24 Hours of UX: The First 8 Hours

The 24 Hours of UX event ended on the 11th of June 2020 at 1 pm (GMT +8), after 24 hours of uninterrupted live online content. This is a grassroots non-profit initiative bringing together 20 local UX communities to one virtual space. The event brought local UX communities to a global audience with more than 7,000 sign-ups worldwide.

UXTesting.io helped the event organizers, Peter and Jesse, connect with communities from Asia to join this event. As both a UX community contributor and the main sponsor, we were happy to make this event free and accessible for everyone. 

This article will recap some of the key learnings from this event spread out into 3 different articles, covering 8 hours of content at a time.

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Hour 1: KEYNOTE by Jeff Patton // How UX really works; KEYNOTE by Phil Balagtas // Futures design thinking (hosted by Munich, Germany)

Kicking off the 24H, Jeff Patton took us way back to the history of UX, how UX was like in the past and how he would describe UX to others. He drew a framework for us, with a 5 step model below:

Understanding UX:
  1. Users and Customer - What are their needs? What problems do they face?
  2. Idea Generation - What solutions can we as designers propose?
  3. Utility - Is this feature useful?
  4. Usability - Is this feature easy to learn? Is it easy to remember? Does it work well?
  5. Aesthetics - Does it look trustworthy? What emotions does it evoke? Does it look and feel appropriate?
Image 1: UX & Product Munich

Hour 2: Wellington, New Zealand // Effect of COVID-19 on the UX community in NZ

In the next session, 9 members of the Wellington UX Community from students to industry professionals shared about how they have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dominic Rogers shared about how he helped out with design research and hosted Ask Me Anything webinars in between work. Pramod Mani shared more about the challenges of conducting design sprints remotely due to the lack of human interaction, especially when participants turn off their webcam or turn off their microphone.

James Mole McConnell and Cheryl Gallaway both mentioned how the pandemic also highlighted the needs of vulnerable populations and how altruism is needed more than ever. James believes that the global community will rise from the ashes and become more empathetic. Cheryl is also optimistic that the new sense of purpose to do good has always been there and will continue to stay post-pandemic.

Lastly, Q Walker shared with us about her experiences with creating Rippl, a privacy-first contact tracing application. Their main guiding principle of the design is trust and do not require users to fill in much of their details on the app. She believes in the merits of making it easy for people to do the right thing instead of making them fearful of doing the wrong thing.

Other community members who shared their stories include Ben Briggs, Grace Kim, Winona Ngaro, Julie Wen and Tania Anderson.

Image 2: UX Wellington Team

Hour 3: Budapest, Hungary // Fast to market with 'just enough research'

For the first part of the session, the speaker, Kata Füge, shared her process building an “SOS Product” which needs to be pushed out quickly during pressing times like our current situation. Her team realised they needed to add a feature to their product that allows people to help others, such as elderly, get help from the Mayor.

Her key takeaways from this process include:
  1. Agile UX design in the frontlines. They had an experienced team working on it and there was an efficient collaboration between the UX and in-house development teams. 
  2. Role of client input in fast-to-market. Avid cooperation from the client is crucial in this process.
  3. App Store and Google Play reviews. The Mayor’s office issued an official statement to approve that the app contains valid information to speed up the process. 

The next speaker, Krisztián Székely, shared about launching Practice Living, a site that provided free online resources to help people adapt to quarantine life. This is exceptionally useful to users that have lost their job recently and need some assistance adapting their life practices. He empathised that with many people on social media posting about how productive their day has been, there is an added societal pressure on their daily living.

He highlighted the difference in choices of words used during this time such as “there is no problem vs everything is alright”. One has a positive connotation while the other has a negative connotation. He also mentioned that a relief-driven product should make use of suggestive communication to reassure people.

The last speaker, Adam Nemeth, shared tips on doing a super quick remote interview in 6 hours.

There are 5 steps in the process which encompasses:
  1. Collect everyone’s stereotypes and generate questions
  2. Schedule 6 participants, 1 in each hour
  3. 1 member will ask the questions, the rest will take notes
  4. In each hour, 40 minutes will be used for questions and 10 minutes will be used for debrief
  5. Each note taker will upload their top 10 insights onto a Trello board
Image 3: Krisztián Székely, Kata Füge and Adam Nemeth

Hour 4: Brisbane, Australia // Brisbane's design scene

This session is joined by Felix, Hans and Daniel, sharing more about the design community in Brisbane. Their community values include openness, being supportive, forming relationships, diversity and inclusion and most importantly, community. They hope their meetups can be a place where people can make friends, socialise, network and connect people.

They also hope that their meetup community will be able to learn more about research, design leadership, animation, design systems, how-to-use tools, ethical design, interview skills and UI knowledge through case studies and cross-team collaborations.

Towards the end of their session, they shared several pain points of meetup attendees which includes:
  1. People struggle to find time to attend meetups
  2. There are lots of meetups and people are unsure which to go
  3. Some feel uncomfortable meeting new people
  4. Some find it difficult to network
  5. The community might not like some of the talks and topics presented
  6. Talks are not catered to the general audience 
  7. Poor communication from speakers 
  8. Rather than delivering value, it turns into a sales pitch

Many of these pain points are applicable to other local communities as well. Finding creative solutions to tackle these will certainly improve the experience of local meetups. The speakers shared that they play music during their meetups to reduce awkwardness, order a wider variety of food (they used to stick to pizza and beer) and collaborate with external parties such as InVision to bring global insights to their local community.

