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Live Stream From Awwwards London Conference: Chat Bots, Virtual Reality, And The Future Of UX

Quick Summary

Chat bots, virtual reality and conversational design are just a few of the hot topics that are about to change the way we craft digital experiences. So, it’s a good time to rethink current practices and prepare for what’s about to come, don’t you think?

To give us all an early head start into the future of designing meaningful experiences, we are happy to live stream the backstage interviews which we’ll hold at the Awwwards Digital Design Conf in London today. Kindly organized by our good friends at Adobe.

Table of Contents

Chat bots, virtual reality and conversational design are just a few of the hot topics that are about to change the way we craft digital experiences. So, it’s a good time to rethink current practices and prepare for what’s about to come, don’t you think?

To give us all an early head start into the future of designing meaningful experiences, we are happy to live stream the backstage interviews which we’ll hold at the Awwwards Digital Design Conf in London today. Kindly organized by our good friends at Adobe.

Join Vitaly and creative digital thinkers and designers today, live from the Awwwards Conference in London. Starting at 12 PM GMT. (Watch and send in questions on YouTube)

We’ll sit down with some of the creative minds out there to discuss their workflows, techniques, failures and lessons learned from crafting digital experiences today. We’ll talk about ongoing and upcoming developments and the challenges they bring along for you as a designer. Light-bulb moments are guaranteed.

Sounds good? Well then, prepare yourself a nice cuppa coffee, or better yet, find a comfy spot not too far away from the coffee machine: the 5-hour long live stream will start right here on Thursday, February 2nd at 12 PM GMT.

What’s The Live Stream About?

Designing for the web today isn’t easy. We have to deal with so many unknowns – ranging from screen sizes to network conditions to capabilities of devices. To manage this unpredictability, we tend to rely on predictable patterns – predictable solutions which bring us to predictable results — faster. However, as a result, we tend to create same-looking experiences as well.

The live stream today will explore how we can break out of the box and create unpredictable, delightful experiences based on the new possibilities web technologies offer today. We’ll discuss all those fancy new technologies such as AR/VR, conversational interfaces and new hardware capabilities with established designers and developers from the industry to find out how we can apply them in our work, too.

We’ll talk about how we all can use these technologies in actual projects and how other designers and developers out there make use of them already. More importantly, you’ll get insights into lessons learned from their work – things that worked well, failures and successes, and the rationale behind all of the design decisions in-between.

You’ll find the schedule below, so you can jump in and out whenever you are interested, or just having lunch! There will be 20-25 min interview sessions, with short breaks in-between, in addition to two panels, in the middle and end of the day.

Send your questions! This is going to be quite a day, and we’d love you to be a part of it! We highly encourage you to take part in the livestream and send in your questions in the live chat window on YouTube. We’ll moderate all questions and we’ll ask our speakers live during the Q&A. Big thanks to Adobe and Awwwwards for making it all possible!


  • 12.00 PM
    Opening talk with your host, Vitaly Friedman.

  • 12.15 PM
    Adobe XD Keynote: “Assumptions Prohibited” by Andre Jay Meissner.

  • 12.45 PM (changed!)
    Interview with Julien Denoel, Christophe Mallet and Ramy Najjar from Exze about VR and its design challenges connected to it.

  • 1.10 PM (changed!)
    Interview with Paul Boag about digital strategy, new UX challenges (chat bots, small screens, VR) and UX in a responsive world.

  • 1.35 PM
    UX Panel with Chris Constantine (Head of UX at Syzygy) and Iain McConchie (Head of Design at The App Business).

  • 1.05 PM
    Interview with Keiichi Matsuda on augmented (hyper)reality, filmmaking and UX/UI.

  • 2.30 PM
    Interview with Oliver Reichenstein (iA) on the role of iconography in interface design and what’s coming up next in typography on the web.

  • 2.55 PM
    Interview with Adrian Zumbrunnen (Google) about conversational interfaces and chatbots.

  • 3.20 PM
    Interview with Stefanie Posavec, a data-centered designer, on how to make sense of data and how to kick off a heavy data-focused project.

  • 3.45 PM
    Interview with Andrew Herzog, design and thinker at Google Creative Lab.

  • 4.10 PM
    Interview with Lin Yi-Wen and Bertrand Carrara from Kuafu on how customers use VR and what it means for UX designers in terms of process and tooling.

  • 4.25 PM
    We’ll sit down for a UX panel with some AWWWARDS nominees, including Andy Thelande (Active Theory), Bryan James, Henry Daubrez and Gilles Bazelaire (Dogstudio), Thomas Ragger (Wild), Keitaro Suzuki (Shiftbrain), Enea Rossi (Adoratorio), Your majesty and Build in Amsterdam. We’ll try to get as many practical tips from practitioners in the industry as possible.

  • 5.00 PM
    Goodbye from London!
  • SmashingConf UX Talks Highlights

    Not enough? Well, to help the learning continue even after the live stream has ended, we did some digging in our own archives, as well to bring you eleven timeless SmashingConf talks that’ll take your UX skills to the next level. After all, a good foundation is the best way to be equipped for the new challenges that the future might bring, right? Happy learning!

    15 Lessons From 15 Years In UX

    After a decade and a half as a user experience professional, Jesse James Garrett has had more than his fair share of scrapes and bruises. In this presentation, he reflects on what he’s learned about what it really takes to deliver great UX work, from working with teams and managing stakeholders to breaking a creative rut and finding innovative solutions to design problems.

