Charge your tech and get your sketchpads ready because it’s not long now until UX Australia kicks off in Melbourne. It’s one of our favourite events on the UX calendar; for four days, user experience professionals from around Australia and the world converge in the one place to talk about everything UX.
What is UX Australia?
Held in Melbourne this year, the first two days from 23-24 August feature practical, full-day and half-day workshops. The main conference is held on the following two days. We’ll be hearing from local and international people trying fascinating things in UX and honing their craft. This year, there’s everything from the micro to the meta—from single buttons, to designing the Internet of Things in space.
Unsurprisingly, we’ve been fans of UX Australia for a long time. What’s not to love about bringing UXers from around Australia together for some deep discussions, inspiration and learning about a topic that we all love? There was even that time Matt and I went all Blues Brothers in the name of designing with soul. Sorry folks, there’s no revival this year, but you can catch me and at a workshop on the fundamentals of UX, which I promise will be just as fun (more on that later).
Coffee, of course, is essential to stay awake and alert during conferences. We’re spoilt for choice with excellent coffee in Melbourne, but here are four of our favourites. They’re all within a block of the conference venue and will keep you caffeinated throughout your day. Take your pick (or try them all):
- Fair Trader – 11 Exhibition Street
- Axil Coffee Roasters – 76 Flinders Lane
- Good2Go – 9 Hosier Lane
- Bowery To Williamsburg – 16 Oliver Lane
Why we think you should come along
With a lineup of more than 50 speakers, it would be tough to not learn something at UX Australia. But if you want to go a little deeper, make sure you look at the workshop schedule (but be quick, they’re selling out fast).
First, a shameless plug: If you need an introduction to the fundamentals of UX, you can’t go past our Introduction to User Experience Design workshop on Tuesday 23 August. I’ll be co-facilitating with the excellent Kate Goodwin from Matchbox Studio.
You can also brush up on your UX research, soft skills or information architecture expertise in the other workshops. My pick would be Andy Polaine’s workshop Design a Service in 6 hours. Andy wrote the book on service design, so this is not to be missed. Take a look at all the workshops.
When I attend conferences I’m always inspired by something. I come away buzzing with ideas and energy to inject into my work and personal projects. It’s a heady combination of speakers with fascinating insights, and being deeply immersed in the world of UX, and the community.
Networking gets a bad rap. But honestly, you never know where a simple conversation could take you.
It doesn’t need to be stressful, either. Just think: you’re surrounded by a ton of like-minded people who are interested in the same stuff that you are, so get your UX geek on! If you’re not sure what to talk about, you already have the conference in common, so ask them what their favourite session has been so far, and why, and see how far the rabbit hole goes.
The speaker program this year is a mix of friendly heroes and heroic friends. The only struggle will be choosing which sessions to attend, so here are a few picks that caught our eye:
- Dan Szuc has been the driving force behind conversations about Making Meaningful Work. He’s flying over from Hong Kong to continue the conversation and talk about the opportunities present when Analysing research and identifying patterns.
- Steve Portigal is flying over from San Francisco to remind us that we’re people first and workers second, and to talk about why Soft Skills are Hard
- Our friends Jessica Enders and Louise Bassett are teaming up to talk about The UX no one wants to have, the story of how they created accessible and sensitive application forms in a challenging project with distressed survivors of family violence.
- Kayla Heffernan is sharing wisdom about why Design is as good (or flawed) as the people who make it.
- Ruth Ellison always has insightful, friendly and practical things to share, and this year is talking about cognitive biases we shouldn’t ignore in research.
- Derek Featherstone, who recently hosted our Ask The UXperts session on accessibility, is back to talk about Designing for context, not the device,
- Ben Tollady and Gareth Roberts, our good pals and fellow Melbournians, are giving a talk about Exploring dark patterns and the power of persuasive design.
- Donna Spencer literally wrote the book on Information Architecture, and will share answers to the most important and commonly asked questions about IA Fundamantals.
- Yuan Wang, with Wesley Rodricks from Thankyou share some insights about Designing for life changing impact: from bottled water to ending world poverty.
- There’ll also be talks about The Internet of things in Space by Steve Hillenius from NASA.
- And so much more! See the full list of speakers on the UX Australia site.
The UX community
Catching up with friends and fans is one of the best parts of conferences. It’s a chance to step outside of our usual bubble and see people you don’t get to see in your day-to-day life, including our interstate friends.
So, if you spot one of us, come and say hi! We love chatting with the UX Mastery community.
UX Mega Meetup
Taking the UX community to the next level, Melbourne’s biggest ever UX meetup is happening on the Tuesday night of the conference. It combines Ladies that UX, Prototypes & Popcorn, UX Gatherings and The UX Design Group of Melbourne into one marvellous meetup. It’s free, but reserve your spot soon as there are limited spaces. Book here.
Learn the fundamentals of UX at our workshop
Back by popular demand, Kate Goodwin wand I ill be running UX Mastery’s Introduction to User Experience Design workshop on Tuesday August 23.
We’ll cover the essentials of user-centred design for anyone who wants to understand more about practical UX. The workshop will help graphic designers, developers, business analysts, or entrepreneurs—you don’t need any background UX knowledge to attend. You’ll go home with a day of solid experience, a brain full of ideas and your notes and worksheets used throughout the day. There are just a couple of tickets left, and we’d love to see you there. See the details and book on the UX Australia site.
So what are you waiting for? Get your ticket to UX Australia before it sells out: https://uxaustralia-2016.eventbrite.com.au/
Already coming to UX Australia? What are you most excited about?