones. This shows that the smartphone guys did a good job. But when it is an iPhone we don’t call it a smartphone. We call it an iPhone. This shows that Apple guys did something better than the regular smartphone guys.

The way we feel about our iPhone or other smartphones, we do have feelings about apps or websites, too.

“Why of the 700 million websites that exist, 72% fail to consistently engage users or drive conversions? Why of the 1.6 million apps available, just 200 account for the 70% of all usage, and three out of four apps aren’t even used beyond the initial download?”

So the question becomes, what can make the difference? Gabor’s answer is data.

“UX is also about data not just design; the idea behind personalisation is to tailor the experience from the moment it begins.”

Personalisation is still not a solid term in the marketplace. There is a big confusion about it. Many businesses don’t even look at the data they have in hand about their customers. A simple example of personalisation is putting the user’s name into their profile when you say Hello … in a page. But it is not an example of deep personalisation. Personalisation can go a far way from that if you are interested in creating more value.

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Netflix is a great success and they do all they can do when it comes to personalisation. They still follow segmentation, geo-location etc. But they use the data to personalise the experience of the users.

Özgür Mutlu Öz — New Experiences at Home — VUX (Virtual User Experiences) by Arçelik

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Our guest is the UX/UI Manager of Arçelik. Ozgur talks about Arcelik’s Virtual User Experience project and how their journey began. Arçelik is a global brand of Turkey which specialises in consumer electronics and home appliances. While opening abroad they differentiate with their different brand groups.

Arçelik has different departments which deal with industrial design and they focus on the design aspect of product to understand the user needs and culture. Their abroad offices are also doing this for the localised brands to reach out to different kinds of customer segments all over the world.

Even though we plan and design a system for the users we should keep in mind that the users will take their own route in our system. This will their experience and it is not always possible to foresee that.

At Arçelik, the team always starts with the users. The starting point is the user. After that they go on with their research, briefings, trend and market analysis. The design teams follow up with this process. They try to focus on the unspoken needs of users.

A brand may have its values, culture, product features but it always needs to intersect with what the user craves for. The observation of Arçelik is that human beings are complex beings. This shows that a person can answer the question of what you need falsely. But it is the businesses’ job to get to the bottom of their needs.

The project VUX is a set of home appliances which reside in your kitchen. They have no buttons. the features settings are projected onto a surface for you. the censors of the product follows the hand movements of the users.

Barış Mert Gezer — Improvements with Using UX Analysis

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Barış is a product manager for Yandex Turkey. He shared his real life experiences to give us concrete versions of UX ideas.

Whenever we create a website we follow our own life experiences. We are told to design in a way that our older parents can understand etc. But when we watch the mouse movements and heatmaps of a website it gives us a lot more insight than we expect.

The first example was They sell furniture online and their website building took one year. After they launched their bounce rates were 30–40 percent and their conversion rate is around 0.1 percent. After a big disappointment, they decide to focus on bounce rates.

“We can gain insights for advertising from optimisation tools. If you use a word that doesn’t reflect your product, this will increase your bounce rates.”

They start off with their online ads. They advertise to be cheap however the traffic coming from that ad is bouncing more than they expect. They optimise the ads and lower their bounce rates.

After that they turn to their website. They do usability testing, video recording etc. They create a funnel to understand the user journey on the website. They find the problems in different steps and tackle them one by one.

Another thing they do to improve their user experience they follow form analysis which is available in Yandex. The step by step input areas can be the cause of lots of drop-offs and this sort of an approach was a good way to understand their weak points.

While optimising your website there are a lot of different approaches to follow. According to Barış checking ads, using funnel and form analysis, watching session videos and checking heatmaps are different steps to take in your optimisation journey.

Khalid Saleh — The Conversion Optimisation System

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Khalid is the CEO of Invesp. He talked about conversion optimisation. You get a designer, a software developer and optimisation crew. The success rate of testing is no more than 25 percent. It is worse than flipping a coin. So you should follow a different approach.

First thing to do is investigating. You do a heuristic analysis. You replicate the user experience in different paths. The next thing you do is what he calls stop the bleeding. If you see something broken in the website you fix it. Don’t test it. These are crucial points to fix. Even doing this will improve the UX in your website.

Step two is qualitative research. You ask the user what is wrong with their experience. You can ask them what brought them here, what stopped them or what was missing in the website.

You can do your usability research. Khalid is saying that you don’t need to go for 30 people to get answers. Even with five people you get almost 90 percent of the information. Whenever they collect data they categorise it and take action on the results.

Conduct quantitative research through analytics. Nowadays everyone has it. However people don’t know what to do with analytics. Analytics is great but there is a problem with it. If you spend time copy pasting results you are wasting your time. Make sure you create conclusion from the data. It is nice crunching numbers but when you don’t have any insights coming out you should call it a day.

Competitive analysis is the next step. Look at your competitors. What are they doing right and what are they doing wrong? Your competitors can become your advantage.

