Highlights from Day 3 at Savvy UX Summit 2021

UXTesting.io hosted their fourth Savvy UX Summit this year on 17-19 of September 2021. The summit was three days long filled with insightful talks from User Experience experts across several industries. From hospitality, tech, automotive, and consulting, invited speakers shared their expertise and experience in their respective fields on the best User Experience practices. In total, the event welcomed over 1,500 attendees from over 70 countries, with the support of sponsors, community and media partners.

This article recaps the highlights from Savvy UX Summit 2021 day by day. Read the highlights from the first day or the second day here.

1. How designers, engineers, and product managers can learn to speak the same language

The first talk for the final day at Savvy UX Summit started with Jonathan Shariat, Interaction Designer at Google. In this talk Jonathan explored the goals, needs, and vocabulary used by designers, engineers, and product managers (PMs) for effective and collaborative working. Jonathan shared the various frustrations that product managers, designers, and engineers have. Based on this, Jonathan developed a framework for understanding that consists of Traits, Artifacts, and Goals.

  • Traits: What are traits helped this person get to where they are now
  • Artifacts: What are their deliverables? What are they driving towards to call this done?
  • Goals: What do they get measured on? What does their boss want?

While taking this framework into consideration, it is important to always keep in mind who your audience is. Use the word they use and think like they think so you can care about what they care about. Jonathan explained this further by giving three practical situations analyzing the problems and issues at hand, and how to deal with them.

Image: Jonathan Shariat, Interaction Designer at Google

2. From Funnel to Megaphone: 5 Lessons Learned for Broader Impact through Strategic Thinking in UX

The second keynote was presented by Tom Lorusso, Principal User Research Lead at Xbox. Tom has been working in games for over 9 years, with 20 years of total experience in the User research field. At Xbox, Tom and his team are focused on games and gaming experiences across the entire Xbox ecosystem and Windows. His talk offered 5 practical tools to thinking more strategically in User Research and UX. Each tool comes with a real world example, born from over 20 years of experience in the User Research discipline at Xbox and Microsoft. Viewers left this talk with new ways of thinking to help build their group's influence and helped raise the discipline as a whole. 

Briefly summarized, the 5 lessons are as follows:

  1. Amplifying your work
    Tom shared a useful matrix on how to amplify your work as seen in the image below.

  2. Package your team
    There are several benefits if you decide to package a team. These are efficient and engaging onboarding, set expectations up front, tell people how you work and not ask them, and it will help focus you to reflect and create clarity for yourself and your team.

  3. Crossing the streams teams
    The advantage of crossing the teams is that you shorten the feedback loops. Tom further indicated that it also helps build longer term relationships, align goals across multiple teams, and work together toward changing process and culture.

  4. Embrace your point(s) of view
    Tom explained that points of view are deeply held beliefs by you and your team synthesized from data and hard-earned experience can be demonstrated through concrete examples and will stand the test of time (until they don’t).

  5. Reasons for doing anything
    First of all, 2 reasons are not enough. Moreover, Tom shared that 5 isn’t a magic number but it forces more thought, and that prioritizing has the biggest impact for strategy.

Image: Tom Lorusso, Principal User Research Lead at Xbox

3. Alpha testing with UX at its heart - UK telecom case study

Next up, Onardeep Singh, Senior User Experience Designer at Three UK was invited to the virtual stage. Onkar has a decade of experience as a User Experience and Visual Designer and has worked for small and multinational organizations in the UK and abroad. During Onkardeep’s talk we looked at how to run an effective Alpha research project. Often Beta testing is given a lot of importance but there tends not to be that much information on how to run effective Alpha testing which should come first. These are becoming more common now as they can save a lot of money and time later down the line. Onkardeep used a specific case study from a leading UK telco to explain how he ran a successful Alpha testing. 

The purpose of the Alpha is to build, execute, and evaluate a range of tests to collect data and insights that informs go or no-go decisions to move their customer-led switching proposition into Beta. Onkardeep further explained that Alpha test typically consists of 1 week immersion with kick off. Followed by 8 weeks of running the Alpha, and concludes with 1 week wrap up and playback. 

There were several challenges Onkardeep faced, in which attendees gave tips on how to overcome these.

  1. Marketing led vs Product led
    Set up a “question checklist” prior to starting the Alpha. This speeds up the process later on and you can focus on what’s important. Rather than getting everyone on the same page.

