On the 24th of November 2022 CHI NL organised the first edition of Experience & Beyond – an event that aims to connect industry and academic HCI / UX professionals.
Experience & Beyond sold out 🎉 and welcomed 100 attendees and speakers from 44 different organisations for a wonderful afternoon of short talks.
The name ‘Experience & Beyond’ refers back to an event CHI NL used to organise until 2012: the Web and Beyond conference. Now, a decade later, we believe HCI and UX have shifted focus from the Web to a broader scope of experience.
Session 1: UX meets academia
We kicked the afternoon off with talks about how and where the world of industry and academia differ.
Janelle Ward (Janelle Ward Insights) spoke about the importance of knowing the lingo when you try to move from academia to industry. Janelle emphasised how the correct use of language can both convey your understanding and give your words authority.
Amulya Tata (YouTube, remote speaker) talked about the methods and tools she wishes she knew about when she was still in academia, such as the use of design/research sprints and the myriad of synthesis tools available for qualitative and quantitative data analysis.
Romeo Vreeken (DEPT Agency) outlined two aspects of public speaking that may help during presentations and pitches: being yourself and being with your audience. The former refers to aspects such as body language, whereas the latter is about connecting with your audience by understanding what they are looking for and realising they want you to succeed.
Session 2: Design and research maturity
Next, attention shifted to good practice: how do different practitioners work? During this slot attendees could also opt to attend the workshop on embedding UX (research) in your environment, ran by our sponsor: Anne Vroegop from the UX Academy.
Bo Liu and Eduardo Gomez Ruiz (Miro) spoke about how the UX research team at Miro has established itself, including by doing stakeholder research, understanding business priorities, and working creatively to overcome the notion that research is slow.
Maya Alvarado (Booking.com) described the two core strands of accessibility research at Booking.com: the work to make digital products accessible (e.g. keyboard navigation) and the work to make end-to-end services accessible (e.g. travel with disabled children or a service dog).
Stephanie Marsh (Springer Nature, remote speaker) described how the Research Operations practice at Springer Nature has evolved over the last three years, using the Eight Pillars of User Research developed by Emma Boulton.
Stefan Manojlović (Spotify) compared the friendship between Grace and Frankie to the collaboration between data scientists and user researchers: they have a shared goal but different paths to reach it. Stefan encouraged researchers to become besties with data scientists, to compliment one another’s skills.
Session 3: Looking to the future
The last session of the day looked ahead at what future experiences may become.
Ward de Kruiff (EPAM Systems) talked about how digital experiences are shifting from click-to-buy to experience-to-buy with an array of examples of recently developed phygital (physical + digital + virtual) experiences.
Sylvie Dijkstra-Soudarissanane (TNO) described the variety of Social XR (social extended reality) work being done at TNO, with as the main takeaway: we will need ultra-realistic human representation in the Social XR in order to build a true sense of human co-presence.
Alexandra Diening and Manuela Scherer (EPAM Systems) talked about building a responsible metaverse and the various potential risks to humans if we fail to do so – including, for example, on societal inequity and how our brains function. They closed with a call to action to the audience of researchers to help create this more responsible future.
The day ended with a borrel in EPAM’s lovely top floor social space, a time to network, find jobs, and discuss the wide variety of talks. Thank you to all our speakers and attendees for making this such a special afternoon & a huge thank you to our sponsors for making this event happen: UX Academy (knowledge sponsor), EPAM Systems (venue sponsor), and Cake Researcher (cake sponsor).
Are you interested in helping organise or speaking at a future edition of Experience & Beyond? We’d love to have you involved, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHI NL has a few other events coming up soon:
- A CHI2023 CHI NL party in Hamburg
- Our annual post-CHI event in June, this year’s event will be hosted at the TU Delft
We hope to see you there!