UX New Zealand Conference – The Highlights #UX New Zealand 2017

By: Jessica and Gemma 25 Oct, 2017

Windy Welly held the annual UX New Zealand conference earlier this month. It was a 2-day event about all things UX where like-minded peeps came together to learn and be inspired  from local and international pros. Pulled together by Optimal Workshop, the event was buzzing with people and ideas – as well as goodie bags and incredible eats. Below details the highlights –


Day 1


Alessandra Millar, International User Research at Google spoke about testing in context – where people are comfortable and the experience is true and realistic. It’s easy to make assumptions about our audience based on how we ourselves interact with designs but Alessandra encourages we try to understand context. People in developing countries use smart phones, some are yet to update past the first version, while others don’t use their phone out in public with the fear of it getting stolen. Then there’s the language. She brought to light a lot of things to consider.


Kah Chan, from Flick Electric spoke about the Importance of crafting language in UX. He believes that we cannot say we are purely designers. We are also writers that solve problems through the use of words which suggest empathy, simplicity and clarity. This led to the notion that language is now becoming more transformative and thus we UX is beyond mobile, tablet and computer-based screen screens e.g. chatbots.


Ian Howard, Little Giant’s Chief Strategy Officer and Partner led a talk called ‘A Cocktail of Painkillers and Vitamins – Adding Positivity and Complexity into your UX’. This one was a real eye opener! He spoke about how UX professionals focus predominantly on functionality, making one’s user experience as easy as possible that they miss adding creativity and uniqueness to their work – the most pleasurable parts.


The last highlight for the first day was from Tobias’s Director, Ash Donaldson. He talked about creating our own ethical frameworks where we should stay true to our humanistic values and to making the world a better place. Therefore, we need to be thoughtful in our designs. For example, being inclusive and understanding of our audiences, keeping mental health in mind. When it comes to ethics, we need to consider carefully what work we say yes to as well as consider how we can shape projects we work on to make them less harmful and more socially responsible.


Day 2


Jon Bell, Product Designer at Twitter worked in the Abuse team talked about designing with abuse in mind. He said we need to consider ‘wicked problems’ – problems tend to not change nor go away. We need to accept these sometimes and create responsible social design around it.


Ruth Keiry, PWC’s Experience Designer took a different approach – she had her artist sketch her ideas as she spoke in real time. Her visually engaging talk was on ‘A Collaborators Guide to the Galaxy’. Purpose, power, people and process are all crucial for successful collaboration as having collaboration and shared ownership allows people to work together better.


Dave Hockly, Analytics and Performance Specialist at Springload spoke about how to measure and improve your UX post go-live. We need to remember that go-live is not the end point but a starting point for another journey. It can be used for measuring success of design and making improvements. When using post go-live testing, it can be done against questions to test against then be able to answer those questions through analytics.



To conclude, as a proud sponsor for UX New Zealand, it didn’t disappoint! The conference was filled to the brim with like-minded people all with the same passions really wanting to inspire and help others design works. Razzbri will definitely continue to support and attend 🙂


Are you a UXer? If so – check out our contract/ permanent UX opportunities here.