Cape Town: the start-up city and birthplace of UX South Africa. Our theme for the third annual UX Cape Town Conference is The Importance of UX in the Start-Up Ecosystem with the target audience being business developments, marketing teams, product managers and, of course, designers. Strategic planning, design and budget approval are all part of the UX experience and just some of the key focus points we will explore this year. So spoil yourself and indulge in three days of practical workshops, thought presentations and networking that will ramp up your UX knowledge even more.


Everett McKay

Introducing Lean-er UX: Getting the benefits of lean, with techniques your manager will actually let you use – Workshop

ux_sold_out Many UX teams struggle to do their best work in an increasingly agile world. Lean UX offers solutions, but they are radically different from what most UX teams are used to, with different processes, deliverables, roles and responsibilities, and unpredictable scheduling. Lean UX techniques are mostly unproven—especially for large, distributed teams—and often don't get manager support. Worse is that many lean techniques are poorly defined. What exactly is an MVP? Which hypotheses do you really need to validate? How? If you have tried to make your team leaner but your manager won’t let you, this workshop is for you. The goals of lean UX are to develop products that our customers actually want, make better decisions while minimizing waste, and get teams to work more effectively. “Lean-er” UX strives to achieve these same goals, but using more traditional tools, techniques, and team roles—things your manager will actually let you do. This workshop is structured around the three goals of lean UX (building the right product, minimizing waste, better teamwork) to build a simple mobile app in small teams. It assumes that you need to make the best decisions you can, but with little time and minimal user research. In the end, you will have a strong understanding of how to make better design decisions quickly and confidently—in less than ideal circumstances—and how to get your team on board.  
David Du Plessis

Make design critique part of your process – Workshop

ux_sold_out It is important to make things right. But it's more important to make the right things. In the rapid pace of agile projects conversations usually focus on getting the agile process right. Teams become inward looking, often forgetting that the design needs to solve the problems of users outside the building. But having effective design conversations is not easy. And as more people from non-design backgrounds move into the product space, knowledge and experience for how to do effective design critique is not widespread. In this hands-on workshop you will learn:
  • How to identify different types of feedback
  • How to respond to feedback, and how to give good feedback
  • Planning and running a design critique session
  • Implementing the outcomes of design critique sessions
Kerry-Anne Gilowey

The ins and outs of writing for the web – Workshop

You’ve been tasked with providing copy for a website redesign, but you’re not sure where to start. Maybe you were trained as an advertising copywriter, but you want to expand your skillset. Or you’re a journalist looking to shift careers and transition into web writing. You might be a visual or interface designer who has no writer to call on, but you still need to create content for your digital projects. This interactive workshop is for you. First up, you’ll learn how web writing differs from traditional marketing copywriting. We’ll talk about the various types of content you might need to write for a website, and how you can approach each of them. We’ll examine a number of web writing principles in detail, and look at some common pitfalls to avoid. Once you’ve got a handle on all that, we’ll analyse examples of bad web writing and practise making improvements together. Other areas we’ll explore in the workshop include customer journeys, voice and tone, findability, and information hierarchy. You’ll leave this session with a toolbox full of resources and fresh confidence in your web writing skills.
Pavel Dabrytski

Creating a Winning Business through Business Model Canvas – Workshop

I have seen good products shut down because they were designed by developers and failed to entice the customer. I have seen beautifully designed systems which fell short because they did not offer anything new. In many of these sad stories the founders forgot to think their business model through. This workshop offers a thinking tool which helps find the product/market fit – Business Model Canvas. We will examine seven main elements of any business: value proposition, customer segments, customer relationships, channels, key activities, resources, partners, cost structure, and revenue streams. We will see how all these elements interact with each other. Finally, we will challenge our thinking by applying constrained prototyping, encouraging new ideas, new sets of features, or even product pivots. By the end of the workshop, you will be able to put your product ideas to the test and find a way to build a winning business.
Jaco van den Heever

