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January 13 2014


July 18 2013


Hitting the UX Conference Circuit

Conferences and workshops are easily one of the best ways to immerse yourself into the world of UX design. Between thought-provoking speakers, new perspectives, and amazing networking opportunities, many people leave feeling simultaneously exhausted and rejuvenated. And yet every year it gets harder to choose which one to attend.

Ultimately, the ‘best’ conference depends on what attendees are looking for: an information architect’s favorite conference may not resonate as strongly with a UI designer. And, of course, price can factor into anyone’s decisions. Below are ten events targeting today’s discerning design professionals as well as some practical advice for getting making the trek.

Our pick of UX conferences

An Event Apart

Perhaps the most ‘accessible’ conference out there, An Event Apart (AEA) is held every few months in a major city throughout the United States. Speakers are almost universally regarded as thought leaders in the industry and the entire event is focused on best practice. That fact should come as no surprise, though, as Jeffrey Zeldman – one of the guys behind the event – is also the founder of the publication A List Apart, the design firm Happy Cog, and the publishing company A Book Apart.

Prices vary, but tickets are roughly $900 for presentations, and $450 for workshops. This year’s remaining cities/dates are: Washington DC in August, Chicago in August, Austin in September, and San Francisco in December.

Blend conference

In just its first year, Blend Conference is a self-described generalist’s conference, targeting UX professionals, UI designers, and web developers alike. It’s got all the makings of a great event: 50 speakers, 40 talks, six workshops, custom notebooks, and a no device policy (which will definitely change the dynamic). Tickets run a cool $350. If you’re free in early September and fancy a trip out to Charlotte, NC, give it a look!


Their tagline is ‘driving the Content Strategy conversation forward’ and, boy, do they. Confab Events hosts three conferences each year, each featuring speakers that run the gambit from marketing to j to IT. As a content strategist myself, I can attest to the wonder that is Confab: a mecca of the content strategy community.

Although Americans referring to ‘Confab’ are usually referring to Confab Minneapolis, there are actually three annual events:

  • Confab Minneapolis. Held in June, this is the ‘main’ event. Early-bird tickets are $949. (High, yes, but I think it’s worth every penny.)
  • Confab London. Held in March, speakers hail from across the globe. The price sounds better at only £599 (early bird), but in dollars that’s still roughly $930.
  • Confab Higher Ed. Held in November, this event attracts content strategists that specialize in working with universities. The price is lower for Confab Higher Ed, only $699 for the early bird ticket.

Content Strategy Forum

Confab is amazing, but it only comes three times a year, and (this) Content Strategists want more. Content Strategy Forum gives content strategy a more global stage. It’s held annually in September and costs €700 for the conference (early bird) and €1050 for the conference and workshop. ($1086, and $1629, respectively)

IA Summit

The IA Summit is the event for those ‘redefining strategy and structure in support of cross-channel systems and user experiences.’ According to those who have been, it’s an amazing opportunity for beginners to get a big picture look at what IA encompasses as well as a place for experienced designers to catch up with one another. One particularly unique aspect of IA Summit is its Flex Track, essentially giving attendees a place to present!

IA Summit moves around; 2013’s event was in Baltimore, while 2014’s will be in San Diego. The price is high, $900 normally, with a $100 discount for members of ASIS&T or the Information Architecture Institute

UIE Conference

If there is one conference to attend for a general UX education, it’s UIE. This year is UI:18, and topics range from creating scenarios to beginning research to leading productive meetings. Unlike many conferences that offer a day of workshops followed by one or two days of talks, UIE offers two days of workshops, and only one day of talks. The format lends itself to hands-on education, which is UIE’s focus.

The full conference is annually held in Boston in October. It’s fairly expensive: tickets range from $775 for a regular-priced, one-day ticket, to $1989 for a regular-priced, full-conference ticket. Finally, if you can’t make it to the conference itself (or afford it), consider buying the audio. The audio tracks, as well as PDF versions of every presentation, are released just a few weeks after the conference itself, at a reduced rate of $239.

UX Lisbon

UX Lisbon is one of the few UX conferences that attracts big names from both the United States and Europe. Is it the sunny beaches available? The chance to meet UX professionals from other countries? The caliber of the talks? Perhaps it’s a little bit of all three. This two-day conference has a whopping 16 workshops available, dwarfing the number of talks (10) offered. Also, instead of separating out a speakers dinner, UX Lisbon offers dinners for speakers and attendees to get to know one another.

Offered in Lisbon every May, the price is €895 for 3 days, €695 for two days, and €295 for one day (or, $1388, $1078, and $457, respectively) .

UX London

Although it requires a jump across the pond for American-based readers, UX London is well worth the trip. It may not be the best place for newcomers as the event focuses on professional development. Accordingly, attendees and presenters bring the conversation to a higher level, exploring difficult questions and sharing their hard-earned knowledge. The event takes place in London every April, and the cost is £895, or $1388.

