Amuse UX Conference

October 5-7, 2016 Budapest

Amuse is an international conference for anyone interested in how to design and develop successful products that users love.



Workshop day

Our full-day workshops will take place on Wednesday. See workshop descriptions and tickets.



Conference day #1 (Thu)

The day will start at 9AM and the last talk will end around 6PM. After the sessions there will be an Amuse party at the conference venue.



Conference day #2 (Fri)

The day will start at 9AM and the closing ceremony will end around 6PM.


Giles Colborne
Managing Director, cxpartners

UX vs Artificial Intelligence

Are UX designers about to be made redundant by a new wave of user experiences where algorithms create the value and flow? In this talk, Giles will be talking about designers at cxpartners, AirBnB and Spotify create user experiences with algorithms at their core; why algorithms are the new 'usability fail’; and exploring our role and whether we will continue to be able to bring humanity to a future that’s governed by machines.

About Giles
Steve Portigal
Principal, Portigal Consulting

Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories

Stories make the world go round. As user researchers, we love stories. At its simplest, our job is to gather stories and to retell them. War Stories are stories about contextual user research (research out in the field) and the inevitable mishaps that ensue. These stories are in turn bizarre, comic, tragic and generally astonishing.
Steve's collection of stories fills a longstanding need for the design and research community; to share what can go wrong, because that’s the reality. For a practice that is not always well-understood or trusted, there’s pressure for us to only speak to the successes, but examining the human messiness of this work can help develop our skills and our community.
In this presentation, Steve will share some of the best stories, examine the patterns revealed by the stories, and articulate the different lessons revealed by this large collection of stories.

About Steve
Russ Unger
Experience Design Director, 18F

The 3 Cs of Design: Charters, Critique, and Culture

I’ve worked for a lot of idiot managers in my career. And then, one day, after I had become a design manager myself, it finally dawned on me: Now I’m the idiot! I had a lot of ideas about what a good manager is, how one acts, and the exact positioning of where the spotlight should land on the hero, which was absolutely supposed to be me. Thanks, ego.
Heroically speaking, I failed on many, many levels. I didn’t understand how to understand a team, and help turn their perceptions and expectations into something shared and agreed upon. I didn’t understand how to foster critique; I only knew that I was in charge of design and that I had the final say. Most of my career has been an exercise in 'trial by fire' and this process worked well when I was a designer and was trying to master the art of the task flow, site map, wireframe, prototype, personas, and so on. In leadership positions, the option to go back to the drawing board or to iterate hasn't always been readily available--nor as painless to my pride and potentially my pocketbook.
The passing of time, the second and third chances that I’ve been given, and the sound advice that I didn’t want to listen to in the past have opened me up to a much different perspective. Oh, I’ve still got plenty to learn, and I’m excited to share some of what I’ve learned about charters, critique, and culture of design organizations.

About Russ
Laurissa Wolfram-Hvass
Research Manager, MailChimp

The Audience and Usability of Research

As UX professionals, we spend countless hours listening to and observing our users. We work hard to understand what they need (and want!) from our products. But what happens after we collect and analyze those research findings? Do we communicate them to our companies in a way that's usable and actionable? In this session, Laurissa Wolfram-Hvass draws from her experience as Research Manager at MailChimp to describe how we can share research more effectively.

About Laurissa
Paul Adams
VP of Product, Intercom

Why the Next Generation of Startups Won’t Build Apps

The internet is young, and is changing fast. In the past years we’ve seen it re-architect itself around people, and support the emergence of dozens of platforms and products with unprecedented growth relative to previous human inventions. We’ve seen the app stores struggle to remain relevant, and long mooted technologies like AI finally come to fruition. The combination of these patterns results in a very different landscape for tomorrow’s startups to consider.

About Paul
Mike Atherton
Content Strategist, Facebook

UX is UI

UX is a profession full of misunderstanding. Clients, colleagues, even UX practitioners can't always agree on what it is, or how it fits into the bigger picture of business strategy. For people who specialise in making sense of other people's messes, we don't do so well with our own. Let's take a look at the contradictions, limitations, and oddities inherent in UX and argue how design and research skills can be used for greater influence.

About Mike
Sara Wachter-Boettcher
Content Strategy Consultant

Design for Real Life

The products we create can make someone’s day—or leave them feeling alienated, marginalized, hurt, or angry. It’s all depends on whether we design for real life: for people with complex emotions, stressed-out scenarios, or simply identities that are different from our own.
In this talk, we’ll look at real-life examples of everything from onboarding processes to conversational UIs, and see how seemingly small design and content decisions can make or break your users’ experience. You’ll learn:

  • Why being laser-focused on “delight” can cause major product failures
  • When to communicate your personality—and when being light and funny is actually a risk
  • How to build compassion into every step of your process, and strengthen your product as a result

About Sara
Samuel Hulick
Founder of UserOnboard

Growing Your Userbase with Better Onboarding

Frustration drives people to sign up for products in hopes of improving their lives. The space between the intolerable “before” and the ideal “after” is your project’s “improvement trajectory.” And once this is defined, it’s easier to identify key moments in the customer journey and match them to design patterns.
Samuel shares strategies that help you stop hemorrhaging signups. You’ll learn to create quality onboarding experiences that target your users’ frustrations and move them from A to B in their lives, instead of just A to B in your app.

