Like other areas in the field of technology, UX trends and best practices constantly evolve. The best UX designers are constantly learning about ways to make the user experience more simple, engaging, and impactful. This year, high profile UX events are bringing together some of the best minds in the industry. If you’re searching for a way to add more value to your brand and digital offerings, you won’t want to miss the top UX-centered events of the season.
Who Should Attend UX Events?
Professionals in many different specializations can benefit from the content and networking opportunities at top UX conferences and events. In addition to UX designers and developers, other professionals including marketers, business strategists, website owners, project managers, and end clients attend these single day and multi-day functions.
When conferences focus on a single track such as UX, attendees can really explore the inner workings of the user experience from a variety of different angles. Technology is breaking down barriers throughout the business world. Businesses that embrace agility and interdisciplinary marketing and sales approaches can move faster and beat the competition. These events provide key insights and understandings that can make each attendee well-rounded in his or her field.
Why Invest in Conference Attendance?
As the often referenced father of business consulting, Peter Drucker, once said, “Business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” UX skills and understanding directly impact a company’s ability to both rapidly innovate and market products and services to the ideal target market.
Conferences have a capability to do what hours of research and training cannot – they can reignite passion for UX work. When likeminded and successful people come together in one setting, new ideas form. Many events provide hands-on opportunities attendees can use to understand and learn the best UX techniques and trends. Some offer certification opportunities to cram as much value into the conference time as possible.
Almost every conference features networking opportunities to facilitate value-driven relationships. With the right set of speakers and crowd, a one or two-day conference may do more to elevate brands and careers than a series of in-house training courses.
From learning more about the customer journey to recognizing the role of project management, UX conferences can open peoples’ minds into an aspect of work they hadn’t ever considered. Use conferences as a tool not only for learning, but for improving interpersonal relationships and building connections. A great conference is more than just an opportunity to get away from the office for a few days, and we’ve compiled a list of the best that are yet to come.
The 9 Top Events to Put On Your Calendar
The 2017 conference year is almost halfway over, but the worldwide schedule still offers numerous events professionals may want to attend. Since many of these events try to offer the most cutting edge information available in the industry, you could learn something new and helpful at each one. Here are some of the top events from June to December that have crossed our desks:
- An Event Apart (various dates, locations). A three day event scheduled across America on different dates, this conference is for all UX-related professionals searching for new skills and business relationships. The upcoming 2017 dates and locations include:
- Washington, DC, July 10-12
- Chicago, Aug. 28-30
- San Francisco, Oct. 30 – Nov. 1
- Denver, Dec. 11-13
Speakers and sessions vary by location, so attendees may want to explore event details before choosing a date and location. From branding to cutting edge CSS layouts, these events offer viewpoints from a number of professional angles.
- Nielsen Norman Group UX Conferences (various dates, locations). More for professionals interested in intensive training and certification, these global, multi-day events offer flexible attendance options and around 40 different training topics ranging from content strategy to user testing. Choose and receive credit for the topics that interest you most. Upcoming conferences are scheduled for:
- Copenhagen, Denmark, June 12-16
- Austin, Texas, USA, June 19-23
- Vancouver, Canada, Aug. 13-18
- New York City, New York, USA, Sept. 9-15
- Country-specific UX conferences. Each year, various European countries host their own UX conferences focused on the most pressing topics of the time. While UX London, UX Lisbon, and others are over for the year, you can still catch these upcoming events:
- UX Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, June 7-9. In its 5th year, this conference will feature speakers from Lloyd Banking Group, the Center for Civic Design, and leader in user interface engineering, Jared Spool. Network with peers and enjoy hands on sessions at this multi-day event at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.
- UX Sofia, Bulgaria, June 14-18. One of the most often attended conferences in the country, UX Sofia offers learning opportunities and sightseeing. Attendees have access to four interactive workshops, seminars, panels, and an optional two day tour of the country. This year’s speaker lineup include Ram Almog, the founder of Red Interactive; Martina Mitz, UX designers and psychologist; and, Zdravko Zdravkov, the chief architect of Sofia Municipality.
Enterprise UX 2017 (June 7-9, San Francisco, CA, USA). Attendees won’t want to miss the storytelling session at the end of the first day of this multi-day, enterprise-focused UX event. Discover how to break away from department silos and craft authentic and creative user experiences. Keynote speakers this year include Elizabeth Churchill, the director of user experience at Google, and Mark Templeton, the former president and CEO of Citrix Systems, Inc.
Anyone who works with enterprise UX and digital or marketing strategies may benefit from this large-scale conference in San Francisco. Attendees can choose from numerous workshops, discussions, and networking receptions at this well-attended annual event.
Design & Content 2017 (July 17-19, Vancouver, Canada). Head to one of the most beautiful cities in Canada for this UX design and content event focused on the needs of UX designers, developers, and content strategists. With workshops and interactive discussions available, many previous years’ attendees highly recommend this more focused event.
This year, hear from a product designer at The New York Times, Amélie Lamont; Facebook product designer, Beth Dean; Inclusive Design at Microsoft’s principle design director, Kat Holmes; and, Publicis North America’s director of strategic planning, Jon Crowley.
UX Week 2017 (Aug. 29 – Sept. 1, San Francisco, California, USA). Another widely attended event in San Francisco, UX Week offers four days of workshops, discussions, and speaker sessions. The event organizers will not sell single-day passes until a couple of weeks before the event, so you may want to read the fine print if you can’t make all four days. Created with designers, project managers, and strategists in mind, UX professionals of all types will benefit from attending this event.
Speakers this year include Roman Mars, the host and creator of 99% Invisible; Alastair Somerville, a sensory design consultant for Acuity Design; and, Karen McGrane, the managing partner at Bond Art + Science.
Intersection 17 (Sept. 7-8, Barcelona, Spain). In its 4th annual conference, organizers are catering to enterprise architects, brand and culture strategists, business analysis, UX designers, entrepreneurs, and executives. During the two day event, professionals can attend master classes, speaking session, and more. Attendees can expect to learn practical tips and industry insights into the global challenges of creating a seamless customer journey and user experience.
Speakers this year include Clémence Debaig, director at WAE: A Globant company; Tobias Haug, the head of Design & Co-Innovation Center at EMEA SAP; and, Alexnder Derno, an enterprise 2.0 communication and media specialist at Deutsche Telekom.
- UX STRAT USA (Sept. 18-20, Boulder, Colorado, USA). Focused on user and customer experiences as well as product and service designs, organizers arrange events in both Europe and the USA every year. Attendees who want to build strategy skills, leadership, and technical capability will find insights at this annual event. The USA program speaker list and schedule is still in development, but prospective attendees can claim an early bird discount for registering now.
Interact 2017 (Sept. 25-29, Mumbai, India). Focused on a broader concept of human-computer interactions, this event allows industry leaders to showcase their work and address global challenges around user experiences, customer journeys, and digital development. With different tracts to help attendees customize the experience, graduate students and seasoned professionals may find value in this multi-date, international event.
UX is a large field, and attendees often have different career and professional development goals. Bookmark this list and find the conference that will offer you, your business, and your brand the most value. You never know what you might learn or who you might meet at one of these globally recognized events.