I had the pleasure of volunteering at and attending the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) annual International conference 'UXPA 2018' in Puerto Rico last week (June 25th - June 28th).
I had to spend a week at this terribly unexciting place. Picture courtesy Tom Tullis | Flickr
As a volunteer, I had to put in around 15 hours of service during the conference duration. I helped set up venues, put up posters, ensuring the presenters were set with their presentations, check that projectors and mics work, and finally introduce the speakers and moderate sessions (that I was signed up for). In exchange for my assistance, I got to attend the conference at a highly discounted rate, get a bunch of t-shirts, attend paid pre-conference workshops for free, interact with volunteers from around the world, and attend any session when I was not volunteering!
Pretending to work (for the free volunteer lunch). Picture courtesy Emily Fong
Continuing on with EdLab's recent focus on Agile and Scrum, some of the sessions I attended were about how to build and embed design culture into organizations and how to better integrate User Experience Research & Design into the Development Sprints:
- The UX Dream Team: Agile + Design Thinking
- Design + DevOps: What We’ve Learned From Our Developer Friends
- Surviving Back To Back Design Sprints And Securing UX Presence In Product Design
What?! No A/C during snack breaks? Picture courtesy Tom Tullis | Flickr
The conference talks also touched upon many other areas like Design Psychology, Interaction Design Best Practices, Research Methods, New Tools & Techniques, and UX Strategy, some of which I attended:
- Opening Keynote - UX Toolkit (Dr. Carine Lallemand)
- Are You A Superhero Or A Supervillain – Using Design Psychology For Even More Good (And Even More Evil)
- Product Design Best Practices And Tools For Localization
- Advanced Card Sorting And Mixed-Method IA Validation
- Why Your Product Team Should Use User Story Mapping To Link User Research To User Stories
- How To Minimize Research Bias In Your Projects
- The Art Of Direct Observational Research At Scale By Making It A Team Sport!
- Role-Playing Workshops: Experiencing Research Insights Through Design Thinking Practices
- Closing Keynote - Living in Information (Jorge Arango)
Yes, you better thank the volunteers! Picture courtesy Tom Tullis | Flickr
This was my first UXPA conference and I took away a lot from the sessions and made a lot of new friends. Volunteering definitely made the conference feel more personal as well.
I look forward to working with Jo and the dev team to try out and possibly adopt some of these learnings into our sprints.
Learn more at the seminar I'll be presenting soon!