The Dallas Chapter of IXDA (Interaction Design Association) participated in the first Word Interaction Design Day. Cities all over the world, in a number of formats, celebrated the day with speakers, panelists and activities to promote Interaction Design.
The theme for the first Interaction Design Day was Diversity and Inclusion.
For the Dallas event, we decided to host a panel of user experience, designers and leadership professionals to talk to students and audience members about how they promote diversity and inclusion in their work place. Since we were holding the event at UTD (University of North Texas Dallas) we knew there would be a number of students in the audience. So we also included a couple of students on the panel so that they could provide their perspective on the topic as well.
Sometimes with events, you have more topics you want to cover than time to cover them. I had a ton more questions than I knew we would be able to cover. Plus, with such a large panel, I knew that allowing 2-3 panelists to answer each question, and therefore offer a differing perspective, time would be short and questions would be few.
Some of the topics I wanted to cover included:
- Why did you get in to UX design?
- What do you wish you had known before starting a career in design?
- How do you promote diversity and inclusion on your team?
- How do you promote diversity and inclusion for your customers?
- Student question: how do you promote diverse perspectives in your projects?
- What are some of the questions a person should ask when going on interviews?
- Student question: As a student, in relationship to diversity, what are you looking for in a work environment?
- What advice do you have team members on overcoming bias? What about teams as a whole?
- How do you handle the occasions when you aren’t included and should be?
- How has your work environment changed since you first started your career?
- Was there a time when you truly felt like you had a seat at the table? What led up to it and what happened next?
Wrap up topics
- What advice do you have for people entering into this field and may not feel well-represented?
- What advice would you give to those already in the field, but may not know how to promote a more diverse culture?
Of course, I only had the opportunity to ask a fraction of these questions. But as in typical Jen Blatz style, I was over prepared and made sure I had plenty of questions and topics to fill an evening. That is ok though. We still got to cover some really interesting topics in a short night. Students were very happy to learn from the professionals. The pros were happy to share their wisdom and experience. Audience members who were also professional gained a lot from the discussion. Overall, I would say the first World Interaction Design day was a success.