This time we ventured to the beautiful Oude Vismijn, smack in the middle of the most beautiful city in the world: Ghent, where we welcomed 3 amazing speakers and a whole lot of product designers & developers. With almost 300 attendees this was by far our biggest edition yet.

For those who couldn’t make it this time, we’ll be sharing a few insights & take-aways:

Speaker #1: Arne Van Kauter

As a student at Devine, Arne started his internship at creative agency HelloMonday and ended up working full-time in their offices in New York, Aarhus & Copenhagen. He shared his insights about how it is to work with a team spread across the globe & how they tackle their projects.

“We are on a mission to turn the worst day of the week into the best one.”

Youtube Kids

Together with the Youtube team HelloMonday created a safe video environment for kids. By creating a “growuptive” interface, sprinkling it with animations and adding a kid-friendly sidekick they managed to do just that.

Residente

For the release of his new album, Puerto Rican rap-legend Residente teamed up with HelloMonday to create a web-experience that visualised his “everyone is connected” philosophy.

The challenge for the designers & developers was to find a visual metaphor that represent this idea and create a visual style that works across the globe. By using old maps & passport stamps as inspiration they managed to create a unique experience that connects people all over the world.

“Find inspiration from the real world and convert it to digital.”

Speaker #2: Nick Budden

With Sketch, Figma, Principle and the soon to be launched Invision Studio the Digital Design tool world is heading towards exciting times. One would wonder why we need another design tool, so we invited Nick Budden to tell us about the brand new Digital Design Tool he and his team is working on.

Launching in the summer of 2018, Phase aims to solve all the issues with today’s design tools and offering a full set of features that allow designers to work in the same tool from start to finish. Design, Interaction, Prototyping & even code-exporting. Phase plans to have it all.

The basics

Phase will see the light of day within a few weeks and has a laundry-list of innovative features they will launch with:

  • responsive artboards
  • flexible layouts
  • libraries
  • interactive elements. ( form elements, media elements, etc )
  • states & styles

Interactions

Phase also focuses heavily on interactions & animations: they completely rethought animations & interactions in digital product design and added granular control, property-based animations and even hover effects.

Prototyping build in

Just like the most recent version of Sketch & Invision Studio, Phase aims to be an all-in-one solution and will allow users to create & share interactive prototypes from within the app — but with a very different approach.

Code-export done right

Let’s face it, creating useable exported code from a design tool that ends up in production is hard. In fact, as far as we know nobody managed to get it right... so far.

By allowing developers to run Phase’s code export function through their own custom build scripts Phase is hoping to solve the holy grail of designer-developer collaboration: production-ready code straight from the design-tool.

Phase definitely got the challenges for a design tool right and if they manage to solve these, we might just have the next big Lion on the savannah.


Speaker #3: David Bailey

After a successful career as a graphic designer, art director and founder of his own creative agency, David Bailey joined the BBC as Creative Director of User Experience & Design.

At the BBC he spearheads a team of 200 UX-designers, and is helping establish more design-thinking into this massive cooperation, spread across numerous locations in the UK. As the BBC continues to transform from a TV & Radio broadcaster into a fully-fledged online media platform, the UX&D department stands before a mighty task.

They’re aiming to tackle this mountain of work in a few ways:

Integrate

To shape the strategy within a giant organisation, you have to slowly but steadily influence its internal culture. By embedding UX teams into the different BBC services, UX&D is educating colleagues to work with a user-cantered approach.

To make sure the UX-team doesn’t lose sight of the bigger picture, their team members are rotated into different products and services each year.

Inspire

To further spread the word about best practices in design thinking, the UX&D department launched a series of inspirational, and quite hilarious, movies that explain their practice.

Educate

To combine & communicate all the knowledge generated throughout the UX&D department, they launched GEL, their Global Experience Language.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/gel/

GEL provides everything you need to know when building a digital product or service for the BBC. It covers all aspects from the grid, iconography & typography to fully developed components & design patterns.

But to simply call GEL an online styleguide wouldn’t do it justice, it goes much further. The UX&D team also uses it to share articles, show how they work & explain why they do it. It’s the first step in shifting the entire BBC’s mindset to a more user-centered approach. We for one are curious to see what’s next to come.

Thanks

We were truly happy with these three diverse and interesting speakers, and with all of you who came out to be inspired and made the night perfect. We had a lot of fun organising this event and are looking forward to see you all again on the next meetup.