Giant UX Conference recap: thinking about the “whole” user experience

Rolling through the final day of Giant UX conference here in Charleston as I began to think about what I’d take away from it. It’s been a great experience meeting new people and filling my brain with what I hope to be some actionable new ideas. So much saturation, what would stick.

Maybe it’s because so many speakers oriented themselves to speak about not just design, but experience design. There were several folks, including Jared M. Spool & Samantha Starmer, who hit on this specifically. Jared used references about how the apple store is a vital part of the UX of an Apple product. Samantha got my brain running on integrating physical & digital. Talking about the “space between” when designing a holistic user experience. It’s not just designing for digital, the user-experience needs to be thought of as all encompassing.

It’s an interesting shift for me – with a background in architecture, I was studying to influence the way people interacted with the built environment. Now as a designer of digital & software, we’re circling back to an understanding where the experience isn’t constrained to the device.

Not sure yet how this will manifest itself, but it’s timely after we’ve spend the past 6 months looking at the office environment at Sparc and how that effects our employee’s experience. Seems a little more vague on how to integrate directly into a commercial project, but it reenforces my feelings about user testing what we create in real environments. The physical nature is ever more important, as these things we create digitally now increasingly push back into our physical experience.