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25.10.2011: Top 10 Reasons to Attend UXcamp Ottawa 2011
If you live in Ottawa and you're on Twitter you probably know that in a couple of weeks from now, on November 5th to be precise, the second edition of UXcamp Ottawa will take place at Ottawa U's Lamoureux Auditorium.(Twitter: @uxcampottawa)
Similar to last year, the conference will contain pre-planned sessions (ranging from 10 minute Ignite-style talks to hour long presentations) as well as unconference-style participant-driven conversations in the afternoon. If you're interested to see the full schedule, read about the speakers, look at photos or watch video highlights of last year's sessions head out to ottawa.uxcamp.ca and get all details there. Registration is also now open, and for the second year in a row, we're heading towards a sellout. But if you're still not conviced, and you need hard-hitting (:O) reasons why I think UXcamp Ottawa 2011 is a must-see event for UX professionals and designers, you're in luck: here's the roundup of my top 10:
10. A fresh batch of UX jobsIf you are frustrated with the lack of understanding of UX by Ottawa-based IT recruiters, this is your chance to actually find a potential employer who is directly involved in the field of user experience. Most sponsors (including Ampli2de) will advertise their UX-related job openings in the lobby area of Lamoureux Hall so if you're a recent graduate or an experience UX professional looking for a new gig, UXcamp might just have the answer.
9. The unconference sessionsOne of the reasons why UXcamp Ottawa has been so successful is its participatory element. The interactive user-submitted sessions of the afternoon are a unique way to engage the community and address UX problems to likely-minded UX professionals who happen to be in attendance. If you have an issue that you want solved, or if you want see how others address similar situations, the afternoon sessions are where you want to be.
8. The UXcamp badgesAs you may or may not know, Ampli2de has designed the UXcamp Ottawa brand identity. We are also designers of the conference badges, and this year, as you've probably seen on Twitter, the badges are receiving another makeover. As UX designers, we rarely get to see our products being used 'in the wild', outside the confines of various user research activities. Last year, it was an eye opening experience for us and we can't wait for the sea of red badges at this year's event. And as always, feedback is much appreciated (here or otherwise).
7. Dom SaulLast year, Tedde van Gelderen of Akendi was one of the highlights of the conference. This year another presence from the Akendi UX braintrust will be speaking at UXcamp. Dominira Saul, Akendi's Director of UX, has been quietly building a following as one of the most engaging UX presenters in Ottawa. Titled 'Creating a Design Culture', his UXcamp presentation will touch on how to incorporate design into the core of company's DNA.
6. The Ignite talksLast year, John N.A. Brown's Ignite talk was one of the highlights of the conference. Following in John's footsteps, this year the format has been adopted by another long list of Ottawa presenters, including Alasdair Stuart-Bell, Anton McConville (@antonmc), Laura Wesley (@resultsjunkie) and Tanya Snook (@spydergrrl). Should be exciting.
5. The IxDA Ottawa Chapter LaunchOne of the things missing in our city is a vibrant interactive regular gathering of design professionals. We're talking workshop, panels, design jams, happy hours etc, and we do hope that our vision of monthly or bi-monthly IxDA Ottawa meetups will remedy the situation. If you want to get involved or show your interest, UXcamp Ottawa will provide you the chance to meet likely minded individuals interested in pursuing this endeavor. Stop by the IxDA Ottawa signage and say 'Hello'. (Twitter: @IXDAottawa)
4. The Ottawa UX communityThis is the time of year when the Ottawa UX community comes out of hibernation and we all have a chance to get together at UXcamp. Whether you call yourselves UXers, designers, information architects, product managers, entrepreneurs, UI developers, etc., UXcamp is a celebration of those who create amazing experiences in our community. Come out and say 'Hello', and if you can, come hang out with us at the bar afterwards (beer and experience design, how can you miss that conversation?)
3. Rob WoodbridgeIf you're a fan of Untether.tv, you probably know who Rob is. If not, you'll have a chance to see/meet him for the first time this year at UXcamp. Rob, the host of the popular Untether.tv video podcasts about movers and shakers in the wireless space, will be the the master of ceremonies on November 5th. (Twitter: @robwoodbridge)
2. Gabor VidaTeknision has been around in Ottawa for over 10 years. In the last 4 years or so, they went from creative Flash shop to exquisit UX boutique, amassing some of the most important Ottawa UX projects of the last decade. You may not know it, but Teknision is behind the Blackberry Playbook UX. And as you'll see from Gabor's presentation, they are also doing some nifty little things in the embedded UX space. (Twitter: @gaborvida)
1. Dana ChisnellIf you are an Ottawa UX professional, and you don't know who Dana Chisnell is, you really should reconsider who you're following on Twitter (hint: @danachis). Few UX professionals are relevant to our public-sector infused marketplace, and Dana probably heads that category. So needless to say, I'm stoked for this year's keynote address.
So here you have it. Did you already sign up for UXcamp? And if you did, is there anything I missed that you're looking forward to?
Photo credit: Deborah O'Malley. Tags: community, UXcamp, ottawa, thoughts
Glad to see that you've added more ignite talks. Some of the sessions last year may have been a bit too long.
As per our latest tweet, we forgot to talk about value. UXcamp Ottawa only costs $40, covering the one-day conference, as well as lunch, coffee and snacks.
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