I volunteered at the Israeli annual UX conference and these are my insights

Every year, an amazing company, called UniqUI, organizes a huge conference and brings some of the best UX designers from Israel and the whole world, to give amazing talks about UX. This year, with an awesome group of 5 volunteers, I helped them make this conference run smoothly. My part was pretty small and simple, but added to the UX talks, I came back home with plenty of new knowledge and insights.

A person, not a user

Opening the conference, Maria Giudice called us to stop using the word “user” to describe a person who uses our product, and start using the word “person”. I like that. It makes you think of the user (Ugh! I said it!) as a real human being, and not as a faceless bot.

Volunteer for things that you believe in

Volunteering is awesome, and this time I felt I earned more than I gave. I mean, yeah, waking up before 6 am to get there before the guests and running around this huge area, lifting signs and guiding people around outside the cool air conditioning can be annoying, but eventually I watched amazing talks and met awesome people. And all that was kind of free. Unless, of course, you think time is money. And that brings me to the next subject.

Time != money

One of the speakers at the event was Sagi Shrieber, who said “Time = audience; not money”. This sentence, inside his whole inspirational talk, made me think about the value of time. I used to calculate my time with my hourly fee, and thus creating a decision making system. But, how do you calculate the currency of making a new friend? A new co-worker? Learning something new? You can’t reach those achievements as long as you’re calculating your time’s money value. Try spending your time doing things that make you rich with knowledge and feelings, not money.

Sagi’s talk was about writing a blog. I, for instance, write a blog for about half a year now. Frankly, I paid quite a lot to get this blog running, and I get no distinct financial profit from it. But, it helps me learn, it helps me contact with other people and it’s pushing me to do things that aren’t trivial for me. Although it’s not a huge jackpot, that profit is amazing.

Golden ratio is everywhere

I have mixed feelings for the golden ratio. The golden ratio is pretty complex to explain, but it’s a ratio used about everywhere. The ratio is related to the Fibonacci sequence, and what I think is beautiful about it is that it’s a scientific way to measure beauty and can easily create a true and beautiful hierarchy. On the other hand, I think I saw the golden ratio on every picture ever. So, the golden ratio is awesome, but with great ratio comes great responsibility to use it correctly. Like, for instance — In Moovit’s design team, they developed an awesome way to measure stuff and make design decisions using the golden ratio. Mastering this conception is awesome to create a strong and stable guidelines for beautiful products.

Spider man

Ask questions

Over time we stop asking questions. That sucks. In her talk, Jasmin Galker Vaisburd, taught us about the importance of asking questions, and furthermore — asking good questions. Good questions are those who make us think, create trust between the asking and the asked side, and show a wider perspective. Asking questions is making us one step ahead towards finding the solution, and as problem solvers, the solution is the most important thing. Work on asking more and making your questions more pleasant and valuable.

A good UX is an invisible one

Probably, people who’re using our product aren’t designers. So, it’s not their job to say wether we did a good job designing or not. Having said that, if our design isn’t good, they will feel something just isn’t right, so our job is, as designers, to make the people complete their tasks with as less distractions as possible.

To sum it up — Get out there

Learning the basics is awesome, but there’s still a long journey of learning after you know the rules. Go out there, show yourself, meet other people and learn from them, help them reach their goals and use them to reach yours. The UX community is a warm and loving one. Help each other and the whole community and be a part of something great.

If you have any questions about the conference or the insights I have from it, you’re very welcomed to ask.

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