UXAlive conference for total beginner?


#1

First of all sorry for a little bit of cross-posting… This is a question on my mentoring thread I just started but I believe that it’s worth its own thread, so here it is:

UXAlive conference is next week and I was thinking of attending it… I have a few days to decide whether I should be doing this or not.
I am an architect just finished school and UX design is something that really appeals to me. I have zero working experience and my portfolio is so far architecture oriented…

My question is do you think that someone with my inexistent experience will have a lot to gain from this? Would it be better to have some level of familiarization with the UX field before attending (and spending money) on conferences like this? In the end, would it be a helpful way to help me think about the possibilities (the workshops also look really interesting) or would it confuse me because of too much information in such a little time?

Would it be better focusing on something else instead of attending it?
Or maybe it would be a great chance to find some “guidance” by people that I might meet there?

Thanks in advance guys!


An architect getting his hands dirty on UX design?
#2

I’ll call @mattymcg into this thread and get his thoughts. He’s speaking at UX Alive next week.


#3

I’d just go along and see what happens!

At the very least you will meet new people and you’ll still learn things from the talks even if you don’t know much. Take notes and write down anything you don’t understand and look it up online or go chat to the speaker in the break. UXers don’t usually bite :grin:


#4

I participated at UXAlive last year and I thought it was interesting. I believe this year it will be much better, however I didn’t think I came home with way too many new insights. This might be also because some of the things the speakers presented were things that I already knew or heard of. I think UXAlive is a good place for a beginner to start.

The most important thing at UXAlive is that you need to start networking. It will surely give you much more than some of the speakers can during a 30-minute talk.


#5

If you’ve never been to a UX conference before, then I would definitely recommend it. Remember that often the gold that comes from attending a conference is not the takeaways from the sessions themselves (although I’m sure there will be a lot of them) but the conversations and connections in the hallways and at dinners afterwards. The vibe and the collective enthusiasm from getting that many like-minded people together should not be underestimated. I guarantee you that there will be jobs changed, deals done, and lifelong friendships formed by the people in attendance. Don’t miss out. And be sure to come up and say hi to me. I’m speaking on Wednesday and I’m running some career counselling sessions on Thursday.

Hope to see you there!

matt


#6

This.


#7

Thanks for all the advice! I will be going there, I have decided it…
Your words were just what I needed to make that leap…

[quote=“mattymcg, post:5, topic:862”]
I’m speaking on Wednesday and I’m running some career counselling sessions on Thursday.
[/quote]I cannot find anywhere in the schedule when is your career counseling sessions on Thursday (I guess it’s a parallel activity), but I will do my best not to miss it!
We’ll meet there then!


#8

This is all I know! https://userspots2.typeform.com/to/DNmxyH


#9

I totally agree. I think that at least 50% of the benefits that you get from conferences are the relationships that you make.

I used to really hate all the small talk, but I’ve forced myself to get over that and it’s been incredibly useful.

(Welcome btw, @christianvasile)

Yay! Have a magic time. Check back in and let us know what you learned.


#10

Hello everybody!
It’s me reporting again after the UX Alive conference is finished!

I have to say that it was a great experience and also I would like to thank you for encouraging me towards that direction.
So, here is what happened:


The first day was the conference one (the other two were workshops).
The day that you somehow have to meet new people out of nowhere… Well, it wasn’t that difficult, a hi is the perfect started of every conversation. So, I 've met a couple of guys and out of nowhere I spot Matthew! Perfect chance to meet him now, that is early and not so many people are everywhere! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
The conference began and the speakers are really interesting… I don’t think that I’ve been to a better organised conference so far… Everyone has great insights and they share their personal way of thinking with great presentations! Had to distinct Matthew with his really brave and attempt to live sketch his presentation! It more or less worked although I guess that there were some flaws that can and will be addressed! :wink:
Lunch break and, oh boy, you should take a look at that buffet! hahaha
So, day one finishes, it’s been great so far… A walk on Istiklal with a couple new friends and then home to get some rest…


Day 2 was more relaxed for me. I just had one workshop. It was in the afternoon, the Hepsiburada prototyping workshop. Unfortunately that didn’t go that well. It was the only bad impression from the 3 days experience. The workshop happened completely in turkish and while the UXAlive team tried to simultaneously translate what was going on, it was impossible to keep up with the workshop. 50% of us wasn’t speaking turkish, even so, the Hepsiburada team didn’t show any moments of trying to communicate with the english speaking attendees.
There were some organisational problems (turkish speaking workshops not mentioned in the schedule) throughout the UXAlive conference but I think that it will be fixed next year (many of these problems were solved by the UXAlive team on the second day of the workshops).
Anyways the second day finished and I had a lot of time for conversations and self-esteem boost with again some new friends. :stuck_out_tongue:


The third day was the most exciting one.
Started with the Aras Bilgen workshop “User research for everyone” that was really great and very helpful on what user research should be and how we should target it to our goals about a project.
Second workshop was the Michael Mckay “Design Thinking in Corporate Environments: Facilitating & Driving Customer Centricity”. That was great,too. It had a really unique way of discovering issues about a product, using just about everyone, setting everything on a scale of importance and realizing how everything should be addressed and which way. Great workshop, too, even though my team was more of talk and less do… We managed in the end… :smile:
Third workshop was the night workshop and it was hosted by ATOLYE. It was really awesome and it produced some real forward thinking in everyday work problems. The place the workshop was happening was great and it had a great atmosphere. Really inspiring place to work. Congratulations to the ATOLYE team for the work.
The day finished with an awesome party right next door. Beer, chat, smile, fun, great times after all!

It was a really good experience and I don’t regret it at all. I would like to thank everyone here for telling me to go. My confidence got a really good boost and I have some really useful input from that and I will try to work my way into making it work. I have to say some real good people that I met were really the ones for me that made the whole trip so much more than just a costly conference-educational experience.
I hope that I will have soon enough news of where I’m heading to and what projects I’ll be dealing with.

Have a good day everyone!
Dimitris

P.S.1 - Sorry if there are some mistakes, my english have some flaws… :stuck_out_tongue:
P.S.2 - @mattymcg , did that career counselling sessions happen after all? I didn’t get to see that anywhere…


#11

That is fantastic! I’m so rapt for you. Thanks for taking the time to summarise your experience. :slight_smile:


#12

Thanks for this write-up, Dimitris. It was great to chat with you, and I’m delighted you found it to be a positive experience. I see a big future for you!

Thanks for the kind words about my talk. I’d love if you could let me know some specific things that stood out for you on how I could improve it. It was the first time I’d sketched a talk like that, so I was ready for the fact that it might not all go as planned. I have my own ideas about what I could do better, but if you have a few minutes, I’d love a brain dump of what stood out for you as “flaws that can and will be addressed”, either here or privately.

The career counselling stuff was a little disorganised—it wasn’t one-one-one, which I had understood. There were some questions that had been submitted, which I responded to on camera for the UX Alive team. I don’t know what their plans are for that video footage. Perhaps keep an eye on their site/email/social media channels and I assume it will get published at some point.

Cheers!