A UX Designer joining a “Front-End” conference is like a motorbike rider joining a gathering of bike riders. Both the motorcyclist and the cyclist wish to drive a handy and fancy vehicle which is also safe during the bends and stable when braking. What I bring home from the front-end conference in 2016 in Zurich is a strong feeling that developers, designers, project managers and unicorns chase each other in order to design and implement a smooth and frictionless user experience.
In two very intense days I attended several talks which – on average – turned out to be very interesting and well presented. Indeed, can comfortably say that “frictionless” was the keyword of this front-end conference in 2016 in Zurich. As a main topic of most of the talks, I could pinpoint the desire to provide an unforgettable user experience and a reasonable revenue level in terms of business.
Front-end Conference Zurich 2016 – My fav talks
Andy Clarke (@malarkey) showed that the web experience is much more than a set of features designed to accomplish processes.
“The web is a medium that allows you to live an immersive and creative user experience”
As main actors of the web product development, regardless of the features, we should always ask ourselves: how is our product going to impact the UX?
Designing and developing creative solutions is a must for those who are engaged in web projects. For example, Andy showed us how to handle grids to display content on different devices. I also found his stance on the use of these objects for the purposes of managing editorial content astounding. Such creative approaches can bring about a massive change in the user experience – e.g. a newspaper in its online version.
Tim Kadlec (@tkadlec) was the hero of a great “bridge” talk connecting UX Design and the Front-End world. The topic of his speech was related to performances, both system performances and User Interface (UI) performances.
He succeeded in dealing with the topic in a creative and precise manner, so as to satisfy both the geeks and the laymen of the code and development console.
“The user perception determines the boundaries of its reality”
Based on this assumption, he managed to add had an intense human dimension to his talk, strengthened by a precise technical and punctual blueprint.
The message that impressed me the most was the one related to the performances as a fundamental part of the UX. In a nutshell, what makes a performance a good or a bad one is the user perception.
Jaime Levy (@JaimeRLevy) was one of the speakers I was literally bracing myself for. The contents and the style of her talk confirmed and even exceeded my expectations. Her vision of the UX Strategy is particularly enticing for anyone involved in the web products design process (and even off-line – I’d like to add).
“UX strategy is a tool to evaluate solutions satisfying the user needs and the business needs”
Her tips (and experiences) on how to implement business strategies and design techniques to get a killer user experience, promise very interesting results.
Equally enlightening was the invitation to create a virtuous loop where Business Strategy, Value Innovation, User Research Validations and Killer UX design can be key players in the Product Design Process.
Of course, the end result is to achieve a smooth and frictionless UX!
Mark Melnykowycz (@americanpeyote) has clearly shown how the UX design and front-end techniques must adapt to the experience of virtual reality.
“A dedicated hardware to interact with an environment which is so close to the off-line world represents a significant boost to the UX”
To better fit virtual reality needs, user journeys, user tasks and user interactions have to be thought of from different angles. Against this backdrop, it is the environment that influences the storyline, the user targets to be achieved and user interactions.
I was also impressed by his “admission” that, when we talk about virtual reality rather than the “common” web, the “mobile first” approach remains difficult to achieve. Device sizes and poor connection band also remain serious issues for this type of experience.
This talk too highlighted that tearing down frictions during the user experience is a key lever for the full achievement of user needs and business goals.
Front-end Conference Zurich 2016 – Conclusions
Muscles, head, technique and imagination are all committed to achieving a specific goal. Push our fast vehicles on all terrains safely, while having a lot of fun!
These are my takeovers after two days at the front-end conference in 2016 in Zurich.
Thanks to the quality and amount of triggers received (in addition to the delicious food and fragrant coffee) I’m firmly convinced that a smooth and frictionless user experience is the result of the team work of professionals with different backgrounds and methods.