About Samuel
Adrian Zumbrunnen
UX Engineer, Google

Designing Decisions

Good design is about making decisions. In this talk we'll discuss how the way we design interfaces affects user behavior and why there isn't such a thing as neutral design.

About Adrian
Pamela Pavliscak
Founder, Change Sciences

How to Design for Happiness

The promise of technology has always been about happiness in one form or another. Technology aspires to make tiresome chores go faster, to help people get better at their work, and to augment human abilities. And yet, research suggests that technology has a strong negative impact on our lives. We all struggle a little with being human in the digital age.
How can we start designing toward long-term well-being rather than short-term goals of attention and conversion? Just as countries are measuring well-being and companies are looking more closely at employee happiness, technology can begin to look at techniques for measuring and cultivating happiness. Learn how to apply that latest thinking in positive psychology, emotional design, and practical ethics to design everyday technologies that contribute to personal and collective well-being.

About Pamela
Bertalan Mesko, MD, PhD
The Medical Futurist

Science Fiction Helps Design the Future of Healthcare

Science fiction movies, books and interfaces help us prepare for the technological future of medicine & healthcare. Real-life examples prove that the ethical issues, the potential advantages and pitfalls can be analyzed through the lenses of science fiction.

About Bertalan
Basak Haznedaroglu
Design Lead at Microsoft

Crafting Future-Proof Experiences and Smart Interactions

We are surrounded by devices that sense how we feel, anticipate our needs, make decisions on our behalf to improve our lives. It’s a revolutionary time for designers to build in a multi-dimensional digital and physical world where interactions with machines and spaces evolve to be more adaptive, anticipatory, and conversational. In this talk, we will be exploring the principles and methodologies for designing novel interactions and crafting smart experiences for the future.

About Basak
Janne Jul Jensen
Senior User Experience Architect at LEGO group

Building a UX Department from Scratch: The LEGO UX Journey

So you’re curious about UX and would like to know and do more of this in your company? But how do you get started, you ask? This presentation is a tale about the start up of an internal UX department in LEGO Corporate IT. It presents the background for and history of the start up, and goes into detail with some of the many challenges we have faced and how we have solved them. It will furthermore uncover which initiatives we have taken and why, and what our visions are for the future development of this department. Finally, it will touch upon how you win over the important stakeholders and make UX a team effort, not just a task for the UX team.

About Janne
Hilary Johnson
Product Manager, Pivotal Labs

3, 2, 1 Product Launch

“Idealistic” and “groundbreaking” were two words used by the media to describe social giving startup Impossible when it was launched three years ago. This year, model, actress and Impossible’s founder Lily Cole worked with Pivotal Labs to develop a new mobile app that simplifies the existing experience of sharing and giving amongst communities for 100,000 users globally.
The new hybrid app Impossible People was conceived, validated and built in just three months. A common challenge to social impact projects is tackling the world’s toughest problems on a tight budget and a firm timeline. Learn tips and tricks for getting your biggest, most challenging ideas into production as efficiently as possible.

About Hilary


Sara Wachter-Boettcher
Intro to Content Strategy
with Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Ugh, content. It’s a mess, right? The VPs can't agree about what goes on the homepage, the navigation is convoluted, and the copy is always way too long. Meanwhile, you’re trying to design for multiple devices, build with performance in mind, and juggle the expectations of endless bosses and stakeholders.

You have the power to change things. In this workshop, you’ll learn the basics of content strategy, and how to use it to make your projects less painful and more successful. This workshop isn’t just for content specialists or writers, though. It’s for designers, developers, and anyone who’s sick of ending up with tangled, inflexible, outdated content.

Together, we’ll:
  • Learn the basics of content strategy
  • Practice setting goals and establishing content standards
  • Look at methods for establishing messaging and voice
  • Build skills analyzing existing content and determining what to do with it
  • Practice writing for the web, with a focus on content that works for mobile/responsive experiences
  • Learn techniques for bringing these methods into your projects
Samuel Hulick
Retain More Signups!
with Samuel Hulick

Frustration drives people to sign up for products in hopes of improving their lives. The space between the intolerable “before” and the ideal “after” is your project’s “improvement trajectory.” And once this is defined, it’s easier to identify key moments in the customer journey and match them to design patterns.

You’ll be learning from Samuel Hulick, the world’s leading expert on user onboarding and author of The Elements of User Onboarding who has worked with beloved brands (Mailchimp, Basecamp) and Fortune 100 companies alike.

