Yesterday, our team attended Create Leicester’s first digital day event, taking place at the Curve theatre. As a sponsor, we’re proud to be supporting the digital community. It’s fair to say we all thoroughly enjoyed the event so we’ve co-authored this blog to give you our highlights from the day.  

Kicking off the day (no pressure!) was Ben Holliday, Chief Design Officer FutureGov sharing his views on the growth and development of an idea through his talk, ‘Design state of mind’. Our creative team in particular appreciated his focus on how important it is to let an idea evolve before it’s ready to share.

Ben Holliday at Create Leicester 2019

Next up was Helen Joy, UX Consultant at Sparckhq – previously she spoke at New Adventures (which we attended). Emphasising the importance of putting the user first, Helen talked about how to meet needs using user research and design through digital inclusion. She spoke about the importance of being proactive and undertaking thorough user-research because on-the-ground insight is invaluable. Helen also addressed accessibility which is not simply about passing standards on a website, it’s also about the physical and situational needs of the end user which are behind the screen.

Squeezing in before lunch was Emma Parnell, Service Design Lead at AddactionUK with her talk titled ‘Making a Change’. Our hats go off to Emma and her round of applause was much deserved. Emma’s talk was honest, relative and despite what she may think, full of confidence. She confessed her nervousness about presenting at the event (as this was her first public speaking event) but her powerful talk about the service design work she does for charity Addaction was inspirational and thought-provoking. 

After one too many sandwiches over lunch, we were firmly back in our seats to hear Jaskiran Kang, Lead UX Designer at ESFA. Her talk focused on ‘Having a self vision’ where she explained about the importance of firstly outlining your career goals or wants and secondly, finding a company that shares this with you. Jaskiran Kang challenged us to rethink our personal vision, mission and values and how these can overlap in business.

Jaskiran Kang at Create Leicester 2019

Continuing the afternoon was Dan Jones, Creative Director of Content Discovery at BBC User Experience & Design with his session on ‘Exploring the tools and competences of Speculative Design’.  Dan’s views were that speculative design is “less about problem solving and more about problem framing”. 

Time for a quick break (and coffee) before we got stuck back in with Johan Adda, Product Design Lead ClearScore. We saw Johan a couple of years ago at an earlier Create event so it was great to see him back again. This time, he presented his thoughts on the beauty, simplicity and utility required in delivering good design built on solid design principles. 

And finally, we heard from Lily Dart, Head of Design System at LloydsBank with her talk, ‘Design System 101’. Lily stressed the importance of having design systems in place to implement a consistent user experience for your customers. For an organisation, this could be implemented with small teams (20+) to master consistency before applying to larger teams.

So that’s a wrap. And there are plenty more free Create events coming soon, so keep an eye on their website. We’re thrilled to be a part of this buzzing digital community. Roll on the next one!