UXSpain 2017: understanding user needs from different perspectives

On 12-13 May 2017,  the 6th edition of UX Spain took place. If there was a scale enabling us to measure when an event has reached its maturity, UX Spain would be, after this edition, at the top. Once again, an impeccable organization, outstanding speakers with juicy content and two consecutive days as a trending topic on Twitter have turned UXSpain into a reference in the Design and UX sector. Well done to the organizers!  

This event was a fun-packed 2-day experience centered on networking and usability in idyllic Gijón. 500 professionals (300 on waiting list according to organizers!) carefully listened to the words of 20 speakers. Expectations were high… And highly-fulfilled they were.

 

1st day: Chasing the best user experience

The first day started quite peacefully, trying to figure out how to impact users. Anna Vilalta from myABCkit.com had a clear message: “no decision without data”.  Research should be key when making decisions. Itziar Pobes talked about services design and how technology should just be a means to an end (design) and not the focal point.

The rhythm of the day slowly increased. Óscar Méndez Soto, CEO of Stratio, immersed his audience in an “apocalyptic” atmosphere, led by machines and AI. The speech revolved around the idea of applying AI to get the best Customer Experience (CX). Big Data provides extraordinary possibilities to extract value and define a better CX.

 

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Óscar Méndez Soto at UXSpain 2017

Javier Vélez and Martín Álvarez-Espinar gave their respective audiences lessons in component development and web standards. We were able to learn a lot in terms of good approaches to standardization.

At the end of the day, Nacho Gil brought to the stage a subject ever-present over the last few UXSpain editions: parity in the work place. The tendency is clearly optimistic: women are taking their place in the world of UX and also their presence at events is increasing.  During the post-event dinner, Nacho posed some important questions: In what state is UX nowadays? What is the future of the profession? When will it be our turn to take decisions within a company?

 

2nd day: Ideas around product and service design

It’s the calm after the storm… A more realistic and idealistic approach to the future of UX, with cases studies and reflexions around product and services. The audience was able to witness pure research based on projects adapted to specific users with 2 brilliant speeches: Júlia Ivorra of BBC Sports looking for new online services to improve audiences at Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Ana Ormaechea with her Cuba Diary: she shared a story of trying to spread content in a country blocked by transition.

The same idea flew over our heads throughout the whole event: the human factor as an agent of change. As explained by Laura García-Barrio and Luis Arnal, users must be understood within a personal context, from a unique social and cultural perspective.

 

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Martín Álvarez-Espinar at UXSpain 2017

After a nice lunch, Wences Sanz and Danny Saltaren introduced 2 cases oriented at product design from different perspectives. On the one hand, Wences demonstrated the homogenization of the web from a nostalgic point of view: how the designer is losing part of his freedom creating functional but boring products. On the other hand, Danny showed the importance of working with design systems to give value to products, highlighting the significance of the UX professional to take responsibility and beat on consistency as a successful model.

Once more, a great experience with many ideas to chew on. Let’s hope this booming sector continues to grow and that we’ll have much more to discuss at the next edition of this great event.

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