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What an Experience...

I went along to a UX Brighton event earlier this week. It was the first of their events that I’d been to since their inaugural meet up many months ago and if last night was anything to go by I’d missed out on a lot.

The event was billed as "Practical Tips and Templates" and was made up of five talks from usability and analytical experts. The talks were all very different and all very interesting.

First up was Harry Brignull, a UX Consultant from Madgex. Harry spoke about the most effective ways to take notes during usability testing. It was good to find out that his suggestion wasn’t too far off the method I’ve been using but I still picked up some really useful tips which will make analysing future usability sessions much simpler.

Next Danny Hope showed us his templates for social media planning and identifying site users. Both quite simple looking spreadsheets but both look really useful and I’ll be using them myself after downloading copies from the UX Brighton site.

The final talk of the first session was by Phil Guilfoyle from Onine Logic who gave a very quick overview of how to use Google Analytics to improve the usability of your site. Although it’s impossible to cover Google Analytics in 10 minutes his talk gave some useful pointers that I’ll be using for my websites here.

After a quick break for a beer and some chat we had a talk from Ifraz Mughal from iCrossing who told us all about the "iCrossing Connected Brand index". This is a system that iCrossing have introduced to help them measure the usability of sites, in particular in relation to competitors websites. This enables them to show clients graphs demonstrating the currently usability of a site and how changes might help enhance the user experience.

Finally Ben Greenfield spoke about developing apps for the iPhone and what will need to be considered for the iPad. This isn’t an area I know a lot about but it was good to find out what designers need to consider when designing games for different types of device. There were also some interesting insights into generally usability considerations for touchscreen devices compared to using a mouse.

Big thanks to all involved with UX Brighton for putting the event on and thanks also to the event sponsors Madgex (who provided beers and snacks) and to iCrossing for the use of their lovely offices.

Next month is the two year anniversary of the group so keep an eye on their website to see what they’ve got planned for that. Also, the group are looking for future event sponsors so if you’d like to support them then get in touch.

It was one of the most useful events I’ve been to for a long time and was better than a lot of paid training courses and conferences I’ve attended. So, if you’ve got an interest in usability, web design or analytics check out the UX Brighton website or follow them on twitter for details on their next event.


About the author

Phil Jones

Hi, I'm the Director of Innovation and Projects at Wired Sussex, I deliver our portfolio of regional creative technology projects and support our innovation hub, the FuseBox.

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