UX Mad

UX Mad is a different kind of design conference. Rather than featuring a lineup comprised entirely of well known speakers, UX Mad’s hosts – Jen and Jim Remsik – do their best to curate an eclectic mix. This year’s speakers, for example, featured two musicians, an ice cream maker, as well as two fifteen-year-old entrepreneurs.

What’s more, the conference focuses on many oft-neglected areas of design: service design, company culture, designer/developer workflow, and agile methodology. While it’s not necessarily the best introduction to the design community, the event serves a delightful breath of fresh air in an otherwise crowded space.

As you might guess, Mad UX is held every July in… Madison, Wisconsin. Early bird tickets are just $249 and regular conference tickets are $299.

UX Week

Okay, so, the name is misleading. Still, UX Week provides a solid three days of user experience talks and workshops organized by one of the most pioneering consultancies in our industry, Adaptive Path. It’s held annually in San Francisco, CA in August, and runs (a whopping) $2595.00.

Get out there

There’s more to a great conference than just finding it and booking a ticket, of course – there are airfares and accommodations to consider! We recommend Kayak and AirBnb respectively. Both save you time and money.

Conferences are also a good opportunity to put Twitter to work for you. Sign in to Lanyard with it to track conferences your followers are attending. Then, while you’re at the event, use it to set up meeting times and to follow the conference’s hashtag. You’ll be plugged in in no time.

What are your favorite design conferences and/or conference rituals? Share them in the comments, or with the #uxbooth hashtag on Twitter!

The post Hitting the UX Conference Circuit appeared first on UX Booth.

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June 25 2013


A Q&A with UX Mad 2013

When it comes to meeting with the community in-person, UX designers have plenty of events to choose from. One particularly unique option is UX Mad, bringing together speakers from all different walks of life. As it turns out, those walks of life were also prime candidates for an interview.

UX Mad is an annual, one-track, user-experience-design conference held every July in Madison, WI. Featuring a wide variety of speakers – from professional musicians to craft ice cream makers – it offers attendees an opportunity to meet and mingle with an otherwise disparate group of passionate creators.

In fact, the lineup reflects just how multidisciplinary experience design can be. Looking at their various backgrounds made me wonder: where do these speakers overlap? The answers, you’ll find, are surprising. Read on for wide-ranging insight into the creative minds of this year’s speakers and even a chance to win a ticket to the event!

