Another year and another eventful World Usability Day open house here at User Vision – in fact our 10th! It was a flurry of activity all day with guests arriving from all over the UK and some even further afield.
For those that came, thank you for joining us and taking part in our various activities, and for those that sadly couldn’t make it, here’s a quick rundown of what happened.
For the past few months we have been busily thinking up ways to show case new ‘innovative’ things in the UX field. We even ran a short survey prior to the event to understand what all our colleagues and clients thought about ‘innovation’.
We were also delighted to raise money for our charity of the year, MS Trust – so thank you to all of those who supported this!
Virtual reality – are we Virtually there yet?
We had a particularly busy stand here as attendees explored the world of VR and its use with apps. This was a very hands on, or should I say eyes on, activity which was a hit with lots of people and particularly fun to witness. Alan Blackwood (one of our UX consultants) was particularly keen to understand if VR improved the experience. More to come from Alan later.
Accessibility – is innovative design inclusive design?
Gayle Whittaker is one of our in-house accessibility experts who was keen to highlight accessibility and show how screen readers worked in this interactive demo. Attendees not only got to take part in using a screen reader, but could also observe through the one-way mirror in our lab. It was great for our attendees to realise first hand the impact non-accessible websites have on users, and there was certainly a lot of buzz around how to start testing for accessibility. Key take always being what can be done to avoid accessibility barriers and techniques for easy accessibility testing, as well as creating inclusive design strategies in-house which are doing for many more of our own clients presently.
Prototyping – problems to prototypes
Nicola Dunlop ran an iterative workshop where attendees took part in creating and prototyping a solution towards a chosen problem. One of the key takeaways here was the different methods of prototyping from just using paper, to the various new apps that specialise in prototyping. We saw some really creative ideas come to life in this workshop which Nicola will discuss in a later blog post.
Our panel events are always a popular slot and this year was no exception with people squeezing in to hear from our guest speakers. We were very pleased to welcome speakers from Fanduel, Standard Life, Neatebox, Stipso and Tusi who provided plenty food for thought around what innovation means for today’s businesses and how it can be practically integrated into the way we work.
Top Task Method – defining your site’s IA
In the busy Top Tasks room, we challenged people to pick out the five top tasks (from ten displayed) as voted by visitors to three sites: the European Commission website, an Intranet, and a university website. It proved trickier than most people expected!
Only one person picked out the EC top tasks, while nobody succeeded on the university site. Although three people succeeded on the Intranet site, everyone agreed that is hard to predict what the outcome of a top tasks vote might be.
OSMO – innovative child game or more?
Due to the popularity of OSMO last year, I decided to bring it back this year, and especially as it had new games to play with! This little innovative game had our attendee’s competitive spirits soaring high as they battled against each other in Words or tested their drawing skills with Masterpiece. It certainly got people talking about how the application could be further developed and what situations it could be used in.
The value of eye-tracking
Understanding the value of eye-tracking is certainly a debated topic. In this activity Abi Reynolds and Jessica Cameron worked with attendees to showcase how eye-tracking is conducted and exactly what it is people pay attention too. It was great to see people having a go at not only being a test participant, but also watching the outputs.
Having fun and raising money
Of course we also had our usual raffle which was incredibly popular and won by Malcolm Figures from Ambergreen, and an extremely challenging quiz on Scottish innovations which was won by Steven Drost and James Baster. Well done guys! We are still to draw the winner of the ‘Guess the incentive’ and undertake the sponsorship challenge (a review of which will be posted here afterwards). All proceeds from the day went to our charity of the year, Multiple Sclerosis.
The day is over but conversations are still going on…
So do drop us a tweet @UserVision #UV_WUD and let us know what you thought of our event, opinions on innovation or anything you’d like to see done a little differently for next year.
As always, a big thank you to our guest speakers, to the UV team and to everyone who came along. Another fantastic WUD! Bring on next year’s theme… but maybe a little rest in between!