at The Corn Exchange, Brighton, UK

The Psychological Foundations of Design

A one day psychology conference for people working on digital products. Eight thought provoking speakers have been carefully chosen to talk about how theory and research influences the way we create websites. UX Brighton 2013 blends the worlds of the practical, the theoretical, the commercial and the academic to create new connections and highlight the foundations of designing for User Experience.

Follow @uxbri on Twitter – 2012 Speakers’ tweets

Fantastic conference - a fresh mix of new ideas, provocative speakers, and a highly engaged audience. Well worth the trip.
Alex Wright, Director of User Experience at the New York Times
Some of the smartest, most insightful and entertaining people I've met. And that was just the audience. The speakers were great, too.
Mike Kuniavsky, PARC


  1. Registration

  2. Susan Weinschenk

    Susan Weinschenk

    Vision, Hearing, & The Brain: The Top 10 Things You Need to Know about Perception

    When you design a website, an app, software, or a product, you expect a human to interact with your design with their perceptual/sensory systems. If you want to design a product that is easy to use, engaging, and that meets your goals and objectives for user experience, then you need to know about the psychology of perception.

    In this keynote Dr. Weinschenk will share her top ten most important research studies on perception – concentrating on vision and hearing, including: the role of peripheral vision vs. central vision, the emotional influence of shapes, why seeing and paying attention are not the same thing, and the power of auditory cues.

    Susan has a Ph.D. in Psychology and over 30 years of experience as a behavioral psychologist. Her clients call her “The Brain Lady” because she applies research on brain science to predict, understand, and explain what motivates people and how they behave. Dr. Weinschenk is the author of several books, including How To Get People To Do Stuff, 100 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People, and Neuro Web Design: What makes them click?

    Dr. Weinschenk consults, teaches, and mentors individuals and teams on the design of websites, software, medical devices, TV ads, physical devices, experiences, and physical spaces to make them persuasive, usable and motivating. She writes a popular blog at, and also the Brain Wise: Work better, work smarter blog for Psychology Today.


  3. Blay Whitby

    Blay Whitby

    Flying Lessons: what aviation investigations tell other disciplines about user interfaces

    The aviation industry has developed a special and rather useful focus on the user experiences of pilots. For the last sixty years a very genuine commitment to preventing user errors has made airline flights one of the safest forms of travel. There are a number of innovations in aviation which other areas might perhaps want to imitate. The first step is a change in attitude towards error - something long overdue in IT - but once made it opens the possibility of an evidence-based approach to reducing error. It's worked for aviation…

    Blay is Associate Tutor (Engineering and Design) and Visiting Lecturer (Informatics, Centre for Research in Cognitive Science) at the University of Sussex.

    The social and ethical implications of computing and AI form the core of his research interests. He encourages people in computing and AI to take a more professional and responsible attitude to their work and/or research. An important part of this involves developing applications for new technologies such as multimedia and virtual reality which are socially beneficial. He’s also interested in both the technical and philosophical questions raised by applications of AI in the area of morality. He also has a keen interest in aviation and aviation research issues.

  4. mc schraefel

    mc schraefel

    Designing for human performance: the case for in-bodied interaction

    Where is the Body in our Technology? Most digital products treat us as if we experience the world from the neck up. Ergonomic chairs, sit/stand desks, suggest that, in the nicest possible way, we attempt to park our bodies in the office, the car, our homes, while we get on with brain/screen interaction. The body, however, is reasserting itself. From obesity to cardiovascular disease, to the consequent costs to GDP of lost time at work from chronic pain and related illness, we have ignored our bodies at our cultural cost. That said, there is a growing body of research that says putting the body back in the picture is good not just for our physical wellbeing, but cognitively,too. Not surprisingly, there is incredible interest in developing interactive technology to help address the problems its helped create. Developers have rushed in. According to one count there are over 3000 ‘health’ apps alone. But do they do any good? For whom? For how long?

