On May 10th, 2018, FITC’s Spotlight UX/UI event returned to Toronto to educate and equip designers with the latest tips and techniques for projects that are transforming our world today.

The event featured talks and panel discussions from top North American designers and developers in the field of user experience and interaction design.

Say Yeah was thrilled to capture talks and interviews
at FITC’s Spotlight UX/UI event.

Here are our major takeaways from each of the speakers:

Starting the day off, Zuzana Sekerova, from Atlassian, spoke about qualitative data as a key element that can improve product experience, and how this translates to Atlassian’s efforts.

She used the example of Atlassian’s free startup trials. It was found that users often signed up to multiple trials to get a feel for the product and then would finally commit quickly on a last new trial after they had finally made the decision to proceed. The consensus from looking at the trial user data was that some customers were quick to commit, while others never did. It wasn’t until taking a deeper dive with new customers that it was understood they had used multiple ways to earn numerous free trials until they were comfortable enough to commit, which completely changed the team’s perspective on how to operate and measure trials.

“It’s not all about the technical; it’s about understanding human behaviour to come up with interesting experiences.” ~Zuzana Sekerova

UX/UI panel discussion

Speakers on the Spotlight UX/UI 2018 panel

At the UX/UI panel discussion, articulating what it means to be a designer was at the forefront of the conversation.

Moderated by our very own CEO, Lee Dale, the panel shared professional experiences, including those successful and poor decisions that led them to their current place in the industry. Matt Hryhorsky shared a great point on how the role of design is more methodological than artistic, suggesting that the industry should shift from referring to designers as rock star solutionists, and instead call them methodology experts.

“Our job is to primarily listen and synthesize before problem solving.” ~Matt Hryhorsky

Leslie Predy of Autodesk shared first-hand insight on machine learning practices and how her team looks to augment human activity to improve efficiency and capability. Working with companies in manufacturing, she and her team have learned the importance of constant iteration and validation while creating digital products in order to apply learning from industry subject matter experts and users.

Leslie Predy presentation at Spotlight UX/UI 2018

“Test early, because the more mature your product is, the harder it is to change.” ~Leslie Predy

Dayton Pereira, founder of Signal UX, taught attendees about “designing to ship,” a staple within his practice.

To Dayton, designing to ship is a mentality around using agile and lean UX processes to reduce the waste that often happens between design and development teams.

For a designer, this means doing whatever it takes to move the product further along the production line—from inception, to prototyping, to development—in order to see the design through to the finished product. This means working more collaboratively with developers, having a hand in front end code, and ultimately taking responsibility for what users see and interact with.

Dayton Pereira speaking on the panel at Spotlight UX/UI

“More designers need to feel responsible for shipping a product.” ~Dayton Pereira

Spotlight UX/UI has proven how great design and technology can work together to create valuable products and experiences. If you’re a designer, innovator, developer, or a student studying in these fields, we encourage you to attend Spotlight UX/UI next year!

Experience design as a foundational skill

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