Three things I learned at UCD2013: Designing for serendipity, music lessons for designers and Notdesign

UCD2013 was a labour of love for organisers and speakers alike, and this was felt throughout the two-day event. I’m not a hardened industry event regular, but I have got a couple under my belt and this one was something special.

We had over 40 speakers giving talks and running workshops, most of them from the UK and about 40 per cent of them women. They came together to put on an inclusive, non-profit event that showcased user centred design in a unique way – one that was accessible to UCD newbies without boring the senior practitioners to tears (not an easy feat).

There were a few themes that kept popping up over the course of the event – Gestalt (a theoretical keystone of cognitive-emotional and behavioral processes in psychology commonly referenced in user experience and design) predictably made the odd appearance in talks, as well as the community’s shared love for the Airbnb landing page.

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