UX Fest 2014: 12 Takeaways

Yesterday the great folks over at Fresh Tilled Soil hosted (in their fantastic Watertown HQ) what is quickly becoming a must-go event in the Boston web & design community: UX Fest 2014. We brought the whole team along to be immersed in great speakers, entertaining presentations, and eye-opening insights on how User Experience design can (and should) inform the entire design process.

Every speaker was outstanding, but some of the more entertaining highlights include James White relaying the best email he’s ever gotten (“MORE FUCKING LIGHTNING!!!”), Steve Fisher perfectly modeling his head-shot, and Jim Forrest‘s japanese pants. Plus the open bar at the end of the day was a nice touch.

We’ve gathered together our take-aways from the event. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Get your work out there: you never know where it’s going to end up
  • Remove the subjectivity from design decisions by setting goals, and constantly aligning work to those goals
  • Accessibility matters: don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s “not my audience”
  • Let the work love to do drive you: it will soon move from being your nights-and-weekends work to your making-a-living work
  • Data is not always the answer: it’s how we interpret & utilize that data that matters
  • Fail often, but fail fast
  • Always loop back to the original problem statement
  • Don’t “frankenstein” your design: Pick one and work off of that
  • Conflict is the key to success: Aim for agreement, not compromise
  • How do you convince clients to pay for a website that is accessible to everyone? Run the numbers and show them how many users they’ll be excluding
  • Type performance on the web: Load what you need (only when you need it) Don’t bog down page load with unnecessary fonts/weights.
  • Alleviate personal biases by defining the problem / question first to facilitate more open conversations during team brainstorming sessions.

Can’t wait for UX Fest 2015!