Lean UX NYC 2013

leanUX_thumbnailWell done to Will Evans for producing and hosting a successful Lean UX conference this year. The conference was held at NYU with the first day of keynotes in the auditorium at NYU Law and the following two day workshops at the Stern Business School building.

I had the fortune of meeting Will at the Agile 2012 Conference in Dallas last year and attended his session on Design Studio – many of the techniques I use today with my current clients.

With an underlying theme of the Lean mantra “Build – Measure – Learn” the conference opened with an inspiring keynote “Disruptive Thinking: Fostering a Culture of Game-changing Leadership” by  Luke Williams – renowned UXer, Entrepreneur and motivational speaker.  Quotable quotes:

–        “Nothing kills new ideas faster than common sense”
–        “Be a Disruptive Leader”
–        “Develop an instinct for change”

IMG_2189Notable talks on the first day included Cindy Gallop and Oonie Chase of MakeLoveNotPorn.tv  – an open dialogue about real world sex,  and Ryan Jacoby (Stanford D fellow) on his topic “Agile Goliath” – the innovator’s dilemma, Johanna Kollman (Side kick studios) –  Lean Start-up in Design Consulting.  Quotable quotes:

–        “In order to predict the future, you need to invent it”
–        “Never in the history of TED talks has the words “cum on my face” been used – 6 times at that”
–        “EVERYTHING is UX branding”
–        “Good enough, simple solutions get adopted”
–        “Don’t test the obvious”
–        “Put something out there worth testing”
–        “Be willing to expose yourself – open the kimono”
–        “Go out into the wild and test your concept”


Day 2

On the second day I attended a workshop on sketching through the User Experience. In this session we explored design solutions addressing today’s typical thermostat control and its various usability issues.


IMG_2204Some of the take always and references from Ray De La Pena’s workshop included:

–        Always carry a sketch book
–        Practice sketching standing up and on the move
–        A Periodic Table of Visualizations
–        Research shows that you get more ownership when you write it by hand rather than typing it on a device

In the afternoon we were enlightened with a talk by Josh Wexler and Dr Ellen McGrath on Psychology and Technology Go Together like 1s and 0s.

I had the pleasure and honor in meeting with Dr McGrath in the Game Storming workshop that we attended on the second half of day 2. We had a very insightful conversation about  Empathy Maps, Personnas and Agile Adoption in general. Will caught us engaged in our lively discussion in the hall outside of the Game Storming workshop. As my good friend Lyssa puts it, “The REAL conference happens in the halls, not the auditoriums or classrooms.”

Day 3

IMG_2196I was only able to attend the morning conference on day 3 in order to catch an afternoon business flight to London. I attended Eewei Chen’s session on How to Design Stuff that Matters Fast. The session was fast paces (more because we had limited time) but was an interesting blend of Design Studio and Start-up Pitching

–        HowToDesignStuffThatMattersFast.pdf


Throughout all the talks in Day One, a very talented Dean Meyers chronicled the talks in his Graphic Recordings:

IMG_2209 IMG_2208 IMG_2207


Many of the official highlights and talks will be or are available at UX Magazine , so I’m told.

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