Ways of working: ideas from UX New Zealand 2022

4 min read Optimal Workshop

An impressive line-up of researchers, strategists, and designers from the global UX community shared their ideas, experiences, insights, and approaches to effective ways of working at this year’s 100% virtual 3-day UX New Zealand conference.

We introduce 7 speakers, highlight what they had to say, and share their full video presentations.

1. How to design for designers at scale

Designers focus on creating great experiences for customers but who’s looking out for the designers themselves? Marine Bucher, Service Designer at Humankind shared how a Design Ops approach is creating and maintaining a healthy environment for 170+ designers globally and 40+ locally in New Zealand, to thrive at ANZ bank.

“The goal of Design Ops is to remove all operational headaches so designers can focus on designing and researching.”

2. Human centred design in crisis

An impressive trio from Deloitte Digital: Carol Yung, Georgia Chetwynd-Talbot, and Matt Cobham took us through what it was like to be part of the agile team tasked with designing and piloting a core service of the UK’s pandemic response in just weeks, and delivering it at scale in just 2-3 months.

“Our lifecycle from design, to build, to deployment was extremely quick, learning as we went.  We had to think and act like a start-up’.”

3. Using one pagers to communicate research findings

Have you ever had a stakeholder ask you to present the findings of your study one hour before a meeting?  Michael Ryan, User Research Director at Liberty Mutual Insurances shared his solution to this and other challenges researchers face presenting their work in a practical and entertaining talk.

“Can you present the findings from last week’s study now? Scenarios like that used to stress me out as a UX researcher so I came up with 1-pagers.”

4. Research Ops at Trade Me: Building a shared approach to research

Sarah Goforth, Senior UX Researcher at Trade Me considers herself and her fellow researchers, Kaitiaki, ‘guardians of our people’.  Sarah shared the challenges and wins of building their particular type of UX research operations (ReOPs) at Trade Me which includes everyone, (researchers and non-researchers), in the process.

“Not having an impact with your research really sucks as a researcher…and should not be wasted.” 

5. The design of policy and the policy of design

Phil Balagtas, President, and Founder of Futures Thinking believes designers have a responsibility to design better futures and policies for generations to come by embedding a future-thinking mindset into the products and services they design.  He referenced the confusing, often intelligible world of Terms and Conditions to illustrate the need for designers to take a more human-centered approach. 

“Policies are not always designed as a dialogue. Yet it’s a gateway to using a service.”

6. The 4 day week in the digital age

After introducing the four-day week at Perpetual Guardian, Andrew Barnes, Founder of 4 Day Week Global, actively advocates for its adoption by others as part of the future of work.  He talks through the issues, challenges, and opportunities of embracing a 4 day working week in the digital age.

“When we started back in 2018 we were a pretty lone voice…The 4 day week has been given rocket fuel by Covid-19.”

7. Tackling complexity with object oriented UX

While many avoid or despair when faced with UX complexity, Sophia Prater, Founder & Lead UX Designer at Rewired UX embraces complexity, untangling it with an approach she calls Object-Oriented UX.  She shared four tough questions to ask early on to help wrangle complexity to benefit the user.

“I see portfolio pieces like this a lot. I can tell complexity has been completely swept under the rug and the end-user ends up handling it.”

For a taste of what even more speakers from UX New Zealand 2022 had to share, head over to our highlights reel.