Turns out Don Norman could Fit in My Suitcase: A ConveyUX Recap

Don Norman presenting at Convey UX

Feb 13
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Valle Hansen and I recently returned from the ConveyUX conference in Seattle where we conducted a workshop on a new card sorting methodology we’ve devised (more to come on that in our podcast next week).

This was the first full-on UX-focused conference I’ve attended since SXSW a few years ago, and I was pleasantly surprised with the results. A big shout out to the conference organizer, Joe Welinske as well as the whole Blink UX team.

The conference was just the right size, weighing in at about 350 attendees.  It was small but not too small, and large enough that I never had a lack of interesting people to talk to.

Solid Speakers

The highlights for me were hearing Kel SmithKelly Goto, and Susan Weinschenk.

Smith focused on how accessibility should be seen as a catalyst for change rather than a governmental dev requirement, Goto enlightened the crowd about new methodologies for user research and testing, and Weinschenk illuminated the rationale behind certain behaviors and how those triggers influence design.

Casual Conversations

In addition to forming a pub-crawl posse with a 23-year-old developer from Slovakia, a Philly-based Google Glass Explorer, and a conference attendee known only as Hair, Valle and I met a lot of interesting folks.

George Papazian, Principal at Naviscent, and I had a great discussion at the Wednesday night networking event about growing a start up. Having plenty of experience with this himself, George imparted some words of wisdom to take with me back to our small consulting firm back home.

Fellow presenter, Julia Suvorova of the Usability Lab in Russia shared some interesting methods for card sorting that her company has employed, which kind of blew my mind a little.

I also had a nice chat with Jeff Alpen, Partner at Blink, at the Wednesday night event. Although we spoke mostly about Texas and how lovely its inhabitants are, Jeff’s good naturedness speaks to a trend I noticed among all of the Blink team members (no, not an affinity for smooth Jazz). Everyone I met from Blink was helpful, friendly, and genuinely interested in how they could make my conference experience more enjoyable.

Here’s to Next Year

My only piece of critical feedback would be for ConveyUX to offer us a few more unstructured opportunities for fun. The event on Wednesday was great, but a few more chances to “network” in an open atmosphere would have been much appreciated.  (No offense to the aforementioned pub-crawl posse. You are all great.)

Posted by: David Richard

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