UXTesting Inc. October Recap: The Experience Trip to World Usability Congress 2019

Last month (14th to 17th October), UXTesting team was invited as a partner to participate in one of the biggest international UX conferences in Europe - World Usability Congress. The congress was organized by Youspi Consulting, held in a small but elegant city in Graz, Austria.

UXTesting team helped the organizing team generate UX Trend Report 2020, an annual insightful magazine about upcoming global UX trends. This includes the worldwide quantitative UX trend survey (click the link to participate in the survey) and insightful discussions about the future of UX with the speakers of World Usability Congress 2019.

Image 1: Hannes Robier (the chair of World Usability Congress), and Tate Lin (head of business development of UXTesting) in the event venue.

This year, there were more than 45+ international speakers coming from companies like Facebook, Instagram, Coca Cola, Philips, Boston Dynamics, etc. and 600+ attendees from various industries who participated in this conference. The conference opened up so many opportunities not only for people to learn about the value of UX but also for them to meet and network with like-minded people.

The Conference

The 4 days events included,

  1. User Experience Quality Certification Center Training Courses (UXQCC): A 2 days UX fundamental training courses. Our CEO, Aldrich Huang, is also one of the board members at UXQCC. 

  2. A Full-Day Workshop: With multiple hands-on workshops, topics included Beyond CX, UX Strategy Business Model Canvas, AI & Machine Learning for UX, etc.

  3. 2 Full-Day Conferences: There were high-level topics such as UX Strategy, Design Leadership, UX Robotics, Autonomous Driving, Inclusive Design, AR/VR, AI in UX, to name a few.

This year’s range of advanced and strategic topics provided an excellent environment to learn from and network with experts in the field, look for potential business opportunities, as well as meet friends. During the conferences, each day started and ended with a keynote speech, with several masterclass tracking in between which gave attendees the flexibility to join whichever class they want.

Image 2: Hannes Robier (the chair of World Usability Congress) opening speech.


Image 3: Beyond CX Workshop. Sam Rapp from the Airline industry.

In the workshop, UXTesting team joined the “Beyond-CX” session. The workshop was composed of several keynote talks and crafted workshops delivered by experienced strategic leaders from multiple industries like ABB, Airline, Disney, and consultants from trusted agencies. With the strategic and experienced organizational planners, this session broadened the attendees’ knowledge in terms of how industry titans create meaningful experiences through gathering actionable user insights.
Look into Big Picture and the Whole System. Insights are behind the Details.

Image 4: Beyond CX Workshop. Brainstorming and drawing wireframe.

During the hands-on workshops, we worked with the team members from the same table to come up with several ideas related to “Global Cross-Cultural Food Experience” as image 4 and to draw out the wireframe. We planned to create customized cultural tours with authentic food experience tours like German, Indian and Chinese cuisines. Ideas included the entire customer journey, which started from attracting people across different funnels, providing a great online to offline experience, and ultimately encouraging them to be promoters to drive business growth. With the digital planner panel, global customers could arrange the trips online and embrace offline trips. It’s interesting to push the boundaries from online to offline as we looked through the entire customer journey.

Ideas kept flowing, like gushing water coming out of a faucet. But, we all knew how executing the idea as a real business while uncovering actionable insights to provide a lasting “good” experience is challenging. So, one of the suggestions was to bring in the UXTesting business intelligence solution. We planned to use the UXTesting global user panel and user testing platform to collect more users' insights to align the user needs with the overall business goal.

To be honest, the ideas generated from the workshop were very promising. It’s probably a viable business opportunity in the future.


Image 5: The keynote of Alex Wright, director of research at Instagram.

After a whole day of hands-on workshops, the conference was kicked off by a keynote speech from Alex Wright, Director of Research at Instagram. He illustrated the 3 core principles:

  • People First
  • Simplicity
  • Craft

UXTesting actually is one of a billion users of Instagram (Follow us: UXTesting), using the application as a medium to post news about UXTesting and to capture stories worth remembering in multiple events (Our InsightX Meetup around SouthEast Asia) we’ve been to. The 3 core principles look so simple but knocked our mind and reminded us of a quintessential quote from Steve Jobs: 
Simple can be harder than complex. It’s never an easy job to manage a billion-daily-active-user service. 
With Instagram, it is easier than ever to share one’s daily life with friends and families. But, going back to the quote of Steve Jobs, simplicity may be harder for Instagram in terms of how the product is constantly aligning with business goals, while trying to balance it with the ever-changing needs and wants of its users.

