Special evening with Elizabeth Churchill, Director of User Experience, Google

GREAT NEWS! We will be video recording the evening, so if you can’t attend you can still catch up online later.

We are VERY excited to announce that Elizabeth Churchill keynote speaker at the OzCHI2015 conference, will be giving an exclusive presentation to UX Melbourne. This is a great opportunity to meet and hear first hand from a leading ‘thinker and do-er’ in global user experience design. 

OzCHI2015 have generously offered to make Elizabeth available to UX Melbourne in the interests of building relationships between Melbourne’s foremost Interaction Design researchers and our practising User Experience community. Checkout the OzCHI2015 experience for more details and @OzCHI2015 on twitter.

A huge THANK YOU to National Australia Bank – NAB Labs for sponsoring this event. We are excited to host this evening in such a great space. Keep you eyes peeled for more exciting announcements, the evening will be a GREAT way to celebrate UX Melbourne’s wonderful 2015.

The evening will be 6pm for a 6.30pm start.

As you know, it is a free event, but it will be ‘entry by name tag’. So please keep your RSVP up-to-date if you can’t make it.

UX for the Consumer Internet of Things – UX Book Club with Claire Rowland

What’s different about user experience design for the Internet of Things?

Our next UX Book Club book – Designing Connected Products – delivers advice for UX designers working with cross-device interactions and the complex ecosystems inherent in IoT technology.

We’ll be discussing this book together as a group and we’re excited that the book’s lead author, Claire Rowland will then be joining us live in a video link-up from London for the second half of our meet-up.

Claire Rowland is an independent UX strategy and product consultant based in London. She has a particular interest in taking connected products from an early adopter user base to the mass market, and technologies that support mundane, everyday activities.

Networked thermostats, fitness monitors, and door locks show that IoT devices can (and will) provide abundant ways for people to interact with the world around them. But designing connected products for consumers is a challenge that involves issues beyond UI and interaction design.

Topics include:

• How the technology of IoT affects UX

• Product and design strategy for connected devices

• Industrial design

• Interface and interaction design for embedded devices

• Cross-device interactions and interusability

• Interoperability

• Responsible IoT design

• Designing with data

• Prototyping and user research methods for connected products

50%  Discount on the eBook and 40% discount on the Printed Book

Why not buy the eBook and start reading today? It’s not essential to have read all of it to take part in this event – but of course you’ll get loads more out of it if you do. And you can read it knowing you’ll get the chance to talk to Claire about your thoughts, ideas and questions at this event.

For 50% off the eBook (DRM free, multiple formats) and 40% off the printed book use code AUTHD at the checkout here:


Buy a Printed Copy

If you prefer good old fashioned printed books (and this one’s lovely – tons of images and super illustrations) then here are a couple of the places to buy it from.

Angus Robertson

Book Depository

When is it?

Tuesday 27th October – gathering at 6.00pm. Our discussions will start at 6.30pm and Claire will be joining us live by video at 7.30pm. We’ll finish around 8.30pm.

Where is it?

General Assembly are kindly hosting this event at their fabulous new campus at Level 12A, 45 William Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000. Thanks, GA!

Start exploring the book’s topics now

You can read an excellent short overview of the topic in this free book from O’Reilly:


Check out this inspiring talk from Claire, which she gave shortly before the book was published.


Take a look at the book’s website for a taste of what’s inside:


Looking forward to seeing you there!

UX Book Club – Alan Cooper’s: The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

In August, UX Melbourne is revisiting Alan Cooper’s classic book, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity. Join us at Loop Bar on 11th August for a trip down memory lane as we ask the question, has anything changed since 1998?

When is it?

Tuesday 11th August 2015 – gathering at 6.00pm we’ll start our discussions at 6:30pm. 

Where is it?

Loop Bar – 23 Meyers Place, Melbourne

How much does the event cost?

Nothing, it’s absolutely free.

Haven’t got time to read it before the meet up?

If you think you might not be able to read the book before the meet up then here are some quick summaries…

From the back cover:

From the Back CoverThe Inmates are Running the Asylum argues that, despite appearances, business executives are simply not the ones in control of the high-tech industry. They have inadvertently put programmers and engineers in charge, leading to products and processes that waste huge amounts of money, squander customer loyalty, and erode competitive advantage. They have let the inmates run the asylum. Alan Cooper offers a provocative, insightful and entertaining explanation of how talented people continuously design bad software-based products. More importantly, he uses his own work with companies big and small to show how to harness those talents to create products that will both thrill their users and grow the bottom line.

