Hello, my name is arancia, and I work as a UX researcher.
I had the honor of presenting as a speaker at the event Spectrum Tokyo Meetup #07, held on November 24th, 2023. This article is a summary of the event, and my experience there.
What kind of event is the Spectrum Tokyo Meetup?
About the Spectrum Tokyo Meetup
Spectrum Tokyo Meetup is a meetup held by SpectrumTokyo, an internet media company that also runs offline events. It is a casual meetup and networking event, gathering professionals from various fields, including design, to give Lightning Talks (”LTs”) about a range of themes broadly related to design.
The theme for Spectrum Tokyo Meetup #07 was: Tell us about your latest passion & trends in Design.
Each meetup is held in either Japanese or English, and the venue changes each time as well. Spectrum Tokyo Meetup #07 was held in English at pixiv Inc.’s Tokyo office.
The Atmosphere of the Meetup
The meetup consisted of LTs and Mingle Time, free time for networking and general discussion, in alternating time blocks. Each LT session lasted about fifteen minutes, which gave three presenters about five minutes each, and each Mingle Time session lasted about 20-40 minutes. This allowed participants quite a lot of time to talk to one another.
Among the people I spoke to at the meetup, there were designers, researchers, product managers, students, and people of many other backgrounds.
Each person had a different motivation for participating in the meetup. Some people were majoring in a different subject at university, but joined the meetup because of an interest in the field of design; others were designers from overseas who happened to be in Japan at the time, or had scheduled their vacations in Japan specifically to align with the meetup. This made the meetup a very unique opportunity to meet various people who I would have never had the chance to meet otherwise.
The casual atmosphere made it easy for both speakers to hold their LTs, and participants to speak freely the Mingle Time sessions.
This time I gave an LT entitled: “My Journey as a UX Researcher”.
In my presentation, I spoke about how I started out as a designer before becoming a researcher, as well as what I do now as a UX researcher for pixiv.
Reflecting on the experience
I was a little bit concerned that others wouldn’t be interested in the topic of my LT, because it doesn't align closely with the theme and the UX researcher role is not yet very common in Japan. However, my fears were proven unfounded almost immediately.
Even before I presented, many people asked me during the networking sessions, “Why did you become a UX researcher?” or “What does your work entail?” I realized that many people from design fields are interested in what I do as a UX researcher.
Also, this was my first time giving a LT, and although I was nervous and sometimes had trouble saying what I wanted to say, I was encouraged by the fact that everyone listened eagerly and supportively. I would love to give another presentation sometime if I get the chance.
The networking sessions allowed participants to discuss many subjects with many different people, including the topics of the LTs, which I enjoyed a lot. Even after the meetup ended, people were still chatting enthusiastically with each other. It wasn’t until Mr. Sampei, the organizer, firmly called out that it was time for everyone to go home that people reluctantly left.
This experience at Spectrum Tokyo Meetup #07 made me appreciate the value of giving presentations at events like this.
In addition to having the chance to share my perspective and what I do with other people, I was able to speak to people who are interested in working as UX researchers or joining pixiv. I was even able to speak directly with people based outside of Japan who use pixiv, something I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do. Not only that, but this lead to more chances to expand my professional network when I ran into them at other events as well. All of these things added up to an incredibly rewarding experience for me, despite the fact it was only a single event where I gave a five-minute presentation.
I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to SpectrumTokyo for putting on this wonderful event and inviting me to present, as well as my colleagues who helped me prepare my LT and offered me their support. Thank you again for this priceless opportunity!