Image 4: Hans and Daniel

Hour 5: KEYNOTE by Jeff Gothelf // Forever employable: how to ensure your career stays as agile as your work

In this session, Jeff Gothelf, co-author of Lean UX and Sense & Respond, shares about how to stay relevant in this ever-changing world and remain employable. He spoke about the change in mindset from “going to look for jobs” to “jobs were going to look for me”.

5 qualities to become forever employable
  1. Entrepreneurialism: Draw on your past experiences to help you better structure your new ventures.
  2. Self Confidence: Realise that your knowledge has value.
  3. Continuous Learning: Consume relevant content.
  4. Improvement: Apply the learnings acquired to improve yourself.
  5. ReInvention: Redesign core ideas or values and fit them into the current context.

5 steps to becoming forever employable
  1. Plant a Flag: Be an expert in a particular domain. E.g Lean Startup for Eric Reis.
  2. Tell your story: Share your unique story. Share it often to better hone your storytelling skills.
  3. Follow the new path: As you tell your story, new opportunities will emerge. This is where you have to make tough decisions on which path to take.
  4. Teach: Grab every opportunity to teach.
  5. Give it all away: The more you give, the more you will receive.

Image 5: Jeff Gothelf

Hour 6: Manila, Philippines // Conversational assistants in the time of Coronavirus

In our sixth session, Richard Parayno and Ely Apao from Manila, Philippines covered the role of conversational assistants in our current global pandemic. Conversational assistants communicate naturally with the user and can sometimes understand the user’s intent without the user saying explicitly what they want to achieve. Examples of conversational assistants such as chatbox, google assistant, Alexa and Siri.

Similar to several industrial automation, these conversational assistants should not replace the jobs in the current workforce, but instead, create opportunities for the employees to make better use of their time and skills. Some conversational assistants in the Philippines today include Bus Uncle 5G,  Woebot and Charlie of Cebu Pacific.

Currently, conversational assistants:
  1. Augments skeletal staff of companies by digitalizing repetitive tasks
  2. Maximise quirks, abilities and limitations of chat UIs
  3. Greater focus on investment of conversation design
  4. Conversation flows are more tailor-fit to the users of the assistant
After COVID-19,
  1. Live agents will more be empowered with the help of conversational assistants
  2. Voice and chatbox UI will offer inclusive ways of interaction for those who are not comfortable with talking to a real person
  3. Encourage social distancing
  4. Businesses will be able to check in on their employee’s health at scale
Image 6: Richard Parayno and Ely Apao

Hour 7: Beijing, China // Remote work good practice for digital product/design people

Hosted by Pine Du and Wladislav Glad, this session focused on remote work communication and best practices.

The speakers highlighted the importance of maintaining communication while remote working and prioritizing mental health in times of crisis. During these periods, people feel a heightened sense of fear and anxiety. Simple activities such as making small talks with your team and checking in on each other can make your team members feel more comfortable.

Team members may also be less responsive when working remotely as compared to in-person collaborations. Clarifying issues or updating each other on the latest progress now comes with an additional barrier of sending a message or email to others, which some may need time to get used to.

With remote work arrangements becoming a new normal, this brings about benefits for teams such as being able to save commute time, moving more operations online which may lead to greater efficiency and better work-life balance for some.

After the presentation, Pine Du and Wladislav Glad, provided space for attendees to ask questions. Many questions were asked and answered. Questions were delving deeper into remote work practices, and included: “How do you overcome bad practices for remote work, like keeping the camera off”,  “Could you share an example of culture change during remote working?“ and “How to overcome bad experiences for remote work?”

Image 7: Pine Du and Wladislav Glad

Hour 8: Bangkok, Thailand // Why we need a kickoff session for UX projects

In this session, the 3 speakers Natt Phenjati, Pak Udompanich and Pij Rattanathikun shared about 3 different canvas they use as a kickoff session for UX projects. 

Natt Phenjati, CEO of Ahancer, uses the context mapping framework with his business, UX, product and marketing team. He will then make use of the context canvas to craft a project plan for his clients, addressing how to improve the usability of their product and whether adding new features is required.  The context mapping framework consists of 3 main parts with several subsections:
  1. Product (core features, value proposition, goals)
  2. UX Obstacle (utility, usability, emotions)
  3. Customer/ user (profile, motivation, pain, alternatives)

The second speaker, Pak Udompanich, UX Researcher at  Finnomena, introduced a canvas that is suitable for startups, called the UX lean canvas from Jeff Gothelf. There are 4 important selected canvas areas to focus on: 
  1. Business problem (objective)
  2. User & Customer (user representative of your product)
  3. Hypotheses (specific descriptions of the assumption that target your product)
  4. Business outcome (measurement/ metric to validate)

Besides those mentioned above, the team should also take into account the timeline, resource and key stakeholders while designing the canvas.

The last speaker, Pij Rattanathikun, Founder at Pruxus, uses a product vision board which is used as a canvas. This canvas includes the target group, needs, product and business goals. He highlighted the importance of having a kickoff session before starting any UX projects with a new team. These sessions help to smooth out mismatched expectations, shift mindsets and help foster trust among team members.

Image 8: UX Thailand

With that, we wrapped up the first 8 hours of the 24H of UX event. The 8 hours have been jam-packed with valuable insights. This article provided a summary of the first 8 hours of the 24 Hours of UX. Keep following UXTesting.io to stay updated for the next two articles featuring the remaining sessions from local meetups and keynote speakers. At UXTesting.io, we provide remote user insight solutions to enterprises that can help further your UX research. For questions or more information about how UXTesting.io can help your company, please contact us on social@uxtesting.io.


Shi Ning Peh
Marketing at UXTesting