The collaborative craft of content design – Mel Flanagan
Content, data, information, are the foundation of all products and
services. Whether you are building a product, making a digital service,
running a campaign, words and language are how we interact with each
other – they can either connect, engage or alienate people.
As the UK Government eloquently states “Content is the user
experience”. There is a growing movement of content strategists. A
content designer is the person who does the doing. And it’s important to
get them on early.
Creating content is a collaborative craft. Mel will take you on a
whirlwind tour of Nook’s content design process, case studies, and the
different entry point of how content fits into projects and products.
She’ll explain why the ‘I’ is before the ‘T’ in IT. And why, if you want
to make great products (and avoid a content crisis), everyone in your
organisation needs to understand the value of content design, what needs
to be done when, with who.
Recap of interaction20, Milan
As you may or may not know,Feb 3-7 is Interaction week and this year it was in Milano, Italy. Three Australians presented, including Tim Yeo, who took his October Leadership for Introverts to new shores. Joe will be giving a quick recap of the highlights as well inviting you to submit your ideas to next year’s interaction21 in Montreal.
About the speakers:
Mel is a creative technologist, storyteller, information experience and service designer, and founder of Nook Studios. She used to be a film and theatre maker. Now she is an open government and transparency revolutionary – using content to bring complex information life, making data accessible to combat corruption – and designing products that people love. Her favourite past time is changing the status quo by making useful, strategic content and raising awareness about the value of participatory design.
Joe has been a local leader for IxDASydney since 2013 and an interaction designer for a very long time. Yes, I remember both Flash and Dial-up modems and Mosaic. As well as running the #IxDASyd for years, bringing the best of Sydneysider, Australian and global presenters, workshop facilitators and ideators to us, he’s led projects, teams and businesses to the bright side of better interactions and services.
In recognition of World Interaction Design Day 2019, IxDA Sydney hosted an event where we explored the theme of trust and responsibility. We believe that everyone should have a voice on this important topic, and we wanted everyone’s voice to be heard. The session started with some stage setting by Susan Wolfe on good, the bad, and the ugly of products and services unleashed on the world. With that backdrop, in small groups, we explored themes around the ethics of our practices as designers, the organisations that we work with and for, and the solutions that we create. Insights arising from these discussions were reported back to the broader audience, and guided a panel discussion facilitated by Renato Feijó and Susan with four professionals for whom designing for trust and responsibility is paramount:
The event concluded by reflecting on the best practice principles that we explored and prioritising the topics explored. The top five topics from the three themes follow.
Ethics of the organisations
• Alignment of values from the leadership
• Transparency in how businesses remain viable while reducing environmental impact
• Using “we do good” rhetoric, but not actually doing it
• Exploiting data / spreading misinformation
• Policy making too slow to solve actual problem
Ethics of our practices as designers
• Look at how we make impacts the overall human experience
• As designers we should highlight ethical risks, design in road bumps to allow reflection time
• Collaboration and inclusivity in design practices (and being able to scale it)
• Aligning value of design to business values
• What audit process can we integrate into our processes to ensure dark patterns / features are not created (QA for evil/KPIs that are baked in)
Ethics of our solutions
• Balancing business needs with ethical design considerations /
• Doing “guerilla sustainability” (measuring impact until you have a strong case)
• Redefining metrics for what success is and whose success it could be (Be a squeaky wheel: Keep bringing it up to clients, stakeholders)
• Asking how these solutions change the way we live (doing the right thing above all else)
• Need to connect hearts and minds to see potential possibilities
These high priority issues provide guidance for organising future for IxDA Sydney events. It is our ultimate goal to draft of our own local “ethical design manifesto” that we can make available to our community.
The final Presentation session for IxDASydney, before festive drinks On Dec 5, brings a couple of well known design leaders to the podium. This month, we’re going to talk about leadership, what it is and how to do it well.
