I attended Medien-Barcamp 2019 – my notes and comments – #medienbc

Yesterday, I set my alarm to 6 am and jumped on the 7:33 train to Zürich-Oerlikon. On a Saturday. To attend a barcamp on media.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of barcamps, a barcamp is a conference that organizes the talks by itself, on the day, Someone provides some rooms and infrastructure such as wifi and screens. And they send out invites via Twitter and other social media channels.

And that’s how i found my way to #medienbc, the event’s hashtag.

In yesterday’s case, the Medien-Barcamp organizers had access to the rooms of SRF, the Swiss public radio and TV station, in Zürich.

It’s not my first barcamp. I’ve attended many and even presented topics at some. Yesterday I was in listening mode.

#medienbc Medien-Barcamp 2019

Here’s a brief recap of the talks that I attended:

First, I attended a talk by Markus on Voice User Interfaces. He provided an excellent intro to the rise of voice. He says many new jobs are being created in this space. And I made a mental note to look up SSML.

Fabian and David invited us to discuss how to get more “old” people engaged on social media. The discussion covered a lot of ground:

  • The decline in journalistic quality,
  • The change in speed,
  • The fact that today journalists have access to less proofreading, fact checking and editorial staff than ever,
  • Questions like do users want to see and interact with company content on Facebook (apparently yes, 1 attendee described how a Facebook ad influenced her decision to buy).

Next, I listened to Vincenzo talk about the challenges and learnings of setting up an email newsletter for a small regional newspaper. A very honest and useful talk. His newspaper uses a tool called Revue, by a Dutch startup, cos it’s even simpler than Mailchimp.

#medienbc Medien-Barcamp 2019

I peeked into the session on no-budget video production. I would like to learn more about this.

#medienbc Medien-Barcamp 2019

I listened to a talk on analytics. Not new for me, but I was curious to see SimilarWeb. It looks a lot like SEMRush.

We looked at the stats for Nau.ch that had just announced it is now making a profit. The stats showed Nau.ch is investing in organic search. Markus recommended that journalists do keyword research for their articles. I would think that is obvious by now.

#medienbc Medien-Barcamp 2019

In the last session of the day, I got valuable advice on how to prepare to speak in front of audience or take part in an interview. In my own words:

  • Stand firmly. Before you start presenting, assure yourself that you are standing firmly on the ground and that it will not disappear beneath you.
  • Find ways to relax and stand in an open, welcoming position, e.g. take deep breaths of air, yawn, make funny faces, turn into a loud and noisy monster shortly before your gig.
  • Remind yourself that you are valuable, e.g. imagine you were given a really expensive diamond worth more than 100 thousand CHF and walk thru the busy train station in Bern.
  • Prepare and know the content of your presentation. If you know your topic well, you will be persuasive.
  • It’s about your attitude and posture.
#medienbc Medien-Barcamp 2019

Thank you to the organisers and participants for an enjoyable and fulfilling event. Good food, awesome location, great speakers. I like barcamp sessions cos we can leave out the sales speak and dig deeper. I feel excited and encouraged.

#medienbc Medien-Barcamp 2019 #medienbc Medien-Barcamp 2019

#uxcampch 2017 – Some notes

I attended last Saturday’s #uxcampch in Zürich.

First talk was on designing screens for HbbTV. 10 Foot UI. Samuel Raymann talked about his project at SRG and designing for TV sets. I liked this project report about design challenges.

Next, I joined a discussion on digital education. Difficult to summarize in a couple of words. Apparently, even in 2017, there are tonnes of teachers that don’t use digital resources and apps in their teaching plans. At the same time, many students are distracted by very elaborate, leading edge, commercial apps. Educational software publishers could benefit from UX methodology and agile processes. And one attendee suggested UX designers should consider enter the teaching profession.

Then, there was a session on virtual reality. One hololens and 120 attendees. And very shaky videos as we watched people try out the headset. Conclusion: User interaction is not quite there yet. The hand gestures are quite difficult to learn, it seems.

I felt this session shows what is happening. Enthusiasts, gamers, early adopters are embracing virtual reality, augmented reality faster than ever before. While at the same time the digital divide is increasing (c.f. educational system). Many of us, normal folks, will be consumers of elaborate marketing and manipulation machines that we don’t know how to program.

One thing to note is: voice control will become more widespread.

In many ways the VR session reminded me of shaky holiday videos from long ago. But it’s coming into our daily lives in a big way.

Other sessions of note:

Making privacy useable

Conversational Design

On design sprints

Big thank you to the organizers.

Notes and photos from #UXcampch

Some notes and photos from Saturday’s UX camp in Zürich:

Adrian Sameli took us thru the process of building infographics. His tip on tools to use: Excel and Adobe Illustrator. He tried one or two infographic tools but didn’t like them much. In the discussion we looked at d3js.org.

d3js.org data-driven documents

Next, I attended a session on atomic design. Design systems not pages.
Developers need to agree early on with designers on the semantics of the smallest, small and medium building blocks. These then are used in templates to build pages.

Brad. Frost. Who?

Background reading: Atomic design by Brad Frost.

The discussion after the presentation got straight to the daily challenges. Questions like

  • How do you get developers to use the existing pattern? Nobody reads documentation. In an ideal world, developer and designer sit in the same room and discuss the initial elements and define the markup. In real life the UX team may be much smaller than the developer team and might be geographically distributed, etc.
  • Is anybody using Pattern Lab in real-life projects? Very few projects get paid to build a pattern library. Pattern Lab is really more for larger projects due to the effort involved. How can this be improved?

Next, I listened to Simone Reichlin talk about the RITE method vs traditional user tests.

Main idea: Often you see some obvious problems in your UX design after your first or second test person. Instead of going thru the whole test with the remaining test participants, change the prototype with your improvement between tests. And then continue testing your changed prototype.
Main requirement: Designer needs to watch the user test. This shortens discussion time afterwards.
Tools used: Sketch and inVision.

Don’t change too much. Follow Medlock’s classification.

Want to try RITE? Start with the traditional method first. Only use RITE after you have gained some experience in carrying out user tests.

Next:
A very good session by Vincent van der Lubbe on creating space in conversations. And we even got a reference sheet to take home. The hard part is putting this into practise.

listening to Vincent at @uxcampch

Fidel Thomet presented his B.A. project, Flaneur.io. It’s a Chrome extension to capture digital findings in form of text fragments gathered while browsing the web.

Information Flaneur = Flanieren in grossen Datenmengen

We briefly looked at Marian Dörk’s PivotPaths. This podcast by datastori.es was recommended.

Unknown, useless fact about me:
Once upon a time, I had to write a uni term paper on Walter Benjamin and Paris in the 19th Century.

My snapshots are on Flickr.

Disclaimer:
All mistakes are my own. Please let me know if I got something really wrong. I’m here to learn. These notes help me to reflect and learn.