UX Australia at the Hilton in Sydney.
This was an amazing experience for me because it was my first official ‘work trip’, and to one of Australia’s largest User Experience conferences.
The conference lasted 3 days.
Many different speakers and also many different ways of looking at User Experience.
From Visual design, Service design, User Experience Design to Psychology and even the UX of mixed reality. A wide range of topics, and experts.
My favourite speaker was Hendrik Müller from Google Maps.
He gave a full day workshop on the importance of User Experience Research.
It was a hands-on approach learning practical tips for conducting usability studies, surveys and field interviews.
He shared how the Google Maps team he was managing, were seeking different ways to get to a destination… without using Google Maps!
The team were stuck with getting new ideas. The intent was to step out of the box and explore different possibilities of how users would get to a destination without their Google Maps app. This could perhaps spawn a creative solution or knowledge of how people might behave.
From being stuck with ideas, to having 1000+ post it notes of problems to solve, and ‘jobs to be done’.
Each participant was given a totally different restaurant to visit in Sydney.
Everyone had a different way to get to their destination.
Some purchasing bus/ train tickets, some asking people on the street, others downloading competitor apps.
The result after that 1 day was an influx of information gathered.
He mentioned the importance of getting out of the office sometimes and immersing yourself with the product or service.
I related to his style of approach because it it proactive and bold.
Had a chance to talk to him after the workshop and he mentioned that convincing the stakeholders is important to show the result after the fact is critical. Everyone learns from this, not just the participants – as long as it’s shared.
A decision to take the whole crew of 45 out to dinner and pay was worth the money spent to receive the information they got in return.
It built rapport with the team and energy within the project. Nice one!