Where design leads

  • Design isn’t what something looks like. Design is a strategy.
  • User experience is everything, but not everyone should be a user experience designer.
  • Design is something we fail at communicating well within our businesses. This is because design was commonly brought in later.
  • Most businesses rely on the quantitive, the measurable, due in part to it reducing risk. Data is ok, but psychology will lead to some real breakthroughs.

These were some of the key takeaways from the talks at the Leading Design Conference held earlier this week at the Barbican Centre in London. Run by the talented UX design studio Clearleft, it served as a platform to share ideologies, experiences and learnings from some of the great pioneers of the design community.

The Barbican Centre

I found it incredibly fulfilling to be around my peers, albeit from different companies, different backgrounds and from different parts of the world. While all uniquely different, we shared a common purpose: To make design a firm ally to business strategy.

Mark Boulton

There were a number of talks that I really engaged with. I can’t really summarise them all here (this is a Medium post after all), but it really was an exceptional opportunity to hear from some of the great design leaders on how to do great design. There were methodologies that I can apply in my work, so in a sense, the conference was deeply practical.

Besides the inspirational talks, it was fantastic to speak to fellow design leaders. Designers that I had respected for many years were now in the same room. Talking to Paul Annett, Richard Rutter, Jon Aizlewood among others was a great experience. I also met a number of Wiggle customers, so couldn’t help but assess their experience of Wiggle and design recommendations.

Andy Budd

Andy and the team put on a truly remarkable event. It was intensive, inspirational, educational and to me, career defining. I now have a renewed enthusiasm for doing great work within the design team and I’m now generating ideas on how to accomplish that effectively.

Scriberian in the house making sketch notes — so cool!

It will take some time to disseminate the good stuff I’ve learned into the team here at Wiggle, but I’m stoked at what I’ve come away with.