Notes on UX.Live 2017

Earlier this year UX Crunch ran its first conference UX.Live in London. On offer were a selection of workshops and talks around User Experience, Service Design and System Thinking. This article summarises some thoughts on corporate innovation, business origami and internal collaboration.

Corporate Innovation

Kicking off the conference Alberta Soranzo (Systems Thinking Director, Lloyds) reflected on innovation and the “Architecture of Talent”. She stated that once a company has figured out a process to deliver a service, it far too easy to stay within that and optimise for existing use cases only. Starting an innovation lab, or any other dedicated team is helpful to disrupt such existing processes. However, integration of such efforts with the business is key.

Innovation means integration of new services in an existing context. Design and implementation of a novel solution is one thing — but shaping and communicate new business processes (and mental models) in which such a solution would live is at least as important.

According to Eric Reiss keynote Innovation vs. Best Practice, new radical ideas are only successful if it introduced step-wise and aligned with culture. In order to find a good problem to solve, we need to understand the ecosystem, users’ and stakeholders behaviour.

“If an innovation does not solve a problem, it will create one”
- Eric Reiss

There should be only one reason to innovate — to solve a problem. Way too often projects are approached with a solution or technical idea in mind. And while this might be perfectly feasible for a technical study — a product will only sell if it solves a problem.

In our small-scale user studies trust and interpretability appeared to be the biggest hurdle for intelligent solutions in legal and finance domains. While there is a big hype around AI, full automation of many processes might not actually be desired due to liability issues.

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Business Origami

In one of the fantastic workshops we were introduced to Business Origami a method to map out complex systems and business processes in a playful way, by Vincent Hudson (Executive Director, Service Design, HiveWorks). Working through the method it appeared to be very appropriate to consider and reflect on interactions between different parts of the business and think through the ecosystem of new services.

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Business Origami Workshop

Internal Collaboration

In his inspiring talk “Designing Culture Change” David Bailey (Creative Director, BBC) described how the BBC defined and shared their design guidelines with the wider company. With BBC GEL the team created a platform to push for a more design-oriented culture. This means a user-centred approach in product development, emphasis of customer experience and consistent application of design principles across products and services. The platform provides a set of guidelines and templates that can be collaboratively extended by design, development and business.

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”
- Peter Drucker

In his talk “Leaders not Managers” Josh Payton (VP User Experience Huge) encouraged the audience to see companies as ‘complex learning systems’. Every effort to encourage learning and change perspective helps the system as a whole. This does not only involve sharing of content via an intranet, but actual in-person sessions to teach and learn new skills.

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This is just a selection of a few talks. All videos of the talks are available on Tech Circus.




UX Research & Design at #trlabs London, w/ brilliant data science & vis team. curious about UX, IA & design thinking. Posts solely reflect my personal opinion.

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Johannes Schleith

Johannes Schleith

UX Research & Design at #trlabs London, w/ brilliant data science & vis team. curious about UX, IA & design thinking. Posts solely reflect my personal opinion.

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