Image 6: The keynote of Gülay Birand, UX lead and product design manager from Facebook. She will also be the keynote speaker at Savvy UX Summit 2019 in Bangkok this December.

During the event, many speakers also shared the product excellence for business, the value of User Experience and the education of leadership from different department acknowledgment. 

In the journey of UXTesting, the question of how UX plays a role in achieving business goals is always something that our clients would ask from us. This type of question that UX versus business is usually one of the most popular topics that our clients asked us. A lot of conflicts happen in the organization because of the gap between UX objectives and metrics of other teams. Luckily, as we delved into this topic with several speakers during the UX Trend Report interview and attendees from the conference, we gained so many insights coming from different perspectives. Some of these advice are great stepping stones to achieve a UX-centric organization:

  1. See the Big Picture on the Objective of the Project with the UX Involved: Looking at the bigger scope to understand inward and figure out how the UX team can be involved in every step of the product/service delivery process.

  2. Align UX Angle to the Business Goals: Make sure the key results of UX complement the business goals.

  3. Provide Customer and Business Data & Numbers: Use the real and actionable users’ data to prove the concepts and ideas.

  4. Storytelling: Providing stories to eliminate the blur and concretize the outcome

UX is not just UI design, prototyping, and conducting user interviews. It is a strategic mindset and business objective to uncover actionable insights that drive business growth.

Key Takeaways of from the WUC 2019

World Usability Congress is definitely a world-class conference. The event is far beyond a UX event, as you get multiple chances to engage with a lot of international speakers and attendees to get meaningful insights. It gave us a hint on what the UX industry holds for us in the next few years. UXTesting is honored to be invited as the contributor and partner of WUC to support the preparation of the UX Trend Report 2020. The insights we learned from the congress can be summarized 3 key takeaways:

  1. Human is Human
    Technologies are simply tools and means to an end, but never a be-all-end-all. All the innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, VR/AR, Robotic and other buzzwords are just the auxiliaries for life. Those innovations can’t replace the fundamental of people’s core values like empathy, love, emotional connection, human contact, and story-telling. It just helps us change the way we present or deliver it. 

  2. UX is a strategic and all-dimensional holistic mindset
    The purpose of UX is to work with the business stakeholders and product teams from the perspective of end-users. It’s not just about creating pretty pixels on the screen but also about solving user problems through useful, usable, and delightful products. UX is a process to better understand the HOW, WHAT and WHY of teams through gathering user insights. It should be embedded in a company’s overall business strategy to make a long-term impact on its users and the organization itself.

  3. Embrace the cultural difference
    Finding the singular balance among multiple polarities seems impossible. It’s like the statement of minimum energy will lead to maximum entropy (maximum disorder) in thermodynamics. To avoid bias and breed excellent products, embracing diversity in experiences, culture, and other aspects of lives are key to building a customer journey without the barriers of cultural differences and points of access. 

Image 7: UXTesting team joined the “Experience Tour” with speakers.

Special thanks to Alex Wright, Gülay Birand, Carol Smith, Clemens Posch, Clemens Lutsh, Dave Boon, Dobrian Dobrev, Daniel Keller, Hsien-Hui Tang, Joe Lanzisero and his wife Monica, Jürgen Blematl, Jared Huke, Leland Hepler, Michael Hanna, Martina Mitz, Mirjam Wouters, Ramy Nassar, Reinoud Bosman, Skot Carruth, Sabina Krishna, Sam Rapp, Trip O'Dell, Tim Scanlon, Vivian Gomes, Vimal MK, Vlad Dumitrache and other speakers and attendees.

Lastly, thanks for our lovely partner, Youspi team Hannes Robier and Phillipe for the invitation and organizing such a great event! With UXTesting’s vision, we will keep devoting to contributing to building up and partner with global communities to power UX in the corporates.

*What is Next after World Usability Congress 2019?
Join us in Bangkok! UXTesting team is thrilled to hold the top-notch event - Savvy UX Summit 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand on 12th & 13th December. If you are interested in learning UX/CX, up-level your skill sets and networking with the global speakers from Google, Facebook, and eBay, you should not miss this opportunity to join us!

Please spend 5-10 minutes to fill in the UX Trend 2020 Survey.  We’d appreciate you to let us know your thoughts and will send the final report to you next January.

UX Trend Report 2019 is available: Click here to see last year's report.


Tate Lin
Head of Business Development at UXTesting