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02nd May 2014

Interaction 14 Redux: The state of UX apprenticeships & why we don't always need to be disruptive

Each & Other was among the large Irish contingent that visited Interaction 14 in Amsterdam this year. It proved to be one of the best conferences we’ve attended in a while, with lots of inspiring talks and practical advice. And yes, there were also lots and lots of bicycles.

For those weren’t lucky enough to visit Interaction 14, IxDA Dublin held a Redux in Engine Yard to present some of the main themes that emerged from this year’s conference.

With the kind permission of the organisers we took our camera and tripod down to record some quick videos of a few of the talks.

IQ’s Linh Ha discussed ‘Bad Design Advice’, Paolo Malabuyo’s talk, which turns three of the most common industry design principles on their head,

  • Why should we always aim to ‘be disruptive’?
  • Why we should instinctively trust our gut, when our instinct requires training like everything else? And finally,
  • How can we always aim to ‘be agile’ when culture and process are often central to our products?

One of the defining themes of Interaction 14 was education. April Meyer gave an overview of Fred Beecher’s talk - "Making More UX Designers: UX Apprenticeship in the Real World”. Centred around his own attempts to train the next generation of interaction designers within his organisation, the talk drew attention to the alarming lack of industry-ready designers, with 10,000 new UX jobs being created every month in the US. April used her talk to open up wider questions about pedagogy and mentorship within the UX community.

As well as summarising the defining themes of Interaction 14, there were a few new presentations that caught our eye. Matthew Ovington of Paddy Power brought us through his experiences in setting up a UX practice in Paddy Power. Meanwhile, Colman Walsh drew some brilliant analogies between Lean UX and the Prussian Army, leaving us wondering how to apply auftragstaktik in our workplace (and also wondering how to pronounce it properly).

A big thanks to IXDA Dublin for organising, and letting us record; to Engine Yard for hosting; and to Paddy Power for the pizza and beer.