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Wednesday 25th January 2017
How not to build an app

Gerard Lennox from Quba

Despite 35 years’ experience in computing I agreed we would build an App based on new technology that was to be used in the real world by over 900 people at a high profile event with an immovable go live date that couldn’t be extended by even a few hours.

We did everything wrong but it worked.

This is the story of what and how two of us did it using HTML5, Intel XDK and lots of lateral thinking.

About this month's speaker

Gerard Lennox

Gerard Lennox has been involved for over 35 years in the computer industry starting with mini computers running the PICK operating system then moving to IBM and ICL mainframes. For over 16 years he was the designer behind some of the first browser based business applications used in the UK, Europe and USA.

Before AJAX was invented we were using remote procedure calls in 1996 to provide highly functional interactive business applications built in Classic ASP that rivalled desktop computer applications.

Since then Gerard exited that business and has gone on to act as a director for a number of companies providing executive mentoring and technical and marketing consulting services. Gerard is highly involved with Quba and Xitagy as well as a number of other start-up companies.


Evening Schedule

  1. 6.15pm - 6.45pm: Get a drink and take a seat!
  2. 6.45pm - 7.30pm: How not to build an app
  3. 7.30pm - 8pm: Open mic - Tell us something, sell us anything, need help? ask the room
  4. 8pm - Close: Drinks and a good old natter in the bar!

Previous Events

November 2016:
A/S/L Why collecting user data is about more than just forms

Chad Gowler from Sky

We ask our users to give us a lot of personal data in order to provide rich experiences. People are complex and it is very easy to make assumptions about the most basic questions. This talk will look at how to ask people about data in a way that is inclusive and helpful while still providing value. Using gender, age and name as examples, we will learn what the stress cases are and what other things we need to consider when we ask our users to trust us with their identity.


September 2016:
'Five users will find 85% of the usability problems' - and other myths about usability testing

Rolf Molich from DialogDesign

Usability testing is by far the most widely used usability method. Nonetheless, it’s often conducted with poor or unsystematic methodology and thus doesn’t always live up to its full potential. Rolf Molich led an interactive and lively discussion about a number of controversial beliefs about usability evaluation and discuss if they are truths or myths.


July 2016:
Lies, and the lying liars who tell them - why you shouldn't listen to your customers

Jon Dixon from Bunnyfoot

As UX practitioners our main goal is to create the best customer experience possible. This means not just designing experiences that give our users all the things they want but also all the things they need - answering their questions, alleviating their anxieties and supplying their demands. Doing that will give us very happy customers. But how do we find out what those drivers, blockers, needs and worries are? The obvious answer is to ask them. But is this all we need to do? In this light-hearted and interactive talk we’ll explore some of the reasons why simply listening to your users might be a bad idea.


May 2016:
Conversion Rate Optimisation: Lessons from Start-Up ville

Tom Waterfall from Lost my name

Having come over from heading up an optimisation services team vendor-side and doing CRO for about 8 years, Tom shared lessons from joining his first start up over the last 6 months.


March 2016:
Transforming the Home Office: Using agile, user research and service design to deliver better services for citizens

Katy Arnold & Kate Tarling from Home Office Digital (GDS)


January 2016:

Rahel Bailie from Scroll

The discipline of content strategy has been evolving, and has gone from obscurity to necessity for communicators with sophisticated publishing needs. We’ve matured to the point where we have some lessons to teach - some of them uplifting, others not so much. This presentation will brush off the cobwebs, and share the highlights of some of the more "interesting" projects from the presenter’s repertoire.


November 2015:
The Naked Project

Mark Goddard & Gemma Barnes from Quba

Slides coming soon!

The Naked Project. A talk for project managers, coaches, business owners, clients, designers, the lot. We’re not here to preach about the design process, or how you should be working. We’re here to talk about a real life client project we worked on, and how we collaborated with a London Airport to pitch, research and design a website used by 4.5 million people with a real focus on transforming the way they work. No project is perfect so let’s learn together and share.


September 2015:
Applying design principles: War stories

Clara Teoh & Ruben Huidobro from GDS

Video coming soon!


July 2015:
How to Test Your Mobile Site Without Spending A Fortune

Barry Briggs from The BBC

Barry Briggs showed us why usability testing your site on mobile devices needn’t be difficult nor expensive, but might require a bit of DIY.


May 2015:
The Internet of Things: People are the Product

James Bailey from Bunnyfoot

Companies are investing billions into the Internet of Things (IoT). They are exploring what is possible and trying to find value in connecting the world around us. How can they avoid costly mistakes? The answers lie in our everyday lives. In the talk James Bailey looks at how you can create superior products and services through a user-centred approach.


March 2015:
Just Enough Engineering: is full-stack design a thing now?

Dan Jones from Capital One

Agile is pretty much the de facto methodology for new software projects, and it brings a renewed emphasis on collaboration to deliver great products. During this talk, Dan discussed full-stack design, how it can help improve collaboration between design and development, why it scares the life out of him (in a good way) and why he expects to spend less time creating wireframes in the future.


January 2015:
The (M)admen of the 50s were the first User Experience designers – and we should revisit what many have forgotten to improve the experiences of today

Jon Dodd from Bunnyfoot

Evidence based design, Function over form, measuring effectiveness, persuasive design, emotional design… and more - find out how some of the leading lights of the Madison Avenue admen era were practicing and delivering positive, persuasive and profitable customer interactions decades before digital – most of the wisdom is still relevant today.


November 2014:
International Usability Testing: Stories from the field

Veronika Jermolina from Bunnyfoot

You’ve designed a website, a checkout flow, or a service. You’ve conducted usability testing, fixed the issues. All that’s left now is to send your copy to the translation agency to translate into other languages… Veronika showed us that this approach is likely to throw unexpected issues that may prevent customers from engaging with the product. Veronika shared her learnings and anecdotes from planning, conducting and analysing international user research. Veronika demonstrated pragmatic and usable techniques for accommodating international customers.


Future UX Sheffield Events

Date Venue Description Speaker  
Past event - 27/01/2016 Sheffield Tap Make It or Break It: Content Strategy Tales from the Vault Rahel Bailie  
Past event - 30/03/2016 Sheffield Tap Transforming the Home Office: Using agile, user research and service design to deliver better services for citizens Kate Tarling & Katy Arnold - GDS: Home Office Digital  
Past event - 25/04/2016 Sheffield Tap Conversion Rate Optimisation: Lessons from Start-Up ville Tom Waterfall  
27/07/2016 Sheffield Tap Lies, and the lying liars who tell them - why you shouldn't listen to your customers Jon Dixon Register
Past event - 28/09/2016 The Electric works ”Five users will find 85% of the usability problems” - and other myths about usability testing Rolf Mollich  
30/11/2016 Sheffield Tap TBC TBC  

Interested in speaking at one of our events?

We are always looking for interesting people to come and speak at one of our events, so if you are interested in sharing your experinces please feel free to get in touch, we'll also buy the beer!

How to find The Sheffield Tap

The Sheffield Tap
Platform 1B, Sheffield Station, Sheaf St, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 2BP