Aras Bilgen


Aras Bilgen

User Experience Design Manager
Garanti Bank, Turkey

Aras Bilgen leads the core UX team in Garanti Bank, a BBVA joint-venture in Turkey. His team of 25 designers and developers work on a broad range of areas, from mobile apps, web sites, ATMs to enterprise software, discovery and long-term strategic research.

Prior to joining Garanti, he was the product director for Çiçeksepeti, the 3th largest flower and gifting site in the world. Before ÇiçekSepeti, Aras was a Product Development Group Manager at Monitise, where his team of product managers and designers delivered top-notch digital experiences for leading financial institutions and e-commerce sites, such as İşBank, Visa, eBay, Turkcell and Turkish Airlines. He was a UX planner at Intel where he led the UX planning for Tizen (with Samsung), worked on MeeGo (with Nokia) and adapted Intel’s brand identity system for the software products.

Previously, he was at Microsoft Research, where he developed a gestural system for interacting with displays remotely. He completed similar research efforts at the University of California, Irvine and Lancaster University, UK.

Aras holds a BS from Bilkent University and an MS in Computer Science from Georgia Tech. He is an avid cook and drives his colleagues nuts by winning all food-related trivia games.

9:30am – 12:30pm

Workshop #2 @ Room 327

User Research For Everyone
products and services

Many successful companies have invested in deliberate research efforts and achieved impactful, long-lasting results based on strong insights. Unfortunately, a lot of companies see research as overhead. Such companies assume that research is an expensive, luxury activity; they assume that research needs to take months to be useful; and they assume that no one but a few specialized people with PhDs can do user research.

These wrong assumptions scare the companies to skip research completely and jump into finding solutions through trial-and-error. Seeking solutions before defining the problem wastes precious product cycles, stresses out the team and makes the problem worse in each step. This situation is extra stressful and demotivating for designers who want to solve makes the problem worse in each step. This situation is extra stressful and demotivating for designers who want to solve significant problems and create lasting impact.

In reality, research can be quick, affordable, correct and easy to apply.

In this workshop, you will:

  • Be introduced to the field of design research through a broad range of design research methods, with a focus on several selected methods that anyone can use regardless of background and job description.
  • Learn about selected quantitative methods (usage data, analytics, in-app audits) and qualitative methods (interviews and field immersion), and how to combine quantitative and qualitative methods to fit your project needs.
  • Find out ways to share findings effectively and turn them into actionable projects within your organisation.
11:15am – 12:30pm

Lightning Talk #15 @ Room 326

Beyond Usability: Elements of Great Modern User Experiences
products and services

Computers have evolved tremendously in the past 60 years. We started with unreliable, slow devices that filled rooms and costed millions of dollars. The discerning question to ask in that era was: “Is this working?” Room-sized computers would take days to process the input, but they got faster and faster every year. When they got close to the point where we could present input and see the output interactively, the discerning question to ask was “Is this fast enough?” The invention of the integrated circuits revolutionized computing, made computers accessible to everyone, and allowed us to run software programs easily to achieve our tasks. The discerning question of that era was: “Is it usable?”

We are now at an era where reliability, speed and usability are baseline expectations in every piece of technology in our lives. We are now at a stage where we should be asking much richer, much complex questions that will guide where we focus our attention in creating great user experiences. Usability is an important part of user experience, but it is far from being the only factor in creating great user experiences. Through this talk, you will learn about the historic development of the field of ergonomics and its influence on the field of usability and the parallel developments in computing. You will also be introduced to 10 areas of focus that constitute the success of modern user experiences:

  • Is it satisfying a true need?
  • Does it have fresh and useful content?
  • Can I share it?
  • Can I extend it?
  • Is it beautiful and attractive?
  • Is it affective and persuasive?
  • Is it inclusive?
  • Is it sensitive, ethical and respectful?
  • Is it robust and resilient?
  • Is it produced sensibly?
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