Last week, we tuned into the 2021 edition of
TV – the pandemic version of Fluxible, Canada’s UX Festival. Every year, Fluxible brings user experience professionals together to look at the present and future of user interaction design.
Instead of one day of broadcasts, this year Fluxible TV streamed content throughout the week. The 2021 conference featured UX and related speakers on a variety of topics, plus there was music, bread making and more! Over the series of talks, we couldn’t help but see the impact user experience has on our daily lives.
Here are our three favorite talks from Fluxible 2021:
When Design is Public Infrastructure: Reflections on the Pandemic
First up, we want to highlight this panel discussion featuring Cyd Harrell (Civic Design Consultant), Sara Hall (User Experience Practice Lead, City of Philadelphia), Hillary Hartley (Chief Digital and Data Officer, Ontario Digital Service) and Anita Cheng (Content Designer, San Francisco).
This discussion reflected on the past year of design changes due to the pandemic. A year of changes that included lockdown notifications to making sure people in posters had masks to vaccine registration websites. The panel shared lessons from the field about equity, collaboration, and the role of design in civic life. With the experience of having to roll out public infrastructure during and due to the pandemic, the group shared some key takeaways we loved:
- Design systems and templates speed up development. We like to have the design system approved before templating so we’re designing a consistent experience across a product. Design systems are the foundation of great design and amazing products. The importance of designing good forms to increase user satisfaction. Forms might seem simple, but doing forms well is difficult.
- Teams that use collaboration tools work faster. At BitBakery, we can’t live without tools like Figma, Miro, Google Workplace, Slack, and more as an outsourced development team, let alone in a global pandemic.
Amplifying impact: give your research a voice that can drive change
With algorithms to govern everything from your personal best home screen to curated playlists like Discover Weekly, it’s no surprise that the research process used at Spotify is robust.
Emily Chu, Insights Manager at Spotify dove into how you can do more with your insights and learnings to directly impact decisions across your company. In her role, Emily leads a team of data scientists and user researchers focused on creating unique and fresh content experiences based on deep research.
She knows first-hand that knowledge gathered from research can help create new points of connections across different parts of the business. It can also spark new ideas and opportunities to innovate. Emily’s advice for researchers
- Plan: scope your research approach
- Fieldwork: conduct the research
- Analysis: synthesize and analyze your research findings
- Sharing: communicate your research, learnings and insights
While our research team at BitBakery is not as large as Spotify’s, we understand the importance of research and use a similar process that fits our team and our client’s needs. The bottom line? Great research is a must in order to drive change across your company and products. Find a process that works best for your needs!
The Design of Diversity and Inclusion
Scrolling through your social media feeds this month, you’ve likely seen more and more rainbow-coloured logos as everyone celebrates Pride Month.
Some make the change to signal they are a part of the 2SLGBTQIA+community, others to show their love and support. And still others – massive corporations that often have a history of discriminatory policies or affiliations with anti-2SLGBTQIA+ leaders – try to use the rainbow flag as a quick Band-Aid solution to cover up all their problematic behavior during the other 11 months of the year.
How do we put diversity and inclusion into action instead of performance? Diversity educator, advocate, founder and craft beer consultant Ren Navarro says we should look at diversity in the same way we look at design – from multiple angles, levels, feedback, and change.
With nearly a decade of experience in the craft beer industry and a passion for diversity education, Ren led a relaxed chat on how to define “diversity” and make it work for your team.
To create change that is authentic and sustainable, conscious work needs to be done.
Maybe you jumped on the bandwagon, but what happens next? What did you say during that time? What did you learn? Evaluate your values, processes and partnerships. Do they reflect what you are presenting to the public? Do your employees feel safe? What is your hiring process like? Hiring within your network or based on recommendations is an easy way to go, but we tend to be biased towards hiring those who look like us.
We like to look outside our network to find the next awesome BitBakers. We’ve attended events like Communitech’s Tech Jam and VanHack Leap to meet candidates from all over Canada and the world. VanHack Leap was an event that brought 15 developers from around the world to meet Waterloo Region tech companies. It was a great way to meet developers who we would never normally get a chance to meet – and we’ve made hires from both events that help us to have a diverse team to work on our clients’ projects.
Fluxible is not just a conference where you come out with new tools to apply in daily practice. 0Tthe speakers at Fluxible ask you to look at the emerging patterns in user experience design – and what those changes mean to the ethos of user experience.
Design has become one of the most important user experience requirements and is the key to successful innovation. We put user experience first in everything we do to help us understand users’ needs and preferences.