Last Thursday 31st August, Askable Founder Vivien Chang joined Nicky Watson at Ladies That UX Brisbane to debrief the UX Australia event.

Members of Ladies That UX Brisbane who were not able to go down to the conference in Sydney last month were run through some of Vivien and Nicky’s favourite presenters while enjoying delicious snacks (and some tasty beers and wine!) thanks to the hosting of Deloitte.

The intimate gathering was very well represented from small and large brands mixing from consulting to gambling to robotics!  

Nicky and Vivien ran through their top 5 speakers from the conference days of UX Australia and covered the key points of the presentation, the memorable stories and personal highlights and take aways. This stimulated great table conversation between the ladies, particularly around 2 core areas; perceived value and ethics.

One burning question of an attendee addressed “how do you get a client to see the value of user testing and user research?”. This is a common challenge for the relatively new UX/UI community as often there is often no allocated budget for this particular activity. While the received benefits can be more than 10 times what is invested, the actual ‘permission’ to test is often denied for a variety of legitimate concerns; such as the nature of the business, the complexity of the test required or the risk of researchers mixing with relevant participants.

After several options were put forward, it was clear that in the current environment, it’s best to prove value with data, which in a catch 22 style scenario is usually only accessed via testing. End vote: perhaps the “ask for forgiveness instead of permission” adage is best applied when presented with this challenge?

Some ways you could start doing this:

  1. Call user testing “validation” in your quotes rather than user research as these formal terms can sound expensive.
  2. Complete a couple of early stage tests with industry colleagues or friends of friends for initial data.
  3. Try ‘undercover’ research personally in the market you are testing (experience the environment, use the product etc) and capture insights in person.

The second hot topic on the table centred around ethics. In particular where UX designers are asked (by clients) to perform ‘dark patterns’ such as pre-selecting the “Subscribe to this newsletter” checkbox so that it’s more effort for the user to unsubscribe instead of opting in and this may not be in the best interest of the user.  

The last hot topic centred around the advancement of AI and chatbots. Below we have captured the top tips from the Ladies That UX Brisbane regarding chatbots (and the use of);

  1. If you want a chat bot, make sure you train it properly (it’s an investment of time and patience)
  2. You must let users know when they are dealing with a chatbot, put it into the greeting
  3. The more ‘human’ a bot appears, the higher a user’s expectation is
  4. Make sure your chatbot is providing answers, not just links to go find it yourself!

We look forward to the next round table with Ladies (and gentlemen) that UX!