Applying User Experience Strategy to your organisation – workshop

ux_sold_out Applying UX Strategy Fundamentals is aimed at intermediate to senior UX practitioners, strategists and people leaders who want to have a greater impact in their companies/clients/teams than just delivering great designs, and start making more of a strategic impact at senior level. The workshop will define what a good UX Strategy looks like, and how it can be applied within your own organisation, and provide attendees with practical experience in applying this to their own organisation. The workshop will cover the following aspects of UX Strategy in detail:
  • Understanding where your organisation currently is in terms of User Experience
  • Creating a vision of where you would like to be
  • Creating a roadmap to move your organisation from the current to future vision
  • How do we measure the success of your initiatives?
  • How do you influence your company culture to become more customer/user centric and ensure your UX team has the executive support required to succeed
Dr Gyles Morrison

Keynote – The Role of UX Design and Branding in Healthcare Start-ups

Creating a start-up is both exhilarating and nerve-racking, especially when you are new to working in start-ups. This is particularly true when working in the healthcare sector although there is so much opportunity, there are also loads of people working in this space too. With so many options to choose from, investors, founding partners, staff and future customers/clients demand that your product no just be amazing, but stand out from the crowd. During this talk, you will hear about the challenges and opportunities to work in the healthcare sector and how to present your business as credible and groundbreaking to senior healthcare stakeholders. Gain insight of what matters most to clinical staff, healthcare IT professionals and procurement departments and create digital health and tech solutions that will become the next big thing in healthcare.
Philip Barrett

Would you use this? Working out whether people will adopt your innovation without actually building it?

Twitter? Mobile wallets? Pokemon Go? Segway? Predicting the success of an innovation is notoriously hard. You need to spend time with customers to understand their behaviour and motivations. But you can’t ask “Would you use this?” because people simply can’t predict. This talk will look at research and analysis techniques that can get you better answers.
Jaco van den Heever

User Experience Strategy Fundamentals

UX Strategy Fundamentals is aimed at intermediate to senior UX practitioners, strategists and people leaders who want to have a greater impact in their companies/clients/teams than just delivering great designs, and start making more of a strategic impact at senior level. The talk will define what a good UX Strategy looks like, and how it can be applied within your own organisation. The talk will cover the following fundamental aspects of UX Strategy:
  • Understanding where your organisation currently is in terms of User Experience
  • Creating a vision of where you would like to be
  • Creating a roadmap to move your organisation from the current to future vision
  • How do we measure the success of your initiatives?
    Everett McKay

    Eight Steps to an Intuitive UI

    Having an intuitive UI is a top goal for every design project, yet surprisingly few people have a strong understanding of what this concept really means. Designers are no different. (A quick test: ask some designers to define it. Most likely you won’t be unimpressed by their answers.) By attending this talk, you will learn what it means for a UI to be intuitive. You will learn a practical definition, the attributes required to be intuitive, and the levels of intuitiveness. Ultimately, you will learn how to help your team design UIs that are more self-explanatory and require less training and documentation. You will see these concepts applied to a variety of real design problems. Finally, you will learn that not all UIs need to be intuitive, and when it is a good idea to have unintuitive UI—strategically rather than accidentally.
    Matthew Wate

    Cold coffee for Giraffes, how effective UX adds value to product development

    My presentation outlines the impact of effective UX in product development by creating an analogy about product development. The objective is to highlight the role of a UX designer within a product development team. It also shows what product owners need to provide in order to take best advantage of the UX designer's skills.
    Colin Payne

    0 to MVP: the role of UX before there is a product

    Startups need funding to live, and even more funding to get to market. They need to evolve a vision into a product and solve a myriad of technical challenges along the way. How do you design for all of these needs, and how and where does UX fit into this complex process?
    Pavel Dabrytski

    Extreme Personas – Innovate through User Experience

    I was given a tour at a client’s office. My eyes caught beautifully drawn user profiles hanging on the wall next to one of the software teams. “What are those?” I asked my guide, the development manager. “Don’t worry about it, Pavel. It is some marketing crap,” he replied – that team apparently didn’t use them. We learnt that personas are an important technique to get your teams to think of the end users, but that team found them boring and impractical. As in many other organisations, the user profiles were generic pseudo-people no one cared about. What if instead of having a boring 'Senior Citizen' persona we talked about Jacob Zuma, and instead of a ‘Young Mom' we imagined Kim Kardashian? Extreme personas help us innovate and give us a new thinking angle. Join me for an interactive workshop where we explore how drug dealers use Outlook and Justin Bieber books his flight tickets.
    Marli Ritter

