A week ago today we were rubbing shoulders with friends in Christmas jumpers at the final Digital Plymouth event of 2018! It was a great evening, with plenty of holiday spirit, reminiscing on the successes of the year. Of course, the main event was the three fantastic guest speakers, there to talk about user experience, inspiring youth in tech, and the importance of a little thing called YouTube. Here are the highlights!
After a warm welcome from our charming compère Garry Hunt, our first speaker was Paula Kaminska, who has been creating apps and websites since she was fifteen years old. She is the UX Director for Duesday, who aim to revolutionise direct debit payments. Paula took us through the UX process for designing the Duesday app, covering research (business, market, and user), user pattern design, concept design, and user testing.
Paula talked about how she sits with users as they test the prototype, giving them a series of key tasks to accomplish and asking them to think aloud so she can get an idea as to their thought process.
Key takeaway: Without ease of use, Duesday wouldn’t be able to change lives in the way it was envisioned. An app is doomed to fail without following a user-led, iterative process. A great advocate for UX, Paula reminded us how we need to view digital design as a process that revolves around the user.
The next talk was from Oli Raud a Strategic Funding Manager from Plymouth College of Art. Oli spoke on the Atlantic Youth Creation Hubs project, which is running for 3 years across the European Atlantic Area. The aim is to empower young people (aged 16-30) to develop enterprising skills through workshops on design, design thinking, UX and techniques like 3D printing. Elixel have been privileged to help Oli in the past with suggestions on how to incorporate Design Sprints.
A feature loved by participants is the opportunity to take part in a ‘creative jam’, where even fledgling ideas can be transformed into full business plans. Pitches are then made to judges who are industry professionals that can help with end products. Oli’s ultimate ambition is to see Plymouth become a city full of smart citizens. Plymouth is aiming to join the Fab Lab movement, which would make it the first UK city to do so.
Key takeaway: Oli’s passion for the project was really inspiring to witness. It’s a fantastic way to give agency to young people who don’t usually have access to tech tools. Oli is constantly looking for new mentors, to teach and to act as judges. If you’re an industry professional he’d love to hear from you.
Third up: Giz Edwards. Giz gave an awesome talk on the impact of YouTube. With over ten years experience on the platform, he knows how to keep an audience engaged and has become a YouTube Consultant and Partner.
Giz began his YouTube channel with a video solving a Rubik’s cube and now delivers educational content on lucid dreaming. Over the years he’s honed a recipe for successful content: planning, motive, consistency, starting small, and quality. The last point was useful. Did you know that the longer people keep watching your video on YouTube, the more it climbs the ‘recommended’ lists?
Key takeaway: The importance of online video really hit home and Giz’s step by step advice made those elusive YouTube views seem easily in our grasp! As a creative company, Giz got us imagining how we could incorporate video into our engagement strategies.
Finally, our sponsors for the evening introduced themselves. Triangle MD Paul Aslow, explained how his company had been inspired to give businesses better internet access. Poor internet connection can cost big money, through loss of sales, loss of working time and loss of contracts. A lot of the UK’s internet infrastructure is old and poor quality so Triangle have partnered with IT companies to sell better solutions.
Key takeaway: Fibre is needed universally so Triangle pay for construction and then recruit customers. Their development team is in Plymouth right now, so keep an eye out for them if you’re sick of the loading wheel of doom!
Let us know if you’ve enjoyed this roundup. If you’re in the tech industry and looking to network with like-minded folks, we hope to see you at the next meeting in February! Stay tuned for ticket announcements by subscribing to the Digital Plymouth newsletter here.