UX for startups – how to get it right

Launched a product but not happy with the user experience? Built an MVP but design was an afterthought? Have a web or mobile app but the design doesn't 'pop'? Have no fear, The UX Café is here. This (our first) event is a chance for you to pitch your UX problems, with our panel of experts on hand to give you guidance and advice.

At each event we plan to have a guest speaker with a UX focus, and to kick things off who better than group organiser Laurence McCahill from Spook Studio, who'll talk a bit about how this group came about and to share his insights on how startups can get started with UX (and what to avoid!).

Our Panel:

Davide Casali, better known as Folletto, is a user experience designer and startup advisor with a hybrid background in design, psychology and technology. During his 11+ years of professional experience he has designed consumer and enterprise services for more than 2 million people in different markets worldwide. He has a few active projects in the mobile space: Baker a framework to publish in HTML5 on iOS and WideNoise, a environmental crowdsourced monitoring app now choosen as part of a European consortium.

Stephen Hellens is a user experience consultant, currently contracting at The Guardian. Previously he worked at LBi, the world's largest independent marketing and technology agency. He designed award-winning solutions for National Grid, Barclays and Turkcell. His last role at LBi was the redesign of Lloyds TSB's public website. His interests include technology, business model disruption and topic maps. He is looking forward to becoming a father later this year.

Laurence McCahill is a digital product designer and co-founder of Spook Studio with more than 10 years experience. His approach to design is geared towards early stage startups – he loves designing technology to help solve real world problems and helping entrepreneurs to realise their vision. He's a strong advocate of lean UX and writes a popular blog on lean. His clients include the Department of Health, Glaxo SmithKline, London 2012 and many tech startups around the globe. He is founder of UX Café, Lightbulb to Launch and Personappa tool for creating quick user personas.

If you'd like to pitch your specific problem and get feedback on the night then email [masked] with a link to your product and a one-liner about the key issue you're hoping to address. We'll choose a selection of these to present on the night.

Here's the current line-up:

6pm Drinks & networking

6.45pm Laurence McCahill (Spook Studio) introduces the panel and talks about 10 common UX mistakes startups make (and how to avoid them)

[masked]pm Pitches and panel feedback

8.15-9pm Questions, networking, close

Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi folks. I'm looking for recommendations for a (reasonably priced) accountant specialising in high tech start ups. Any pointers?

    August 20, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thought this was a good event, well organised and friendly more importantly informative from many angles with practical insights into UX - good people/ glad i came along/ thank you.

    August 12, 2012

  • Laurence M.

    For those that asked here's my slides from yesterday's talk http://spookstud.io/OQfJtV

    August 10, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great stuff lads, agree with the optimisations but it worked in that format too.. Cheers!

    August 10, 2012

  • Miguel C.

    Laurence just to thanks for the event, it was really cool!!! We will keep in touch!!!

    1 · August 10, 2012

  • Hally B.

    I had a blast - loved it! At times I found it awkward that the panel had a hard time getting a word in edgewise, but we have to be thankful for everyone's "passion". Thanks for having me and I look forward to the next one.

    August 10, 2012

  • Dean

    Was good and well attended, was some great information being shared, Networking I feel should have been moved into bar other suggestion is time limits on panel feed back and audience participation (needed an MC in my humble view)

    August 10, 2012

  • John S.

    I came late and I saw only about 3-4 last pitches. I think it is good to brainstorm about user experience, but still I do not think the graphics of those sites is on good level (except for Eventbox). I was missing call-to-action buttons, graphic trends and so. It was looking like the designs were made 4 years ago.

    I would like to discuss it further, but I do not remember the people behind those project. If someone is reading this, I am available to talk :)

    August 10, 2012

    • John S.

      ..continue:

      I was missing graphic. You show page with only small sized text and with same color as links (I saw it like this from the distance, correct me if I am wrong). It is hard to know what should I focus on, and I think most 5years old children will agree with me. People on web are scanning website, they read after that.

      Add thumbnails, put articles to box, include previews, add red big "read more" button... I would recommend presentation from Ryan Singer (37 signals):
      http://vimeo.com/1681...­

      August 10, 2012

    • Laurence M.

      I agree that some of the startups had visual design issues but we tried to focus more on the key problems that needed addressing. As many of these are early MVPs there's always going to be room for UI improvements but often this won't make up for underlying functional issues. Ultimately though there's only so much you can do on your own and to get to the next level you need a designer on board in some capacity.

      August 10, 2012

  • Laurence M.

    Thanks for the comments, keep them coming! Great to meet you all.

    Enjoyed the event and keen to see how we can make it even better next time. I didn't anticipate so much audience involvement (which was great by the way) so apologies that we overran. Agree that we should have time for networking at the end. I don't think we'll have speakers in the future (I just wanted to introduce the group and some general do's/don'ts), just pitches and feedback. Will think about ways we can ensure everyone gets the most out of it (while helping the startups move things forward). I guess it's about finding a balance between lots of ideas v actionable advice.

    We'll look into sponsors to cover beer and pizza. I'm also keen to see how we can develop an online community in between events to encourage networking, collaboration and knowledge sharing.

    [I'll stick the slides on Slideshare for those that asked]

    1 · August 10, 2012

  • Sam P

    (Cont from previous post)

    Have the panel present a Good, Bad, Ugly and for fUX sake examples.

    A UXThon, have one company in dire need of a UX overhaul. Have the panel lead it and actually do a makeover in real-time. How about using one company and having the meetup split into 3 groups, each given a different persona to represent for a website. Again, thanks for all the feedback and looking to follow up with those interested in helping us further develop a kick-ass UX.

    August 10, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      On a similar vein get 2-3 designers to present some before and afters - a bit like weight watcher's ads. Also would be nice to see some mobile/tablet stuff

      August 10, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    A little too long with presentations. More social, less lecture like. Get sponsors for free beer and pizza. Play around with format.

    August 10, 2012

  • John G.

    Fantastic event! My only suggestion is to perhaps limit the critiques to maximum 3 to keep it a little shorter (and leave more time for networking at the end).

    August 10, 2012

  • Shovan

    It was a great day, I would like to present our startup website next time (or via email?) and get some valuable feedbacks

    August 10, 2012

  • Sam P

    Hi - Thanks again to Davide, Stephen, Mary, and especially Laurence for putting on the event. Found the event very useful and insightful. Maybe would be best to share the companies with attendees before the event so they can come prepared knowing what they'll see. This would also give them a chance to prepare thoughts and feedback in advance.

    Maybe have 3 page printout of UI for each company given to each attendee allowing them to sketch ideas and share these with the group. If not that, then have a flipboard available somewhere to show ideas. This could even be done on a collaborative platform like google docs, prezi etc.

    August 10, 2012

  • Chris P.

    Just to say thanks for all the input and sorry I couldn't stay later. It's a fair old trek getting back home (made no easier with the roads closed for the Olympics!). Would love to come back and present again when we've developed the consumer product further.

    August 10, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry - I can't make it, something important came up. See you in the next one!

    August 9, 2012

  • Laurence M.

    Hi all - as we've got a full house this Thursday if you can't make it along could you change your RSVP status to free up some spaces. Thanks!

    August 6, 2012

  • Chris P.

    Acton? I have to come from rural Oxfordshire! It's the getting home in the dark bit that bothers me :)

    August 3, 2012

  • Laurence M.

    Good timing! Was just sending out email to everyone. I've changed kick-off to 6.45 (drinks/networking from 6).

    1 · August 1, 2012

  • Shovan

    Hi, I have to come from Acton. is there any chance you can make it later around 6:30?

    August 1, 2012

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