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Design for global audiences  — How to design for diversity: the weird, the deaf, the excluded & everyone else in between.

Normal is biased. Post normal is the many futures that work.

UX Salon took place in Tel Aviv, Israel on March 10, 2019.  It was 2 days filled with inspiration, education and workshops for user experience and digital product professionals.

Thanks to an invitation from the  founder Avi Itzkovitch , I was able to attend and collaborate with the event on the live social media coverage!

This year the focus was on sensory design and how designing for the ‘senses’ could help us become better in designing UX. Sensory Design is an approach to shape experiences that embraces all of our senses and modes of understanding. Beyond vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch we will look at how emotions, empathy and trust could help us become better at what we do.

I hope you enjoy my top takeaways and learnings from the amazing line-up!


Matthew Bennett, Head of the Sound + Sensory Design, Microsoft presented — Beyond Vision, A New Paradigm: Sound as Sensory Design

  • Understanding sound as sensory experience can improve the way we listen and the way we design. A holistic approach to sound design can help create digital experiences that are more functional, beautiful & soulful.
  • Sound is feeling — vibrations of sound connect the physical and the psychological, sounds connect the physical world with our inner emotional world, sound connects our physical and emotional design languages.
  • ‘Quiet is beautiful — we design for silence.’ Sensory sound is less about hearing more about sound and feeling. Less about individuals more about a connected soundscape. Less about being at the center & more about being the background.
  • Sound is the new haptic, we hear touch.
  • Spoken language has musical patterns, melody & rhythm express emotional meaning that creates connection beyond literal words.

Marie VanDriessche, Interaction Designer at ABN AMRO Bank gave a talk on Inclusive Design:

  • Seek out exclusion, that will lead the way to new ideas.
  • Learn from diversity & people who have experienced exclusion in their life.
  • Solve for one, extend to many.

Alastair Somerville, a Sensory Design Consultant is a specialist in sensory design and cognition. He shared his research and insights on how to design for global audiences and not just the W.E.I.R.D. (White Educated Industrialised Rich Democratic)?

  • Post Normal Design is about design for global audiences and growing new markets in new countries and with new users, not just the W.E.I.R.D.
  • Normal is biased. Convergence is a trap. We design for the W.E.I.R.D. Divergence is resilience. Convergent thinking fails. Diversity as a strategy. Post Normal is the many futures that work,

Rina Naor, Gerontologist, Co-founder of ageCulture — an age-friendly innovation lab that builds strategies for integrating seamless aging experiences into everyday life.

  • Products and services which work well with older adults work very well with all ages!
  • Age Friendly Design Principles:
    1. Don’t patronize
    2. Emotional needs
    3. Simplify
    4. Augment existing behavior
    5. Design inclusively

Dr. Liraz Margalit, Web Psychologist & Head of Behavioral Research at Clicktail shared with us the latest research about the role of emotions in shaping digital experiences!

  • A long lasting experience, good or bad, is one that provides enough vivid materials for our brain to construct a story later on.
  • The growing flood of information, goods, and services mingle and merge in our memories, and we cannot separate one brand from another.
  • “The only was the human being could ever have survived as a species for as long as we have is that we’ve developed another decision-making apparatus that’s capable of making very quick judgement based on very little information.” — Malcom Gladwell
  • Create experiences that generate a positive emotional reaction and give your customers a new story for their memory collections.

Allie Vogel, UX designer at gave us her top tips from her machine learning laboratory in Tel Aviv:

  • Create trust with users.
  • Let users be in control.
  • Deliver the right message at the right time.

Ricardo Vazquez, Senior Product Designer at Shopify spoke on how “The Future Is Kid Stuff – Play, Curiosity and Wonder in Design”

  • We must never become systems that exploit, rather remain systems that explore. Play is dream potential, play needs to last a lifetime.

Benjamin Hersh, Product Designer at Dropbox,  gave us the secret sauce to effectively design with language:

  1. Be clear.
  2. Be a friend.
  3. Be expressive.
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