UX Brighton 2019 It’s a wrap

Thanks For Coming To UX Brighton 2019: A Focus On Design

UX Brighton Conference 2020:
UX and Product Management

Why Design? Why now?

Join us for our 9th annual one-day conference.

At this year's conference, we want to focus on the craft of design: on expanding our understanding and the skills we need to build fluid and rewarding experiences. We want to stimulate discussion and enrich design knowledge, elevating the importance of design in the UX process. We want to help widen the understanding of design, so that everyone who builds UX outcomes can speak the same language.

You'll find UXers of all levels – from those just starting out to senior managers – all looking to embrace the latest thinking. So join us for the day. Gather skills and insights that will bring solid benefits for you, your colleagues and your clients.

Convince your boss to invest in your development.

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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

Information for Attendees

The conference is being held in the beautiful and historic Brighton Dome Concert Hall: just 10 minutes from Brighton Station, 3 minutes from the Lanes, 5 minutes from the beach and a whole heap of great restaurants and hotels. Registration starts from 9am with the first speaker on at 10am, we’ll email you to let you know when when the talk times are finalised.

Before the conference why not join the UX Brighton Slack and get chatting with other UXers. We’ve also got a rather nice #jobs.

See our Attendee information guide for everything you need to get the most out of your visit to UX Brighton, including:

  • Travel
  • Accommodation
  • Pre-conference meet-ups
  • Accessibility
  • Wi-Fi and charging
  • Cloakrooms
  • Registration
  • Refreshments
  • After Party
Travel Acommodation Accessibility Refreshments Charge Wifi After Party

Pre-conference meetup – 31st Oct

In town the night before? Come along from 7pm to The Fountainhead and meet fellow delegates. It’s a relaxed pub and serves food until 9pm. They do a good coffee too! Look out for Jay in the bright green UX Brighton t-shirt.

Pre-event networking & coffee – 1st Nov

If you’re coming down early to the conference, Small Batch is practically next to The Dome, open from 7am and is a great place to grab a coffee and meet fellow attendees.


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
Martyn Reding

10:00 Joining the dots – Martyn Reding

Slides for Joining the dots

Holding the mirror up to some of the ‘new thinking’ in design and showing that it is the same as the ideas being explored way back in other design disciplines.

This talk really recognises how young UX Design (as a discipline) is when compared to other design disciplines and asks ourselves to make the effort to learn more about the history of branding, publishing, advertising, industrial design, type design etc to see what we can learn and take forward with us.

About Martyn

Martyn is a British designer, based in Brighton. For the first 10 years of his career ‘agency side’, holding senior design roles and working with a range of brands including IKEA, Penguin books, BBC and Sony. Since being ‘client side’ he has specialised in building and running multi-discipline teams.

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Emily Sappington

10:40 Designing with artificial intelligence – Emily Sappington

Slides for Designing with artificial intelligence

We are entering the age of intelligence—a time when technologists imbue artificially intelligent components into many products without a clear framework for how such intelligence is delivered to users consistently. It is a product designer’s job to make AI feel human-like and magical, not overwhelming and scary to users. When designing for Artificial Intelligence scenarios, whether for a large enterprise or small start up, setting user expectations is critical to deliver a reliable product. Emily will share some best practices from designing for AI in both large and small organizations. No matter the company size, a minimum viable product is important to design and not to be the result of unplanned feature cuts. Emily will share what Minimum Viable Intelligence is for an AI product, and how designers can deliver a clear UX when solving problems efficiently.

When thinking of how to design for intelligent products, first and foremost it needs to seem competent. Users must trust the AI agent or service with information and believe that it can achieve their goal. The bar for this depends on the expectations the designer sets. The most difficult thing about breaking out of scenario-focused AI is the lack of clear boundaries. Are you aspiring to create an entire conversational AI agent? Then the bar will be high. A less intelligent Bot, however, will teach users the rails of its conversation early on to avoid disappointment. In this talk we’ll dig deeper into setting appropriate expectations when designing for AI across large and small applications.

Emily will share how drawing on human interaction models helps designers know what to expect when people encounter their AI product. Responsiveness when users expect it is only one part of this equation. Apps that explain processes in human ways, like thinking, seeing, or reading, can benefit from showing users where they are in a process, while explaining it in natural ways. Emulating true intelligence takes more than just seeming alive and being basically competent though. To surpass users’ expectations can be a delightful moment when the product seems truly and independently intelligent.

About Emily

Emily Sappington is the Product Director at Babylon Health. Previously she served as VP of Product at London-based AI startup, Context Scout.

Emily has spent the bulk of her career in the United States designing Cortana for Microsoft across devices, particularly Natural Language & UI interactions with the assistant. Emily is a lecturer, US patent-holder, career coach for Ada School (the National College for Digital Skills in the UK), and is a recipient of an Exceptional Talent Visa from the UK Government and Tech Nation.

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Carmen Brion

11:40 The value of Design Thinking for product teams – Carmen Brion

Slides for The value of Design Thinking for product teams

Design Thinking is a powerful mindset and framework leading to innovation and bringing to market impactful products/services. However, after the initial excitement applying it within different business environments, criticism started to emerge putting into question its value.

This talk aims to present what makes Design Thinking a powerful tool and the type of problems is good for.

Based on Carmen's experience working with many product teams, she will be covering the main practices diluting the Design Thinking value, and a direction to avoid ending up in disappointment.