    In this presentation, based on recent research, m.c. will describe 4 paths to explore design for human performance, for what we're calling "in-bodied interaction." With these heuristics, designers will have both new spaces for design and new ways to evaluate success for human performance design – where the brain and body are parts of a magnificent complex system, and where we thrive best when we respect that complexity. She will also invite designers to participate in a global human performance challenge to see our designs make a difference towards real quality of life for all. There may be push ups.

    prof. mc schraefel, phd,f.bcs, c.eng, cscs (@mcphoo). Professor of Computer Science and Human Performance, Fellow, British Computer Society, Senior Research Fellow, Royal Academy of Engineering, Chartered Engineer. Deputy Head, Agents Interaction and Complexity Group, University of Southampton

    Her research focus is on how to design information systems to support the brain-body connection for lifetime quality of life, including, fitness to learn, fitness to play, fitness to perform optimally, always; to understand through these paths how to enhance innovation, creativity and discovery.

    mc also holds strength and conditioning, nutrition and neural performance certifications, working with athletes internationally around pain and performance. (@begin2dig). You can explore that part of m.c.'s work, or work with her, at begin2dig

  5. Lunch

  6. Nathalie Nahai

    Nathalie Nahai

    Empathy: Your secret weapon in designing for the web

    Behind every screen sits a user, waiting to be engaged.

    Whether you reach them or not will depend on how you make them feel, more than anything else. In this presentation, Nathalie will explore how the primal, emotional and rational systems in the brain can be used as a metaphorical model to build persuasive online experiences. And show why mirror neurons and empathy are the hidden driving force behind effective design.

    Nathalie Nahai is a Web Psychologist and best-selling author of Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion.

    With a background in psychology, web design and digital strategy, she helps businesses apply scientific rigour to their design and decision-making processes to achieve better engagement online. Projects include work with Fortune 500 companies, design agencies and SME’s.

    Nathalie lectures internationally on the subject of Web Psychology (audiences include eBay, Harvard Business Review and Google), she is a resident blogger at Psychology Today, and contributes to national publications on the subject of online behaviour and research.

  7. Patrick W. Jordan

    Patrick W. Jordan

    Psychology & User Experience: 10 Key Concepts

    In this presentation Patrick will look at 10 key psychological concepts which have implications from the point of view of user experience.

    The concepts come from a wide variety of areas, spanning the history of psychology from its inception as a discipline to the present day. These include: psychoanalysis; behaviourism; humanistic psychology; Gestalt psychology; existentialism and cognitivism.

    Each concept will be described and illustrated with examples from the studies through which the concept was established. In some cases inferences and examples will be given as to how it can be applied to UX. In other cases – those where the implications may not be clear (at least to the presenter) – the concepts will be described but their potential use and implications will be left for the audience to consider.

    Patrick W. Jordan is a design, marketing and brand strategist. He consults for many of the world’s most successful companies and is one of the most influential practitioners in his field. He has clients across many market sectors and has helped to develop a wide range of hugely successful products, services, brands and marketing campaigns.

    He has many years of corporate experience, formerly being CEO of the Contemporary Trends Institute and, prior to that, Vice-President of Symbian, the world’s largest mobile communications consortium. He spent his early career in various design management roles within Philips, Europe’s biggest electronics company.

    Patrick also has a successful academic career. He has visiting lectureships at many of the world’s leading universities and is on the advisory board at Delft University in The Netherlands. He has held the Nierenberg Chair at Carnegie-Mellon University, considered to be the most prestigious design education appointment in the USA, and was Chair of Design and Marketing at the University of Leeds. He has a PhD in psychology and over 100 peer reviewed publications. He is also a successful author with six best-selling books, including the highly influential Designing Pleasurable Products and How to Make Brilliant Stuff that People Love.


  8. Jon Dixon

    Jon Dixon

    Pretending for a living – why actors are all UX designers

    User Centred Design is all about putting the person at the heart of the design. To do this successfully the UX practitioner needs to understand both the psychological drivers of that person – their motivations, needs and fears, hidden and expressed – as well as the overall situation in which that person is operating. This can sometimes seem daunting.

