Best conferences? (CHI, UPA, DUX, etc.)

2 Sep 2005 - 11:22am
9 years ago
6 replies
1042 reads
russwilson
2005

I'm interested in suggestions for the best
conferences related to our interests.

I can justify up to two conferences per year (possibly
only one), and I want to make the most worthwhile choice.

So, first, are any of the conferences worthwhile? And if so,
if you could only go to one, which one would it be? And if
you could go to two, which two would you choose?

(I've been looking at DUX, CHI, and UPA primarily).

Thanks!
Russ

Comments

2 Sep 2005 - 12:46pm
Cullen Newsom
2005

This is a link to the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human
Centric Computing. I plan to attend. I haven't been to it before
though; so I can't vouch for it.

http://viscomp.utdallas.edu/vlhcc05/

Cullen

> I'm interested in suggestions for the best
> conferences related to our interests.
>

--

Cullen Newsom <cnewsom at satake-usa.com>
Satake USA Inc

2 Sep 2005 - 1:27pm
Lada Gorlenko
2004

WR> So, first, are any of the conferences worthwhile? And if so,
WR> if you could only go to one, which one would it be? And if
WR> you could go to two, which two would you choose?

Russ, it depends.

First, I would add a couple of more to your list: IA Summit and
User Experience (aka NNGroup Conference).

Questions for you to answer to choose the right one:

1. What's your job role and what do you do in it?
2. What are your goals for attending the conference?
3. Do you want to contribute (immediately or at some stage)?
4. How good are you at knowing and choosing what you need?

Here is my take, following the 1-4 questions above. I haven't been to
all conferences on the list personally; this is a mixture of what I
know and what I've heard from many others.

--- CHI
1. Traditionally, practitioners have not been happy with CHI; it's
too heavy on the research side. CHI'06 promises to have a significant
makeover to attract practitioners, but as of now it's a promise.

2. Broad, covers most UX areas. Definitely horizon-stretching, but
see above.

3. A tough one for getting your piece accepted. Very rigid rules for
submissions, particularly, for papers. Well, they offer mentoring to
those considering submitting, it may tell you something. On the other
hand, still most respectful in terms of "publication weight".

4. The largest on the list (1000+ attendees?). Lots and lots of tracks
and presentations. Variety is good, if you know what to choose; may
overwhelm, if you are new to the field.

--- UPA
1. A solid resource for anything related to usability. Pretty
practical.

2. Gradually covers other UX areas as well, but at a rather basic
level at the moment. Very good for novices/intermediaries, less so for
experienced practitioners, although works on overcoming the deficiency.

3. Has some formats that make it easy to present, such as 10-min.
talks and idea markets. Welcomes non-traditional views on usability.

4. 500+ attendees, but very manageable programme with easy to choose
sessions for different levels of experience.

--- DUX
1. The ultimate place for a trendy kid to be seen, if he considers
himself a UX/IxD designer. Very practical, lots of case studies.

2. Coverage is very good for design, less so for other UX areas.

3. You have to be an established designer (or work on groovy projects)
to present. No fluff.

4. Since it's design-focused, you may have a hard time choosing between
two very interesting design sessions.

--- IA Summit
1. Sort of DUX for practicing Information Architects. Practical and
trendy.

2. Excellent focus on IA and IA-related insights from other UX areas.
Very little about other UX areas as such.

3. You really have to be into IA a lot to present.

4. Since it's IA-focused, you may have a hard time choosing between
two very interesting IA presentations.

--- User Experience

1. Practitioner-oriented, best suited for UX generalists.

2. Not a "conference" as such, but a week of UX tutorials; most
introductory/intermediate level in all UX areas. Best choice, if you
don't know what UX area you need to learn about more, since you can
sample them all over 5 days.

3. Not applicable, speakers are by invitation-only; many are top names
in their fields.

4. 4-6 full-day tutorials daily; sometimes difficult to choose, if you
you want to sample a bit of everything; different areas get covered on
the same day. [Shame on them, they scheduled Tog and Peter Morville on
the same day!]

Good luck!

Lada

ps. I reckon we shall start shooting people who answer "it depends" :-)

2 Sep 2005 - 2:28pm
Ted Boren
2005

I think it depends on your focus.

I haven't attended DUX, but I've heard it's a good design-centered conference.

CHI has traditionally been more academic and focuses on a broader range of
issues (design, usability, technology & society, more formal HCI studies, etc.).
Recently, there has been a good effort to include more sessions directed to the
practitioner (how to's, case studies, etc.).

UPA has traditionally been more narrowly focused on usability and some design,
with an emphasis on the practical rather than the academic. I've really enjoyed
both UPA and CHI, maybe with a slight nod to CHI just because it's bigger and
offers more choices.

