Derek Brookman, Mirjam Wouters

Telling the right stories helps boost usability

Key Learnings

  • Understand the need for story ‘layering’ to connect with diverse audiences
  • Recognize the often-neglected role of location in driving UX insight generation
  • Appreciate how user-centric narratives resonate more than tech-focused ones

When testing future healthcare concepts for usability, how can you craft a single story that hits the sweet spot with everyone from cardiovascular surgeons to embassy officials, and from hospital administrators to colleagues?

Actually, you can’t.

But, by using narrative layering techniques, it’s possible to first create a base script and then adapt it for many different audiences. In-depth, detailed and data-rich for specialists, for example, or high-level and jargon-free for non-techies. And, regardless of who it’s aimed at, always centered on key stakeholders – e.g. patients and staff – rather than technology.

Yet this is only part of the puzzle. Because it’s not just a question of how you tell your story, but where. A memorable, dynamic and preferably unconventional location is often the ideal environment in which to generate rich insights for optimizing enterprise UX design.

Date: Thursday, October 14th
Time: 10:30 - 11:15

Derek Brookman


Derek is a storyteller in the broadest sense. He has delivered countless live pieces-to-camera for multinationals. Carried out TV interviews with the world’s greatest footballers (Lionel Messi, Johann Cruijff…). Presented at exhibitions in Europe and North America. Spoken with a multitude of CEOs and business leaders to generate input for articles, speeches, scripts and other media. Filmed multi-day leadership journeys on three continents. Ghostwritten two books on personal development. And given pitching/story creation guidance during workshops.

In a freelance career spanning 20 years, Derek has worked together with organisations ranging from the BBC and UEFA to Philips, Vodafone and KLM. Two decades of close cooperation with Philips Design, in particular, have helped him fully embrace the importance of optimising the user experience and of putting people, not technology, at the heart of the design process.

Mirjam Wouters

Manager InnovationLab, Philips Research

Innovate the innovation processes. Blend passion, experience, skills, and creativity to the development of meaningful products, services, and experiences that are designed around the need of their users.
Being able to utilize my passion for Design and User Experience within a business context involving cutting edge technology. Committed to delivering disruptive creative solutions within constraints of today’s technology and markets.


  • Experience managing a community of Research and Design, organize Events, Hackatons and Rapid co-creation sessions that deliver innovation.
  • PMI certified project manager
  • Experience in leading the development of multidisciplinary platforms, which involved technology development and consumer research.
  • Broad experience of Experience Design direction in different business areas; Lighting, Healthcare, Home automation, Domestic Appliances and Strategic Futures.

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