    But there is another group of people who have been doing a very similar thing for years – actors. They too need to understand the (sometimes hidden) motivations of their character, their emotional and psychological complexities, and their background and environment. And they have strategies and techniques for doing this. Can we as UX professionals perhaps learn from these to better inhabit and understand our prospective users both from the ‘inside out’ and the ‘outside in’?

    A highly experienced interaction designer, Jon has been incorporating user centred design into web design since the 90s, utilising skills and techniques from both his previous career as a professional actor, and has practical experience across the whole spectrum of UCD activities, from ethnography through behavioural modelling, information architecture, wire-framing, storyboarding and prototyping to formative user testing, as well as the visual design and behaviour of user interfaces. Jon is currently Senior Interaction Designer at Bunnyfoot


  9. Break

  10. Yvonne Rogers

    Yvonne Rogers

    Out of Our Minds

    There has been a lot of excitement in HCI and Psychology about how we should account for user interaction and cognition in terms of embodied theories of interaction. It is increasingly accepted that we don't simply use our minds when thinking. Instead, we use our hands, bodies and brains in concert with others, objects and the environment by which to think, create and imagine. Models of the mind are being abandoned and replaced by a new lens that focuses on what happens outside of the brain. I will outline some of the fundamental principles of embodied and external cognition that are emerging and illustrate how many of the hot topics and challenges facing UX designers today can benefit from this new approach.

    Yvonne Rogers is a Professor of Interaction Design and director of UCL Interaction Centre. Her research interests are in the areas of ubiquitous computing, interaction design and human-computer interaction. A central theme is how to design interactive technologies that can enhance life by augmenting and extending everyday, learning and work activities. This involves informing, building and evaluating novel user experiences through creating and assembling a diversity of pervasive technologies.

    Yvonne has been awarded a prestigious EPSRC dream fellowship rethinking the relationship between ageing, computing and creativity. Food for Thought: Thought for Food is the result of a workshop arising from it, comprising a number of resources, incuding a short documentary and the participant's reflections on dining, design and novel techology. She is also the PI at UCL for the Intel Collaborative Research Institute on Sustainable Connected Cities which was launched in October 2012 as a joint collaboration with Imperial College.

    She is a visiting professor at the Open University, Indiana University, and Sussex University, and has spent sabbaticals at Stanford, Apple, Queensland University, University of Cape Town, University of Melbourne and UC San Diego.

    Central to her work is a critical stance towards how visions, theories and frameworks shape the fields of HCI, cognitive science and Ubicomp. She has been instrumental in promulgating new theories (e.g., external cognition), alternative methodologies (e.g., in the wild studies) and far-reaching research agendas (e.g., “Being Human: HCI in 2020” manifesto). She has also published a monograph (2012) called HCI Theory: Classical, Modern and Contemporary.

  11. Simon Norris

    Simon Norris

    Neuroaesthetics: science embraces art

    The presentation will walk the audience through the fundamentals of Neuroaesthetics as a new discipline. It will also examine how the knowledge and understanding from Neuroaesthetics can be applied to design better digital experiences.

    CEO and founder of Nomensa

    Simon is passionate about one thing: putting human behaviour at the heart of web design. With degrees in Human Psychology, Human Biology and Cognitive Science, he is on a mission to ensure websites not only use great design and technology, but deliver ground-breaking experiences for users.


  12. Party

    Above Audio, 10 Marine Parade, Brighton BN2 1TL

  13. Latest Music Bar


    The after party will be at the Latest Music Bar
    14-17 Manchester Street
    East Sussex
    BN2 1TF


Alpha sponsors

Beta sponsors




About the Venue

Corn Exchange - auditorium Corn Exchange - coffee and stands area

Originally the Prince Regent’s riding house, the Corn Exchange is a beautiful building in the heart of Brighton. You’ll find plenty of great places to eat, sleep and shop all within close proximity.

The Corn Exchange is accessible to delegates who are wheelchair users. It is also fitted with Infrared Hearing Assistance and traditional T Loops for those with hearing impairment. Please contact the venue to advance book units on 01273 261587.