The UX Australia Conference Experience

The UX Australia Conference

This year's UX Australia 2014 conference that took place in the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth was another tremendous success. For the past couple years it's been a privilege being a primary sponsor of such an important event for the User Experience community. With it gathering in excess of 500 people of every level of interest and involvement in UX, it is without a doubt the must-do event of the year for the region. The presentations were great, and the steady stream of pre and post conference social and networking events were icing on the cake. Was great to catch up with everyone, many familiar faces.

The speakers and presentations were of the calibre we come to expect from UX Australia, fantastic insights and reams of valuable takeaway notes to help UXers at all levels adopt new practices or ways of thinking of UX into their daily work. In particular, on the first day Krystal Higgins delighted us with her great presentation on how to improve on-boarding new customers. By tearing down signup walls and arduous  signup processes and making the new user experience more human, interactive and educating you've vastly improved the first impression of your app or web site.

That was followed by a talk by Zaana Howard and Simon Lawry on mindset. I found this presentation particularly interesting as it went through in detail the two primary mindsets of 'generative' and ‘receiving' and how each impacts a person's or group's way of thinking, approach and outlook on life. They then cleverly showed how this applied to dealing with clients, and how changing ‘receiving' mindsets that look at creating solutions for problems, to ‘generative' which make possibilities from problems. Ultimately it was about how companies needed to change mindset and culture to get the UX outcomes they need, not just a set of UX artefacts

On the second day, Steve Baty (co-organiser of UX Australia) presented a thought-provoking talk on ‘reframing' as a way to set forth innovative thinking. By framing things in an optimistic and achievable light, and breaking out of typical business models, you can achieve considerably more creative potential. Finally, the presentation by Professor Xin Xiangyang from Jiangnan University in Wuxi China was a captivating way to wrap up the two day UX Australia experience.

Last year's Technocrat conference booth was a relaxing lounge atmosphere, this year we mixed things up and broke out the Giant Jenga. Teams of two competed to build the highest possible Jenga tower. Many massive crashes later, the champions managed to make a staggering 57 block moves to win a set of Apple iPads, amazing effort Ben Michie and Sarah Peluchetti! Your steady hands impressed us all :)


For those that were unable to attend, recordings and slide decks will be available on the UX Australia site, and UX Australia Redux single day events will be available in major cities in the coming months. Thank you to Donna Spencer and Steve Baty for having us as sponsors and for putting on such a great event.

We look forward to what next year's UX Australia 2015 brings!