15 great UX design talks you can watch online

Check out some of the free online talks on UX design, from the lessons of Chernobyl to how AI can preserve the most unique of human stories.

UX agency Nomensa put on some of the most insightful UX design events of the conference calendar, so we’re really pleased that videos from their recent Collaborate Bristol event are now on YouTube, the best of which we’ve collected here alongside older presentations. Together, they make some of the best UX design talks you can watch online for free.

First up, a sobering but not too downbeat talk from Jon Fisher that draws upon events like Chernobyl and plane crashes to find the hidden dangers of collaboration and compromise in design.

Pulling on experience across digital, product and safety engineering his talk aims to examine what the UX community has lost, at what cost and how to get it back. If experience really is the sum of all the parts working together, he asks, what dangers lurk beneath the veil of collaboration?

The main cartoon image above for this feature comes from 'Diverse representations in design and awkward conversations with colleagues', a talk by Eriol Fox on diversity and inclusivity in UX.

What stands in the way of Ethical AI? was a question posed by Catalina Butnaru at Collaborate Bristol 2019.

As society continues to negotiate what is ethical, companies need to learn how to manage, apply, and prioritise ethical principles when developing AI systems internally. Alternatively, AI suppliers need to demonstrate compliance with Ethical Principles in AI and build the habit of maintaining and improving its core alignment to Ethical Guidelines. However, roles and responsibilities are loosely defined, and the desire to be ethical clashes with existing pressures from stakeholders.

Catalina's talk identifies various detractors of so-called Ethical AI, and translates each 'Ethical Principle' into responsibilities and actionable takeaways for each team member, as well as for the management board.

Looking back to 2018's Interact London even, we have information designer Stefanie Posavec exploring how to make data more engaging, memorable and accessible to an audience new to data. Through channelling our inner ‘anoraks’, she argues, we can start to view data through a kinder, more human-focused lens.

'More Than Humanly Possible' is about Us AI's founder Pete Trainor and his quest to reimagine what legacy means to a man with a terminal illness by unlocking the human value in the data he generated using an AI robot called Bo.

Using this technology, Pete documented the thoughts of his friend, James, who suffered from a rare skin condition called recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Despite struggling with accessibility, James was able to utilise Bo to help transcend his body, leave a long-lasting legacy and share his message through a different platform.

In his talk 'User Experience When AI Makes all the Decisions', head of experience at CognitionX Mischa Weiss-Lijn demonstrates at Interact London 2018 that when AI makes the little decisions, it can help humans to focus on what they are good at - and ultimately create a more prosperous bigger picture.


Starting with a charming animation created for the NHS' launch seven decades ago, head of design at NHS Digital Matt Edgar discussed merging machine intelligence with human need, all with the aim of working towards an accessible healthcare system for everyone.

Ivan Pols is creative director for what3words, a geo-mapping solution that assigns three letters to every part of the world. As you can guess, his Interact 2018 talk is all about how user experience should focus on simplicity, especially when talking about location.

'The Struggle for Existence' is a lofty title for a talk, but Hannah Temple's presentation is a fun look at digital innovation, which draws upon Darwinism to discuss the future of app technology.

Head of mobile at Nomensa, Hannah unveiled that 50% of all apps ever made have been deleted by Apple, much of which can be attributed to saturated markets and “design for designs sake.”

2017's Interact London also saw some great talks under the banner of 'Designing the Future.' One of our faves saw consumer psychologist Kate Nightingale saying that despite years of UX practice, designers often still misunderstand how people think.

Here she details examples of how psychology is used in advertising, marketing and UX to guide people towards a particular action or way of thinking.

Another great one - product design lead Phu Ly from takeaway delivery company Deliveroo discusses how multiple product teams split across multiple countries work together to produce a service that aims to be simple and easy for users, riders and restaurants.

Ruby Steel from consultancy Smart Design talks about how design and UX impacts healthcare. She focusses on their work with Mycarematters, an online service that gives users free access to healthcare professionals.

Vuokko Aro gives an insight into the design of the UX of Monzo, the famous  smartphone-only ‘challenger bank’ that has since become a household name here and abroad.

In her talk, Ann Longely asks ‘Can Design Save the World?’, drawing on her work as the director of digital transformation at the DEC (Disaster Emergency Committee).

Lastly, Sam Munton from Nomensa does a bit of future-gazing, imagining what ‘hyper-connected’ homes and cities will be like when everything around you can communicate with everything else (sounds a bit Black Mirror to me).

Read next:  The Best Design Talks You Can Watch Online

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