For MUXL last meet-up in May, they took a slightly different approach inviting 6 speakers to give advice on what constitutes good UX design in just 10 minutes each.
Inclusive Design: Using colour blind simulation
Firstly, Stephanie Maier, UX / UI Evangelist at Adobe, revealed how she restlessly innovates throughout her projects to meet the needs of a diverse set of end users, through the creation of empathy maps, among other tools.
Her talk centred around the brilliant work she achieved with Simon Wheatcroft, a blind marathon runner who undertook a 150 mile ultra-marathon across the desert in Nambia. She worked with Simon to understand how he currently navigates his environment and took inspiration from his guide dog, Ascot. She helped to design a system that keep him on track, which plays beeps into his ears depending how far he has gone to the left or right.
Stephanie then explained how 4.5% of UK population are colour blind, and took us through the Adobe XD stark plug-in which simulates 8 different types of colour blindness.
Design systems are not just for designers
Next, Andry Ratovondrahona, Interaction Design Principal at ELSE, reminded us how as a species we are very good at designing new systems. Looking back over the past 17 years, Andry reflected on how design systems used to be relatively straightforward with websites using almost identical dimensions. Nowadays, with the proliferation of smartphone devices, there are over 20 types of screen to design for, which has forced a change in our traditional work methodology.
Design systems exist today to make product teams more efficient and consistent at designing and authoring products, but this has lead to the creation of just ‘containers’ with a lack of emphasis on meaningful content.
Andry explained how at ELSE, they have adopted the approach to treating the client as a user, looking beyond the product team, and the agency as a coach, looking beyond just the product delivery. They strive to be more holistic in their approach, guiding the client and tailoring the product throughout, leading to the design system becoming an ecosystem that transcends traditional boundaries.
If you are interested in reading more about this exiting meet-up, check it out directly in the MUXL page, here: https://mobileuxlondon.com/2019/06/23/good-ux-design-meetup-blog/