You the User
You the User

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, UX Community
UX Community
on 30 May 2011

I don’t trust anyone who isn’t tired of the conference circuit (overheard in Denver 2011)

A few questions to ask ourselves to keep a perspective. I also wrote previously about the need for conferences to develop healthy outlooks for their futures. Read it if you like.

1-If you were to spend three days listening, watching, reading in your day-to day zone rather than attending a conference would you learn more or less than if you had attended one? Do you learn more equivalent to what you have paid?

2-Do you meet enough people to make it worthwhile? Do you set out to meet people to make it worthwhile?

3-Where do the most interesting conversations take place? In the hall or in the foyer? Would you attend a ‘conference’ that just happened in a foyer? Have you ever attended a conference and spent the whole time in the foyer?

4-At a conference is your time better spent reading and researching than listening? Or is it better spent with a balance of the two? Do organisers organise programmes too full of talks?

5-Are you more likely to discover more about your field of interest/ the domain field you work in if you attend a conference in another field, domain? Are UX conferences relevant enough? Might we not learn more from attending an architectural conference or philosophy talk? Are we designers getting a balanced enough diet?

6-Everyone crowding to a UX conference is most likely to lead to saturation of discussing the obvious and the least profound – “equivalent to a steady diet of personal hygiene tips”. Are you demanding more or are you comfortable with gentle reminders of the obvious and the quiet satisfaction that you are in the know?

7-Are you asking enough difficult questions? And are we suspicious enough?

8-Is the proliferation of sketchnotes the reason everyone’s look the same? Is their popularity the sign of people’s need for acceptance? Do they really assist in clarifying and the better understanding of talks and subjects? Do they help us better to think or just to remember?

9-Why are not more people challenging the way conferences are organised? The way presentations are delivered? Where is the hunger for new experiences?

10-We need to accept more than ‘good enough’. Good enough is not acceptable for our work so why should it be for a conference we attend. They need to be better then good enough.


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