UX Strat 2017 in Amsterdam Recap
If one measures the quality of a conference by the number of photos taken of the speakers’ slides, then the sold-out UX Strat 2017 in Amsterdam was high-quality. On top of that, it was also very inspiring and gave us a lot of input/impact to current work as well as to the trends that we have to face as a full-service agency.
The field of User Experience has always been a colorful bouquet of disciplines rather than a clearly defined field of action. Far from the success of individual products or services, UX has long been a topic for leaders, which is now entering the business strategies. But which are the strategies, examples and learnings for integration and implementation? The UX Strat has made it its mission to give answers and to bring design leaders together in one place.
The program of this year’s conference was thematically strutured. The first day was about products where as the second day focused UX in organizations.
Fortunately, the lectures were all at a very high level. You could notice that customer orientation is very important to the organizer of UX Strat, Paul Bryan. Furthermore, feedback was highly appreciated and accepted, which obviously reflected in the seating plan (that was supposedly suboptimal in the last year).
My central issues: the questions of the processes and tools that help to develop customer-oriented products. This was especially evident in the Orange Bank (Completely New Web Applications For A New Bank, by David Ruiz Martínez) and BMW presentations (A New Car Sharing Service For Chicago, by Martin Kulessa). Stakeholder communication is essential for such projects. Without support from the C-level management, one should distance from such projects, which was emphasized again and again in the personal talks during the breaks.
It’s crystal clear that voice control like Amazon’s Alexa and the new Apple HomePod is the next big thing. On this subject, ING’s UX Team presented an impressive prototype of a language-driven app, that will also be able to carry out transactions in the future. For me, its special feature is the creative realization. Chat and chatbots give very little scope for the design. Through their own avatars and contextual speeches and animations, the ING succeeds in achieving an emotionally impressive effect.
While features and services are usually focused, the topic of emotions is in any case an often neglected one. The corresponding potential is all the greater, which brands can activate for themselves in order to distinguish themselves in the competition. This is why the speech by Friederike Schultz from McKinsey, who spoke about Brand Identity, was also much discussed. In general, I have the impression that the formerly strong „corporate“ issues are increasingly moving into the softer issues of the Brand Identity. The clearer the dimensions of the core values, the better these can be transfered in digital services, for example through voice intonation. I’m looking forward to receiving the slides, which are worth watching again!
Without a doubt such events are made by the personalities of speakers and attendees. Ronnie Battista finished the first day with his lecture „Rock On! XD: Taking Business Advantage To 11“. Emotional kick-ass keynotes cannot be put into words, so I don’t do that either. The core is to let the unicorn die and return to the roots of the original rock. Genuine rock is handmade and runs without handbrake – and so it is with UX!
A great conference: highly recommended! 🙂