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I know there are some great conferences/sessions/symposiums/seminars out there on the subject of User Interface Design and Web Usability. If I had to pick one to go to within the next year, which one should it be? And why?

A few disclaimers:

  • I would be restricted to a conference inside the United States
  • Recommendations based on experience of actually attending are preferred
  • One conference per answer, please
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1  
I think you should add "one conference per answer" and make this community wiki. –  Sruly Aug 30 '10 at 18:58
    
@Sruly Great idea. I've added the "one conference..." line to the question. As to the community wiki, I'm new here - how do I do that? I'll look around to find out how. –  wnathanlee Aug 30 '10 at 19:39
    
Welcome! There's a checkbox at the bottom of the edit form. See What are “Community Wiki” posts?. –  Patrick McElhaney Aug 30 '10 at 19:49
    
And for those in the UK, a related post - ui.stackexchange.com/questions/1152/… . @wnathanlee - great question. –  Sniffer Aug 31 '10 at 19:41

7 Answers 7

Although (sadly) I haven't attended it yet, there's The Usability Week 2010 Conference.

It's an event of the Nielsen Norman Group, which is considered the guru of user interface and user experience. The agenda looks very interesting, based on full day tutorials rather then just short lectures and it's also offered in several locations.

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+1 Was going to recommend this as well, although I've never been able to afford the like :) @Glen Lipka seems to have had a negative experience, though :( –  jensgram Aug 31 '10 at 6:38
    
I attended their recent swing through Seattle and found it to be very informative. However, for me the sessions I attended was newer material. Some other attendees I spoke with who had much more experience found it harder to take away as much value. –  Charles Wesley Dec 5 '12 at 17:07

This past June I attended UIE's Web App Masters Tour in Philadelphia. It wasn't just limited to UI design and usability, but it was extremely valuable in both of those fields as well as others. There were one hour talks by several influential people, including Jared Spool, Jason Fried, Stephen Anderson and Bill Scott. I would fully recommend attending it simply because it was handcrafted by Jared Spool, all talks followed a common theme, it was highly focused, and all speakers were on the cutting edge of design across the board. Aside from that, tickets were only $895, which I consider a bargain for two full days of talks by prominent peers and networking opportunities.

I live in the Netherlands. I flew to Philadelphia to experience the Web App Masters Tour and am definitely doing it again next year if there's a 2011 tour. Hope to see you there! ;)

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I loved the Business of Software conference. An amazing amount of UX gold to be mined there. I didn't like Usability Week (4 years ago), I almost fell asleep.

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I've never been but I've enjoyed the videos of the talks that are posted online. –  Patrick McElhaney Aug 31 '10 at 12:31

I've heard good things about IxDA's Interaction conference. I haven't had the opportunity to go, but the Sr. UX Designer at my company highly recommends it.

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This one looks very good: FOWD "Future Of Web Design" (NYC 15-17 Nov.2010) Several speakers on Web technologies (HTML5, CSS3) cross-platform challenges etc.

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Nick Finck keeps a comprehensive list of UX conferences and it's constantly updated.

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I am very surprised that no one mentioned the User Experience Professionals' Association (UXPA) conference. I always make a point to attend because they are practitioner-oriented (as opposed to academic). UXPA will host two conferences in 2013 (Washington DC and Shanghai). http://www.usabilityprofessionals.org/uxpa/tag/2013/

ACM SIGCHI has a more academic conference, but the advantage is that you can learn about developing tech and research. There is also a UX track with some practitioner-oriented papers and presentations. It's a fun conference, but there is less bang for your buck... especially since CHI 2013 is in Paris (and you would be a tourist like me)!

The IA Summit would be my 2nd choice next to UXPA, though I personally have not attended the conference. I have been very impressed by quality of the talks (I have listened to a few recorded ones).

I have also considered the IxDA Conference as well, but I have not attended.

(Note: This was my recent answer to a closed question, which was reported as a duplicate to this one. I edited the answer a bit before posting here.)

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