How do you define user experience? How did you get into it?
Lea StewartLea Stewart: UX is a way to describe an ecosystem of products and services that consider a users’ needs, behaviors, and attitudes. Coming from Industrial Design, I don’t think of it as strictly digital. Instead of developing a next-generation training shoe, a UX designer might envision the “experience of running”.
MoldoverMoldover: To me, user experience represents a change in focus from simply getting something to work to making it as intuitive and enjoyable as possible.
Sergio NouvelSergio Nouvel: User experience is an evolution of design in general. Once you begin to care about users, you start to wonder which factors influence a good design beyond the mere look-and-feel. You start being a lot more aware of how easy the interface is to consume (which itself depends on how the content is structured, what it intends to do, etc.)
Can you give us a sneak peek of your talk at UX Mad?
Jenn DownsJenn Downs: Marketing automation is a powerful tool, but if used incorrectly it can reduce empathy for the user. Using technology to manage the relationship isn’t a replacement for human-to-human contact.
Jessica PetersonJessica Peterson: I’m taking part in a discussion panel of people chosen from distinct disciplines with a similar regard for the role of research in the design process. We want to demonstrate why the science of research and applied research is critical.
MoldoverMoldover: Human interface design for musical instruments presents unique challenges and vast new possibilities. The proliferation of low-cost rapid-prototyping tools has put the means of fabricating instruments within reach of any potential musician. I’ll go through the design process for some of my inventions.
Pamela PavliscakPamela Pavliscak: Data isn’t just a four-letter word. Numbers let us track improvements and setbacks over time, communicate important information at a glance, and tell us where we stand against competition.
Russ UngerRuss Unger: I’m giving a talk about Jim Henson and how the way he worked applies to what we can do in UX. It’s not one of those “X Things We Can Learn About UX From [a person];” it’s about the way he worked. It’s a little bit of history, observation, and fun. Oh! And Muppets–lots of Muppets! Probably a bunch of stuff you never knew about them, and Jim Henson!
What was the last creative project you did for fun? How do you deal with blocks?
Jesse ShternshusJesse Shternshus: I’ve been working with a designer to re-brand my company. I challenge myself by giving myself a couple minutes to think of as many terrible ideas as possible. Sometimes really good ideas come out of it.
Martin AtkinsMartin Atkins: I like speaking and work pretty hard at the payoff of that. The same goes for my books. There’s a difference between the information and the delivery of that information in a form that works. I try to have enough going on that when I am creatively blocked I can keep my energy output up while the wheels and cogs keep turning and (hopefully) magically produce the solution like some fairground wizard.
Pamela PavliscakPamela Pavliscak: Even though I observe and talk to strangers using technology all the time, I’m pretty awkward when it comes to mingling in large social groups. Recently, I had to go to an event by myself, so I decided random UX testing might at least give me some conversational gambit. A few takeaways: find a quiet corner, talk to people early in the evening, make friends with all the servers, and let people see some results.
Sergio NouvelSergio Nouvel: How do I deal with creative blocks? I don’t. I don’t regard hitting the point of frustration as a “block”. I see it as a necessary step. I never consider myself blocked, so it helps a lot with the feeling of being blocked.
What does mobile mean to user-centered designers?
Andrew MaierAndrew Maier: Mobile means we can no longer depend upon a certain context in which people will use things (not that we ever really could). As a consequence, we have to make our solutions more robust – to consider alternative ways of presenting information and affording functionality.
Golli HashemianGolli Hashemian: Honestly, it annoys me that everyone focuses so much on mobile as a separate topic of user experience. From a high level, designing for mobile isn’t a separate process – it’s an evolution of user-centered design. We study how our customers use our product and design accordingly, taking context into account as well.
Sergio NouvelSergio Nouvel: Mobile has always been with us simply because we are mobile beings (unlike a tree). Mobile isn’t new: think of a watch as a mobile analog device. Mobile is a context. Devices will keep changing, and what really matters is not the resolution or the touch screen, but the context – the unpredictability of what’s surrounding a user, what state of mind they’re in, or what else they’re trying to do. The first step is admitting our inability to cover absolutely every scenario.
What disciplines within user-centered design excite you? Why?
Andrew MaierAndrew Maier: Civic design & social entrepreneurship. They’re areas that absolutely need our attention (as designers) because they have the most power to affect people on a day-to-day basis. Democracy is interactive by design. Nowadays, we’ve lost that feeling of empowerment.
Jessica PetersonJessica Peterson: Nothing beats first-hand research. Making sure we understand what the users are thinking and what their needs are is just as important as making sure the interface is well-designed, the colors and proportions and pleasing, and the features are usable.
Lea StewartLea Stewart: My background is in industrial design, so that’s where my passion lies. I have an internal struggle with creating more “stuff” that may someday be discarded. I focus on sustainability and to ensure that whatever I design is truly needed and wanted by users instead of heading for the landfill.
MoldoverMoldover: Hardware. It’s refreshing to make physical objects when we spend so much time manipulating digital “things.”

That’s all, folks! A big thank you to all of this year’s speakers for taking the time to answer our questions. Everyone listed above (and more!) will be in Madison this July 12-13, so come on out, meet them, have a good time, and eat some cheese!

Welcome to Wisconsin

Will we see you there? UX Mad is just a few weeks away. If you haven’t bought your ticket yet but you’re itching to go (especially after such riveting responses), you’re in luck: we’re giving one away.

To enter, let us know who you’re most excited to meet and why in the comments below. Be sure to follow @uxbooth, and to leave your Twitter handle with your comment so we can get in touch with you for your freebie. Entries must be in by midnight (PST) June 27th. We know it’s tight, but we want to give the lucky winner the time to arrange travel and lodging, as we can’t provide those. Good luck!

The post A Q&A with UX Mad 2013 appeared first on UX Booth.

May 21 2013


A Taste of Confab 2013

“Content is king.” It’s been the prevailing trend the past few years, but at Confab – a conference of Content Strategists – attendees seek more than just trends; they seek stories. UX Booth editor and resident content strategist Marli Mesibov reached out to some of the strategists speaking at this year’s Minneapolis-based event to learn more about what’s driving their current narratives.

When I first walked into Confab in 2012, I felt as though I had finally found home. During their workshops and talks, speakers discussed the “hows” and “whys” of writing, rather than merely the benefits of having content. They talked about writing from the perspective of thinkers – journalists, creative, researchers, and readers – instead of merely dwelling on its marketing value. It was a whole new world, connecting writing to design, turning copy into content.

It’s no wonder, then, that I’ve been looking forward to Confab 2013 since the day I left the event. And now that it’s only two weeks away, I can barely contain my excitement! In the weeks leading up to the event, I’ve begun conversations with this year’s speakers in order to learn more about areas of content strategy we don’t often hear about. Jonathan Kahn and Melanie Moran share their stories.

Digital Governance Fails Because We’re Afraid of Cultural Change

Let’s begin with Jonathan Kahn. He’s a busy man. Jonathan organizes events (Dare Conference, Confab London, London Content Strategy Meetup), presents worldwide (Webdagene Oslo, CS Forum Paris/Cape Town, IxDA Dublin), and writes extensively (A List Apart, Contents, lucid plot) about the revolutionary changes facing organizations, and why it’s so hard to overcome them.

