11 Most Inspiring Usability and User Experience Talks

Published December 4, 2015 ⚡ Updated on October 2, 2023 by Markus Pirker
The 11 Most Inspiring Usability and User Experience Talks

Let these 11 inspiring talks from the smartest UX and Usability people on the planet motivate you for your upcoming user experience and user research efforts.

Listen up and let the learning begin.

3 ways good design makes you happy by Don Norman

In this TED talk from 2003, design critic Don Norman turns his incisive eye toward beauty, fun, pleasure and emotion, as he looks at design that makes people happy.

I really have the feeling that pleasant things work better, and that never made any sense to me until I finally figured out. Don Norman

He names the three emotional cues that a well-designed product must hit to succeed.

The surprising truth about what motivates us by Daniel Pink

Good user experience design motivates people to reach their goals. Daniel Pink provides concrete examples of how intrinsic motivation functions.

“Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one’s sights and pushing toward the horizon.”Daniel Pink

Simplicity Matters by Rich Hickey

When a software developer speaks about the importance of simplicity you have to listen.

“If you’re building software, there is a certain point where you’ll be dominated by complexity.”Rick Hickey

Rich Hickey is a software developer with over 20 years of experience and has worked on scheduling systems, broadcast automation, audio analysis and fingerprinting, database design, yield management, exit poll systems, and machine listening, in a variety of languages.

The quest for Emotional Engagement by Stephan Anderson

In this session, speaker Stephen P. Anderson will share several examples of how we can take forms, lists and other kinds of information and redesign them to help people make informed choices and connect emotionally with the information being presented.

Three insights for UX researchers about getting buy-in by Tomer Sharon

Do you know the most important questions to ask stakeholders before starting a research-project?

No? Watch this talk by Tomer Sharon, Senior User Experience Researcher at Google, and learn how to finally get stakeholder buy-in for your UX research project.

Keynote on User Experience by Bill Buxton

This definitely is one of my favourite talks. Bill Buxton rocks the stage with his energy and enthusiasm and makes a great point on the importance of user experience in marketing.

“Technology is not the product. The experience, that it engenders is.”Bill Buxton

If you haven’t already I strongly suggest checking out his book and learn the difference between getting the design right and the right design.

The future of search by Peter Morville

Peter Morville is a writer, speaker, and consultant. His bestselling books include Information Architecture for the World Wide Web and Ambient Findability.

“Findability precedes usability. In the alphabet and on the Web. You can’t use what you can’t find.” Peter Morville

In his talk he defines a pattern language for search and discovery that embraces user psychology and behavior, multisensory interaction, and emerging technology. He shows design principles and methods for creating the search applications of tomorrow.

Beautiful Evidence by Edward Tufte

Tufte is an expert in the presentation of informational graphics such as charts and diagrams.

“Design isn’t crafting a beautiful, textured button with breathtaking animation. It’s figuring out if there’s a way to get rid of the button altogether.” Edward Tufte

The New York Times has described Edward Tufte as “The Leonardo Da Vinci of Data”.

Building Habit Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Nir is the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

“We often think the Internet enables you to do new things … But people just want to do the same things they’ve always done.” Nir Eyal, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

His “Hooked” model applies cognitive psychology to create behavior forming products to impact user day to day life.

Why you should hire a milkshake by Clayton Christensen

Clayton explains the concept of job stories for product development. He shows how asking the right questions during customer research can lead to a totally different perspective on an existing product.

“And he asked the people: Excuse me, could you explain to me what job you wanted to get done for yourself when you came here to hire that milkshake?” Clayton Christensen, why you should hire a milkshake

The 7 deadly sins of user research by David Travis

David has worked in the fields of human factors, usability and user experience and has published two books on usability.

In this presentation, he talks about the common problem of asking people what they want and believing the answers plus other deadly sins of user research.

“The first rule of finding out what people want: Don’t ask what people want.” David Travis, The 7 deadly sins of user research

Make sure you check out his usability online courses on usability testing and user experience. This is money very well spend.

More Usability and User Experience Talks

UX Week Talks on Vimeo
TED Talks: Design

Am I missing your favorite usability or user experience talk? Drop me a line in the comments!

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