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Talk from Ram Almog at the Festival of UX and Design 2020

The Festival of UX & Design hosted by MUXL has reached many corners of the world – from Europe to America and even Asia, more than 600 attendees came together, creating a global community and integrating passionate professionals in UX design

The variety of speakers included professionals from Google, IBM, Conjure, BP and many more! The attendees had an opportunity to network and collaborate with each other as well as connect with the speakers. Given the unexpected COVID-19 circumstances, the online platform has provided an excellent experience for both attendees and panel alike.

As the festival has been spread over three days, the topics covered included Accessibility & Inclusion, the Evolution of UX Design and lastly Innovation & Emerging Technologies.

One of the talks in particular came from Ram Almog from Red-ID. Ram has started off his presentation with quite a unique quote from Ornette Coleman “It was when I found out that I could make mistakes, that I knew I was on to something”. 

Red-ID specialises in digital products which are used all over the world; and as Ram has mentioned, their best products are the ones which have had the most mistakes made in the process. How? Let differentiate the distinction between right and wrong mistakes. 

But what do we mean by wrong mistakes? 

The mistakes that have already been made, the mistakes that cannot learn from, and the mistakes companies cannot recover from. 

Sometimes the process of building takes too long, the companies lose sight of the launch date. In order to resolve this matter, Jake Knapp (Knapp, 2016) wrote a book dedicated specifically to design sprints; instead of allocating too much time on the building process, the designers go from having an idea straight into gathering the data. In most cases, months of work can be squeezed into one sprint; it would include solving big challenges, creating new products or improving existing ones. 

Take a company such as Unilever as an example; in the 1960s they were facing an issue due to one piece of their equipment being faulty. It required constant repairs, which has resulted in extra costs and time dedicated on the issue. It took their team more than five hundred attempts to make the desired product (Syed, 2015). Although this problem was challenged in the 1960’s, the team at Unilever has made multiple attempts to tackle the problem; the prototypes were similar, yet still required slight improvements. 

The key is to get started on the project. Companies tend to think of a perfect end product, therefore not using their time efficiently. In a design sprint, problems and challenges are recognised and challenged at the early stage; rather than finding out when it is too late. Teamwork is one of the most significant factors during this stage; teams are able to vote for the ideas which they find the most appealing and discuss these before taking further action.

A design sprint is a validated system used by some of the world’s biggest companies. These include companies such as Airbnb or Slack (Sprint Stories, 2020). The companies which have to adapt quickly and make consistent progress.

How do we make the right mistakes then? Firstly, get to know the wrong mistakes. Secondly, find a good framework – structured, tested set of rules, a strong timeline and a defined tangible goal. Lastly, take risks based on data – expert interviews. Don’t forget the prototype and user testing!

Bibliography: 

Knapp, J., 2016. Sprint: How To Solve Big Problems And Test New Ideas In Just Five Days. Random House, 2016.

Sprint Stories. 2020. Sprint Stories. [online] Available at: <https://sprintstories.com/> [Accessed 27 September 2020].

Syed, M., 2015. Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success. Penguin Publishing Group, 2015.

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