With a background in web development, he’s also worked as an information architect, user experience consultant, and content strategy advocate. Jonathan is the Principal of Together London. He shared the story leading to his presentation, Digital Governance Fails Because We’re Afraid of Cultural Change.

For most of my career I told myself I was a firefighter, rushing in at the last minute to fix screwed up web projects. Recently, though, I discovered why I told myself that story: I was avoiding the scary part of my work, the difficult questions.

Today, things are different. My interactions with the content strategy community have helped me craft a new story, and it goes something like this:

  1. The internet puts new demands on our content. Customers expect useful, usable content across channels and devices, all the time.
  2. Organizations (usually) aren’t setup to deal with this reality. People avoid talking about content because it’s messy, political, and hard to do well.
  3. So our content is a mess, and nobody takes responsibility for fixing it. This creates problems for both the business and the customer. It also drives us crazy.
  4. Content is important, damnit! It’s a business asset. Content strategy provides a way for us to fix these problems, helping us spread the word about the value of content throughout the organization and around the world.

The content strategy story is all about asking hard questions: What content do we have? Is it any good? Why do we need it? What’s our messaging architecture, our voice, our tone? Which other departments do we need to work with? How can we create a sustainable plan for commissioning, editing, publishing, and maintaining content over time?

This story is a framework for making content strategists vulnerable. Brave. Able to put more of ourselves into our work. At the same time, there are ways in which this story can be limiting. To understand why, it’s important to discuss a challenge that almost all content strategists face: governance.


Governance includes the standards, policies, and procedures made to allow an organization to care for its digital operations over time. In theory, a governance plan ensures our content strategies stick, but it rarely works. Writers don’t follow our voice guidelines, marketers ignore our message architectures, and developers create apps without considering the complexities of content.

We’re doing good work, but it isn’t sticking, which feels like a terrible waste of time. Why won’t people follow our guidelines? Recall the first point I made in the content strategy story above: “the internet puts new demands on our content.” While that’s true, we’re scared to ask the obvious follow-on questions:

  • Why does the internet put new demands on our content?
  • Why is the business environment changing so quickly?
  • What does that mean for our business models? our siloed organizational structures? our “waterfall” development process? the software we buy? the agencies we hire?

These questions terrify us because we’re afraid to face the truth: content strategy is just one piece of the challenge of digital transformation. Our governance attempts fail because we’re working backwards: governance can only sustain culture, it can’t create it.

So what does governance look like when backed by the notion of digital transformation? To make our organizations sustainable, we need to change culture in a way that’s broader than content strategy, incorporating practices we know little about: service design, agile development, and cross-functional teams. Once we understand this, we can start changing our organizations’ culture, today.

Readers can learn more about how to affect a cultural change within their organization by attending Jonathan’s talk. It’s happening at 2:50pm on day two of Confab Minneapolis.

Content Strategy in Higher Education: Uniting Print and Web

Next we hear from Melanie Moran. Melanie is the Director of Integrated Communications at Vanderbilt University. Her presentation this year, “Content Strategy in Higher Education: Uniting Print and Web,” highlights her team’s year-long, ongoing journey towards cohesive, cross-platform storytelling.

She’s looking forward to learning from content experts from many different sectors and bringing home a passel of great ideas. In the meantime, she shared the thought-process leading to her presentation.

I’ll always remember when the light bulb went on for me – when I learned the importance of content strategy. I was sitting in a meeting of campus communicators at Vanderbilt University. I had just returned from conducting an hour-long interview with a faculty member, a professor whose research explored neuroscience and education. I needed his thoughts to inform a story I was writing for the web.

Just then, across the room, a colleague from another office reported that she, too, was writing a profile of a faculty member – for one of our print magazines. And wouldn’t you know it, it was the same guy. She had conducted the same research and was writing the same article.

This is crazy, I thought. Why was web not involved in planning for digital content to support print stories? From that moment forward, my colleagues and I began seeking ways to shake content out of its container – be that container print, web, video or even a press release. It eventually paid off in more innovative storytelling, expanded social media impact and a more strategic use of print.

How did we do this? Here are some of the key elements that informed our content strategy:

  • Story first

    Forget the deadlines; forget the Facebook and Twitter beasts that need to be fed. Forget about that for just a minute and ask, why is this a great story? You can have the most interactive website or jaw-dropping magazine around and no one will read it if the stories are lame. Story first, always.

  • Exploit the platforms

    Now that you’ve got your story, think about the many ways to tell it across different platforms. What is told with a photo or graphic on Facebook can then push to a feature on your website; can be explored in detail in your print publication; can be told via a video on YouTube. You get the idea. This will likely mean writing different headlines, using different images and even showcasing different parts of the story for different media – but that’s okay. Let go of the need to show everyone everything on every platform and disaggregate the story for maximum portability.

