Short Talks

In our final session, UXBristol participants were invited to give short, quick fire talks. With five minutes each on the clock, the following speakers shared their experiences…


Faster Horses

Adrian Howard

Adrian wanted to stress that Henry Ford NEVER said “if you asked customers what they want, they would say ‘faster horses'”. You can find the history of the quote at

The next time someone throws the faster horse quote at you, remember that Ford never said it, and that the problem with horses was not the speed – it was the cost and the poo1

Remember what Ford DID say: “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to see the other person’s point of view.”


About making a team

Rita Cervetto

Rita shared the four stages of team development to create a high performing team:

1. Inclusion
2. Fight
3. Trust
4. Epic Teamwork (or Performance)


Implicit bias and assumptions in user recruitment

Jess Lewes

Jess challenged some assumptions in the user recruitment, including:

  • Everyone wants to take part in user research
  • People always speak the truth

Jess highlighted Project Implict’s Implicit Association Test, which allows you to test for bias based on word association. For example, when Jess took this test, she found she had a natural bias towards female names in the home environment and male names with careers.

We might be aware of some of our bias, but there are lots of subconscious bias that may impact on our user research. We need to look more deeply when recruiting for research.



Change your organisation – one decision at a time

Gaia Riva

Gaia discussed Edo’s experience of moving towards becoming a Next Stage Organisation. She highlighted different types of decision making, including top-down decision making, consensus and voting.

Next Stage Organisations are idea-led, which involves asking the experts in the area, asking who will be directly affected by what you want to do, then consider and just make the decision. This allows you to make a decision in which you have considered the people who know about it, considered the consequences and the decision has not become diluted.

If something doesn’t work, you need to have a zero blame policy, so people feel they can try things, learn from mistakes and move on.

Edo hold meet ups in Bristol and would love to chat with more people about their experiences.



Comfortably Dumb – why we should embrace our stupidity

Dan Healy

Being called stupid makes us feel bad – it is an emotionally charged word. Dan argued that it doesn’t always have to be.

The finest piece of design feedback he has ever received was “This one makes me feel less stupid”. This was a lightbulb moment – the power of design is that can make people feel less less bad.

Admitting our own stupidity makes us vulnerable, makes us human and allows us to ask deceptively fundamental questions.

Dan observed that we often use jargon to cover our fear of looking stupid, but this in itself can make others feel stupid. However, there is great power in ‘stupidity’ – if we don’t ask the ‘stupid’ questions, we can’t improve the experiences of our users and make them feel less bad.


Why remote user research is better than face to face

Adam Babajee-Pycroft

User research is amazing. It helps us make better things. The best way to do this is in a lab – that’s the gold standard, right?

Adam believes remote, moderated research is the future. He gave a passionate argument extolling the virtues of remote research, including the following arguments:

  • Most people don’t use your product in a lab, and when they come into a lab, it can feel like a job interview.
  • Remote user research could help you get access to a more representative sample.
  • Remote user research is cheaper to execute, and if they drop out you don’t waste so much time waiting for the next participant. Sessions can be quicker to schedule and execute.

So, experiment with a different approach to research that will allow you to do more rounds in the same budget.