Like Agile and Lean, Design Thinking has its place. None of them are silver bullets. It doesn't exist a formula we can apply to solve everything in the same way. Different problems require different/flexible approaches to solve them.

About Carmen

Carmen has worked in experience design and research for over 12 years and is currently a design/product researcher. An expert in evaluating the value of digital products, she is a passionate practitioner in research-driven product design. A design thinker at heart, Carmen draws strong influence from Lean UX and JTBD in her work and is always seeking to make an impact for both customers and the business through effective ways of testing design hypotheses.

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Ben Sauer

12:10 Principles of Voice Design – Ben Sauer

Slides for Principles of Voice Design

Consumer behaviour is changing faster than organisations can keep up: smart speakers have grown faster than smartphones. As we move towards a voice-driven future, what should designers be doing to stay relevant? In this talk, Ben will give some practical advice on being a part of the voice future.

About Ben

Ben finds ways in which digital products can better meet the needs of people. He’s advised teams across the world on what and how to design.

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Brendan Kearns

2:10 Vision vs Iteration – Brendan Kearns

Slides for Vision vs Iteration

Teams iterating without a vision are working blindfolded. The constant demand for new features and growth often force product teams into endless cycles of iteration. At best, they're missing out on new opportunities. At worst, they’re ignoring threats that could upend their business.

The struggle to plan beyond the short-term mean it's easy to ignore the future bets you need to make to survive.

In this talk, Brendan will share models and ways of working from that designers and product owners can use to focus on both the short and long term.

Some of the topics covered in this talk are:

  • the value of a vision,
  • how to measure big bets through experimentation, and
  • validation and turning a vision into a roadmap.

About Brendan

Brendan is the founder of Studio Rival – a digital product agency in London. Rival partners with leading startups, tech companies, and brands to design and innovate digital products. As a former designer at companies like Google, Twitter, and InVision, he has the inside take on some of the biggest and most complex products in tech.

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Nat Buckley

2:40 Good design is a team effort – Nat Buckley

Slides for Good design is a team effort

You want your team to form like Voltron, but it’s a bit like a dog playing Jenga? Great teams are more than the sum of their parts, but to get there you need to create a work culture where everyone’s skills and knowledge can be freely shared. Nat will talk about the way Bulb is building content, design and research culture, bringing together people across disciplines to do their best work together.

About Nat

Nat is a London-based designer and technologist. Currently Lead Designer at Bulb, the UK’s biggest green energy supplier. In their previous role at IF, a technology studio specialising in ethical uses of data, they worked with clients including Google AI, DeepMind and Citizens Advice. Nat uses gender neutral pronouns (they/them).

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Dr Nick Fine

3:40 Scientific Design – Dr. Nick Fine

Slides for Scientific Design

The world of UX Design is constantly in flux, and there are so many different approaches - some good, some not so good. UX Design is inherently art and science, but since the explosion in popularity of UX, the science component of UX Design has lost out to the more appealing visual design elements of the practice.

In his talk, Scientific Design, Nick will show you where you can add science to your workflow to help guide your craft and to enhance your creativity, rather than to limit and stifle it. We'll cover methods for both innovation-type projects and optimisation-type projects, as well as how to apply scientific principles alongside all that you do. Adding science to design creates killer UX, and Nick will give you all the shortcuts and pointers needed to apply scientific design on the project you're currently working on.

About Dr. Nick

Nick is a lead user experience researcher and designer with 20 years experience in Digital, both agency and client side. He was awarded his PhD in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) in 2009 from Brunel University for his work on personalisation and also holds MSc HCI from University College London (2004) and BSc Psychology (1996) from Portsmouth University. By combining academic research skills and HCI knowledge with commercial UX experience, Nick has successfully delivered a number of complex and mission-critical projects, including air traffic control, financial systems and pharmaceutical drug trial planning. He has been lead UX on projects for a number of brands, including Coca Cola, SAB Miller, Jaguar Land Rover, Bentley, EY, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, BT, Virgin Media, Camelot and Shell.

Nick’s areas of expertise are scientific UX, behavioural design,personalisation, personality psychology, conversion rate optimisation, remote user testing and transformation through user experience.

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Liz Citron

4:10 Rolling with the Punches – Liz Citron

Slides for Rolling with the Punches

Life is full of surprises; some are good and some are not so good. Our ability to stay flexible and positive under pressure can have a huge impact on our wellbeing. Resilience is not an innate capability; it's more like a muscle that can be built and strengthened. There are 4 pillars to well being: mental, physical, emotional and social. Each of these can be fortified to help us handle life's ups and downs, reducing the negative impact and allowing you to take it in your stride. In this session, we will talk about a few research-backed techniques that can help you bounce back when you need to.

About Liz

Liz Citron has 25 years of experience helping individuals, teams, and organisations find their way through the challenges of building tools and services that meet business and users’ needs. She has worked with a wide variety of organisations - from tiny businesses to large government departments. Digital transformation is by its nature catalytic and individuals and teams often are on the front line in dealing with the fallout. Having recently trained as a coach, Liz firmly believes that the digital community need to spend time turning our creative skills on ourselves occasionally, to make sure we operate in an environment that encourages each of us to succeed.

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Highlights from previous years

UX Brighton is one of the premier UX events in Europe. In just one day, you’ll get access to some of the most cutting-edge presentations you can imagine. Well organized, fabulous location, packed with valuable content — go if you can: it’s worth the investment.

Jim Kalbach, Past Speaker