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Recommended UI/UX conference in Europe?

I'm looking to attend a training/conference or two this year and would like to hear your feedback on any events you've attended in the past. Here is a shortlist of a few events I'm looking at.

There are a few others, but these are the ones I'm leaning towards. Recommendations welcome, though. If you've attended any of these, I'd really appreciate your feedback. However, I appreciate all feedback and insights! Thanks in advance!

  • They haven't announced the 2013 conference yet, but I'm a big fan of the UX Web Summit from Environments for Humans. It's online, relatively cheap, and full of good stuff. Here's last year's: environmentsforhumans.com/2012/ux-web-summit – Mark D Nov 28 '12 at 20:14
  • Thanks, Mark. I'll have a look at the previous year's summit. – Duskus Nov 28 '12 at 23:55
  • Another factor I should mention is that I'm hoping to find a program that can address UX within an Agile environment. – Duskus Nov 28 '12 at 23:55
  • Hi Michael. This isn't really an answerable question, and it's going to be outdated and not of much use to future visitors. We prefer specifically answerable Questions on StackExchange. I have closed this as a duplicate of a previous conferences wiki question so you can add your list there, but as a question in it's own right it's not really the type of question that StackExchange is designed for anymore I'm afraid. – JonW Nov 29 '12 at 8:58
  • I understand - thanks, John. FYI - I did a search for this topic before posting, and while some results were outdated, I did find a few of the responses within the threads quite helpful. It is helpful to hear detailed information/thoughts, and "whys" about how the conference either met or disappointed expectations from like-minded professionals. – Duskus Nov 29 '12 at 17:37

The problem with a lot of conferences lies in the value for money that they represent. If your goal is attending a conference, then ignore the rest of my answer. However if your goal is to become a better UX practitioner then read on.

I would still argue that you can learn a lot on a budget by reading books on UX as well as watching the many presentations / courses online covering the topic.

For some book suggestions simply search this site for the term "book" and you will find some wonderful suggestions.

Finally, read this site. I have learnt more from reading questions and answers on UX.SE than I have from any two books combined.

  • 1
    Thanks, John - I appreciate your answer and agree that books and online resources (e.g. here) are fantastic and very, very helpful. I do continually read various books and sites, too. My purpose for attending a conference is to (hopefully) help accelerate learning through a combination of hands-on and academic talks. I find that being exposed to both in-person instruction and surrounding conversations helps to retain information a little better and even spark new ways of thinking. That said, I'm not necessarily a fan of conferences and I'm definitely looking for that "bang for the buck." – Duskus Nov 28 '12 at 23:47

My favorite community is the User Experience Professionals' Association (UXPA) and I always attend their conferences, which 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).

Finally, I have to throw in a plug for my Alma mater's boot camp. While not cheap, the Bentley boot camp has a panel of experienced practitioners including the authors of "Measuring the User Experience" (Tullis & Albert). I heard a rumor that Bentley alums Jeff Gothelf (Lean UX book coming soon) and Tomer Sharon (Google; "It's Our Research: Getting Stakeholder Buy-in for User Experience Research Projects") will be joining the next one.

  • Thanks, Andrew. I also came across the IA Summit and was curious. I just peeked at the Bentley program; definitely not cheap, but seems to be a sound program. I'll look a little further into it. Besides being an alum of the program, why specifically would you recommend it (e.g. provided solid foundation to UX, or helped me apply new processes at work that made my team more productive)? If you were to do it again, would you go there again over any other program? Another factor I should mention is that I'm hoping to find a program that can at least address UX within an Agile environment. – Duskus Nov 28 '12 at 23:53
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    @michaelduskus Yes, I would do the Bentley MSHFID program again. There aren't many graduate-level programs that are focused on practical skills. Agile was something we were talking about in 2006/2007 when I was in the program (I believe it was the Managing a User-Centered Design team class). The program has been and continues to be a leader for training UX professionals. I was mentored by Joe Dumas, who literally wrote the book on usability testing. Chauncey Wilson and Tom Tullis are also great professors there, and well known for their work. – Andrew Nov 30 '12 at 18:46

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