Camp Digital 2016 - Digital for Good

By Jennifer Fuller | 08/04/2016

A really big thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s Camp Digital a massive success on 16/17th March at Manchester Town Hall (an impressive venue, right?). We invited a number of equally impressive speakers at the forefront of their fields to help us explore the latest thinking in the digital and UX sectors, with a particular focus on this year’s theme; ‘Digital for Good’. It was a fantastic day filled with a variety of talks on lean UX, gamification, psychology and design, as well as an extremely thought provoking and inspirational closing keynote on accessibility and inclusive technology by Molly Watt, founder of the Molly Watt Trust.

You can find links to all the presentations and videos on the Camp Digital website.

We have received a phenomenal amount of positive feedback following the event. We really appreciate the support and constructive feedback from sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and attendees alike. We promote Camp Digital as a community event so we love to hear your honest opinions and hope to continue to grow and improve year after year.

So, let’s share some of the highlights from the two-day event.

Day 1 – Pre-conference workshops

The first day was made up of four half-day workshops which allowed attendees to get a more hands-on, in-depth view of specific areas of interest. Workshops included topics on designing for kids, digital transformation, design psychology and sketching techniques.

Day 2 – Conference Day

Day two took a slightly different direction, giving people the chance to attend multiple talks on industry related topics. Keynote speaker Julie Dodd, an independent digital strategist and ex Creative Director at the BBC, warmed us all up by encouraging us to ‘fight the good fight’ and become a digital hero. Our second keynote, Tom Loosemore from Co-Op Digital, discussed lean UX approaches and shared some of his experience running design teams for GDS (the Government Digital Service).

Over the course of the afternoon various speakers presented on a range of topics encompassing behavioural psychology, sketching, data visualisation, the power of play and gamification, and a comical presentation of the User Experience of a country by Colman Walsh (although, we are not so sure the Irish tourist board would agree!).

Filtering through this year’s feedback there was a lot of love for Jeff Coghlan, founder of Matmi, who spoke on gamification and the power of play. Jeff discussed the benefits of gaming in modern business and how the power of gamification can transform a business idea through direct interaction with its users. For example, Jeff teamed up with BabyBel to produce an interactive gaming experience that helped them to invest wisely in creating brand impact through an improved media strategy.  Using proprietary IP, Matmi developed a content platform incorporating “Babybel Bowling Buddies” that encouraged users to play the game and purchase the product, as well as being informative and entertaining.

The day ended with a talk from Molly Watt, co-founder of the Molly Watt Trust, a charity focused on raising awareness of Usher Syndrome.  As well as working to inform people about the condition, the charity supports a range of corporate and social initiatives, including advising on technology and equipment choices, encouraging fundraising, conference speaking and consulting projects, such as funding the provision of eReaders or protective eyewear for people with Ushers.  

Usher Syndrome is a progressive condition and to date there is no cure. It not only affects hearing and sight but also causes considerable difficulty with mobility and communication. A prolific advocate of inclusive design, Molly shared with us her experiences on how technology can be better designed to enhance for the lives of those with Usher Syndrome as well as many other disabilities. Molly explained the benefits of visual and haptic cues from an Apple Watch and how it allows her to become more aware of her surroundings, as well as making platforms more accessible. Thank you again Molly for such a thought provoking and inspirational talk.

Camp Digital was a great success, attracting attendees from the global UX and digital community. This included 100 students from some of the North West’s leading Universities and Higher Education institutions, who were kindly supported by Co-Op Digital’s sponsorship of our Rising Stars initiative, enabling them to attend the event for free.

We really hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did and look forward to seeing you again next year.

If you have any further feedback, thoughts on future events, or you’d like to get involved either as a speaker or partner, please let us know @WeAreSigma #CampDigital.