Ian Muir: From Designer to Leader: Introducing the 5i Design Leadership Model
Appropriate for a Designer or Design Manager aspiring to be a Leader, or an experienced Design Leader. The 5i model incorporates 5 elements important to Leading in a Design context; Inspiring Others, Being Instrumental & Instructional, Having Influence and Obtaining Impact. An abundance of generic material on leadership makes knowledge seeking confusing and daunting and so this presentation talks about Leadership from an experienced Designer Leader’s perspective. Use of this model can help take your Design team to the next level, produce better results, have a greater impact and get cut-through in your organisation. Utilise the 5i model as a practical & simple set of themes to apply on an everyday basis, and make this a leadership tool of choice or blend with your own leadership model to gain Leadership confidence.
Tim Yeo: Design Leadership for Introverts
Do you squirm in your seat when all eyes are on you? Do you find networking awkward and embarrassing? In meetings, do you find yourself keeping quiet even though you have something to say? Does a quiet evening at home with a book sound more attractive to you than an evening socialising with people you’ve never met? If your answer to most of these questions is yes, congratulations: you are (probably) an introvert. As an introvert, you lose energy when engaging with people rather than gain. People engagement is not optional if you want to lead. So how do you lead as an introvert? In this talk, I share techniques I’ve used to manage my own introversion in order to lead as a designer.
5:30-6:25 PM drinks, food, networking
6:30-6:45 PM Intro and welcome and general IxDA information (No entry after 6:40)
6:45-7:10 PM Tim Yeo
7:10-7:20 PM Shoutouts (roles available, projects seeking volunteers, other events of interest)
7:20-8:00 PM Ian Muir
8:00 PM- Exeunt and downstairs to for drinks and further discussions/networking, etc.
We are aware there are two males for this evening’s presentation and we acknowledge the many excellent women leading design in Sydney, and reached out to several who have presented on this topic before, none of whom were available for this time slot. We would like to add that IxDASydney typically has a more balance agenda and has at times also had women only evenings. The next event will be two women, for balance. We also welcome more women to come forward with presentation ideas through our Speaking Invitation.
Ian is a Professor in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Managing Director of idm Design Labs, consulting in business strategy, digital transformation, service design and design capability. Ian has been a Non-Executive Board Director at the leading Startup space, Fishburners, mentored startups and entrepreneurs for 6 years.
Pioneering Human Centred Design in Australia, and shaping the industry from 1996, Ian built & led one of the largest and most mature Design practices in Australia, winning a range of Design and Innovation Awards.
Ian’s 20 years in financial services was preceded by 10 years in industrial automation, including robotics and artificial intelligence. His creative problem solving as applied to manufacturing and process industries in a variety of sales, marketing, product management and software development roles.
Recent studies in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence inspired Ian’s interest in Design ethics, particularly relating to Design Leadership. Technology is impacting the way the world works, driving an imperative to create better-Designed outcomes through products and services, and also create better-Designed organisations and organisational cultures.
Design leader. Speaker. Bookbinder. Known for saying complex things simply. Design @SonderSafe. Formerly Head of Design at fintechs @OFX, @Prospa, startup co-founder.
IxDD is the annual global event for exploring and promoting how interaction design improves the human condition. We’re hosting a local event that night, focused on this year’s theme of trust and responsibility. Everyone should have a voice on this important topic, and everyone’s voice will be heard on the evening.
Come join us for a hands-on workshop where, in small groups, we’ll explore themes around our practices as designers, the organisations that we work with & for, and the solutions that we create. Insights and questions arising from these discussions will be reported back to the broader audience, and will serve to guide a panel discussion that follows. We’ll conclude by reflecting on the best practice principles that we’ve explored and, ideally, turn this into a draft of our own local “ethical design manifesto” that we can make available to our community.
Tracy is a social design and innovation specialist.
She is driven by the belief that everybody deserves an equitable system, adequate living standards, and to live free from discrimination. Her career has focused on uniting systems and organisations to work better for people, particularly those experiencing vulnerability or hardship. Tracy has over 10 years’ experience managing and consulting on economic empowerment and poverty reduction programs across Australia, New Zealand and Latin America.
