Another reason why I have been neglecting writing on this blog, aside from all of the events and meetups I am involved in, is because I am helping plan for the Big Design Conference 2019.
As part of that planning, I am helping to populate social media channels like LinkedIn, Twitter and the blog content on Big Design’s website. Much of my writing efforts will be devoted to Big Design’s website, so don’t expect content generation to be high on my own personal blog. Don’t worry, I will be back. But for now, see content I am working on the Big Design website.
“I heard about a need in the UX community, and I decided to meet it.”
This quote pretty much summarized the inspiration behind how the newest UX meetup group in Dallas got started. UX Research and Strategy, now just over a month old, has had one successful event so far, and continues to grow.
I regularly attend meetups, and while attending those, I heard repeatedly that attendees wanted more resources on UX research. They wanted to learn about different methods, best practices, how to “sell researcher to executives,” and other topics along those lines.
So I reached out to a couple of former co-workers and fabulous ladies, Lauren Singer and Lorie Whitaker to see if they were interested in helping me create a meetup group focused on UX Research, and with Lauren’s suggestion, Strategy too. They thought it was a great idea. First we crowd sourced the idea, to test that it was a valid concept. We posted the idea on LinkedIn to gauge interest in the topic. We got a lot of positive feedback and interest so we decided to move forward with the group’s formation. Thus UX Research and Strategy was born.
Our first meetup was held at Lifeblue in Plano. Our generous hosts provided food and beverages as well as an amazing view from their 12th floor balcony. Crazy storms rolled through just a couple of hours before our event was supposed to kick off. We were not sure if anyone was going to show up. No one wants to drive in monstrous thunder storms. But by the time the event started, the storms passed, the skies cleared, the temperatures dropped (a very good thing in Texas) and the crowd started rolling in. We had nearly 50 attendees which made our first meetup much more successful than we anticipated. Woot!
We first started the night with introducing ourselves and the group. We shared the group’s mission and motivations. Then we asked the attendees to participate in an exercise with us. The leaders of UX and Research and Strategy wanted to make sure that this group is meeting the community’s needs. This goes back to the original ask of what people felt was lacking in the UX community, and how we can fill that gap. What better way to get feedback on the group then have the members brainstorm the direction the group should go?
We asked the members to break in to smaller groups to come up with their hopes, fears and ideas for the group. Again, we wanted attendees to weigh in and help us shape the topics the group would cover through 2019 and beyond.
Everyone was happy to participate in this brainstorming activity. After the groups explored the fears, hopes and ideas for the UX Research and Strategy groups, we then recorded some of the highlights in a shareout so that all attendees could hear the fabulous ideas people had.
We wrapped up the night with a bit more networking and idea exchanging. What were the leaders of UX Research and Strategy planning on doing with this information? Planning out all of our future events, of course!
If you would like to stay on top of what the UX Research and Strategy group is up to, be sure to connect to us on LinkedIn. Also follow the group on Eventbrite to see all of the fabulous events we have happening in 2019 and beyond.
Yes I realize it has been awhile since I posted a blog. I am still alive. I have just been very busy. So what I have I been up to? Busy, busy with organizing meetup events, speaking at events and helping organize the Big Design conference. But yes, I am still alive.
So let’s to a quick summary.
Speaking for Service Design Dallas
I had the opportunity to speak about Enterprise Service Design for a local meetup group. I talked about how I modified the “Service Design Blueprint” framework to apply to creating a report for customers. We then asked attendees of the meetup to apply their own service design analysis to creating a theme park experience. It was a lot of fun talking to this fun group, then seeing how they could apply skills in the workshop.
Organizing IXDA meetups
As one of the co-leaders of IXDA, our responsibility it to create a variety of events that are of interest to UX and interaction designers in the community. We sponsored a portfolio review working session. We called out for seasoned professionals to help new students and transitioner pros coming over to the UX field. The practical tips could be applied directly to a person’s portfolio, and the students found this advice super helpful.
That’s a few of the things that have been keeping me very busy. Stay tuned for more writups of what is keeping me out of trouble soon. ha ha