UX London Registration Launches | January 2, 2009

Ticket sales for UX London launched today so I thought I’d take this opportunity to outline what we’re trying to achieve with this event.

A lot of industry conferences are what I’d describe as “talking heads” events, where well known speakers stand up for an hour and give the audience a big does of inspiration. I love these type of events and this is essentially what we do at dConstruct. I always come away with a head full of ideas and an a renewed interest in my profession.

The one criticism I hear is that, while these events are inspiring, you don’t usually end up learning new skills. I think a lot of people blame the speakers or conference organisers for this, but I actually think it’s down to the format. With just 45 minutes of productive speaking time and an audience of wildly differing needs and abilities, It’s just not possible to teach anything substantive.

So with UX London we’re trying to change that. Rather than a straight up conference, UX London is much more about professional development. Sure we’re going to have a conference track with inspiring speakers like Don Norman and Jeff Veen. However we’re then going to break off into two days of intense, half day workshops, where you can really start to focus on those hard skills.

There will be three workshop tracks at the event: “Core Skills” for people transitioning into a UX role, “Advanced Skills” for those people wanting to hone their knowledge, and a “Strategy and Management” track for people running UX teams and needing to sell the benefits of UX to their clients and managers. So you’ll get to learn practical tips and techniques from the likes of Peter Merholz, Luke Wroblewski, Dan Saffer and Jared Spool.

We’re putting the finishing touches to the program right now, but workshops so far include:
* Influencing Strategy Through Design
* Brainstorming and Concept Generation
* Design Research
* Quick Sketching for Interaction Design
* Information Architecture Essentials
* Copywriting and the Scent of Information
* Interactive Wireframing
* Getting Real with Agile Design
* Managing a Team of UX Professionals

As you can see from the program, this event is aimed more towards the corporate end of the spectrum. So people working for organisations like the BBC and design agencies like LBi as well as individual consultants. Of course we hope to have all kinds of people attending, but we realise not everybody will be able to afford the ticket price. That’s why we’re still committed to bringing you great speakers at events like dConstruct.

On the subject of price, I just wanted to assure people that this isn’t an attempt to “cash in” (those of you who know us know that we’re not particularly profit motivated, much to the disappointment of our families). In fact, this event is costing so much money I doubt we’ll make a profit this year. London hotels, top name speakers and three days of catering don’t come cheap. Instead our goal is to bring over some of the best known speakers in the industry and have them share their knowledge. By doing so we hope to build the European UX community and help raise the level of education in our industry as a whole. That way we all win.

At a cost of 895 this event may still seem expensive to some. However it’s actually no more than going to the dConstruct conference and both workshop days. We’ve simply decided to do it as one fixed price rather than break it down into it’s constituent parts. That way we can keep that sense of shared experience.

I know I’m really excited about the event and I hope you are too. We’ve gone to great pains to bring together what we think is the perfect line-up. Sort of a fantasy league UX conference. I’ve already got my eye on the workshop sessions I want to attend, assuming I’m not running round like a mad person organising things. I’m also very excited by the conference sessions we’ve got planned, so look forward to making more announcements in the coming weeks.

So if you want to stay up-to-date with all the latest UX London happenings, why don’t you subscribe to our events feed or our Twitter account.

Posted at January 2, 2009 2:28 PM


Piotr said on January 2, 2009 4:36 PM

Congrats on the big launch, Andy. This is the most interesting event planned for this year Ive heard of. Id love to come and will do everything I can to get there.


Des said on January 4, 2009 5:11 PM

Great job Andy, Congrats to Clearleft.
I hope to be able to make it over!