Collaborate Bristol | Event Review

25th June 2018

Our design and UX team share their highlights from this year’s event

The Watershed hosted this year’s Collaborate Bristol event on 29 June. It’s a great chance for all of the South West’s top creative talent to get together and share knowledge, explore opportunities and discuss the latest trends in UX and Design.

Here’s what they said about the event’s highlights and key takeaways.

Importance of machine learning and diversity in teams

Facebook’s Creative Strategist and Augmented Reality Studio representative, Felicia Williams did a great talk. Whilst what she had to say around machine learning was interesting it was the discussion around how inclusive design should be and why it’s important to instil cultural values into the things that we create that caught my attention. What really struck me was the value diversity can bring. Businesses that embrace cultural diversity in their teams are more likely to create successful products. Felicia’s talk reminded us that creating technology and tools that acknowledge our differences, is a moral and ethical obligation for our industry. Powerful.

Traps, triggers and trojan horses: Observations and lessons from designing for large organisations

Boon Yew Chew, Principal UX Designer for Elsevier presented on – well quite a wide subject area to say the least. And a lot of it was useful. Boon touched upon what guides organisations, why some projects become trapped and what ‘idols’ in the industry and being worshipped.

Ultimately, what I took from this talk was that designing at an organisational scale is like attempting to eat a building-sized cake. The approach needs to be as a scaffold.  Scaffolds are transitional processes that can guide teams and projects in the desired direction for the benefit of the organisation.

Design thinking for good

eDreams ODIGEO Senior Director for UX shared some interesting insights. She gave a really good that highlighted how everything that we design also designs us. Rather philosophical, but it was intriguing to hear her discuss the view that everything is being creative by the active engagement between mind and world. And similarly to Felicia Williams’ talk, she explained that when we bring in people with different backgrounds, they can create new solutions from their own experience. Echoing that diversity has positive impacts to business.

Art of collaboration

We also watched a talk by Simon Norris, founder and CEO of Nomensa, about the Art of Collaboration. His talk branched between design strategy – utilising a double diamond or triple diamond system to incorporate strategy and not just design and development. Collaboration is about the team knowing each other.

A valuable insight that was taken away from the talk was,

“The worst mistake in design is to solve the wrong problem”.

He references, “Collaboration is a protocol which enables everyone to work together at the same time, without getting in each other’s way” by Randy Nelson.  Which is quite an astute and affective way of working together.

Designing for aliens

This talk from Andrew McGrath at Thomson Reuters was perhaps the one that really resonated with me. It was his UX problems that I related to most:

  1. Scarcity – the elusive user, that is hard to find and to work with
  2. Understanding – becoming fluent in the language of your client and their industry
  3. Simplification – solutions are sometimes aimed at an experienced and professional user, not consumer. Simplifying this needs a deep understanding
  4. Empathy – it’s not always easy to understand or like the user

If you’re passionate about UX and Design then I’d highly recommend attending the next Collaborate Bristol event. There’s so many great talks to go to and the opportunity to network as well as extend and challenge your own knowledge.

Want to join the Kagool UX and Design teams? Take a look at our latest career opportunities.