UX Pakistan 2019: RoundUp of a Perfect Design Experience

By Arooj Masood in Multidisciplinary Design, Interaction Design

10 months ago - 5 mins read

After a month-long delay due to political situation of the country, the much-awaited design conference UX Pakistan 2019 finally commenced on 20th April 2019. Even though the rescheduling meant that some of the speakers who were initially planned for the conference, e.g Usman Riaz of Mano Animation Studio, couldn’t attend the proceedings, the conference managed to retain most of its speakers and attendees.

Day one of the conference was dedicated towards highly interactive workshops. The morning sessions by Hassan Habib (founder Designist) about “Service Design For The New Frontier” and by Mitti Ghar about “Discovering creativity through pottery” were the ones that attracted the most participants. Later on, the “Google Design Sprint” conducted by Burgan Shealy from Google had such an overwhelming response that the conference room booked by the team had no place left to sit. All these workshops , along with others, were aimed towards familiarizing the participants with different interactive ideas and to make them understand the process that a company goes through to design a new product according to user needs.

Hasan Habib during his workshop on Service Design at UX PakistanHasan Habib during his workshop on Service DesignDay two of the conference was perhaps what the attendees were all waiting for. It consisted of back to back talks given by the industry’s finest in a tedx-styled manner for six hours. These people were not just your typical industry professionals who were members of an HR or finance department of a huge coorporration. These were the individuals who were well versed in the department of putting the  “user first”. They valued what their customers had to say. One amusing example this was when Yasir Ahmed from FoodPanda recited a hilarious poem sent to FoodPanda’s customer sevice by one of its customer. Yasir then explained how FoodPanda aimed to achieve what that customer wished for in that poem.

Melinda Klayman, the first speaker of the conference, talked about future of user experience for the next billion users born in this era of technology. She talked about how people are taught by people around them and how this leads to limited knowledge. The aim is to make these new users more confident with technology and to make their user experience more personal. 

Melinda Klayman on Evolution of digital literacy at UX PakistanMelinda Klayman on Evolution of digital literacyAsma Omer from Marham.pk narrated the journey of her startup, Marham, from just being a Facebook group to being one of the largest healthcare platforms in Pakistan. Asma talked about problems that young startups can face. Three major problems were: Traction, Conversion and Sustainability.  To many young entrepreneurs present in the audience, Mahram’s story was a perfect case study.

Asma Omer discussing the success of Marham.pk at UX PakistanAsma Omer discussing the success of Marham.pkMoving towards gamification, Abbas Saleem Khan CEO at Optera Digital talked about UX in games. According to him, game designers can also be known as happiness engineers. Games are the only platform where failing becomes fun, but every activity in a game should feel like a meaningful activity to the user.

Giuliana Riitano talking about Internet Econommy and Startup Unicorns in SEA Region at UX PakistanGiuliana Riitano talking about Internet Econommy and Startup Unicorns in SEA Region The conference made sure that it touched upon all the key issues related to design. One such issue was of, surprisingly, gender. However, once Amna Batool and Garen Checkley from Emerging Market Design Strategy at Google started pointing out flaws in the design of our everyday things, it was eye opening to see how even in design, one gender was preferred. Did you know that mics are sexist?

In the end the best design award was presented to Maheen Adil. Her flip 180 was designed to prevent C-sections.

Sadia Khurram talking about Developing a Customer-Centric Corporation at UX PakistanSadia Khurram talking about Developing a Customer-Centric Corporation 

Jaffar Hussain discussing about How a Design Studio Became a Change Agent in Pakistan at UX PakistanJaffar Hussain discussing about  How a Design Studio Became a Change Agent in Pakistan Overall, UX Pakistan was a rousing success. This conference has emerged as the gathering point of like-minded people. People who want to excel in the field of UX/UI design and who understand that an organization can not strive without the backing of its users. The conference hopes to hold its fourth edition in 2020 at a much larger scale with a much more diverse list of speakers.

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