Ants at UX Now 2016: It’s All About Iterations

UX is all about revisions and iterations‘ – This was the theme of the UX Now 2016, held at IIT Delhi earlier this month. I attended the event, and here are my two cents on it:

What Confused Me about UX Now

The UX Now event, which is supposed to be one of the best UX events in the nation felt rather absurd. Discussing the major theme of the event which was ‘iterations’, a senior professor at the panel discussion furthered the absurdity when he gave this analogy: “I had an arranged marriage. The whole process of the selection of the bride was what we call “the testing phase”. My marriage has been going strong for over 20 years, and has needed no iterations!”

He furthered his argument by saying that if testing is good, then there is no real need for iterations, and iterations have now become a means of escapism for the designers. He was met with a loud applause and enthusiastic hoots, as you would expect from a bunch of cheeky IITians.

While I loved listening to the views of the professor, I would like to respectfully disagree. I believe the analogy had some flaws. Marriage is not an end-product. It is actually a process! People in a marriage continuously keep changing their habits to be compatible with each other. This change in a person is in itself an iteration.

What’s more, the focus at the event was way too much on digital UX and mobile apps. The scope of UX goes beyond just digital or mobile world, as the actual physical world too, needs improvements and iterations in User Experience from time to time. 

UX Now - Picasso's Bull
Picasso’s Bull

What I loved about UX Now

Arvind Lodaya, the moderator at the panel discussion had a great insight to offer. His presentation talked about ‘Success vs Values’. The talk was about changing behaviour through products. While most designers tend to look at making a ‘successful’ product, value addition might be missing out. This reminded me of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits – Beginning with the end in mind. The end goal of any UX design is that of providing some value to the user.

Another inspiring speech was made by Sree Unnikrishnan, who talked about Picasso’s Bull. For those who do not know about it, Picasso’s Bull is known to be one of the greatest pieces of abstract art of all time. However, it is also the perfect example for UX Designers when it comes to iterations. With every iteration to the bull, the design was improvised until the final, abstract result was arrived at.

The event was a great learning experience, the interactions with the panel helped broaden my horizons in the ever-changing world of UX. I am looking forward to attending next years’ UX Now event.



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