Austin Knight, the Senior UX designer at HubSpot, was the keynote speaker at the third Santiago HubSpot User Group (HUG) meetup.
In partnership with Universidad Adolfo Ibanez’s Center for Experiences and Service (CES UAI), his conference explained to over 100 designers, marketers, and representatives from top digital marketing agencies how traditional web design is obsolete and, instead, how to marry design, marketing, and sales.
This was Knight’s first visit to Chile and discussed the continual improvement process that HubSpot is undergoing to renovate its Inbound Marketing and Sales website, receiving over 8 million visits a month, introduced in November at the Inbound 2016 conference Boston.
“I had a wonderful time speaking at the Santiago HUG at UAI today. There is a lot of talent in Chile, and the opportunity to disrupt and innovate has never been greater. Now is the time to be open to new ideas, to take risks, and to think on a global scale. There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur, marketer, or designer.”
To Austin Knight, UX design is a “human-centered approach to design and marketing, at the center of every decision.”
For those of us who run digital marketing with content as king… we were mistaken. “Context is King,” according to the UX design leader.
“94% of a user first impression come from web design”. That is why UX “is a human-centered data inspired design that assists both the users and the business in achieving their goals”.
“We don’t make decisions at a boardroom. We’ve got no customer (…) You’ve got to back every statement you make and challenge you to take with data and information about the people using your products”.
The attendees had a series of questions:
Austin Knight admits this is a challenge for design agencies. “You have to demonstrate as much as you possibly can,” he said. However, high-level executives “are usually very focused on very straightforward 3 to 5 quantitative metrics or goals for that quarter, so explaining to them from design or content first is not going to communicate to them”.
“What I'd care about as an executive is how to move metrics and grow the company to provide more value to the customers.”
Austin Knight confesses that he doesn’t see many differences at an individual level. “An individual designer in Rio or Boston’s approach to design, or his understanding of tech is usually pretty similar. They are certified geniuses”, he says. “With the internet, there is no excuse to be limited in a physical location.”
However, he has noted differences on a networking and organizational level. “I think the cultures of organizations around the world are different. For example, there is a huge culture of innovation in Boston, New York, Seattle, or San Francisco, with companies facing serious competition.
For the same reason, he challenges Chilean companies to look beyond their borders:
“Individuals can do what they want to do and can teach all kinds of stuff. There are opportunities for the organization to recognize that they should be competing with people in Chile, they should be competing with people overseas (…) talent is everywhere if you think at an organizational level, but how can we catalyze it?”.
Knights predicts that, even though the Internet of Things has been a common trend in 2016, the next step for UX designers and User Experience will be Augmented Reality.
“We will go from designing for screens, to designing experiences that are completely fluid, flexible and immersive.”
HubSpot’s Senior UX Designer divides his year as a Lean UX Design mentor for Design Lab and Columbia University. In addition, he spends part of the year in Boston- near HubSpot headquarters- and Rio de Janeiro- where he is researching design techniques in South America.
Knight has been traveling the world to tell his experience. In 2016 he toured cities like Boston, San Francisco, Warsaw, Las Vegas, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Washington D.C. to continue in 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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