Earlier this year I attended UX India 2019, I took part in workshops, sat in on talks and participated as a design mentor. To start out the conference, keynotes were delivered by Kaladhar Bapu, the founder of UX India, Jayesh Ranjan, IT secretary for the state of Telangana and Nick Cochran. Nick is the Design Practices Lead at Exxon Mobil, Texas.
Nick spoke about the connections we make, how to make those connections and how to make sense of them. The message of the whole presentation resonated with this year’s theme at the conference, "Human by design".
He started out simple enough with an example of how a connection worked for him. The crowd identified with him when he demonstrated the impact of a well made connection. I have to point out how he had the audience’s attention, all 700 + that had filtered in early that morning after grabbing their coffees, ready for kickoff. I was front and center and couldn’t help but get caught up in the narratives.
He was also calling upon theory based principles, for example:
Cognitive Psychologists Robert R. Hoffman, Gary Klein, and Brian M. Moon define sensemaking as "a motivated, continuous effort to understand connections (which can be among people, places and events) in order to anticipate their trajectories and act effectively" (Klein, Moon, & Hoffman, 2006).
He went on to more examples from his colleagues’ experiences which brought the right balance of theory and practice, validating his 3 part strategy-
- Treat every conversation as an opportunity to make a connection.
- Explore connections beyond your own silos.
- Get the connections out of your head.
The best part about Nick’s presentation was that he broke down his advice and reached out to the leaders in the audience as well as general advice on how to follow his framework. One of the best posts I saw that summed up his presentation is this one, by a friend of mine that I met at the conference.
All in all, I have to say that this was one of the keynotes that stuck with me!