We never want to stop learning, or sharing our experiences to help others learn. In our ever-evolving field, delivering a great user experience goes hand-in-hand with innovation. These are just a couple of reasons why our team attends several conferences each year; whether it’s to learn about new trends in design or customer experience, or to give a talk about what empathy really means, we love coming together with the design and technology communities at large to swap ideas. We’ve compiled our picks for 2014 events – some we’ll be presenting at, others we’re excited to attend. Either way, we hope to see you (and don’t forget to say hi)!
10. UX Cambridge – Since our own Heather O’Neill held a workshop on usability testing at UX Cambridge 2013, we’ve got a soft spot for this gem of an event in Cambridge, UK. UX Cambridge brings together many voices you’ve heard with many you haven’t yet but should, all amid the beauty of some of England’s most historic colleges. And a punting trip down the River Cam is not to be missed.
9. Confab Central – The biggest content strategy event of the year, Confab Central is a must for anyone who deals with web content, site architecture, or taxonomy – and if you don’t think that applies to you, we’d argue that you should think again. Sold out for the last 3 years, Confab Central continues to push the boundaries of how and why content is used on the web.
8. Future M – Aptly named, MITX’s FutureM conference is one of the most innovative tech conferences of the year. The marketing focus might seem off-putting for some, but FutureM knows that real marketing neither starts nor ends with advertisements, but holistically encompasses the customer’s experience. Our jack-of-all-trades, Amy Bootier, will be in attendance, so be sure to say hi!
7. Artifact Conference – Artifact Conference is a laid-back event that teaches best practices and new techniques in design and dev for a multi-device world. With the original in Austin, TX and Artifact East in Providence, RI, it’s an easy choice to attend this excellent event. And if you head to Providence, say hello to our creative director, Jim O’Neill, who’ll be in attendance.
6. Lean UX – Lean UX is here to stay, so if you don’t know what it is, it’s definitely time to find out. At the LeanUX conference, you’ll learn from the best about how to go lean, what new practices and methods work best and how to collaborate to achieve product success.
5. Blend Conference – With just one year under its belt, the Blend Conference team has already proven they understand what makes a conference succeed: a human connection. Blend Conference 2013 focused on personal interactions and helping people work better together. Come to the second year and hear Heather O’Neill share her own experiences.
4. IA Summit – One of the premier conferences in the UX field, the IA Summit is a perfect blend of new stories from first-time speakers to game-changing UX celebs sharing their years of experience in the field. Hosted this year in sunny San Diego, the IA conference is an essential event for UX professionals.
3. User Interface 19 – Now in its 19th year, the User Interface Conference is an event like no other. Star-studded with powerhouses from the UX community, the UI Conference pushes the bar forward each year with talks and workshops on the latest in UX best practices. The venerable User Interface Engineering (UIE) hosts this conference as well as their newer yearly event, UX Mobile Immersion – either would be a great pick, but UI19 gets our vote for its big-name speakers and rich history.
2. An Event Apart – While we are partial to the Boston location, no matter where you attend An Event Apart, you are sure to come away with new methods and ideas for improving your design and dev processes – true to its long-standing mission to be “for people who make websites.” And if you are in Boston, be sure to look for us at the conference.
1. SXSWi – Known as the conference to see and be seen, SXSWi boasts five days of presentations and panels, networking events, and programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer. From hands-on training to big-picture analysis of the future, it has become the place to preview emerging technology and innovations, and to get a headful of inspiration that can last you the rest of the year.