On Friday 20th July, Q, Fraser, Elyse and Shirin attended the UX Homegrown 2018 conference in Auckland – a one-day event about Experience Design in NZ.


The Uprise Team Members that Attended


UX Homegrown is built on the stories of real UX practitioners, from our foremost experts to our front line workers sharing how they make UX work in the New Zealand context.


Apart from some fantastic talks covering topics such as VR user research in an airport terminal context to finding more time to design the future of Air NZ products, the team also got to experience 90 minute workshops.


Our key takeaways…

  1. Setting up a UX practice takes as much execution as strategy 

    Luke Pittar, Head of Design for the Warehouse Group, shared his key learnings from the first 100 days setting up a UX/Design capability at the company. Having come from a company with a mature UX organisation, he was tasked with creating a full function from scratch, which he described as a high ambiguity and high anxiety situation. His first tip? Get busy delivering work, and don’t be afraid to make a mess in the process. There’s a place for strategy (“designing the right thing”) and execution (“getting the design right”), but in Luke’s experience, you can’t move a team forward if you’re stuck in a strategy mindset – jump into execution, and make adjustments as you learn. Luke and his team did some retrospecting after their first 100 days, where they recognised the signs of culture shock they had experienced along the way. Luke left us with a takeaway: as you build a team, build a culture too! Identifying shared values with other internal teams (and indeed, the whole business) will help to counteract culture shock and make for a more successful UX/design practice. At Uprise, UX is still a new practice, so this talk really resonated with our recent experience integrating a whole new offering into our organisation.


  1. But then, slow down the treadmill 

    Kris Lane, UX Team Lead for Customer Products at Air New Zealand, delivered some “timely” advice about how to achieve a more holistic vision of what your work is trying to achieve. We can often find ourselves lost in the process of churning out deliverables without a clear end in sight and can sometimes forget about why we’re doing it or where we are going. As Kris put it, it’s not so much about stopping the treadmill altogether but slowing down and finding time to step back as a group and reflect on what the broader vision is – for example, how will future forces such as population changes or market shifts impact what we’re designing today? For Uprise, this can help us to reflect on what we’re trying to achieve in both our own vision but also in how we support and partner with clients to achieve theirs.

    “Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.”
    – Eliel Saarinen, the 20th century Architect known for designing the Washington Dulles International Airport.


  1. Design for all stakeholders

    Kelly Scott, a Researcher with AUT’s Centre for Person Centred Research, gave great insight into the absolute need to take into consideration all voices when building products. Kelly spoke of her research into the problem of why new clinical rehabilitation technology wasn’t being adopted as expected. Her findings were fascinating – she found that clinicians were acting as gatekeepers for the new technology, and they reported that they wouldn’t adopt because of three pain points; ease of use, price and evidence. When she dug a little deeper, however, she found that their motivations were more nuanced than what they had reported. It wasn’t the reported pain points that were the problem, it was that they didn’t believe in the value of the product and that because the product hadn’t taken into consideration the clinician’s viewpoints, they didn’t see its use.


While a particularly specific example, this learning can be applied to any business whose products are being utilised by many types of users. Make sure that your product takes into consideration the whole ecosystem of use – from your staff to your end users – and ensure that your product provides real value and overcomes objections for all.


  1. Find the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations

    Stephen Knightly, marketing and gamification expert helping to deliver e-therapies for teenagers suffering from mental health issues, discussed how when it comes to influencing behaviour (or “nudging”, to use the popular Behavioural Economics term) it’s about understanding the physical, social, and psychological aspects of the contexts that influence and in which choices take place. For businesses, this means knowing what motivations people have for completing an action in different contexts such as during information gathering or when they’re looking to purchase online. For example, when it comes to taking an action it could be about social expression (“this aligns with my personal values”) or about a desire to save money and therefore feel rewarded personally.


More Information


If you’re interested in finding out more about UX Homegrown, head on over to their website. It’s an annual event and is entirely community driven, from reviewing talk proposals to running the event itself!


The Uprise Team at UX Homegrown Conference


Of course, if some of these takeaways have sparked your curiosity and you’re feeling the urge to talk UX or wondering how we can help your business in this space, then don’t be afraid to reach out to the team!


Written in collaboration by Fraser Reeves, Q Walker and Shirin Bradfield 

Monday, 13 August 2018