What does Amazon have to say:

The recurring metaphor in The Inmates are Running the Asylum is that of the dancing bear–the circus bear that shuffles clumsily for the amusement of the audience. Such bears, says author Alan Cooper, don’t dance well, as everyone at the circus can see. What amazes the crowd is that the bear dances at all. Cooper argues that technology (videocassette recorders, car alarms, most software applications for personal computers) consists largely of dancing bears–pieces that work, but not at all well. He goes on to say that this is more often than not the fault of poorly designed user interfaces, and he makes a good argument that way too many devices (perhaps as a result of the designers’ subconscious wish to bully the people who tormented them as children) ask too much of their users. Too many systems (like the famous unprogrammable VCR) make their users feel stupid when they can’t get the job done.

Cooper, who designed Visual Basic (the programming environment Microsoft promotes for the purpose of creating good user interfaces), indulges in too much name-dropping and self-congratulation (Cooper attributes the quote, “How did you do that?” to Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, upon looking at one of Cooper’s creations)–but this appears to be de rigueur in books about the software industry. But those asides are minor. More valuable is the discourse about software design and implementation (“[O]bject orientation divides the 1000-brick tower into 10 100-brick towers.”). Read this book for an idea of what’s wrong with UI design. –David Wall

If you’d rather consume Cooper visually:

Here’s a video link of Cooper talking about personas and design at an industry night in San Fransisco late 2014. It goes for an hour so curl up on the sofa with a coffee before you press play.

UX Breakfast Book Club with Indi Young

We’re excited to announce that for our June UX Book Club, Indi Young will be joining us in a live video link-up to explore and discuss her new book, Practical Empathy. For this event, our discussions will be over lattes – as we’re holding the bookclub at breakfast time in the CBD.

Indi is a trailblazer of design strategy, interaction design, and information architecture and was one of the founders of the legendary UX agency Adaptive Path.

We’ll be discussing Indi’s latest book, Practical Empathy and she will be taking part in our discussion.

Indi says: “This book is not about the kind of empathy where you feel the same emotions as another person. It’s about understanding how another person thinks – what’s going on inside her head and heart. And most importantly, it’s about acknowledging her reasoning and emotions as valid, even if they differ from your own understanding. This acknowledgment has all sorts of practical applications, especially in your work. This book explores using empathy in your work, both in the way you make things and the way you interact with people.”

30% Discount for UX Melbourne

The lovely folks at Rosenfeld Media have given us a 30% discount. Just use the discount code UXMPE when you order.


Why not buy the eBook and start reading today? It’s not essential to have read all of Practical Empathy to take part in this event – but of course you’ll get loads more out of it if you do. And you can read it knowing you’ll get the chance to talk to Indi about your thoughts, ideas and questions at this event.

When is it?

Thursday 25th June – gathering at 8.00am. Indi will be joining us by video from San Francisco at 8.15am. We’ll be done by 9.00am.

Where is it?

General Assembly, Level 1, 20 Queen Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

How much does the event cost?

Nothing, it’s absolutely free. 

Can’t make it in person? Join us live online.

You’re welcome to join this event in our live Google Hangout.


Haven’t got time to read it before the meet up?

If you think you might not be able to read Practical Empathy before Thursday morning, here are some quick reads, a quick listen and a fascinating video.

Take a look at some or all of these to get a good understanding of what’s inside Practical Empathy. It will help you get much more out of the event and the discussion.


Central to Practical Empathy is the importance of listening intently. An almost zen-like removal of your own thoughts and assumptions, so that you can really get into the inner thoughts of the person you’re listening to. This except, published on A List Apart, talks about this “New Way of Listening”



If you’re short on time, grab a coffee and watch this 40-minute presentation by Indi and you’ll be in a great place to join the discussion:



Louis Rosenfeld has a quick chat with Indi about Practical Empathy:



Chapter 1: Business Is Out of Balance

How a lack of listening, immature data practices and self-focused thinking can lead to poor design and decision making. “Most of the time professionals are so busy trying to contribute their ideas and get other people to change that they don’t realise they’ve spent zero time understanding those other people and listening to them.”

Chapter 2: Empathy Brings Balance

A definition of the different kinds of empathy, plus an explanation of the important differences between developing empathy and applying empathy. “So empathy is not about warmth and kindness. It’s about listening. It’s about having a frame of mind that’s curious about the deeper flow of people’s thinking.”

