I posted this tweet the other day:
and got this tweet in response, a day later.
And I realised that I needed to just write the blog post that’s been uppermost in my mind since coming back from Lyon last week.
And that is this.
I think it was part way through Day 2 when I realised, then tweeted this:
Because while there were also men who did amazing talks, and who I learned from, this is the first conference in my memory where there weren’t just one or two women. There were lots of women speaking. They weren’t all white. English wasn’t everyone’s first language. They came from far and wide, different backgrounds and had different skillsets and it was bloody _glorious_.
Representation matters. Seeing women up there, a lot of them, speaking and talking about the amazing work they’ve been doing gives other women (me included) hope that there really _are_ a galaxy of opportunities out there. To do amazing things. To have a big impact. To be seen. And heard.
And that’s not nothing.
So here, without further ado, are some more kickass women, to add to your life. I make no apologies for the length of this post.
Holly ran a workshop called Giving and Receiving Feedback, on the day before the conference. I learned a lot from this workshop and I’m still processing everything I’ve learned and how it fits in with the reading, thinking and learning I’ve been doing in this area over the last few months.
Cheryl had a tough job - to come on stage right after Alan Cooper’s barnstorming opening keynote. She kicked ass though, and I really enjoyed her talk.
Along with Lous Eveillard, gave an interesting talk about designing in and for education.
Molly talked about the work that goes into crafting compelling living room experiences, and it was really interesting to see how the reality of various living rooms differed from their expectations.
This was a really fascinating look into how changing the design of conversational spaces online could change the content of the conversations - something which I think will become increasingly important as organisations scrabble to correct the trolling/fake news/etc. state of public discourse online.
Joke Van Kerckhoven
I loved seeing how Joke (and her colleague Wouter) worked to figure out the best possible way of installing screens in Police patrol cars in Antwerp. This is the kind of research you always hope is done, but suspect is too expensive so isn’t done, leaving the people at the sharp end to come up with their own coping strategies.
One of the most memorable posters to come out of GDS states that User Research is a team sport, and this talk gave some solid ways to try and level up non-researchers to increase the frequency, value and impact of user research across an organisation.
I was really intrigued by this - ways to use design skills for even greater impact by designing the organisation, not just the product. Important, given the likelihood of organisations shipping their org chart.
When Katja strode out on stage, I was reminded very strongly of Leisa Reichelt - in a really good way. This was a cracking, and highly relevant talk, which gave solid tools and techniques that can immediately be put into practice in daily work.
Anna gave a fascinating look at how deep research influenced product development, and made me want to do way more research.
Not particularly relevant to my day to day work, but this was absolutely fascinating anyway.
A literal sensory journey, via scent (we were given tiny bottles of scent to open up as she spoke). Mind-opening.
Eilidh and John presented the results of research done with a number of people on the state of design as a field, at the moment. Lots to learn from this.
The first of a pair of incredibly useful and relevant talks on teamwork and collaboration. This talk is well worth a watch.
And if you work with distributed or remote teams, watch this one too.
I saw Haiyan talk at Canvas Conference in Birmingham last October, and wished I had more tissues on hand. Watch this, but make sure you have tissues ready. It’s genuinely emotional to see the sheer impact that good design can have on individuals.
I don’t even know how to describe this, just watch it.
Watch this talk, and then go fix your privacy settings on everything.
Also thought-provoking on the privacy and ethics front.
I’d really have liked this to be longer, and been able to go into more detail about how you even begin to train an AI.
Wow. What to say about Leyla. At the end of an incredibly intense conference experience, she exploded onto the stage with so much energy that it just lifted the entire audience. I’m so glad I got to see this talk live. It was brilliant to be part of the shared experience of being there for this.
… and many more
But this isn’t all the women of #IxD18. There were many more who spoke, whose talks I wasn't able to attend. Or who weren't presenting and who I spoke to in the breaks. Or even, as I was reminded, were on the organising committee. Or who volunteered their time and energy to help make the conference run as smoothly as it did.
A twitter list
Where I could find twitter accounts, I added them to a list called The women of ixd18. You should totally follow it, and every woman on this list. I’ll also be going through and adding the twitter accounts, where I can find them, of the women on the organising committee. Of whom there were many.
Talks on vimeo
It is also very worth going through the list of Interaction 18 talks on vimeo, and watching them all.