Short Talks

In the final session of UXBristol 2016, four brave speakers took to the stage to deliver a short talk on the topic of their choice. Here are the highlights:

How we re-focussed our client (and made £1 million in two weeks)

Stephen Bodley

Stephen described how his team identified two key product landing pages, designed for non-clients, which their analytics showed received 50% of their traffic from existing clients.

To address this, the team created two versions of the landing page which identified if you were a client or a non-client, then offered you relevant content. They found that by offering a more relevant, targeted and personal experience, they were able to increase sales by 20% on one page, and 90% on the other, which resulted in an increase of £1.1 million in revenue.

Stephen noted that this project really taught them value of collaboration. Fixing the problem was not allocated to one person and team. Everyone was brought together and everyone had a sense of ownership of the task. He also observed that focusing on understanding and solving a problem identified in the data helped them to be efficient.

Most importantly, they didn’t expect their clients to adapt to them, the team adapted to them rather than redirecting them onto the journey they wanted them to take.


I want my MVP

Alastair Lee

People have ideas about what to put on websites. Those ideas are usually underpinned by some kind of assumption. Some assumptions are more important than others. MVPs test assumptions.

In a potted summary of his earlier workshop, Alastair Lee highlighted five different MVPs for testing different types of assumption:

  1. Sell it first: Create a landing page or ‘fake door’ to see what people click to validate your idea that people want the product, create a video demo
  2. Manual MVP: This is effectively a concierge service, where you do everything by hand and the customer knows this
  3. Wizard of Oz: You do everything by hand, but the customer thinks it is being done by software
  4. Slice: Release smallest possible thing that is valuable, usable and feasible



What’s going on in Silicon Valley and how does it relate to Bristol?

Carl Bettag

Carl Bettag gave his perspective on the current landscape in Silicon Valley and how this relates to trends in here in Bristol.

Carl observed that people are making a lot more money in Silicon Valley, but they are spending most of it in rent. Average rent in San Francisco for a two bed flat is now around £3,500 per month. The bubble did impact house prices, but they are soaring again and the 2008 financial crisis did not hit house prices as hard as in other areas.

There is a huge UX and tech talent shortage, which is pushing salaries up. Everyone is competing for talent and designers are scarce. Lots of the design firms are being acquired by other firms. Carl speculated that this is happening because design is being perceived as more important, and therefore people want it in house. He also noted that there is seeing more competition from firms that didn’t traditionally do design, such as ad marketing companies. The landscape is in flux, but there is lots of work in the pipeline.

What does this mean for Bristol?

Carl observed that Silicon Valley works because there is a talent clustering effect, which seems to be happening in Bristol. He advised the UXBristol audience to keep doing good work and attracting good people to the region. And to go out and buy a house before its too late!



Sandra Gonzalez

Sandra showcase the HaBaby project, which supports pregnant women in transit. The project is designed to identify opportunities to help women in transit from places like Syria. These women are not receiving enough health care, so HaBaby is looking to help identify top red-flag symptoms in pregnancy to help save lives.

The project has been developed through ‘Empower Hack’ events, which include a lot of paper prototyping and storyboarding to help understand the contexts of the users, rather than coding.

Sandra explained that contrary to popular assumption, many Syrian refugees do have access to Android phones in refugee camps, which means that HaBaby represents is a real opportunity to help improve outcomes.

The app is very simple. It identifies if you are pregnant, asks for key symptoms and offers advice. Sandra noted that the key challenges include language and connectivity.

She concluded by encouraging everyone to join organisations such as or to help make a difference for causes such as HaBaby.