Samuel will share strategies that help you stop hemorrhaging signups. You’ll learn to create quality onboarding experiences that target your users’ frustrations and move them from A to B in their lives, instead of just A to B in your app.

The skills you'll walk away with:
  • Solve design dilemmas using a simple, replicable framework
  • Integrate techniques from psychology and behavioral economics that can be translated into every stage of your design process
  • Diagnose moments at every step of your product’s lifecycle that harm and help user retention
  • Prioritize product features that impact meaningful user retention over questionable vanity metrics
  • Weekly follow up exercises that will build on the skills you’ve acquired during the workshop
Russ Unger
Guerrilla Design & Research Methods
with Russ Unger

This hands-on session will cover a number of low cost, yet powerful research methods to help you make better data-driven design decisions. You’ll work through a mini-project using these several techniques that will help you understand your user, begin to understand high-level requirements, start low-fidelity prototyping, and testing with users.

Topics covered:
  • A number of inexpensive, quick, but highly effective research and design methods when time and/or budget are limited
  • Valuable 'how-tos' to execute the research
  • What to do with the guerrilla research and design you do—how to proceed
Questions answered:
  • How do I get my boss or client to buy into doing research for my project?
  • What is guerrilla research and how is it different than traditional research?
  • What are some guerrilla research methods and what kind of results can I expect?
  • How do I pick the right method(s)?
  • What are the downsides/shortcomings of guerrilla research methods compared to other research methods?


Meet Budapest, a really awesome city

Here are a few reasons to visit
Conference venue

Millenáris Park

Budapest, Kis Rókus utca, 1024

The conference will take place at Millenáris, a modern cultural complex in Buda surrounded by a large park, with excellent public transport accessibility. The location is actually the reconstructed site of the one-time Ganz Electric Works, and you still can see the parts of machinery that were used here.

Budapest is closer than you think

only a short flight away


08:00 Registration & Breakfast
09:10 Intro & Welcome
09:25 Giles Colborne: UX vs Artificial Intelligence
10:15 Paul Adams: Why the Next Generation of Startups Won’t Build Apps
11:00 Coffee break
11:25 Laurissa Wolfram-Hvass: The Audience and Usability of Research
12:15 Mike Atherton: UX is UI
13:00 Lunch
14:25 Pamela Pavliscak: How to Design for Happiness
15:15 Janne Jul Jensen: Building a UX Department from Scratch: The LEGO UX Journey
16:00 Coffee break
16:30 Steve Portigal: Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories
17:30 - Networking, Dinner, Party
08:00 Registration & Breakfast
09:10 Intro & Welcome
09:25 Russ Unger: The 3 Cs of Design: Charters, Critique, and Culture
10:15 Adrian Zumbrunnen: Designing Decisions
11:00 Coffee break
11:25 Basak Haznedaroglu: Crafting Future-Proof Experiences and Smart Interactions
12:15 Hilary Johnson: 3, 2, 1 Product Launch 🚀🚀🚀
13:00 Lunch
14:25 Samuel Hulick: Growing Your Userbase with Better Onboarding
15:15 Sara Wachter-Boettcher: Design for Real Life
16:00 Coffee break
16:30 Bertalan Mesko, MD, PhD: Science Fiction Helps Design the Future of Healthcare
17:15 Closing ceremony


Platinum sponsor
Gold sponsor
Bronze sponsor
Supporters & Partners

We are looking for sponsors who help us make this non-profit conference happen.

Interested? Contact us at


Amuse Conference is organized by
Zsuzsa Kovács

Zsuzsa Kovács

Senior UX Researcher, Prezi
Zoltán Kollin

Zoltán Kollin

UX director, Ustream
László Laufer

László Laufer

Senior UX Researcher, Prezi
Medea Baccifava

Medea Baccifava

Head of conference management, Prezi
Bernadett Otterbein

Bernadett Otterbein

Sponsor manager, Ustream
 Adam Boros

Adam Boros

Marketing Interncybe, Prezi
 Attila Balogi

Attila Balogi

Event manager, Prezi
Bogi Dufek

Bogi Dufek

UX Team Coordinator, Prezi

Questions? Drop us a line at

Code of

All attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at our conference are required to agree with the following code of conduct. Organisers will enforce this code throughout the event. We are expecting cooperation from all participants to help ensuring a safe environment for everybody. If you need help, contact us at

Be excellent with each other

Our conference is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion (or lack thereof). We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, Twitter and other online media. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organisers.

The Less Quick Version

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, age, color, national origin, genetic information, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, 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.

Sponsors are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, sponsors should not use sexualised images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualised clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualised environment.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the conference organisers 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 as they'll be wearing branded t-shirts.

Conference staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, 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 conference and workshop venues and conference-related social events.