Anyone going to U[X]PA?

July 6th, 2013 4 comments

UXPA conferenceI’m looking forward—as usual—to the annual Usability Professionals’ Association conference next week in DC.

Oh, sorry. The User Experience Professionals’ Association conference next week in DC. (I’m still not entirely used to the name change.)

I’ve always told anyone who’s interested in usability that they should try to get to this conference if they can, because unlike some professional conferences, the sessions tend to be much more practical than academic. Most of the presenters are practitioners who are eager to share their experience, so it’s always interesting and very often useful.

But I realized last year that there’s another reason why I always enjoy the conference so much.

During the awards dinner (it’s an association; there has to be an awards dinner), I looked around the room and suddenly thought, “Boy, these are very nice people.” Obviously, I don’t know most of them personally, but over the years I’ve met a lot of them, and they tend to be—on average—a lot more decent and friendly than the general population.

I only had to think about it for a minute to understand why. Usability is basically a user advocate job. We try to make life easier for people by empathizing with them as they struggle to use technology. In fact, empathy is probably pretty much a prerequisite for a career in usability. So naturally, they tend to be nice to be around.

So do yourself a favor and attend a Usability/User Experience Professionals Association event, national or local.

And do me  favor: If you’re at the conference next week and see me wandering around, please come up and say Hi. Getting a chance to talk to a lot of people is always one of the nicest things about the week. (And in case you were wondering, I love signing copies of my books, too.)

Categories: Other
  1. July 8th, 2013 at 07:06 | #1

    Have fun at the conference. A simple UX test showed me that i need to change 50 things in a site I’m working on. And i also need to do another UX test for these new changes. Nothing is a easy as it seems :D

    Again, have fun with the other UX professionals.

  2. Steve Krug
    July 8th, 2013 at 12:11 | #2

    Thanks.

    That’s the thing about usability testing that people who haven’t done it can’t quite wrap their heads around: it works!

    Sometime too well, in fact; 50 problems is a lot to deal with. If you haven’t read Rocket Surgery Made Easy, here’s the maxim to keep in mind:

    Focus ruthlessly on a small number of the most significant problems.

    In other words, be sure you fix the worst first.

    Good luck!

  3. Ray
    September 9th, 2013 at 00:11 | #3

    Hello Steve,

    Do you have any plans for another workshop in Northern California?

    Cheers,

    Ray

  4. September 9th, 2013 at 09:09 | #4

    @Ray

    At the moment, I don’t have any workshops planned. If you check back at http://sensible.com/workshops.html in 2014, I may be doing some then.

    Thanks

    Steve

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