Exploring UX Ireland 2016

Exploring UX Ireland 2016

  posted on   |    written by Fergal



After a tumultuous week in global politics, it was something of a relief to retreat to the salubrious surrounds of the Trinity Biomedical Institute on the 10th and 11th of November for the first annual UX Ireland conference. Billed as a 'two-day conference of practical, hands-on, design community-oriented joy', the event more than lived up to expectations with a packed schedule of talks, workshops, and tutorials from some of the brightest and best Irish and international talent. 

Kicking things off in style on Thursday morning was Jon Kolko, Executive Director of Product Design at GE Aviation. In a rousing keynote address, Jon shattered a number of common myths about 'creativity' and offered a deep-dive analysis of the Blackboard mobile student planning platform, a project he developed prior to joining GE and which has since been acquired by MyEdu. Another Thursday highlight was Alastair Somerville's sensory design workshop wherein attendees split into groups and were tasked with communicating complex information to a blindfolded volunteer using touch alone. The exercise demonstrated not just how difficult it is to wordlessly prompt someone to ask for a cup of decaf coffee (and it is!) but also how crucial senses and emotions are to our cognition and how an awareness of this can be carried forward into the brave new world of wearables and the Internet of Things.

Day two of UX Ireland saw Brenda Laurel take the stage to explore the relationship between virtual reality, augmented reality, plain old-fashioned 'reality' (or 'reality prime'), and everything in between. With a CV and wealth of experience that defies easy encapsulation, Brenda's keynote struck a philosophical note and was the catalyst for a number of spirited discussions over coffee. Bringing things back to earth was Matt Lee's 'down and dirty' research workshop which exploded the notion that user research is necessarily expensive and time-consuming - but that it is always necessary. Finally a special mention must go to Sarah Buxton's delightful storytelling tutorial on Thursday which not only highlighted how important narrative is to human interaction but also produced this (officially) award-winning photo:

 

Photo credit: Sarah Buxton

Photo credit: Sarah Buxton

 

Congratulations are due to Graphic Mint and Software Acumen for organising the event and ensuring that everything ran smoothly over the two days. We're already looking forward to next year.


@FirstcomDublin



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