Expert Insight: 'We Haven't Even Scraped The Edges Of What Good Machine Learning Can Do'

We sat down with Mark Shahid, Senior UX Architect at Sky Betting & Gaming


Mark Shahid is a multi-faceted UX Architect with over eight years experience, currently working to deliver the implementation of UX at Sky Betting & Gaming. With user time and engagement at such a premium, the work of UX practicioners has never been more important, both on desktop and on mobile. Ahead of his presentation at the UX & UI Innovation Summit this June 12 - 13 in London, we sat down with Mark to talk all things UX design.

Tell us a little bit about the topic you’re looking to cover at the summit

I am covering Agile UX and The Kano Model. Agile/ & Lean UX subject has been an important movement across tech companies across the globe for a few years now, for some of us the subject is even becoming stale. As more and more organisations adopt an iterative approach to Agile software development, we can find ourselves lost in a bubble of feature factories and deadline-driven delivery pipelines. Although the principles of Lean UX can help us iterate with continuous user input, without a 'Big Vision' for our product(s) we can often lose sight of the product vision. My talk covers the ways in which it can sometimes be a struggle to push for innovation in competitive industries.

Why do you think this will be important for UX Designers moving forward?

As software development practices mature, UX practitioners may struggle to find themselves included in the decision-making process. Even if they are heavily included, they may not be engaged with in the correct manner, often merely servicing the delivery pipeline instead of getting ahead and prescribing the direction. To do this, UXers will more and more need to adopt an influential mindset, in which they are prepared to lead and set direction, to help create a cultural shift towards user centricity.

Are there any aspects of UX/UI that you feel are currently being poorly served?

We're potentially missing good UX standards. In a world full of opinion and pushy boardroom meetings, UX-ers are being chased for guidelines and principles that they can gestate towards whenever they're put in an awkward defensive situation. Although we have ISO 9241 broadly covers usability standards (in a roundabout and expensive way), UX practitioners today still need a solid yardstick to measure the effects of their hard work by. We often claim we can cause bumps in the bottom line or even more smiley faces in the surveys but measuring success in a large organisation can be full of red tape and massive huge overhead. We're also missing CXOs. We need more really senior UX folk, in the boardroom, at the top, having those in-depth detailed strategy and vision conversations.

What are the elements of modern UX Design that excite you the most?

We haven't even scraped the edges of what good Machine Learning can do yet. The depth of contextually rich personal experiences that we've been seeing recently shows just how personal a system can be without the user even being aware.

Any other presentations you’re really looking forward to hearing at the summit and why?

I'm looking forward to seeing Effective UX in Large Organisations BY Mike Brown as this is a challenge that I know many organisations are being challenged with as their UX practice matures. 

You can hear more from Mark, along with many other UX & UI experts, at the UX & UI Innovation Summit this June 12-13 in London. To see the full schedule, click here

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