  • Strategy, not reflex

    We all know the perils of the “we’ve always done it this way” mindset. And I know it’s 2013 and many of us have already mourned and moved on from print, but for many people it remains a relevant, effective way to reach their audience.

    Vanderbilt’s alumni magazine, for example, lives in the homes and offices of alumni around the country and world. Its physical presence connects them directly with Vanderbilt through dynamic storytelling and gorgeous photography and illustrations. We support this connection heavily with digital, of course, but print remains an important and compelling component of our strategy.

  • Analytics, analytics, analytics.

    It was beautiful, it was epic. You laughed, you cried. …but did anyone read it? How was the social media engagement? Did it drive traffic back to your website? Picked up by media? Put yourself on a pretty strict plan of analytics tracking and use it to refine your content strategy. Then share what you find with decision makers, as data drives most organizations. Being able to provide it in relation to communications will elevate others’ understanding your work and the impact it has on your brand’s strength and reputation.

Readers interested in learning about cross-channel storytelling should join Melanie Moran at Confab Minneapolis. Her session begins at 9:40am on day two of the event.

See you there?

So, there you have it. Confab Minneapolis begins on Monday, June 3 and – in addition to Jonathan and Melanie’s – the workshops and talks range from content measurement and modeling to creating content in a zombie apocalypse.

As always, Confab features a mix of well known and up-and-coming content strategists. I’m particularly looking forward to Catherine Toole’s “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and Sara Wachter-Boettcher’s “Write Like a Human, Think Like a Robot.”

Who are you looking forward to seeing?

The post A Taste of Confab 2013 appeared first on UX Booth.

August 20 2012


August 01 2012


April 23 2012


January 04 2012


December 01 2011


June 06 2011


May 06 2011


May 02 2011


April 27 2011


April 11 2011


40 Upcoming Design, Development & Social Media Conferences Worth Attending

Attending conferences and seminars can noticeably boost your knowledge and work productivity. Design, development and social media conferences give you the wonderful chance to acquire essential knowledge in spheres you’re interested, get in touch with the masters in the field and be up-to-date about the freshest trends. These conferences usually gathers together hundreds of designers, developers and social media experts so they can be a great place to connect with people and gain friends or business partners. Most of the conferences also offer workshops where you can test your skills in work and learn new useful techniques.

I suggest every designer, developer or emerging social media enthusiast to attend some kind of conference because it can be an invaluable experience and you can gain unique insights you wouldn’t gain anywhere else. This post presents 40 upcoming design, development, social media and other type of conferences sorted by date.

1.  O’Reilly MySQL Conference


The O’Reilly MySQL Conference & Expo is an interactive learning community—four days packed with connections to MySQL developers and open source experts who know their subject inside and out. You’ll gain unique insights from speakers, vendors, project leaders, and other participants who are using MySQL to successfully run the world’s most demanding applications, saving millions of dollars over proprietary software and hardware solutions.

When: April 11–14
Where: Santa Clara, CA
Costs: $699–$1449
Workshops: No, but there will be in-depth tutorials

2. MIX 2011


MIX is a gathering of developers, designers, UX experts and business professionals creating the most innovative and profitable consumer sites on the web. Sessions range from technical, code-based topics to expert advice on content strategy, usability and design. Explore the future of the standards-based web – join the conversation at MIX11.

When: April 12–14, 2011
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Costs: $1395
Workshops: No

3. PHP Community Conference


The PHP Community Conference is a two-day event, taking place April 21st and 22nd, 2011 in Nashville, TN. They have an awesome line-up of speakers, including a keynote address by Rasmus Lerdorf. Things will kick off with a tutorial day that will introduce you to tools and ideas that you can use in your code right away. The second day will consist of presentations that will inspire you to create something new with PHP. With the help of our sponsors, organizers are able to offer admission to the entire event for $350 USD. They’ll provide lunch and snacks on both days. On Friday night, the conference will finish with a party featuring pecha kucha talks by our awesome attendees.

When: April 21–22, 2011
Where: Nashville, TN
Costs: $350
Workshops: No information

4. The Next Web Conference


The Next Web Conference brings together the best audience and companies from Europe and the US to discuss the future of the web and mobile. The Next Web has a soul, a vibe that is shared amongst the speakers, the attendees, the partners and the organizers. Something you have to have experienced before you can put a finger on it.

When: April 27–29, 2011
Where: Amsterdam
Costs: €595 (before April 1st) – € 999
Workshops: No information

5. Google I/O Extended


Google I/O brings together thousands of developers for two days of deep technical content, focused on building the next generation of web, mobile, and enterprise applications with Google and open web technologies such as Android, Google Chrome, Google APIs, Google Web Toolkit, App Engine, and more. Unfortunately the tickets are sold out though there still is a chance to connect with the I/O speakers. Google I/O Extended are free events focused on live-streaming parts of Google I/O. Depending on location, the event could also include local developer demos and other speaker sessions.