Good luck,
Ted Boren

>>> "Wilson, Russell" <Russell.Wilson at netqos.com> 9/2/2005 10:22:24 AM >>>
I'm interested in suggestions for the best
conferences related to our interests.

I can justify up to two conferences per year (possibly
only one), and I want to make the most worthwhile choice.

So, first, are any of the conferences worthwhile? And if so,
if you could only go to one, which one would it be? And if
you could go to two, which two would you choose?

(I've been looking at DUX, CHI, and UPA primarily).

Thanks!
Russ

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2 Sep 2005 - 4:05pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Ok, here is my take on this topic.

First, did you say you were in the US? Sounds like everyone is concentrating
on that, and I didn't want to assume? But for now I will.

Corporate Weeklong Adventures:
Nielsen, Norman Group's User Experience Week thingy (check the site for
dates). I have had my employees go to this and since it has Tog doing an
explicit Interaction Design 2-day, it is pretty much the ONLY one that I can
think of that really deals with IxD directly.

User Engineering's UI10 (October; Cambridge, MA)
The first day looks like a great IxD day, but you can only go to one. The
rest has a Usability Focus and another day that looks very IA centric.

Adaptive Path User Experience Week (don't know when the next one will be)
Great program. I know people who went who felt it was for a "mature"
practitioner audience. Something that I'm glad there is an event for.

Another way to go btw, is to go to the Cooper Practicum or the In Context
workshops? Research oriented. Cooper also drives towards final deliverables
through their process.

Ok, the conferences:

<disclaimer: I'm on the planning committee for the IA Summit>

DUX (early Nov; SF) ... It is coming up soon, so I don't know if you have
time to schedule it in. There are some interesting tutorials to start off
the event with. The primary event is a set of panel discussions. There is no
competition between any event. Everyone is together the whole time. This is
what makes DUX so special. It is like a great community retreat. The social
aspects are amazing, and the thought provoking case studies are just to die
for. This is my favorite conference hands down! It is the place to feel
alive as a UX professional.

IA Summit (end of March) ... Best conference for UX people who are doing Web
work. Yes, it can get pretty hard core IA, but is is really Big IA which is
pretty focused on browser-based information-centric systems.

CHI 2006 (April; Montreal) ... We can all be thrilled w/ the proposed
changes to CHI, but the audience is still going to be predominantly
Academics. Why? b/c they aren't reaching out to designers and researcher
practitioner organizations. They think just be saying that they have X track
that X will just show up.

UPA (June; Colorado) ... It does indeed focus on the research and validation
side of things.

AIGA (???) ... Designer to the nth degree. It's all about lookin' good. ;)

IDSA (Aug; Austin) ... All about form. But they are reaching out to folks
like us.

Others to consider depending on your temperment:

South by Sothwest (SxSW) ... I like any conference that adds an X to their
name for no good reason. ;) ... Seriously though I know a lot of designers
who go here to get the "wassup" on the next thing.

Emerging Tech: Another conference that seems to get designers attention more
and more each year.

Doesn't AIGA have a conference called I/O or something like that? It was in
Miami last year/this year. It was about interactive media.

About, For, With ... Another design conference that I know many from this
list have gone to. Put together but the folks at IIT in Chicago. It seems to
be a great user based design conference.

GEL (Good Experience Live): March, NYC ... Mark Hurst's 2-day get together
for inspiration and discussion

Man! Wouldn't it be great if someone researched all these and put them up on
the Resource Library Blog? Resources.ixdg.org! You can make it happen!

-- dave

2 Sep 2005 - 5:05pm
Lada Gorlenko
2004

DH> Man! Wouldn't it be great if someone researched all these and put them up on
DH> the Resource Library Blog? Resources.ixdg.org! You can make it happen!

Well, looks like DUX is the perfect candidate to start the trend.
Since sooooo many lucky people will feel alive after it, make it your
first born-again assignment... don't make me cry, San Francisco :-)

Seriously, though. Folks, throw on the table criteria that are
important to you when selecting a conference. We'll put together some
sort of a template and will encourage everyone to populate it, as we
go to different events. I'd rather have it reasonably neatly tagged
though, for efficiency...

Lada

7 Sep 2005 - 2:21am
nuritps
2010

-------
DH> Man! Wouldn't it be great if someone researched all these and put
DH> them up on the Resource Library Blog? Resources.ixdg.org! You can make
it happen!

>Seriously, though. Folks, throw on the table criteria that are important to
you when selecting a conference. We'll put together some sort of a template
and will encourage everyone to populate it, as we go to different events.
I'd rather have it reasonably neatly tagged though, for efficiency...
-------

This is a great idea, I know it will help me! It will be nice to have the
non-American conferences on this list as well.

Some of my criteria will be:

Basic / intermediate / experts
Testing / design
Web / mobile / pda's...
Case study / research

Thanks,
Nurit

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