When I first saw the call for potential ‘mentees’ for Untapped I thought to myself ‘I’m definitely signing up!’ It wasn’t just because I knew the hosts. Sophie, talented UX-er who I first met at an Agile UX meetup and Richard, who gave me my first ever proper UX role interview. Sadly, I went on a holiday and could not follow up with my application, but I got a ticket to attend. The idea of Untapped was particularly appealing to me because starting up in the industry, one is hardly ever given a chance to show/ learn from people at the same level, and see what they are up to while supporting each other.
I marked the event down and as it drew nearer I got to find out that my teammate Silvina, who sits right next to me was going to give a talk! woohee! A friend of mine told me a week before about an African Sci-Fi event at the Southbank, on the same day. ‘oh no, what to do?’ It was a tough decision to make.
The venue at POSSIBLE was already bustling as I got in after a grueling journey at 7:05pm. I could hardly find a place to sit. I finally got a space to rest my legs and began to pay attention. First up, it was a lady called Charlotte Austin Talbot who tried to get the party started, motivating strangers to get in touch with one another. Actually, it helped! I and the lady sitting next to me, hit it off, and we began chatting all through the event. Even when we thought the 20min break was too long, we realised that we could have done with more! Justele is a Lithuanian illustrator and designer, along with her partner Darius who is a designer/developer they make a formidable team which is really inspiring. You can find some of their work Here and illustration Here
First speaker was Silvina Couto, who works with me. She was going to be speaking about online communities. She had some pretty slides up given her graphic design background. The point of her talk was that companies need to think more about creating online communities based around their own products. A case study Silvina showed us was OMGPOP’s community. I got the full gist of the presentation about how the community is growing but I wasn’t entirely convinced because there weren’t examples to back the stats up and convince the audience that this was a live and growing trend.
Second speaker was Matt Radbourne who works at FoolProof . He spoke about the research they did at work on the new Windows 8 OS. It was just a view of what people thought when they used the OS. I wasn’t too sure what I was supposed to get out of it, however it was interesting to note once again that people don’t even 80% adopt a technology when it first comes out.
Third up was Matthew McGriskin who works at POSSIBLE. His talk was mainly about how Sci-fi has helped design and designers. The idea was that through Sci Fi, one could make the future look good and acceptable now, so when it is actually designed people would accept it readily. This made me think, What? Inception? How ethical is this? Overall, being a sci-fi lover I could definitely go with this one.
The fourth speaker was Alex Ng, who works at Flow. He spoke about what we can learn about UX from parenting. It was a fun talk but what I got most out of it was how as a UX designer, one has to increase their frustration tolerance, just like parents have to with their kids. This was the only talk that spoke directly to me as a person not just a UX designer.
Last but not least was Markus Smet. A slideshow of his talk can be found HERE
Overall, it was a nice night to go and support all these fine people, speakers + hosts. It inspired me in many ways, I am looking forward to my first talk like this. My participation in bar camp events hasn’t been on this scale. I also got to catch up with some people, have drinks and a great time. Can’t wait for the next one!