When: May 10–11, 2011
Where: Multiple locations
Costs: Free, though registration is required
Workshops: No

6. Web Directories Unplugged


HTML5 is fast becoming the way to develop not just web apps, but native apps for platforms like Android, iOS and webOS. Join Unplugged for two groundbreaking days of practical development and design presented by leading experts in this exploding field.

When: May 12–13, 2011
Where: Seattle, WA
Costs: $799 (before April 1st)
Workshops: $349 (conference attendees)

7. Future of Web Design


The Future of Web Design is coming back to London in 2011. Following on from the success of last year they will be bringing you three beautiful days of essential web learning. Not only that, they’re also back at The Brewery for the conference where you will have two tracks and four workshops to choose from. They’re full day workshops, so you can really get into it and learn loads about the topic you’re most passionate about.

When: May 16–18, 2011
Where: London
Costs: £714
Workshops: Yes, additional £120

8. Web Directories @media


Get together with the local web community to stay in touch with the freshest design ideas and the latest development techniques. Meet the biggest names and the newest faces, over two packed and fun-​​filled days with some of the friendliest people on the web. HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Mobile, Interaction Design, User Experience, and everything else that’s hot right now — it’s all on the carefully curated Web Directions @media program for 2011.

When: May 24–27, 2011
Where: London
Costs: £499 (before April 1st)
Workshops: £299 (conference attendees)

9. Web Visions


Web Visions explores the future of design, content creation, user experience and business strategy to uncover the trends and agents of change that will shatter your assumptions about the Web. Be ready to network, share ideas and be inspired by an all-star lineup of speakers.

When: May 25–27, 2011
Where: Portland, OR
Costs: $150–$625
Workshops: Yes, additional $300

10. Interlink Conference


Interlink Conference will be a small and carefully crafted 3-day web event that will appeal to all web professionals. This international web design conference welcomes website architects, usability specialists, project managers, marketing coordinators, web developers, website designers and any other online professional that wants to meet others in the industry and get inspired.

When: June 2–4, 2011
Where: Vancouver
Costs: C$350
Workshops: Yes, though seems to be sold out

11. DIBI


DIBI (pronounced “dibby”), is the annual Design It. Build It. Conference held at The Sage Gateshead in the North East of England. DIBI brings together both sides of the web coin for an unusual two-track web conference. World renowned speakers leading in their fields of work will talk about all things web.

When: June 7–8, 2011
Where: Gateshead, UK
Costs: £199
Workshops: No

12. An Event Apart


An Event Apart is an intensely educational two-day conference for passionate practitioners of standards-based web design. If you care about code as well as content, usability as well as design, An Event Apart is the conference you’ve been waiting for.

When: June 13–15, 2011; August 8–10, 2011; October 24–26, 2011; December 12–14, 2011
Where: Atlanta, GA; Minneapolis, MN; Washington, DC; San Francisco, CA
Costs: About $400–$1400
Workshops: No

13. How Design Conference


With more than 35 sessions and 30+ expert speakers, the HOW Design Conference offers everything you need to boost your design career and create outstanding work. You’ll learn how to use your software more effectively, develop a better creative process, find inspiration whenever you need it and more. Plus, you’ll be surrounded by thousands of creatives—the perfect environment for networking, learning and soaking up all the creative energy.

When: June 24–27, 2011
Where: Chicago, IL
Costs: $595–$1195
Workshops: $175 per workshop

14. Future of Web Apps


The Future of Web Apps is coming to Las Vegas in 2011. It’s a brand new event that takes place over three days, and much like it’s sister conference FOWD, there are four workshops to choose from and with each one being a full day workshop, your brain is bound to be bursting with new skills and techniques by the end of it.

When: June 27–29, 2011
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Costs: $90–$895
Workshops: Yes, additional $100

15. Big Design Conference


The Big Design Conference is three intense days of learning within the scope of Strategy, User Experience, and Code Development. Experts from across the country will gather to present theories, research, experiences, and best practices to students, professionals, and executives looking to stay on the bleeding edge.

When: July 14–16, 2011
Where: Addison, TX
Costs: $150 (before April 30th)
Workshops: Yes, additional $50

16. UX Australia 2011


UX Australia 2011 is a  four day user experience design conference, with inspiring and practical presentations, covering a range of topics about how to design great experiences for people.

When: August 22–26
Where: Australia
Costs: $300–$750
Workshops: Yes, $300–$600

17. London Design Festival


First staged in 2003, the London Design Festival is one of the world’s most important annual design events. The nine-day Festival programme is made up of over 200 events and exhibitions staged by around 160 partner organizations across the design spectrum and from around the world

When: September 17–27, 2011
Where: London
Costs: Most events are free to enter
Workshops: No

18. Adobe MAX


MAX is a unique opportunity to connect with thousands of designers, developers, and business leaders as we shape the future of digital media together. Discover how to realize the full potential of your content and applications. Find new opportunities presented by rich experiences across screens. Explore new methods for monetizing content. Learn about innovative technologies that enable designers and developers to work together more effectively. Join us and get inspired.

