As users across digital platforms have become more educated about interfaces and adept at interacting with technology, so expectations have been raised for user experience. User experience (UX) has become one of the most valuable skills for graphic designers to have in today’s market. UX in mobile, responsive website and interaction design has not only become more useful as technology has developed, but critical to adoption.
In the mobile space, users are now at the heart of every decision, with technology as the enabler for changing behaviour and driving adoption. From pixels and prototyping to information architecture and slippy UX, user experience is becoming more prominent, whilst user interface begins to diminish. For that reason, Mobile Monday Bristol’s (MoMo) recent event was focused on UX.
Originating in Helsinki in 2000, with activities organised by 300+ volunteers around the world, MoMo has become an industry leading mobile platform network, with MoMo Bristol’s community continuing to grow.
On Monday, the ‘UX Deep Dive’ event welcomed 50 aspiring UXers, either working in or interested in mobile, as well as user-centred enterprises, agencies and mobile industry experts.
To lead the event Robb Green, Creative Director, presented on “Creating genuinely responsive experiences in the age of insight” on responsive design for responsive websites.
Responsive design has existed for 6 years. Robb’s talk explained how, in that time, the devices we design for have changed dramatically but responsive design itself hasn’t.
“We’re still pre-occupied with moving things around to get them to fit into different size spaces.”
Robb gave a fantastic and humorous presentation, engaging the audience UX-style, by drawing wireframes and diagrams, making it extremely interactive.
The idea that old responsive design is practical, but user experience is emotional, proved that designers, developers and the technology industry need to marry the two concepts.
Devices can hold masses of information about a person. However, what if experiences were created to respond to that data, as well as screen size? What if we could use that data to figure out how to meet a user’s emotional needs, as well as the practical restrictions of their phone, tablet, smartwatch or laptop?
What to consider:
- Device – usage as well as screen size: always relate small insights to big data
- Location – movement as well as position: the what doesn’t change, it’s the how
- Situation – what’s happening around a user: people do the same things at the same time
- Behaviour – what’s happening to a user: there’s no such thing as an anonymous user
By considering each of these factors, genuinely responsive experiences that create real, lasting engagement can be crafted.
Following Robb’s presentation, Andrew Grimes, Principal User Experience Consultant, spoke about the current user experience trends of 2016.
Specifically, Andrew demonstrated the following three main trends;
- UX becoming more strategic
- The importance of Micro-moments
- Conversational UX
Andrew discussed how under the ‘umbrella of buzzwords’, more and more large companies are bringing UX teams in house and seeing it as a fundamental element of their business success.
Overall, Andrew concluded that hopefully in time, designers can eventually use their influence to humanise technology, to negotiate a more meaningful value exchange between humans and technology.
Finally, the night came to an end with a panel discussion featuring our guest speakers, including Hannah Tempest, Creative Director at Mubaloo.
As well as the content discussed on the night, the panel addressed UX design, trends, and future predictions, describing UX and what the best route is to become a UX specialist.
According to UX Magazine, some future predictions include; storytelling by design, design as a core skill and most talked about, designing beyond apps and screens.
During the evening, Hannah Tempest illustrated her UX masterpiece ‘Designing for outside the screen’ and said:
“I wanted to communicate the various experiences we are designing for outside the screen at the moment and how the Internet of Things (IoT) and slippy UX is really changing the way people interact with mobile and their environment.”
“The image highlights IoT and includes sensors on pigeons to measure air quality, location based technology and a smart wine decanter that we saw on kickstarter recently.”
Hannah Tempest, Creative Director, Mubaloo
Overall, the event highlighted that providing excellent user experiences is no longer just the core of great design, but also the core of user success in both mobile apps and responsive websites. It highlighted examples locally and from across the world showing just how important user experience is within mobile and digital technology.
On behalf of Mobile Monday, we’d like to thank everyone who came to the ‘UX Deep Dive’ event. Once again, we all enjoyed a knowledge-filled event with great speakers and guests alike. Here is some of the fantastic feedback:
“This particular Mobile Monday was great. Robb’s talk was amazing! Being an iOS developer, it’s important for me to understand more about UX to help create really beneficial apps for our clients.”
“It was also really good to meet new people and catch up with old colleagues. I can’t wait for the next one.”
Liam Nichols, Senior iOS Developer
“An enjoyable evening with lots of great discussion. Mobile UX is rapidly transforming the way we work and play – so it’s vital to share our experiences and discuss what we find important. Thanks so much for having me!”
Andrew Grimes, Principal User Experience Consultant
If you are interested in attending the next month MoMo event on 9 May 2016, the theme is ‘Entertainment’, where Opposable Games will be talking about and demoing a few fun filled gaming apps.
Read the latest white paper from Mubaloo’s UX team.