The Nairobi UxP Conference 2019: Driving Product Innovation in Emerging Markets

UxP Nairobi

What is design thinking & how do we apply it to tech and socio-economic challenges? How can we better understand our users? What does it mean to build products customers love? How can we continue to grow design talent in Africa? These are some of the questions that many businesses ask before launching a product. There are very many ideas about the product, culture and methodologies about product innovation replete on the internet and marketing books. However in Kenya, we have a unique opportunity to learn about the innovation aspects to help in creating a positive brand reputation that lasts. This opportunity was availed during the Nairobi UxP Conference held on the 30th-31st May 2019, that was organized by Spindle Design.

The Nairobi UxP Conference is the country’s inaugural annual design conference bringing together the community of creative leaders, designers, developers, and entrepreneurs. This conference which is East Africa’s first UX design community driven annual conference was centered on practical approaches to driving innovation in emerging markets.

The lead organizer for the conference was Maureen Macharia — Founder & CEO at Spindle Design and among the guest speakers in attendance at the 2019  Nairobi UXP conference  were , Shikoh Gitau — Head of innovation at Safaricom Alpha , Ravi Chattpar — Co-founder & Partner at Dalberg Design, Ibanga Umanah — Co-founder & head of strategy at Brave, Silas Macharia — Innovation center leader at IBM, and Fady Rostom — Director at Ark Africa.

The event targeted Leaders, enthusiasts of design thinking in technology, product strategy and beyond, the Creatives & problem solvers working to drive innovation or get inspiration from creative leaders. These are the people working to manage an effective team, build user-friendly products and understand the trends affecting the future of creativity & innovation in Africa.

The main points of discussion during the event were:

  • How organizations drive innovation by using design thinking in the tech field and beyond.
  • Applying design for business & product growth: Achieving customer centricity and business growth.
  • A systematic approach of having a shared understanding in a human workspace.
  • Communication design and brand strategy design: How to develop your tech brand strategy.
  • AI and machine learning plus case studies: What should we be watchful of and how can we leverage the technology to implement solutions?

Under the theme of ‘designing for emerging markets, the conference highlighted the importance of a design-driven approach to innovation. Nairobi has been continually growing as the region’s innovation hub & UxP Nairobi was designed to support the city’s efforts to build products and services that are effective, innovative, and user-friendly and follow the best practices to enable scale and growth.

Some photos from the event;

The Nairobi UXP event also provided a practical and hands-on user experience that allowed participants to connect and learn from their peers and leaders in the industry. The conference had a strong practical focus and attracted industry practitioners and decision-makers with the desire to innovate.

More details about the event can be found on the Conference website and #UxP2019

For design thinking enthusiasts, remember to check out Spindle Design , a Kenyan based User experience and product design company that creates Design driven and people centered innovations. And you should definitely purpose to attend next year’s conference .



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