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The Global Experience Design Summit 2014

Recently, Hamburg played host for our Global Experience Design summit, an internal event attended by Experience Design Thoughtworkers from all over the globe.  

hamburg industrial estate skyline at dusk

We thought it would be fitting to use this opportunity to share our Experience Design (XD) practice and our collective international experience to the wider XD community in Hamburg. For the location of the event we chose Betahaus – a co-working space in the hip “Schanzenviertel” district of Hamburg.

This was our first Thoughtworks XD event in Hamburg and we were overwhelmed by the positive response. Our event announcement went up on Xing (a German professional networking platform), and within three days all seats were sold out.  The final tally of event participants was 80, made up of a mixture of experience designers, product people, engineers, and more. 

The topics of the three talks hit different aspects of our XD practice at Thoughtworks.  Speakers provided insights on how Experience Design is embedded in our agile development process, how the trends and first-hand design experiences in eCommerce differ in China vs. Western countries, and what role Experience Design plays in fostering innovation within a changing marketplace.

“Innovation is the New Economy: Do cool stuff. Do it faster. Do it better.” By Dan McClure (USA)

dan mcclure headshot

Innovation used to be a big event in the life of an organization that spent most of its time operating and harvesting. Accelerating obsolescence of products pushes us to a new model where innovation becomes Business As Usual. Suddenly change is the status quo, and the creative ability to invent new sources of value becomes table stakes for staying in the marketplace.

Dan McClure has been the Innovation Design Practice Lead at Thoughtworks for more than four years. Throughout his 30-year career, Dan’s specialty has practical, fast moving initiatives that push the boundaries of an organization. He integrates diverse practices from lean innovation, agile development, and service design.

Presentation on Slideshare: https://www.slideshare.net/Thoughtworks/innovation-is-the-new-economy


E-Commerce Innovation in China” By Dai Zhang (China)

dai zhang headshot

The ubiquity of the internet fostered a new revolution in China. Companies were able to innovate in new ways that often led to a disruption of previous business models. At the same time, consumers change their behavior and likewise, their expectations. In a market where products and services are more and more similar, companies need to find ways to differentiate themselves from their competition. Dai explores topics in his talks that will help companies to succeed in a challenging and ever-changing market.

Dai Zhang is the Lead Experience Designer in China. He has been with Thoughtworks for more than two years. Dai has a background in Computer Science, and has been working in e-commerce and web development for more than 10 years.

Presentation on Slideshare: https://www.slideshare.net/Thoughtworks/ecommerce-innovations-in-china


"Working as an Agile Experience Designer” By Rob Enslin (Pan-Africa)

rob eslin headshot

Rob discussed, in detail, the design process that our teams follow within the agile development of products, in-depth process details for how to build new products, and how to build up an innovation pipeline.  Throughout his talk he described diverse techniques that can be applied in an innovation lifecycle such as contextual inquiries, diary studies, expert reviews, affinity mapping, personas, and so forth.

Rob Enslin has been a Lead Experience Designer at Thoughtworks for nearly three years. He has been working in the areas of digital products and services since 2001, and always keeps the user at the heart of all his activities.

Slideshare presentation: https://www.slideshare.net/Thoughtworks/working-as-an-agile-experience-designer

Following the talks we had a lively discussion followed by get-together with drinks and snacks. It was a great event! We gathered good feedback and we are looking forward hosting our next event in 2015. We'll continue to post updates, but feel free to drop us an email if you have specific questions.  Thanks again to all who attended, and we'll see you soon!

Take a look at some of the discussions on social that evening: #twxdhh. 

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Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.

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