South Africa will host the fifth biannual UX Masterclass at the Rosebank Hyatt Regency in Johannesburg on 30 March 2012. The event is organised by international association The UXalliance, a global collaboration of User Experience (UX) experts from 24 countries. The event will host 22 of the world’s leading experts in UX Design, Research, and Strategy, giving South African UX professionals and enthusiasts a unique opportunity to benefit from global best practice in this emerging profession.
“Understanding the end-user’s experience of a product is intrinsic to a product’s success, whether it is an online or a real world product,” says Helga Letowt-Vorbek, owner of Mantaray, the agency that represents South Africa in The UXalliance. “The experience of the end user cannot be an afterthought in the design of a product or service – it should be the leading motivator throughout the creation process. UX professionals help product innovators to understand how end users will engage with their product, revealing where adaptations need to be made for the product to be successful.”
The UX Masterclass, last held in Chicago in September 2011, will tackle challenges confronting businesses who are committed to creating products that consumers love to use, whether in digital or the real world environment. Speakers, who are from countries as diverse as the United States, Denmark, Ireland, Australia and Switzerland, will share recent developments and case studies, while collaborative sessions will give delegates the opportunity to benefit from the speakers’ experience, firsthand.
The full day conference will be of particular relevance to South African marketers, product developers, company owners, managers, user experience professionals and interaction designers. Presentations will include trending topics in the mobile and web environment, service design, and the most current research techniques that reveal how customers behave and interact with products. Sessions will be in a variety of formats, with opportunities created for delegates to share and debate in interactive workshops and round tables.
Letowt-Vorbek motivated strongly for the UX Masterclass to take place in South Africa because she believes that we have unique solutions to offer the rest of the world. “I have attended the preceding two UX Masterclass conferences, and it was clear from all of them that product designers worldwide have similar challenges. However, in South Africa, we have unique solutions,” she says. “For example, in the online space, mobile solutions are our first port of call – whereas UX developers abroad start with websites, and only move to mobile once the project is completely resolved online.”
Letowt-Vorbek, who has worked in the UX discipline both locally and abroad, points out that global trends are highlighting that UX has to be a part of a product’s development strategy. “This has been highlighted in the recession, where companies have realised the hard way that they cannot afford to create products that consumers do not want.
“Product development strategies are now all about creating something that customers will love, that they will engage with, and that will be easy and pleasurable to use. Companies that create products without engaging with the product’s end user will fail – and the speakers on the day will share their experiences demonstrating this.”
Seats at the UX Masterclass cost R3000 per delegate, and registrations can be made via www.uxmasterclass.com, or by contacting Helga on [email protected]. There is a group discount available to three or more delegates at R2500 per delegate.