Webvisions Barcelona 2014

When a major industry event visits your hometown, that’s all you need to change the usual “I should go” to “I will go”. That’s exactly what happened to me with Webvisions Barcelona being held this week. Here's my take on the first day, dedicated to workshops.

Photo of Koen Platteeuw
Fri, 2014-06-20 15:16By koen

When a major industry event visits your hometown, that’s all you need to change the usual “I should go” to “I will go”. That’s exactly what happened to me with Webvisions Barcelona being held this week.

The only negative about attending events in your hometown though is that you don’t tend to disconnect so you can focus 100% on the event. So after dropping off the kids at school and commuting in, … I arrived a little late on day 1. But apparently I only missed the breakfast, offered by the organisation, so no harm done.

Webvisions was offering a first day of workshops, on Thursday. As Webvisions is pretty design and front end focussed, and I’m no front end developer, nor a designer, I choose the more “business” kind of workshop in the morning, led by Tim Loo (@timotyloo) called Redesigning Business.

I found myself with a very experienced speaker, who at all times lead the session in a very natural way. I particularly liked the idea of checking people’s expectations first and referring back to these during the full workshop.

For me personally, the session contained many learning points on UX Strategy, but that probably isn’t that hard, as it’s not really my area of expertise. You can write more text on an empty white paper and all that. The one thing that struck me was the similarities between Tim’s approach to UX and my own view on Content Strategy. While two different areas, there were clearly parallels. Particularly the emphasis on building in KPI’s from the very conceptual phase of a project, sounded like music to my ears. There seems to be a bit of a discussion going on in my field (content strategy) on if you can measure outcomes of good and bad content strategy, so it’s good to see similar conversations in other fields, which come to the same conclusions as I did. And yes, we all seem to suffer the “show me the ROI” question. Back to the session then. Some of the talking points sounded simply like common sense, but it doesn’t make them less valuable and it’s really helpful if someone lines them up. I’m talking here about Tim’s view on “Experience Design Principles” for example. They seem so obvious, but that’s just the risk. As they seem obvious, we neglect them and forget them later on in the process. The full presentation can be found here but if you have the chance of attending Tim’s workshop, it’s worth it.

The afternoon workshop I signed up for was lead by Mark Wyner (@markwyner) from Bunker: Creating a user centered and informed design process that works for you. While less practical for my day to day job, it was an eye-opener in terms of understanding the user centered and informed design process. Concepts like design with purpose, ideation, frame of mind were pretty new to me, but I’m confident that the lessons learned will help me in projects working alongside our designers. The session was nicely paced, and pretty hands on, ensuring people’s attention was kept during the full session. Mark is a great communicator and the session for over 3,5 hours never felt long. If you add to that how fast Mark speaks, you basically get the value of a full day workshop for half the price! (full presentation here)

Hopefully day 2 & 3 of the event will be as good, cause the bar is set pretty high! Thanks Mark & Tim.