When: October 1–5, 2011
Where: Los Angeles, CA
Costs: No information
Workshops: No information

19. Pivot – AIGA Design Conference


Design is at a critical inflection point as a practice, thought process and force for change. At “Pivot,” this year’s AIGA Design Conference in Phoenix, they’ll explore the shifts prompting this change—in design thinking, practice, education, technology, society and business—and discuss how designers can prepare for the complexities of the future.

When: October 13–16, 2011
Where: Phoenix, AZ
Costs: $900 (before June 8th)
Workshops: Yes, includes in price

20. View Conference


VIEW Conference is the premiere international event in Italy on Computer Graphics, Interactive Techniques, Digital Cinema, 3D Animation, Gaming and VFX. VIEW 2011 will continue to focus on exploring the increasingly fluid boundary between real and digital worlds. Through lectures, meetings, tributes, exhibits, screenings and demo presentations VIEW will reveal the new digital frontier sweeping from cinema to architecture, from automotive design to advertisement, from medicine to videogames.

When: 25–28 October, 2011
Where: Turin, Italy
Costs: €80–€300
Workshops: Yes, included in price

21. Build


Build is a small, yet perfectly formed, design conference taking place this November in Belfast, Northern Ireland. More details coming soon.

When: November 7–11, 2011
Where: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Costs: No information
Workshops: No information

22. Design City 2011


Visit Design City and see the latest graphic design tools, services, and products from the world’s largest vendors. You’ll see and test software that you’ve been wanting to try, you’ll meet the people that you talk to on the phone every day, and you’ll be wowed by some of the latest technology created for your profession.

When: November 10–12, 2011
Where: Toronto, ON
Costs: No information
Workshops: No Information

23. Web Design World


Since 1997, Web Design World has helped thousands of web designers to learn what they need to know to make better web sites, manage web projects, and get home at a decent hour. Their recipe is simple. Start with great designers and developers who also have that rare gift of being able to teach.  Add more great designers and developers who are in the trenches, creating the web sites, large and small, that we use every day. Mix for two or three days. Serve via HTTP.

When: December 5–7, 2011
Where: Orlando, FL
Costs: No information (2010 conference costed about $400–$1200)
Workshops: No information

24. Mogo Media Conferences


MOGO Media delivers best-of-class training events, conferences and seminars for the global design community. An independent organization, MOGO Media specializes in dedicated events geared toward niche and focused markets that utilize Adobe products. Partnering with the world’s leading authors, experts and professionals, MOGO Media offers focused and meaningful content to print, web and cross-media design professionals including The InDesign Conference, The Creative Suite Conference, The Vector Conference, The Pixel Conference, The Web Design Conference, and The Conference for Adobe Acrobat.

Social media, tech and other conferences

1. Mobile Research Conference


The Mobile Research Conference is the must-attend annual event for brands, agencies and academics interested in engaging consumers and capturing real-time feedback through mobile phones. Mobile, along with social media and online networks, represents the latest frontier for market research. Join other fearless pioneers and industry leading lights for MRC 2011 and discover how to engage respondents, extract insights for product innovation and optimize marketing activities.

When: April 18–19, 2011
Where: London
Costs: £650

2. Planet of the Apps Arabia


Planet of the Apps Arabia 2011 brings together the mobile application ecosystem in one location. It is a two day strategic conference, a dedicated developer masterclass and a technology showcase exhibition. The conference will feature the industry’s most respected stakeholders who will be looking closely at the opportunities and challenges brought to your business by the explosion of mobile apps.

When: April 18–20, 2011
Where: Dubai, UAE
Costs: $4395

3. Where 2.0


The O’Reilly Where 2.0 Conference explores the intersection of location technologies and trends in software development, business strategies, and marketing. The source for all things location-aware, Where 2.0 brings together CTOs, marketers, developers, technologists, researchers, geographers, startups, business developers, and entrepreneurs, to shed light on the issues surrounding:

When: April 19–21, 2011
Where: Santa Clara, CA
Costs: $1295
Workshops: Yes, $595

4. Activate New York


Activate is the Guardian newspaper’s platform for leaders working across all sectors who are proving that, through the use of technology and the internet, we can make the world a better place.

When: April 28, 2011
Where: New York, NY
Costs: $844.99

5. FITC Toronto


Now in its 10th year, FITC Toronto is one of the largest and longest running events of its kind in the world. With some of the most unique and engaging presenters from around the globe, FITC Toronto is a three day blitz of presentations, demonstrations, and panel discussions, sandwiched between our legendary FITC parties and abundant networking opportunities. Topped off with the FITC Award Show, it’s three days and nights that will leave you inspired, energized and awed.