    Keynote – Web Accessibility is not an urban legend – It’s real and it’s easy

    It’s a common misperception that making a product accessible for all is too resource-intensive and expensive to implement. The argument always starts with the low percentage of people who are classified as having special needs within the specific target market. It’s never “worth the effort” from a business point of view. You can’t have devs wasting their precious time on something only a small percentage of people will see, right? WRONG. Making a product accessible is a lot easier than it seems and it will greatly improve business profits in the long run.
    Lara Pietersen

    Ladies that UX: Supporting a diverse UX Community

    Ladies that UX is a global network of female UX professionals. The Cape Town LTUX chapter creates a space for women in UX to build professional and personal relationships with other women in the local and global UX community. Through engaging and talking about experiences, as well as peer inspiration and mentorship, the organisation hopes to provide women with the chance to support each other, push the UX boundaries, and promote female skill and talent. This presentation will highlight the need for such a chapter in South Africa, how it got started, and the benefits of such an organisation for all UX professionals.  
    Helga Stegmann

    Smartphone adoption in South Africa and how it affects start-ups

    With mobile devices in South Africa becoming cheaper and much more readily available each year, more users are migrating from their feature phones and adopting smartphones to get things done. A study conducted by Mantaray to understand how the switch from feature phone to smartphone is affecting users, has delivered important findings on smartphone usage, setup costs, changes in user behaviour and the influence of learnt behaviour on users’ perceptions of data. This presentation will dive in deeper, and detail our research findings and how this affects start-ups.
    Darko Arnautovic

    Colour Psychology in Web Design

    My talk centers around factual information based on studies performed on users around colours and how they impact the user experience and what message the use of colour conveys to the user. It also delves into implied website performance based on colour and layout. How colours create anxious or relaxed browsing experiences and how those feelings translate into perceived performance.
    Kerry-Anne Gilowey

    Talk to the people: Customer interviews for content strategists

    We can study detailed web analytics, review the pretty demographics charts given to us by Marketing, and devise colourful personas to guide our work, but until we’ve actually spoken to our customers – preferably face-to-face – our understanding of their needs remains limited. It’s not just interaction designers, user experience practitioners, and marketers who can benefit from conducting customer interviews. Content strategists and content creators too can gain an enormous amount from asking customers the right questions and knowing how to interpret their answers. In this session we’ll explore how we can use interviews to get an understanding of the journey that our customers take with us, and how our content can be shaped by their emotional and mental state at each point along the way. What you’ll learn:
    • How conducting customer interviews can help you to develop better content.
    • How to conduct interviews sensitively but effectively.
    • How to analyse and use the information you gather during interviews.
    Marcel Rossouw

    Semiotics & making meaning within corporate culture

    The collective understanding, or world narrative within organisations is riddled with symbols and various methods of meaning making, unique to the organisation and its cultural makeup. These building blocks are key to unlocking an organisations' intrinsic approach to tackling problem spaces, fostering innovation, and evolving organically, without disrupting the core principles and foundations that make it what it is. This session hopes to explore the underlying structures that any organisation could tap into and uncover their own innovation DNA.
    David du Plessis

    A new vision for UX design in South Africa – Becoming design activists

    How can an industry that places empathy at the core of its practice ignore the big problems facing South Africa and the continent? In a rapidly changing design landscape will UX designers even be relevant in the future? UX designers exist at a unique interdisciplinary juncture and it gives us the opportunity to create inspiring responses to these questions. With the maturity of design thinking, social innovation, and lean startup, we are uniquely placed to re-apply our skills to find new relevance and greater impact in doing work that matters. But taking action is not easy, even if it can be known what is to be done. In this talk David will explore the new mindsets, skills and attitudes UX designers need to adopt to shift from merely doing design to becoming design activists.