    15 Lessons From 15 Years In UX
    15 Lessons From 15 Years In UX, Jesse James Garrett, SmashingConf New York 2014

    The UX Of User Experience

    UX design is all the rage at the moment, but how usable is it as a process? When the top industry experts can’t even agree to its definition (or it’s existence) how are you supposed to bake it into your practice, let alone sell it to your clients? In fact, should you or your clients even care? In this session Andy Budd will try to demystify some of the rhetoric and dogma floating around about User Experience Design and explain what should and shouldn’t matter to your business, your clients, and your day-to-day work as a web designer.

    The UX Of User Experience
    The UX Of User Experience, Andy Budd, SmashingConf San Francisco 2015

    The Why And How Of Designing For People

    Often when solving design problems we take into account the demands of stakeholders, or our desire to create beautiful work. These are both valuable for informing the choices we make, but there’s another factor that’s imperative to our design’s success: the needs of real people. Meagan Fisher will share why human need matters in design, why we resist getting close to our users, and easy ways to put users front and center in our process.

    The Why And How Of Designing For People
    The Why And How Of Designing For People, Meagan Fisher, SmashingConf Oxford 2015

    Vision, Hearing, And The Brain: The Top 10 Things You Need To Know About Perception

    When you design a website, an app, software, or a product, you expect a human to interact with your design with their perceptual and sensory systems. If you want to design a product that is easy to use, engaging, and that meets your goals and objectives for user experience, you need to know about the psychology of perception. In this talk, Susan Weinschenk will share her top ten most important research studies on perception – concentrating on vision and hearing.

    Vision, Hearing, And The Brain: The Top 10 Things You Need To Know About Perception
    Vision, Hearing, And The Brain: The Top 10 Things You Need To Know About Perception, Susan Weinschenk, SmashingConf San Francisco 2016

    Psychology And The Perfect Design

    Joe Leech will take you on a journey to find the holy grail we are all looking for: the “perfect” design. To get you a step closer to finding it, he’ll share a practical strategy that uses psychology to produce the ideal design for those tricky user experience design problems we face everyday.

    Psychology And The Perfect Design
    Psychology And The Perfect Design, Joe Leech, SmashingConf Oxford 2014

    Overthinking Design And Embracing Minutia

    As experience designers, we spend our days, and often nights, working hard to solve problems for people. Often, the focus of our work is solely put on how a user will interact with any given digital experience. We’re told to work quickly, fail fast, and to not overthink it. What we tend to miss are the many touch points that can help shape the larger user experience and enable customers to have an emotional connection to a product, a service or a company. In this talk, Jon Setzen will explain how embracing a “design for service” thinking can help digital design teams shift from transaction-driven thinking to a relationship-centric approach.

    Overthinking Design And Embracing Minutia
    Overthinking Design And Embracing Minutia, Jon Setzen, SmashingConf Oxford 2016

    Designing Choice

    Can good design turn people into better citizens? In this talk Adrian Zumbrunnen will discuss how design can drive behavior, the responsibilities of our craft, and explore a few rules we can use to nudge people in our desired direction.

    Designing Choice
    Designing Choice, Adrian Zumbrunnen, SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

    The Tail And Its Dog

    Our current focus on components, design systems, pattern libraries, and frameworks has helped make design and development easier for us. It’s made it easier for us to make things consistent. But it has also provided fertile ground for design sameness and boring websites. One part of art direction is focusing on the details. But another part, the part that should define the details, the part too often quietly kicked under the bed, so people don’t see it, is the big picture. In this talk, Stephen Hay will talk about stepping back and looking at how all the small parts of your design can add up to a meaningful experience. That also involves looking at how meaningful experience can lead to all the small parts of your design.

    The Tail And Its Dog
    The Tail And Its Dog, Stephen Hay, SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

    The Secret Life Of Comedy

    It has never been easier to make a website, and our digital toolbox has never been greater. At the same time, we seem more concerned with automating our process and systemising design than with creative thinking and generating ideas. Is web design purely about utility? Is it all about convention? Is it a science? Or, is there room for beauty, expression and art? In this talk, Espen Brunborg will take a tongue-in-cheek look at the state of web design, explore different creative mindsets, and show how adding a pinch of comedy can make a real difference to the bottom line.

    The Secret Life Of Comedy
    The Secret Life Of Comedy, Espen Brunborg, SmashingConf New York 2016

    Addicted To Community

    Based on his experience at Stack Overflow and Discourse, Jeff Atwood talks about building a habit forming community based on fun, tangible progress, and respect. It’s about how to gently guide your community members down the path toward mutual cooperation. You’ll gain a closer look at how Q&A and Discussion are different and how they can learn from each other and at building habits that lead to positive community behaviors.

    Addicted To Community
    Addicted To Community, Jeff Atwood, SmashingConf San Francisco 2016

    Magical UX And The Internet Of Things

    What if this thing was magic? The web is touching everyday objects now, and designing for the internet of things means blessing everyday objects, places, even people with extraordinary abilities—requiring designers, too, to break with the ordinary. Designing for this new medium is less a challenge of technology than imagination. Sharing a rich trove of examples, Josh Clark explores the new experiences that are possible when anything can be an interface.

    Magical UX And The Internet Of Things
    Magical UX And The Internet Of Things, Josh Clark, SmashingConf New York 2015

    Still Have Coffee Left In Your Cup?

    Well then, why not watch a couple more SmashingConf videos? Our Vimeo channel has got you covered.

    Smashing Editorial (il, aa)

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