When: May 2–4, 2011
Where: Toronto, ON
Costs: c$699
Workshops: Yes, c$299

6. Fashion 140


E-commerce enabling customers to shop via mobile phone, tablets and Facebook;  customer engagement is now direct and more personal; the shopping experience is fast changing with new sites and mobile application allowing consumers to socialize and personalize the shopping experience –  these are just few topics Fashion140 will cover. Fashion140 is a brave collaborative inquiry into how the real time web, twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media are reshaping the fashion industry, now.

When: May 4, 2011
Where: New York, NY
Costs: $95

7. Social Loco


Social-Loco will dive into social and mobile web convergence, and what that means for SMB, big brands and consumers. Learn from real-world successes in daily deals, location based services and advertising, mobile marketing platforms and more. Executives from Groupon, Facebook, Google, ATTi, Microsoft and leading investors will address these topics in a highly interactive setting.

When: May 5, 2011
Where: San Francisco, CA
Costs: $295

8. TedxEast


TEDxEast brings the spirit of the TED conference to New York City- hosting some of the world’s most fascinating thinkers, doers and teachers to inspire attendees to create greater impact with their ideas. And true to the format of the TED conference, TEDxEast presenters will give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less.

When: May 9, 2011
Where: New York, NY
Costs: $100 though you have to apply for invitation

9. Internet World 2011


Over 300 solution providers and 12,000 visitors, combining five shows in one event, Internet World is the event for digital marketing and online business. The Internet is worth over £100 billion to the UK economy. Fast changing, ever adapting and creating more competition every second the need to be ahead of the game has never been more important.

When: May 10–12, 2011
Where: London
Costs: Free

10. iStrategy


iStrategy conferences brings together the globe’s top marketers for intimate, interactive two-day gatherings.  Their speakers are global thought leaders at major brands, and our attendees are CXOs, VPs and Directors from a wide range of verticals, resulting in unmatched learning and networking opportunities.

When: May 11–12, 2011
Where: Amsterdam
Costs: £950

11. Mashable Connect


Mashable Connect 2011 is an intimate conference experience that will bring together leaders from the digital world for three days away to share and connect offline in a unique setting. Mashable will be bringing social and content from the online to the offline.

When: May 12–14, 2011
Where: Walt Disney World, FL
Costs: $2449

12. Digital Summit 2011


Join hundreds of Internet executives, online marketers, entrepreneurs, web strategists, bloggers, and investors at the inaugural Digital Summit for expert content on opportunities and trends created by the latest in web innovation. Hear from dozens of industry thought leaders and innovators on topics such as Social Media, Mobile, Cloud Computing, Web Analytics, Online Advertising, Ecommerce, Email, and Search and much more.

When: May 16–17, 2011
Where: Atlanta, GA
Costs: $245

13. Next 2011


From the very beginning in 2006, NEXT has been a community-driven event. They always received invaluable input from the NEXT community, helping organizers to put together a programme that is attractive for participants who invest their precious time and money.

When: May 17–18, 2011
Where: Berlin
Costs: € 940.10

14. Social Media 2011


Social Media Marketing & Monitoring 2011 will bring together leading marketing experts, brands, agencies and journalists for an intensive one-day conference in San Francisco. Following the huge success of this conference last year, a team of experts will be joining us again for an update on the latest strategies, tools and techniques in social media marketing. From Facebook to Foursquare, Groupon to social gaming, social media monitoring, influencer engagement and social CRM – this conference will examine all the latest trends.

When: May 23, 2011
Where: San Francisco, CA
Costs: $195.00

15. a4u Expo Europe


a4uexpo is Europe’s largest Performance Marketing Conference with over 1,000 delegates & 36 diverse conference sessions. From the latest SEO Strategy to the current thinking on Retargeting and Deduplication their diverse conference programme covers everything you need to know to succeed.

When: June 7–9, 2011
Where: Munich
Costs: €495


What about you? Do you plan to attend any of these conferences? What’s your experience with such events? Would love to hear your feedback – I consider conferences to be an invaluable place to make new contacts and gain fresh inspiration! What’s your take here?

April 07 2011


March 29 2011


March 23 2011


Web Design Masterclass Conference

Really excited about this conference hosted by a few friends over at Sidebar Creative. Coming to a Philly, Austin and Los Angeles near you! Buy tickets now for early bird prices.

March 19 2011


Anatomy of a Design Decision

“In this presentation, Jared will take you on an entertaining deep dive into the gut instinct of the best designers (without looking at all the gooey parts). You’ll learn five styles of decision making, from Self Design to Experience-focused Design, and which style produces quality results. Prepare to learn how to be a better designer, as Jared shares the secrets of the best and worst.”

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