Why you should come to UX New Zealand 2017

A guest blog post by Max Koh, Content Marketing Manager at Optimal Workshop.

UX New Zealand received $3,000 in sponsorship from InternetNZ. For more info about our sponsorship visit our sponsorship page.

We’re past the halfway mark of 2017, which means that UX New Zealand isn’t too far away! Kicking off in mid-October each year, UX New Zealand brings a lineup of expert UX professionals to Wellington to talk about some of the hottest topics in the industry.

First time hearing about UX and UX New Zealand? No worries — here are a few reasons why you should come along!

First of all, what is UX?

User experience (UX) is steadily becoming more and more well known in New Zealand. To quote Nielsen Norman Group, a leading voice in the industry, UX “encompasses all aspects of the end-user's interaction with the company, its services, and its products.

It all starts from obtaining an understanding of the people who use your website, app, product or service. With all that information, designers can then make their website, app, product or service easy to use, or make information on those things easy to find.

One of the big reasons why UX is growing is because creating great experiences can influence how people perceive a company’s brand, as well as help achieve business goals. For example, think of some of your favourite brands. What is it that made them your favourite? Was it a product or maybe an experience? On the flipside of that, think of some of your least favourite brands and why that might be the case.

A report from Design Management Institute even stated that UX is now “a dominant and growing force in the design profession, outpacing the growth seen in other design disciplines.”

Some companies have dedicated UX designers or teams within their organisation, while in others this might be part of the designer’s role. What’s generally accepted though, is that creating meaningful user experiences is everyone’s responsibility within a workplace — from product manager to customer success and even developers. UX should run through every part of a process, whether it’s figuring out a new service, designing a new product, or launching a new business or website.

As UX is such a fast-growing area around the globe and in New Zealand, we at Optimal Workshop started hosting this conference to help share the knowledge from experts both local and abroad. We love attending conferences ourselves — we find them a great way to not only ‘sharpen the axe’, but also to meet like-minded people and feel part of wider community. It’s an opportunity to take a step back from the day-to-day work and look at the bigger picture.

What is happening at UX New Zealand?

UX New Zealand is a three-day event consisting of mind-opening workshops and enlightening presentations. Each year, we hand pick speakers who possess some fresh, insightful and forward-thinking UX topics. We aim to provide something for everyone, whether they are new to UX or a seasoned pro.

The main event is two days of conference talks at Shed 6. This year’s lineup of speakers covers a wide range of themes:

  • the importance of crafting language
  • how to find the right people for your user research
  • content design
  • designing with security in mind
  • key principles of running lean UX
  • what you can learn from going out to meet your users
  • measuring and improving UX and more!

    With this blend of topics and perspectives, you’ll gain insights you never even expected.

    The day before the conference talks, we offer a series of hands-on workshops at CQ Hotels. You can learn:

    • how a product team that works well together can help design and deliver great product and service customer experience
    • how to maintain design integrity while shipping software
    • how to run a design sprint
    • how to use lean startup principles
    • how to create effective service design blueprints
    • how to get your team collaborating better.

    You’ll be able to walk away from these workshops with some practical and actionable skills that you can implement in your everyday work.

    What you’ll get out of going to UX New Zealand

    Along with all the great workshops and presentations, you’ll have the chance to meet, mix and mingle with hundreds of UX professionals from NZ and around the world. We allow plenty of time for breaks and social events, so our attendees can have the chance to share their stories, ideas and challenges with each other. In previous years, we’ve had attendees from all types of places: digital agencies, government departments, software companies, major NZ brands, banks, design agencies and more. If you want to network for new business, scout for a new hire, or even look for a new job, this is the perfect place to meet the right people in the industry.

    We’ll also be bringing back our famous UX Agony Aunt booth where you can get practical UX advice. Our UX Agony Aunt will sit down with you and talk about nitty-gritty UX topics, or even answer any beginner’s questions — she’s there to provide advice!

    Tickets are on sale now and you can grab yours here. See you there!