  2. Security and compliance
    Risk mitigation is essential. Hence, make sure data is secure and GDPR compliance is approved from the in-house legal team. Onkardeep further shared some important data principles to take into account.

  3. Providing feasibility
    For small companies this might be easier, but for larger organizations this could present issues. To make sure what you design is actually feasible, Onkardeep shared that you could implement manual processes with liaisons. He further shared a useful feasibility process template. 

The session was wrapped up by key learnings attendees should remember:
  • Using social as a means of fast, cost-effective validation
  • Surveying customers and non-customers at the right points in their life cycle
  • The close you get to “real” , the more real the risk (and also reward)

Image: Onkardeep Singh, Senior User Experience Designer at Three UK

4. Connecting Design Health to Business Value

For the fourth talk, we welcomed Dyn Khem, Director of Design at Agoda. Agoda is a travel platform in South East Asia. At Agoda, Dynin helped build and lead the product design organization of 50 designers responsible for all consumer-facing products, supply-side products, and enterprise tools. Looking at the entire customer experience is a good thing to do. However it's something that is not always aligned with the product teams, which are usually lazer focus on a KPI target. This usually falls on the Design and Research team ability to bring in holistic insights but also to drive influence by leveraging the insights.

Starting of what design leadership entails. Dynin described design leadership as a way to “ensure designers have the influence and data to make their work strategic, the time and space to excel, and the communication channels and process to deliver high-quality products, brands, and experiences”. 

Dynin further explained each of the following three parts into further detail:
  1. Data to make the work strategic. This comes down to making data informed decisions.
  2. Time and space to excel
  3. Communication channels and processes. Refers to the decision making framework. Alignment is key!

Essentially these three parts will help you build a strong foundation for your design team to have influence. Design team will always be a smaller team and sometimes get backseat in a larger organization.

Image: Dynin Khem, Director of Design at Agoda

5. Unpacking CX metrics

The last session was presented by Aprajit Kar, Group Design Head - Consumer Platforms at Gojek. Aprajit is responsible for all the end to end experiences that make it a super app. He works with other product, design, research & engineering leadership to shape the vision and strategy for the platform teams to enable efficiency at the business unit levels like transport, food, etc. The intersection of design & data is unique and intriguing. It is where mysteries unfold by allowing us to keep a peek into the customer's journey through the experience. This talk focussed on the aspect of finding the right mix of attitudinal & behavioral data to unravel the metrics of customer experience in today's design world. 

How to define Customer Experience (CX)? Aparjit clearly explained looking at four critical stages of the customer journey that needs to be measured: 
  1. Touchpoints
    Identify and prioritize which part of the user’s journey is relevant for you to measure and monitor.
  2. Identify Insights
    Analyze what  insights and measures are missing
  3. Mapping
    Align with brand values and topline metrics
  4. Test
    Test and refine
Important point Aprajit made is that we need to first clear what we want to measure. However, perhaps more important to note is that measuring the wrong way can be worse than actually not measuring at all. How to measure what matters? Aprajit discussed the following four points: Usability, Reliability. Trust & Safety, and Effort & Expense.

Further, Aprajit shared some practical tips on how to convince stakeholders of the relevance of using metrics. Firstly, simply put, good for customers equals good for business. Secondly, outcomes are important. Moreover, it’s important to remember that value is created over time. In the end it’s up to the design team that the right measures are in place. Without measures, it’s just a half baked story.

Image: Aprajit Kar, Group Design Head - Consumer Platforms at Gojek

This concluded all the sessions at Savvy UX Summit 2021. We would like to thank all attendees for joining the summit this year and for their active participation during Q&A sessions and networking sessions. In case you missed any of the keynotes, your ticket will provide your one-month video access to all the recordings. 

Last but not least, special thanks to the Platinum sponsors (Daito Design and PanelSheet), Gold sponsor (Foodpanda), and Silver sponsors (Balsamiq, Agoda, and MURAL) to help make this summit a success. We would also like to thank our associate sponsor O'Reilly and Axure as well as our 75 community/media partners for showing their support. 

This article summarized the key learnings of the first day at Savvy UX Summit 2021. If you are interested in reading more about the first day or the second day click here.


Yang Mei Asscheman
Marketing Manager at UXTesting