After you have all the data you should start identifying the problems. When you follow all the steps above you should be able to get 100–200 items to test. But where to start? Try to analyse the problems and categorise them. Are they fear based or are they technical? Are they hard to implement or easy?

Then you can create your conversion roadmap. It is time to start testing. Create a hypothesis and create a design after that. Don’t design the whole page over only focus on the hypothesis.

When you conduct tests and get results you should make sure to do a post mortem as Khalid says. Post test analysis is a good way to understand how did your audience reacted to the changes. Don’t worry even if your test failed. It holds lots of insights that will translate as higher revenues on your website.

As we finish Khalid reminds us a golden rule he has. Don’t run a test less than two weeks and don’t run it for more than 4 weeks. This may pollute your data since e-mail campaigns, big sales will be a part of the fluctuating results.

Serhat Atayeter — Building a New Mobile Web

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Serhat is Mobile Solutions Lead of Google Turkey office. He talked about the user centric approach in mobile. The web needs to adapt to mobile. It is a hard process to translate the experience as well. Users discover products through web but since web is a limiting platform when compared to mobile people converge to live on the mobile land.

The users have approximately 26 apps on the mobile phone and it becomes hard to make it 27. The key is to start with the users. This starts with engagement. When you get yourself a seat in the user’s phone you have a big chance to reach out to them.

People are less patient in this era. Every second or even mili second counts. Serhat points out the impatient wave of user expectations.

“Every second that you make your customer wait, costs you 7% on your conversion rate.”

Mobile integration is an important step that every website needs to consider. Converting them in all devices is important but mobile is taking the lead in the stage.

Skali Skalska — Inclusive Product Design: Challenges and Best Practices

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When you design internationally you should consider cultural background and language. You should understand the behaviour of different countries. The reactions will differ based on their emotional or confrontational behaviour.

“Internationalisation of experiences: it is no longer enough to offer 10 different translations of your website. You need to also address the unique cultural differences.”

Many cultures have different behavioural patterns. One example is expressing emotions. In western countries can understand white as purifying and clean whereas in Japan it represents death.

Symbols and colors can change based on the socio-cultural understandings. You need to consider how they understand and interpret these elements. These elements can be affected by units, text, colors, symbols etc.

Yury Vetrov — Algorithm-Driven Design: How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Design

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Will Robots Replace Designers? No. It’s more like an exoskeleton for designers says Yury.

Designing for UI has many tools but algorithm-driven design is the new thing for the designer community. Preparing assets and content, personalising user experience can be done with the help of an algorithm.

In 2016 the technological foundations of these tools became easily accessible, and the design community got interested in algorithms, neural networks and artificial intelligence (AI). Now is the time to rethink the modern role of the designer.

Yandex automates colours for the app symbols. They used the automated colour to decide a colour that will go with the colour of the app. Netflix, Spotify or Google are some of the other companies which utilize these systems. This doesn’t stop at the UI. When it comes to UX smart prices, price recommendations etc are a part of the process.

But what are the necessary tools to do this? Analysis tools is one to consider. It can detect user behaviour and certain patterns in it.

There aren’t many tools for utilizing algorithms. Logojoy is an example that puts this idea into motion. Another one is Designscape. Adobe Sensei is another one with the “smart” features.

According to Yury the basic steps to follow the algorithm-driven design is:

  • Remove the routine
  • Creative exploration
  • Optimize a user interface
  • Adapt a design
  • Experiment

Check out the following links to learn more:

Canay Atalay — Learning & Innovation Design in Exponentially Changing World

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Canay started off by pointing out the alienation of people in this era. People are not happy with their lives or jobs or don’t feel like they are realising themselves.

Her approach translates to UX not in the experience but the meaning. UX is centred around the experience of users but her argument is centred around the meaning. While you try to design around the meaning, the question of “knowing thyself” was raised.

Canay is the co-founder of Patica. It is based on indivual learning. The most personalised approach according to Canay is designing around learning.

Engin Ayaz — Intersecting Digital and Physical Worlds: What Architecture and UX Design Learn from Each Other?

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According to Engin, physical structures are mirrored in the digital world. The way we think about the digital world, corresponds to the way we think about the physical world in many ways.
Tools like heatmaps make the digital work so much easier and faster to change than the physical world.
The phygital world, which is the intersection of physical and digital world, emerged from the convergence of virtual reality and augmented reality.

“Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context. Adjacency is crucial. What is before and after the screen that I’m designing?”

Main points are:

  • Web and the digital design is closer to architectural design than print design.
  • However, it is easier to prototype and test in digital than in architecture.
  • The practice of UX is comparatively more theoretical in architecture.
  • Convergence of VR and IoT create hybrid ‘phygital’ spaces for exploration.
  • Such explorations create uncharted opportunities.
  • Scalar thinking and shearing layers may guide approaching such opportunities.

Thank you for joining us at our journey throughout the 1st day of UX Alive’17! We will be here tomorrow continuing with our workshops.

A unique UX Conference experience in the most authentic city, Istanbul and Berlin organized by @Userspots

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