Chapter 3: Put Empathy to Work

The stages of developing and applying empathy. How to conduct a listening session. “The best part about listening is that you don’t have to be a ‘good facilitator’ or a ‘skilled interviewer’ to develop empathy. It’s more about just being yourself, in curiosity mode. Kids can do it. What it takes is the ability to let go of your thoughts and really absorb what you hear.”

Chapter 4: A New Way to Listen

Practical and detailed guidance on how to listen well. How to get beneath the surface of facts and opinions to get to the person’s reasoning, reactions and guiding principles. “The key is to find out the point of what the person is doing – why, the reason, not the steps of how she does it.”

Chapter 5: Make Sense of What You Heard

How to create focused summaries from your transcripts (that will be invaluable when you come to apply the empathy you’re developing). “Making sense of what a person said from the transcript provides double the depth of understanding than just simply listening does. The summaries are timeless and will continue to be useful for years.”

Chapter 6: Apply Empathy to What You Create

Applying empathy by looking for patterns and creating behavioural segments from the patterns. How the patterns can be used for collaborative idea generation. “To create something, you benefit from understanding the patterns of how various people reason.”

Chapter 7: Apply Empathy with People at Work

How to apply empathy when you collaborate and when you lead a team. How empathy can help you understand people higher up in the business as well as know yourself better. “It is more powerful to exhibit understanding than competence. The empathetic mindset is not focused on oneself or one’s own abilities.”

Chapter 8: Apply Empathy Within Your Organisation

Applying empathy so you can see from your organisation’s point of view. “If you can clarify for yourself what drives your organisation as a whole, the knowledge can’t help but influence the way you do your work.”

Chapter 9: Where Do You Go from Here?

How to spread these principles and practices. How to explain the empathetic mindset to others and how to begin incorporating the practices in your work. “More than any other thing, practice will steadily bring you confidence and experience. If practice is they key, then demonstrating the empathetic mindset to those you work with is the treasure in the room.”

Coming next

At our August UX Book Club, we’ll be discussing Alan Cooper’s, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity. More details coming soon.

March UX Movie Night

Welcome to the first installment of UX Movie Night for 2015!

Join UX Melbourne as we present a talk by Denise Jacobs, Creative Evangelist, author of The CSS Detective and co-author of Smashing Magazine #3: Redesigning the Web. 

In her talk, Reviving Creativity, Denise reflects on how we use creativity in traditionally non-creative roles giving us an insight into her process to revive the creativity that lay dormant within us all.

What happens on the night?

Come down early to enjoy a chat and a drink before settling in for the main event at 6:30pm.

After the movie we will have a group discussion sharing thoughts, insights and experiences about what makes us creative and how it shapes User Experience.

Not a big talker? Every story needs an audience! Come along and work your active listening skills. :)

How much does the event cost?

Nothing, it’s absolutely free. All we ask is that you buy something from the bar in thanks of their support of UX Melbourne.

February UX Bookclub – Gamestorming

Welcome to 2015 and the first UX Melbourne event!

February’s book is Dave Gray’s classic reference, Gamestorming; an essential for any UX library. The book explores the use of games as a tool for innovation and creative thinking.

The first part of the book establishes a framework to use games to solve problems. The second part is a menu of over 80 games to help you break down barriers, communicate better, and generate new ideas, insights, and strategies.

What do I need to do?

The book is not designed to be read from cover to cover. Instead, we suggest reading chapters 1-3 and then exploring the games at your leisure. Alternatively, the games are all also available at <a>www.gamestorming.com.</a>

For discussion, spend a moment to think about how have you have personally applied games as part of the UX process. How did they help to facilitate research or design? What has worked, and what has not?

Where do I get the book?

O’Reilly have offered us a 50% discount code (DSUG) for the eBook (it will work for the book too, but shipping is from the US). For the cheapest hardcopy, refer to booko.

How much does the event cost?

Nothing, it’s absolutely free. Just turn up and buy something from the bar to thank them for their support of UX Melbourne.

6.00pm for a 6.30pm start.

UX Movie Night – Mike Monteiro: How Designers Destroyed the World

Mike Monteiro is the co-founder and design director of Mule Design, an interactive design studio. He has gained notoriety for expressing strong (and often incendiary) opinions on design and the designer-client relationship, as on “the most popular CreativeMornings talk of all time”, F*ck You, Pay Me. He is also the author of two books on the design profession, Design Is a Job, and You’re My Favorite Client, and a host on Let’s Make Mistakes, a podcast about design.

In this talk, Mike talks about the consequences of bad design, and how designers should be held responsible for those consequences. Come to be challenged by his ideas, and for a chance to exchange your own ideas with other designers at the event.