As Head of Strategy and Programs at Thriving Communities Partnership, Tracy is exploring how design methods can support better outcomes for people and organisations, by challenging long-held assumptions and forging news ways of collaborative working to rebuild trust in communities across Australia.
Tarra van Amerongen
Tarra teaches venturing students design and strategy at UTS and is the Managing Director of ustwo digital product studio.
Bronwyn van der Merwe
Bronwyn is an Accenture Interactive Managing Director and the General Manager for Fjord in Asia Pacific. Bronwyn’s role within Fjord and Accenture enables her to bring design and innovation to the most exciting human challenges in the region. Working with commercial, government and not-for profit clients, Bronwyn and her team combine service design, strategy, and digital product creation to help clients reinvent their customer experience. Using design thinking methodologies, Fjord has successfully helped many Australian organisations on their digital transformation journeys.
Bronwyn is regularly sought out as a thought leader and spokesperson at conferences and in the media, sharing insights on trends impacting organisations as they transform themselves to be more customer-centric and experience-led.
Previously, Bronwyn was Director of Experience and Design at Massive Interactive where she was responsible for overseeing the Asia Pacific region’s creative output. Bronwyn began her career at the BBC.
I’m a product person at heart at Septa who loves rumbling with designers & engineers to create stuff that gets loved and finds product market fit. After about a decade in Product I spent the last decade of my working life in a mix of technology leadership, consulting and startup gigs. About to have my first kid but it’s ok I’m no longer completely freaking out about this…
5:30 – 6:15 PM Check-in, nibbles, chatting
6:20 – 7:10 PM Quick intro, then workshop & reporting back
7:15 – 8:00 PM Panel discussion
8:00 – 8:30 PM Reflections and conclusions
8:30 PM Exeunt! Out to the pub (The Cidery)
Arq Group, previously Melbourne IT Group, is Australia’s leading digital solutions partner. Arq Group is the dynamic space for smart thinkers. Creating unforgettable experiences, solving complex challenges and providing seamless, end-to-end solutions – from design thinking to customer solutions, leading mobile, cloud and analytical insights, digital marketing to web design – Arq Group powers the growth of businesses, big and small. Located at World Square: L23 / 680 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
In order to share some of the excellent presenters coming to Sydney for UXAustralia, Six Sydney Meetups are teaming up to bring a little taste of some of the stellar people speaking at the conference to some of you who might not be able to make it. Two nights before UXAu kicks off, we’ll be hosting up to 6 of the presenters to give a lightning talk, then break off into groups so people can Q&A and discuss more specifically with each of them.
A number of presenters from UXAustralia have agreed to give a lightning talk, then we will separate out into groups around each speaker to dive into each topic in more detail. Details of exactly which presenters will follow shortly.
Aral is a cyborg rights activist, designer, and developer. He’s one-third of Indie, a tiny not-for-profit working for social justice in the digital age.
Aral is a designer and programmer who has been making things with
computers for the past 35 years. He’s spent the last five of those
working on the problem of technologically regulating the abuses of
surveillance capitalism as well as designing freedom-respecting
alternatives to it. In this talk, he presents his latest thinking on how
we can create alternatives to surveillance capitalism that cannot be
co-opted. His suggestion is simple: think small.
Liz Jackson is the founder of The Disabled List, a design organization
that engages in disability as a creative practice. She is also the
co-founder of Thisten, a live speech to text app that makes conferences
and live events more accessible. In 2018, Jackson created The WITH
Fellowship, which partners disabled creatives with top design studios
and creative spaces for three-month fellowships. You can learn more
about Liz in her personal website, The Girl with the Purple Cane.
Joe Macleod has decades of product development experience across digital, physical and service sectors. Previously Head of Design at the award-winning studio Ustwo. He then spent 3 years on the Closure Experiences project researching, writing and publishing the Ends book. He is now founder of andEnd – The world’s first business helping companies end their customer relationships.
