I just returned from 5 days in beautiful San Francisco where I attended Adaptive Path's UXweek 2014. It was great getting the opportunity to participate in UXweek and a big "Thank You" to my employer EMC for allowing me to attend! It was a week chock-full of presentations on the future of UX, the importance of Universal Design, and the changing roles and skill sets for those practicing User Experience (UX). There was also plenty of time to meet new UX practitioners and talk to some old friends; all-in-all it was a very busy and exciting week.
One of the more consistent themes of the week was the call to action for all UX practitioners to become more familiar with and begin finding ways to implement Universal Design into their solutions. The principals of Universal Design include:
- Equitable use - The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities
- Flexibility in use - The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities
- Simple and intuitive use - Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level
- Perceptible information - The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities
- Tolerance for error - The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions
- Low physical effort - The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue
- Size and space for approach and use - Appropriate size and space is provided for reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user's body size, posture, or mobility
Many speakers included universal design in their presentations and supported the call to action within the UX community; expressing not to forget that the "User" in our job descriptions comes in many shapes, sizes, nationalities, and physical abilities and good design takes this into account and develop solutions that align to our users.
As in past conferences I continued to create my personal "sketchnotes" and make them available via the Adaptive Path UXweek mobile app. By the end of the week I was firmly in second place for "Most Posts" :) It was fun to share the sketchnotes with the other participants and especially those who were presenting. I let people know that my notes contain easter eggs and they would need to review them if they wanted to discover. Since my last visit to UXweek sketchnoting has become quite popular at UX conferences. I was hoping to find other sketchnoters but was surprised that I was one of the only ones sharing my notes. :(
If you would like to know more about the conference I am including a link to my UXweek 2014 Sketchnotes where you can download them and get some insight into all the presentations that I attended. Each sketchnote contains the name of the presentation, the presenter, and a quick sketch of what they look like (some are better than others-speed sometimes kills). Give these a look and please feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions. I'll be putting together a bigger presentation to share with my UX peers at EMC; if possible I will also share that.
A big THANK YOU to Adaptive Path, Presenters, and all the sponsors and worker bees that made it all possible. It was an awesome conference and the effects of the discussions will definitely positively affect my future work and thought. Also a big shout out to all my new and old friends that I had the pleasure of hanging out with–I hope to stay in touch with you all and please, please keep up with me and let me know what you are doing.