    Platinum Sponsor
    Silver Sponsor
    Speaker Sponsor
    Speaker Sponsor
    Lanyard Sponsor


    Lara Pietersen

    Senior UX Analyst

    Lara is a UX Analyst with a passion for making an impactful difference. Her experience in the NGO, government and marketing sectors span over 16 years. By day, she is a senior UX analyst at Mirum, (more…)

    Marli Ritter

    UX Lead

    I’m a cat lady who lives for UX and wine. The past 18 years, I’ve explored various fields in the digital realm - from branding and advertising to design and development. With both a design and technical background, (more…)

    Dr Gyles Morrison

    Clinical User Experience Designer

    After three years of clinical practice, Dr Gyles Morrison MBBS now works as a Clinical User Experience Designer where he improves the experiences people have when interacting with healthcare apps, websites and software. (more…)

    Colin Payne


    Colin has worked across many fields of interaction, experience and communication design, both in software development and irl projects. He enjoys a cross disciplinary, inventive approach to design and encourages this in the teams he works with. (more…)

    Kerry-Anne Gilowey

    Content Strategist

    Kerry-Anne has been working as a content strategist since 2009. She has spoken at UX and content strategy conferences around the world, including SXSW, Content Strategy Forum, IA Summit, Confab, and Midwest UX. (more…)

    David du Plessis

    Experience Design Director at Digital McKinsey

    David has worked as an interaction designer and user experience consultant in South Africa, Kenya, and the United Kingdom. (more…)

    Helga Stegmann


    Helga is a User Experience consultant that has worked in the industry since 1999. She started Mantaray, a User Experience agency in 2006 in South Africa and has been involved with creating innovative products and services for the African market. (more…)

    Pavel Dabrytski

    Agile Coach

    Pavel Dabrytski is an Agile coach and trainer at Think Agile. He has extensive experience working with major South African banks and retailers. He served three years as a committee member for Scrum User Group of South Africa which organises (more…)

    Marcel Rossouw

    Service Design Lead

    Marcel has been active in the digital design and communications industry since 1999, and currently serves as Service Design Lead for Accenture Interactive’s Design and Innovation capability in South Africa. (more…)

    Philip Barrett

    Director of Design

    Phil is the director of the experience design team at Deloitte Digital Africa. He has been designing designing digital experiences for over 20 years. He started with TV Guide, the BBC and Lastminute.com in the 1990s, then helped launch Flow Interactive, (more…)

    Everett McKay


    Everett McKay is Principal of UX Design Edge, a user experience design training and consulting company for mobile, web, and desktop applications. He has been teaching UX design to software professionals since 2003 and has delivered design workshops to an international audience (more…)

    Kim Li

    Remote Only - UX Designer

    Born in Beijing and raised in South Africa, Kim is a 'digital nomad' who recently established a fully mobile consultancy that assists start-ups across the world with developing brand identities and product design. (more…)

    Matthew Wate

    User Experience Manager at DStv Digital Media

    By day I'm the User Experience Manager at DStv Digital Media, by night, I'm a super hero, footballer, story-teller, zoo keeper or whatever task my three year old son imagines me to be. I've come to UX through a non-traditional career path, (more…)

    Jaco van den Heever

    User Experience Manager

    Jaco is currently responsible for leading the design team on Vodacom's digital channels. He has over 9 years of experience in the banking, telecoms and consulting industry and recently completed an MBA with focus on strategic management. (more…)

    Darko Arnautovic

    Software Engineer

    I am a Software Engineer at Entelect, specializing in front end web development. I am currently involved in new product development utilizing .NET, TypeScript, AngularJS, JQuery, Bootstrap & LESS. With over 10 years experience in the industry, (more…)


    Half Day Workshop


    Full Day Workshop


    Conference Days Only


    (not including workshop days) 9th & 10th November

    Full Access 3 Day with Half Day Workshop


    Full Access with full day workshop


    The River Club

    Observatory Rd, Observatory,
    Cape Town, 7925

    Tel: 021 448 6117



    Subscribe to our mailing list

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


    UX South Africa is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone , regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference [without a refund] at the discretion of the conference organizers.

    Harassment includes verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination [related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion]; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome sexual attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

    If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference [with no refund]. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of conference staff immediately. [Conference staff can be identified by t-shirts/special badges/head sets.]

    Conference staff will be happy to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance. We expect participants to follow these rules at all conference venues and conference- related social events. email us: theo@uxsouthafrica.com