2 min read

What I'm Looking Forward To At UX Scotland 2014

This year I’ll be attending and blogging the UX Scotland conference. It’s in its second year and is taking place from the 19-20th of June in Edinburgh.

Already I’m realising that I’ll have to make some hard choices about talks I go to. Or clone myself.

Browsing through the talks, to me there seem to be some clear themes in the conferences, within which there are some must-sees. So my arbitrary IA of the talks and picks are as follows.

In-house UX

I’ve heard of some UXers gifting Steve Krug’s ‘Rocket Surgery Made Easy’ to clients just to help them understand the importance of regular user testing, so I’m interested to see the nuts and bolts of Stuart McMillian’s How Schuh Built a Testing Team. While building a testing team in-house may be different from in an agency (where I’m based), I supect the practical and political considerations are the same.

Speaking of politics, How to Embed UX in Large Organisations: Teaching the Elephant in the Room to Dance (nice mixed metaphor there!) by Lorraine Paterson and Mike Jefferson is a nice answer to the comment I’ve heard from attendees at other conferences: ‘that’s nice, but it’d never fly in my company’.

For those interested in Lean UX, you’re also spoilt for choice with a number of talks.

New frontiers of research

I saw a talk on interaction design for children a few years ago that highlighted just how different the experience needs to be. So, I’m interested to see what User research and testing with children as presented by Claudio Pires Franco and Ester Stringer also entails, from a testing and pragmatic (minors! consent!) perspective. Kathryn Rotondo is also presenting a talk about the considerations of Making Apps for Kids.

Sometimes your user is an expert with complex needs, and that requires a different set of UX guidelines. I’ve had to work on a site geared at scientists, so am interested to see how Jenny Cham and Paula de Matos tackled it in A Survival Guide for UX in Complex Environments.

The actual design doing

As motion becomes the clay of interaction design, we’re having to find ways to easily work with it. So, it’ll be worth seeing how Graham Dobie does this in Prototyping interaction and animation in the design process.

As device switching becomes more common, we need to be able to structure our sites accordingly. I really want to get into COPE, so am interested to see how Alberta Soranzo uses IA for the mobile world in The Web You Were Used To Is Gone.

Inclusivity and Accessibility

A UXer I work with was telling me this week how inspired they are by the work of GDS. I’m personally a big fan of promoting best practices for accessibility and inclusivity. So, I’m pretty excited about Joshua Marshall, the head of accessibility at GDS, giving a keynote on the second day of the conference (topic TBC).

Even better, this is followed on by Graham Dobie’s Design Thinking for Accessible User Experiences.


This is only a taster of the two-day, three track conference, so do check out the official site for more information (and if you want to check out the speakers on twitter, I’ve made a handy list for you). Tickets are available at the discounted rate of £225 for one day or £435 until the 31st of May.