Christopher is the Senior Lead Designer for the Embedded Agent AI within Watson Customer Engagement with IBM. He teaches, speaks about, and evangelizes design internationally. His spidey-sense goes off semi-randomly, leading him to investigate and speak about a range of things from interactive narrative to ethnographic user research, interaction design to generative randomness, and designing for the future. He is co-author of Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction (Rosenfeld Media, 2012), co-author of About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design, 4th Edition (Wiley, 2015), keeper of the blog scifiinterfaces.com, and author of Designing Agentive Technology: AI That Works for People (Rosenfeld Media, 2017). He is also on the advisory board of the ASU-OTI AI Policy Futures initiative. He is currently contemplating books about meaning machines and interfaces that improve their users.
Grace L Turtle Polifroni is a post-disciplinary designer, exploring critical becomings, futures and transitions produced through experimentation, collaborative storytelling and performative action. Grace currently plays in a few worlds; as the Experimental Futures practice lead within Deloitte Digital Customer Strategy and Design, working across foresight strategy, service and experience design. Grace also works with Becoming and Holon, both transitions oriented research and design studios based out of Barcelona, developing experimental and performative design research – creating the conditions to imagine worlds otherwise, a focus she has transferred to teaching Futuring within Design Studies at the University of Technology Sydney UTS.
Arq Group, previously
Melbourne IT Group, is Australia’s leading digital solutions partner.
Arq Group is the dynamic space for smart thinkers. Creating
unforgettable experiences, solving complex challenges and providing
seamless, end-to-end solutions – from design thinking to customer
solutions, leading mobile, cloud and analytical insights, digital
marketing to web design – Arq Group powers the growth of businesses, big
We work and live in an extraordinary age of connectedness. The products that we create communicate experiences that form the basis of our relationship to them, and ultimately to their success. As we move toward more agile processes, with an emphasis on shipping products to market, how do we structure teams to practice in a connected, software-and-services age?
Peter will address the shortcomings of typical product management, the opportunity that experience-driven thinking provides, and new organizational structures to support products that focus on the experience. He’ll also share stories of experience-driven success.
6:00-6:30 PM Check-ins, nibbles, chatting
6:30 – 6:45 PM Welcome, and Intros
6:45 – 6:55 PM Shoutouts (one minute each, roles and projects and other meetups)
7:00 – 7:45 PM Peter Merholz, and questions
7:45 – 8:00 PM Wind up and thank yous
8:00 PM Out the door and up the road to the pub for continued discussions.
Peter Merholz is an experience design and product management executive with 20 years experience across a broad range of digital media. In 2016 he co-wrote, with Kristin Skinner, Org Design for Design Orgs, the first book to address building and managing effective in-house design teams.
In 2001, Peter co-founded Adaptive Path, perhaps the world’s premier firm dedicated to user experience. Since leaving Adaptive Path in 2011, he’s been a design and product executive, and has recently embarked on a consulting, coaching, and training practice around matters of design organizations and design leadership.
In 1999, Peter coined the word “blog.” Really. In the OED and everything.
Arq Group, previously Melbourne IT Group, is Australia’s leading digital solutions partner. Arq Group is the dynamic space for smart thinkers. Creating unforgettable experiences, solving complex challenges and providing seamless, end-to-end solutions – from design thinking to customer solutions, leading mobile, cloud and analytical insights, digital marketing to web design – Arq Group powers the growth of businesses, big and small.
This month’s IxDASyd meetup is focussing on the role of design in an organisation. To kick the evening off, Melanie Hambarsoomian will be discussing the relationship and transition modes between UX and Product Manager/Owner. Many are making that transition and Melanie asks what it means for design, specifically, and the oganisation more generally. Following that, Kate Towsey is bringing her years of insights as a “researcher of user researchers” to share the opportunities and challenges of the emerging field of Research Ops.
