The Mobile UX London conference is going to be packed full of highlights, but we’re especially looking forward to welcoming Mark Edgington to the stage. As a preview for Mark’s talk, we had a quick chat with Mark about his experience in UX.
Hi Mark. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. Can you start by introducing yourself and talking about how you got into UX?
Mark: Sure. I’m Mark Edgington, Founder at Incendiary Blue. I first got into UX in the very early days, 1996 or possibly 1997. After my degree in Computer Science and AI, I did a Masters in Human Computer Interaction. This was one of the first every Masters courses available in this area of computing. I could see the way things were going with AI, so I thought it would be a good career move.
Initially, I was wrong. When I finished my Masters, I struggled to find much work in UX, so I became a developer. However, by 1999, UX became more in demand. Because I had a Masters in it, I was put in charge of the UX team as well as the technical side. This seemed to happen everywhere I went; I was asked to build UX teams. Twenty years later, here I am.
What a story. Thanks for sharing that, Mark. Enough about the past, what about the future? Where do you think things are going in the UX space?
Mark: OK, there’s a couple of things. Firstly, the way we denote roles in UX has to change. It’s a new discipline, but it has too many titles. I think there are something like 22 different job titles in UX teams at the moment. It’s too confusing; people don’t know where they sit. There has to be some consolidation of roles. We need to think more about job responsibilities; at the moment people don’t know what job to apply for. There are too many bloated UX teams, leading to inefficiencies. It all needs to be streamlined.
Secondly, voice. Voice is the big thing at the moment, but most people don’t realise where it will end up. Look at what is happening right now with Google’s voice chatbots, they’re deep fakes, almost indistinguishable from humans, even to the extent that they go ‘Hmmm’ during sentences. This is only going to get more invasive as voice becomes even more human. We need to get comfortable with it.
Sure. So, what advice would give people working in UX right now?
Mark: I’d say, don’t overcomplicate your thinking. Don’t try to make UX seem like an arcane art. The beauty of UX is that everyone can have an opinion; I can have an opinion, you can, my mum can. Let everyone be able to understand it.
Good advice. OK, lastly, what are you looking forward to most about speaking at the Mobile UX London conference?
Mark: Well, I haven’t done a talk for around four years, so I’m quite excited about it. I like the look of Mobile UX London; the format appeals to me in that there are lots of shorter talks. If do you don’t engage with one talk, you know the next one will be along soon and you will probably get on better with that one. I hope to provide some insights that people can learn from. Plus, I live in London, so it’s only down the road!
Thanks Mark. We can’t wait to see you there!
So, make sure you don’t miss Mark Edgington at the Mobile UX London 2019 conference. Mark will be talking from the Main Stage at 1010, with a talk titled, ‘Bringing Science back into UX’.
As the field of UX has grown, it has arguably become more of an art than a science, plagued by copycat work with limited understanding of the science and laws behind it. By remembering and applying simple laws of UX, you can acquire a strong and irrefutable basis from which to work, enhancing your practices and designs. In his talk, Mark will show you how.
It’s sure to be an enlightening talk, full of value, so make sure you’re there.