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Do UX workshops facilitate more effective learning than studying on your own (reading books, blog, and asking questions here or on other sites/forums)?

Do people gain more confidence after attending workshops?

Does certification matter in the field or good portfolio makes better impression?

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Depends on the workshop :-) I've been attending some pretty lame workshops. Definitely not more effective than reading professional literature. –  Jørn E. Angeltveit Feb 23 '12 at 14:41
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Certification vs portfolio is a separate question. IMHO –  Jørn E. Angeltveit Feb 23 '12 at 14:54
    
there are workshops?! –  Mathew Foscarini May 14 '12 at 16:38
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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You will learn how to talk about and defend your ux decisions and beliefs.

Perhaps, you may not learn as much as you could at home reading. Nonetheless, speaking in person with other UX designers helps you to rationalize your beliefs and realize that there is often more than one good solution. You'll hear stories first hand that you may be able to relate to or use as a resource in your own projects down the road.

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Could you please expand your answer? –  dnbrv Feb 23 '12 at 22:34
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Is is no doubt that you learn better by doing than reading.

And experience definitely is a key element in UX practice.

But at the same time you also have a lot of theoretical literature. Topics that are inadequate for workshops.

So the conclusion is:
1) You need to read on your own and study the discipline to gain a platform of knowledge. This is inevitable.
2) Workshop is good when you need to study (and practice) practical areas. If you're about to learn brainstorming or wireframing techniques, then it is better to attend a workshop and get some practical training.

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Conducting Workshops are hands-on approach, develops facilitation skills & learning from users, stake-holders - which should drive in greater confidence against being better knowledgeable by reading and writing blogs. Definitely conducting workshops are +1 point ahead. You can compare it with it even writing research papers and presenting in front of audience, since all these activities will test yourself in wild, which will be likely appreciated, criticized and eventually one will know where they stand in true time. Its oozes lots of confidence.

Now Attending workshops will help to connect with people and its a good learning curve.But book reading is equally enough. This is not as effective to conducting a workshop. Since you are passive mostly. Book-reading will be +1, since you can gain whatever knowledge by this channel equally.

Certification vs Portfolio - If your portfolio really will be a selling point, along with wonderful communication and personal selling value will be better off, if one knows that will win them the job they want. Certification needs cost factor to be taken into consideration, so portfolio can directly sell your abilities. If your degree is not in equivalent with the market, then the Certification comes in play to get the first job. In a longer run - experience, portfolio building, research papers & conducting workshops will all show participation and passionate efforts of one. Its good as personal value and it does helps in create reputation. Nowadays being active in social channels also means that one is selling his/her ideas.

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The question is about attending workshops not conducting them. –  dnbrv Feb 23 '12 at 16:03
    
I agree that the question is on attending workshops, I have addressed about it, but I have a special mention for Conducting workshops which are game-changers unlike attending, so tried in bring in the contrast of two flavors. Is it justifiable? –  inkmarble Feb 24 '12 at 17:41
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