UXCampBrighton 2019 roundup

Notes about UXCampBrighton and the talks I went to

Mar 16, 2019 • • 🍿 4 min. read in design

Yet again UXCampBrighton knocked it out of the park in 2019 last weekend - so much fun. It was my third time giving a 20 minute talk - and despite feeling a little nervous about presenting at it beforehand, seem to be getting a little bit better each year - UXCampBrighton being a really welcoming space for practicing public speaking. Chris, one of the organisers shared an excellent post on public speaking tips: let Sly & the Family Stone turn you into a great presenter which really helped.

If you are not familiar with it, it’s a bar-camp style self-organised conference, where a proportion of attendees sign up as speakers, and in the morning post what their talks are up on a board, and talks are spread across several rooms, so roughly every half an hour people all pitch their talks, and you decide what to go to.


Tickets are low cost (£10/15) and cover running costs. The catering, as always was excellent - pastries in the morning, delicious Indian food for lunch, and Pizza/drinks in the evening, as well as a steady stream of coffee all day.

I gave my talk in the first slot - ‘Giving and Receiving Design Feedback’, in which I looked at how people (both designers and stakeholders) give feedback, and ways we can improve the feedback process.

photo by @bexstex

I ended up going to a real mixture of talks and workshops. You never know quite what you are going to get until the day, but all were excellent.

Personas Suck

Clare Durrant gave an excellent talk on 'Why Personas Suck' - on the dangers of generic personas (and Nickleback) and making stuff up using average data - key takeaways were: focus on behaviours and attitudes and stop stereotyping people into buckets.

with slides here

An Introduction to Content Design

Rachel McConnell (author of ‘Why you need a content team’) talking practical tips for content design.

N.B. Great webinar from Rachel here - Growing content maturity from the ground up – GatherContent and an equally good medium article: Seven Principles for effective Content Design

User First, Mobile Second

Leo Barnes talked ‘User First, Mobile Second’ on how mobile-first definitely isn’t a solution for everything, and you need to do your research first.

Introduction to heuristics

Becca Hugo giving an excellent introduction on heuristics and using them.

Conversation/Sketching Workshop

A workshop with Natasha Hampshire and David Spinks looking at using collaborative sketch techniques and conversation to increase collaboration - see their notes.

Psychological Safety and Failure

Alice Richmond gave an excellent talk on Psychological Safety and Failure - how being transparent and learning from failure empowers teams:

Finally last but not least, Rob Pearson discussed how bringing a UX mindset can be beneficial to one’s life in general, and Chris How talked the benefits of delight in design, and how delight rather than beauty can be the real key.

One of the sad things is that you can't see all the things. Talks I missed that I wished I’d gone to were several, including Laura Yarrow's talk on dealing with difficult user-testing participants:

Difficult user testing participants v2 pdf from Laura Yarrow

...and Martyn Reding on 'Creating Design that Lasts' - I heard really good things about both.

Martyn shared an excellent list of UX terms translated to business terms for greater impact - looking forward to trying some of these out:

The nice thing about UXCampBrighton is that the organisers purposefully structure it so you have plenty of time to chat to others there as well as attending talks, and everyone is very open and welcoming, and the team of volunteers were outstanding in their helpfulness.

A great UX day out and one of my favourite conferences of the year for sure - see you again next year!

Posted in design