Kate Towsey: The State of ResearchOps – More Than Just Theory
Over the past decade, user research has matured significantly. It’s
increasingly more common for large organisations to have dozens of
people doing user research, whether as part of a dedicated team of
researchers or other design roles. Growing team sizes and increasing
organisational demand has meant that the pressures placed on people
doing research have grown too. To meet demand and be efficient,
impactful, compliant (and happy, lest we forget), researchers need more
rigorous operational support.
In 2018, through the work of the
ResearchOps Community and its #WhatisResearchOps initiative, the nascent
practice of ResearchOps was given shape: via a series of global
workshops by researchers and for researchers, the Community explored
what ResearchOps should look like and produced a framework to map its
But what’s behind the theory? What does
ResearchOps actually look like in the world today? And who are the
people leading the way? In this talk, Kate will share insight into the
state of ResearchOps today, talk about current and potential ResearchOps
opportunities and challenges, and share what she thinks the future
holds for this emerging practice.
Melanie Hambarsoomian : Why designers are moving into the product career path
When there’s no seat at the table for design, some designers are
taking the product seat. Why is this happening and what does this
scenario reflect about an organisation’s design maturity? How might we
increase design’s influence in organisations, from the strategic level
through to the execution?
5:30-6:25PM Entry, drinks, food, networking
6:30-6:45PM Intro and welcome and general IxDA informatio
6:45-7:10PM Melanie Hambarsoomia
7:10-7:20PM Shoutouts (roles available, projects seeking volunteers, other events of interest)
7:20-8:00PM Kate Towsey
8:00PM- Exeunt and downstairs to for drinks and further discussions/networking, etc.
Kate Towsey has
been a consultant specialist in ResearchOps for more than half a
decade. The instigator of the ResearchOps Community and the #WhatisResearchOps
initiative, she’s been instrumental in amplifying and shaping the
conversation around this emerging practice. Originally a content
strategist, she’s known as the researcher of user researchers and has
designed and delivered labs, participant recruitment services, research
panels, media archives and research communications for large
organisations around the world. Kate now walks the talk as Atlassian’s
Research Operations Manager in Sydney, Australia, where she’s building
out a team and delivering a seamless ecosystem to support people who do
Mel is a Product Designer who’s been working in UX design and research for over 8 years. She spent a few years working in London, for Telegraph UK (being in the newsroom when the EU referendum/Brexit votes were being counted) and MOO. She’s passionate about design being a peer to other disciplines, advocating the design discovery process and ensuring teams are driven by outcomes, not solutions. She’s about to start a podcast with two friends to talk about all things related to design & product.
June’s meetup brings a subject we haven’t approached for a while, design in the physical space. In addition, we have an IxDASydney discount for two more events keeping design physical. Sarah Forde and colleagues bring it to the IxDA Sydney community, just for you!. We have a 10% discount for the Vivid Sydney – Creative thinking and inventing for kids as well as a 10% discount for the Play Academy’s LEGO™ Serious Play™ Facilitation Workshop
Physical prototyping to design a future workplace
A team from AMP will share how they used physical prototypes in real office spaces, to help design and develop the future workplace for its employees. They explore the concept of an organic test and learn environment, where employees are expected to adopt an experiential mindset and contribute to the future design of their workplace.
Tickets to be released on Thursday 30 May , here and on Humanitix.
5:30-6:25 PM Check in, drinks, food, networking
6:30-6:45 PM Intro and welcome and general IxDA Sydney information
6:45-7:10 PM interaction19 Redux – Joe
7:10-7:20 PM Shoutouts (roles available, projects seeking volunteers, other events of interest)
7:20-8:00 PM Physical prototyping to design a future workplace – Sarah Forde and Tom Treffry
8:00 PM- Exeunt and downstairs for drinks and further discussions/networking, etc.
Sarah Forde transitioned in to service design from management consulting in 2017 , with an enquiring mind and a passion for transforming services through the discipline of human centred design. She has developed her passion and skills over nine years, delivering complex transformation projects through service and system re-design, both in Australia and the UK.
