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UX Showcase – bringing colleagues up to date with our UX services

The latest UX Showcase session held on 13 October outlined the recent activity surrounding our user experience services. This was our second such event, and it was great to see a wide range of attendees continuing to demonstrate their interest in the UX activities happening at the University.

We continued with the same informal format used in the pilot session. The afternoon began with some lightning talks by a number of colleagues involved in pushing forward key areas of UX services in the University.

Afterwards, people had the opportunity to stay behind for a coffee and a chat with the speakers about their work. At the end of the session, a smaller group participated in a mini-workshop exploring ways of overcoming barriers to undertaking UX work.

Lightning talks

The session began with a series of lightning talks from colleagues involved in key areas of activity in UX services. The full set of slides is available below.

Why we must start with user needs

Neil Allison (User Experience Manager) spoke about the importance of focusing on user needs. He referenced the example of Netflix, which had a very similar mission statement to Blockbuster. But by doing a better job of understanding user needs and improving the experience, Netflix disrupted an entire industry.

The role of UX in web governance

Then Neil spoke on behalf of Colan Mehaffey (Head of Web Strategy & Technologies), providing an update on his work developing a strategy for how the University uses web technologies.

Student Digital Experience Standards

Marty Dunlop and Magda Tsiobanelis (UX Consultants, Experience Services) showcased the work they have done to evolve the Student Digital Experience Standards, and outlined a self-service model for applying these standards to a project.

Edinburgh Global Experience Language (EdGEL): Where we are and our vision for the future

Stratos Filalithis presenting on EdGEL

Stratos Filalithis explains the future of EdGEL through the medium of Lego.

An update on EdGEL was presented by Stratos Filalithis (Head (acting) of Website & Communications). He outlined the plan for the future of EdGEL, including a collaboration with the User Centred Portal project.

User Centred Portal project: What we’ve learned from students

Shane Walsh (UX Consultant, User Centred Portal Project) demonstrated some of the user research that has taken place for the User Centred Portal project. He laid out how the project has built on prior research to run usability tests, develop personas and create student journey maps.

View all the slides from the session

User Experience Showcase lightning talks – University of Edinburgh from Neil Allison


Attendees looking at the student journey maps

Over coffee, session attendees discussed the displays, including this student journey map.

After the talks, attendees were invited to grab a coffee and a biscuit while reviewing the materials displayed on the walls. Displays included the personas and journey maps developed as part of the User Centred Portal project and the Standards Service Process.

The speakers were all on hand to discuss their work in greater detail with attendees in a relaxed format.

The presentations sparked off a lot of enthusiastic conversations among the attendees, who were keen to learn more about what the speakers presented.

I really enjoyed the show-and-tell format: it’s a fun, informal way to share progress and insights, and to reinforce our community of practice. The displays were genuinely inspiring, and I’ll be putting some of the tips and ideas I picked up to use right away! Five stars, two thumbs up.

— Kat Husbands, Digital Content Officer, University of Glasgow

Mini workshop on barriers to undertaking UX research

Workshop participants discussing barriers to undertaking UX work

Workshop participants discussing barriers to undertaking UX work.

Following the show-and-tell over coffee, Neil Allison led a mini workshop with a small group of the afternoon’s attendees. There, participants explored barriers to undertaking UX work, and shared ideas to help overcome those barriers.

This was a useful interactive forum to share experience and exchange ideas with colleagues involved in UX from across the University.

Get involved with the University’s UX community

If you are interested in staying in the loop on UX events at the University, discussing UX topics or simply sharing useful resources, sign up to the UX mailing list.

Join the UX mailing list

There is also a Jisc mailing list where you can engage with UX practitioners at other academic institutions.

Join the User-Experience Jiscmail mailing list

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