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My 5 takeaways from Bubbleconf 2013

on October 14, 2013

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Me and a group of  Mendixites went to Bubbleconf 2013 on the 27th of September in Amsterdam.

But what is Bubbleconf? “BubbleConf aims to inspire you to reach for the stars. It’s about Design, Technology, and above all Entrepreneurship.”

Bubbleconf was very inspiring to me, especially the way all the speakers work on their App / Product. So I decided to take 5 main points from the day that inspired me and write this small blog post about them.

The main focus of my takeaways from Bubbleconf are about building and creating an App / Product. These are my five takeaways from Bubbleconf.

Bubbleconf 2013

Bubbleconf 2013 © Cuong Bui

Design, Build, Ship, User test.

Okay so the design of your App looks great, the UX of the mockups, wireframes and prototypes looks even better. But do you know your user? Your users should be your main focus when building your App. They are the one that use your App, Duh…. Sounds simple right? But how do get to know my users?

What I picked up from several talks at Bubbleconf is that there are some steps involved:

  • Design; first make designs and make them look good.
  • Build; then build your App based on the designs you made. (of course there should be some testing involved).
  • Ship; when you are done building and testing your App, ship it.
  • User test; after you ship it let the users use it. Let them give feedback and based on that feedback improve your App.

Just build first and ask permission later.

When you are working on an existing App / Product and you have come up with a new feature or improvement just build it and ask permission later. (If you have the time of course) The thing is, if you have a great idea and it improves the App / Product it will probably be released.

Pieter Omvlee founder of Bohemian Coding talking about his product Sketch

Pieter Omvlee founder of Bohemian Coding talking about his product Sketch

If you see a problem or issue try to fix it.

This is all about taking ownership of a problem or issue. One of the speakers at Bubbleconf Jackson Gabbard, a member of the infrastructure team at Facebook, was talking about a problem they had at the office. When it was time for lunch the lines were too long and a lot of the developers where too lazy to wait in line. So one of the developers built an App that connected to the security camera that showed the queue in the lunchroom. This way you can see whether or not there is a long queue.

I think this a great example of taking ownership of a problem or issue regardless of whether it is an internal problem or part of an App / Product.

Jackson Gabbard a member of the infrastructure team at Facebook

Jackson Gabbard a member of the infrastructure team at Facebook

Learn to code!

This one is more focused on the “designers” among us. Learn to code, or at least try to understand the code behind the App / Product. This way you can make the best possible design choices. And it’s easier to discuss the App / Product  with the developers who build them. Most designers know HTML and CSS but, speaking from personal experience, it is nice to go more in-depth.

Rails Girls talking about learn to code

Rails Girls talking about learn to code

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

This one is maybe a bit obvious to some of us but it is a good reminder to just go for it. Go out there and make mistakes, or make Apps / Products and learn from them. By making mistakes you get to know what you want or what you don’t want.

This can also apply on a personal level. One speaker at Bubbleconf; David Noël – Vice President Community of SoundCloud learned a lot from previous jobs and the mistakes he made in the past.

David Noël - Vice President Community of SoundCloud

David Noël – Vice President Community of SoundCloud

We had a great time, learned a lot, hope to see you next year!

All photo’s © Cuong Bui iloki.nl

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About Jeroen Verbaas

I am a UX Designer @ Mendix. I design Apps, Websites and other online stuff with an occasional trip to print design.

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