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Feedback on UX Camp Europe 2013

By Marie 22-10-2013

Uxce2013

The 5th UX Camp Europe took place in Berlin on June 22nd and 23rd. Eva Pika, one of our UX Designers, was there and shares her point of view on the event…

Let’s start with a little definition, before talking about the sessions in detail: a BarCamp is a “non-conference”, where there are no spectators but only participants. What is means is that everybody’s contribution is welcomed – not necessarily with a talk, it can be writing a report on one’s blog, taking part into exchanges, taking pictures…

Another BarCamps’ characteristic, at UX Camp, there is no already planned program, no “star” speaker, but a very wide range of talks and themes. All the sessions topics are presented and assigned every morning, and everybody can submit a session. That’s why there was a great variety of topics and fields: technical, artistic, theoretical, practical, serious and humoristic…

Now, let’s have a look back at the most striking sessions of those two days.

Reflective Design

A session dedicated to objects that “look at” the user and respond to its behavior in order to change it. The examples showed were in the medical field, there was in particular a device that helps breathing more regularly

Content Strategy

In this session, Eirik Hafver Rønjum showed the need for a content strategy on a web site. He presented the case of the Norwegian Cancer Society he worked for. The result was more relevant information online, a bigger notoriety for the organization and less calls to its call center.

UX from within or from the outside

The speakers talked during this session about their experiences working in agency, versus “in house” designers, and showed the pros – and cons – of both situations.

Design for Non-Designers

A very useful session of Lennart Hennigs for daily work in agency… The heart of his reflection lays on the “Wicked Problems” notion: those are the inextricable issues that are very hard or even almost impossible to solve, because their definition itself is complex and their wording incomplete, contradictory and moving. Those problems are, in his point of view, creating the most difficulties between designers and non-designers, i.e. the customers.

He suggests some rules to handle these situations and methods to implement those… The rules lay on a vision of the “product” and design principles. To reach a shared vision of the product, he puts forward the “design the box” method. This tool aims at elaborating, during a workshop session, an outlook of the product within the limited space of a “physical” packaging. The idea is to imagine a name, an image, a few selling points on the front and details on the back.

The second big rule is documenting and sharing the ideas. For that, he suggests using “sketching”: making quick sketches is a simple and economical solution that helps understanding the pending issue. Making the ideas concrete simplifies the customer integration within the design process. And the fact that a sketch looks incomplete is an advantage because it can be used as a basis to discussion. This way, the project can be discussed at a less advanced stage, and it’s easier to get a feedback without being lost in details. The critical point now becoming being able to integrate the client on the first step of the process…

In a nutshell…

As for the previous years, the 2013 edition was really well organized and offered talks and meeting interesting and rich. And thanks to the sponsors and the volunteers’ staff, everything was free for some 500 attendants, including drinks, food and parties during the two days of the camp.

The event website: http://www.uxcampeurope.org/

The pictures, presentations, etc. http://eventifier.co/event/uxce13/

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