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Data-Driven Product Design was the topic of this years Tech Talk. Taking the stage were three accomplished women making waves in their respective careers. First up we had Laura Graham, Head of Commercial Insight at Lottoland.

Laura’s topic focused on how to make sense of KPI’s, reports, survey data, customer feedback, user testing and behaviour data. Step by step, she took the audience through the product development cycle by first describing how one identifies the customer’s needs, to how one measures success.

A key point focused on the benefits of using control groups to create benchmarks for true indicators of success, to remove bias, to identify unexpected trends and to finally create compelling arguments for your product.

Next up we had Alexandra Gomez-Peliza, Casino Product Manager at Playtech. Alexandra’s talk focused on the role of a Product Manager and how data and insights affect and drive the direction and decision making at product design stages.

She used examples from how Spotify’s “Think it, Build It, Ship It, Tweak It” model & Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) to demonstrate how to develop a strategy, build an actionable plan, build, test, release, monitor performance and finally how to integrate feedback for future integrations.

Last, but not least, we had Lucy Neilson, Head of User Experience at Lottoland up to speak about the topic from a designers perspective. Lucy began by emphasising the importance of both quantitative and qualitative information, user testing and validating your product.

Lucy demonstrated her points by including an interesting anecdote about the engineer, Greg Linden.

Greg Linden was working at Amazon in the early naughties and created a prototype to show personalized recommendations based on items in the shopping cart. You add an item, recommendations show up; add another item, different recommendations show up. Linden notes that while the prototype looked promising, “a marketing senior vice-president was dead set against it,” claiming it will distract people from checking out.

Greg was “forbidden to work on this any further.” Nonetheless, Greg ran a controlled experiment, and the “feature won by such a wide margin that not having it live was costing Amazon a noticeable chunk of change. With new urgency, shopping cart recommendations launched.” Since then, multiple sites adopted this algorithm from Youtube to Netflix.

Lucy emphasised how experiments are important – run them in a controlled way, do some Multi-Variate Testing, segment them, set up the new version on a test site and get people to validate your results.

“Informed design is successful design. Successful design is a successful product. A successful product can significantly contribute to a successful business” – Lucy Neilson

Finally, we’d like to thank our sponsors who make events like this possible. GIG – our platinum sponsor; Playtech and William Hill – our gold sponsors; Lottoland – our event sponsor and our event partner, Colorworks. And thank you to Piece of Cake for our signature branded cupcakes.

Our next event will be Women in Tech Stories on 23 May 2019. Keep an eye out on this blog and our social media channels for when we announce tickets will be made available.