Main focus: user experience
Twitter handle: @belenpena
Languages: English, Spanish
Country: United Kingdom
Topics: design in foss, design for developmet tools, user research, user research with mobile devices, user centred design, usability, user experience
I am Belén. I have been an interaction designer and user researcher since 2007. Over that time I have done pretty much everything: from websites and web applications, to Linux native apps and mobile operating systems.
I’ve developed a keen interest on embedded computing (which includes both mobile and what’s now called the “Internet of Things"), design for software development tools and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). I also believe the technology industry needs simple and affordable design research approaches, which led me to create the DIY Mobile Usability Testing project.
My approach to design is based on making do with whatever resources available, the ability to understand technical constraints and assess feasibility, prototyping instead of static mockups, and lean user research techniques.
I help organise the open source design track at the Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting (FOSDEM), I am a member of the Open Source Design group, and I teach mobile user experience at the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona).
Examples of previous talks / appearances:
This presentation from the Libe Graphics Meeting 2019 summarises the attitudes towards user research I've encountered during my dealings with the free and open source software (FOSS) communtities. It closes with some advice for FOSS projects on how to do research with users.This talk is in: English
I had the pleasure of sharing my Git learning experience at Git Merge 2019 and ApacheCon Europe2019. The purpose of this talk was encouraging software engineers to teach Git to the designers they work with. My argument is that learning Git teaches designers about software as design material, making them better partners for software developers, better able to communicate with them, and better designers overall.
The "DIY Mobile Usability Testing" project started back in 2009. We set out to prove that running usability studies for mobile software doesn't need to be difficult or expensive, it can be done by anybody, and it is a lot of fun!
The project has 2 parts:
We deliver the content as a workshop or presentation. So far, we have been to:
Over the Air (2010)
IA Summit (2011)
UX Sofia (2012)
South by Southwest Interactive (2012)
UX Spain (2013)
These are the latest slides, and a home made video from the South by Southwest edition
This talk was prepared for the Breaking Development conference that happened in Dallas in 2012. It reveals the startling similarities between the different mobile phone operating systems available at the time, putting into question the fragmentation myth.
This talk tries to introduce free and open source software (FOSS) to the mainstream design community. It was delivered in Spanish at UX Spain 2015 and in English at EuroIA 2015. My most sincere thanks to their programme committees for giving me the chance to spread the word about the importance of FOSS and the key role design should be playing in it.