Tom Treffry is a corporate sustainability expert, committed to helping organisations address environmental issues and create positive social impact through wellbeing and responsible procurement. Tom is an MBA candidate at AGSM and passionate about using design thinking to help organisations create shared value.
April’s event will be the first run of IxDASydney’s invitational, where our call-out to the community to submit short presentation ideas bore immediate fruit. The first one joins Oli Weidlich to share their insights into creating an effective highlight reel to better communicate your findings. Then Oli will share his extensive experiences about effective intelligent agents. If you’re interested in bringing your 15 minute talk to the IxDA Sydney posse, just fill out our invitation to speak at IxDASydney.org/speaking to be considered.
Intelligent Agents and You – Oliver Weidlich
Intelligent Agents like Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa are becoming more and more prevalent in a range of products we use; from our mobile, to our car, to our home. What’s the difference between them and more importantly what’s the difference in the relationships that you can have with them. How do you design for the personality of the Agent and the services that you’rer interacting with?
The value and ease of highlight reels – Janek Gonsalkorale
Sometimes a presentation or a slide deck just doesn’t get insights into your stakeholders heads. Highlight reels can be a great bridge for creating empathy with your customers. But who has the time for that? I hear you say, especially with all the research and synthesis you have to do. And how do I get started? Although no Werner Herzog, Janek will show you a few tips and tricks of the trade.
Joe will present a quick review of some of the highlights from IxDA’s international conference in Seattle this February.
Agenda (please arrive before 6:15PM)
5:30-6:25 PM Check in, drinks, food, networking
6:30-6:45 PM Intro and welcome and general IxDA Sydney information
With 19 years of user experience consulting to Australia’s top companies, it’s likely you use a service that Oliver played a part in designing across mobile, desktop, wearables, smart devices, and voice. He is the Director of Design & Innovation at Mobile Experience and his clients have included Qantas, Telstra, Optus, Atlassian, NRMA, ABC, Museum of Contemporary Art, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac. He also loves working with start-ups to help them achieve their dreams, especially in the IoT & wearables space, across health, agriculture and automotive. He is an international conference speaker, advisory board member, mentor, and teaches Interaction Design at Sydney University.
Experience designer, semi-pro thinker, and under appreciated pun maker. Always up for a conversation about how much better Zack Snyder movies would be if he just listened to a screenwriter.
Want to take your stakeholder workshop facilitation skills to the next level? Learn the basics of service ecosystem mapping and how it applies to identifying and solving system level problems in this hands-on workshop.
While the increased popularity of service blueprints and customer journey maps is an encouraging sign for the proliferation of service design into the mainstream experience design toolbox, the fact remains that by themselves, they aren’t always the ideal methods when dealing with senior business stakeholders in the context of overall business discovery and strategy. The theory behind systems thinking and an approach to visualize the service ecosystem at a high level should be part of the toolkit of every design strategist.
Learning the basics of facilitating ecosystem mapping exercises goes a long way towards being able to identify the role and influence a company has in its ecosystem, and pinpoint which key parts of that ecosystem should be given strategic priority (and consequently be journey mapped/blueprinted in detail if those journeys are deemed critical). Understanding an organization’s ecosystem is not (just) about visualizing and diagramming it. Being able to identify and apply the right lenses to craft a visual representation that tells a compelling story can become a key sensemaking tool in your arsenal.
Cornelius Rachieru is the Founder and Managing Partner of Canadian UX consultancy Ampli2de Inc., where he explores his fascination with the politics of design while leading enterprise-scale experience and service design projects. Over the past 15 years, he has managed a number of large UX teams as UX practice leader at Deloitte Canada and Shaw Communications, He has consulted in a wide range of industries, from technology to financial services, healthcare, enterprise risk management, autonomous transportation and law.
Cornelius is also the Founder, Co-chair and Creative Director of the popular CanUX conference, Canada’s largest and longest running annual UX event. A self proclaimed night owl (he is originally from Transylvania), he loves red eye flights and is a nomad at heart.