User experience (UX) design can be a lonely adventure. Although you’ll work with a team from time to time, most of the labor comes in the moments spent behind your computer keyboard or laying out your design and features. Attending events gets you out of the house or office and exposes you to fresh ideas. You don’t want to waste your precious time, though, so finding the best UX conferences ensures you grow as a designer.
The skill sets you need to do UX design are varied. You could choose from business-focused conferences or design-specific ones. What is the best UX conference for you may vary for another person.
What Are the Three Skills UX Designers Need?
There’s still a strong demand for UX designers. Around 87% of company leaders indicate they’ll hire more UX professionals in the next year or two. In order to compete for the best paying positions in desirable locations, you’ll need some basic UX skills.
You need to know how to research, how to test and how to create buyer personas. Obviously, you also need to know how to create fresh designs, but outside the scope of your art, you must have great skills in the other three areas.
The Best UX Conferences often cover a variety of topics. You can choose from beginner to advanced talks to help you ramp up your skills and fill any gaps.
What Criteria We Used to Choose the Best UX Conferences
While almost all conferences we looked at offered some type of value to attendees, we set up a set of criteria to choose the ones we felt were the best UX conferences. We looked at any available reviews, descriptions on websites and social media and the number of topics covered and variety.
A few other things we considered as a slight part of the equation were costs, location–how easy it was to travel to the conference–and what was and wasn’t included, such as meals.
1. Nielsen Normal Groups Virtual UX Conference
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, people started to look to conferences they could attend virtually rather than in-person. Event planners everywhere scrambled to adapt and soon found ways to provide similar benefits to real life events.
The Nielsen Norman Group’s conference on UX is one of the best UX conferences for those who don’t want the time or expense of traveling. If you have employees who still feel a bit unsure about going into crowds, this can be a great solution that puts them at ease.
One of the reasons we loved this particular virtual conference was the two-way video conferences where speakers and experts can answer questions and add input in real time. You’ll also receive UX certification and network with others.
2. TechCircus Online and Live Events
TechCircus has a variety of conferences. One of the reasons we chose this particular one for the best UX conferences list is because it is held all over the world and virtually. People can attend from almost anywhere, or take a trip to someplace new.
For example, you can attend the FinTech Design Summit in London or online. UX Live is their big online event specifically geared toward UX topics, but you’ll find topics within each event focused on UX.
3. UXinsight Annual Festival
It only makes sense that those who love technology would offer conferences both in person and online. You may miss some networking opportunities with the solely online events, however, there will still be ways to connect with other experts in the field.
This year’s conference is in The Netherlands. We chose UXinsight festival because of the wide variety of topics. They cover everything from personal career growth, such as ways to get a UX research job to how to apply new methods and mature your team.
Some of the talks are titled “Using Stories to Drive UX Improvements,” “Getting Your UXR Job Application Noticed” and “How to Immerse Your Teams in Research Remotely.” There are also moments built in for networking, drinks and food.
4. UXPA International Conference
Do you want something in the United States? UXPA International will be in San Diego, California the summer of 2022. It does move each year, so pay attention to varying locations. The UX community gathers in person for inspiring talks and a plethora of courses on UX.
Some of the more interesting topics include healing sick and ineffective personas, an introduction to conversation design and chatbots, data visualization and UX and the psychology of UX/UI design. Topics range from beginner to advanced and everything in between. They’ve gathered over 100 different speakers–all experts in the industry in their own way.
5. The X Event
Held in Atlanta in June 2022, the X Event covers nearly anything you’d like to know about UX, CX and Big Data insight. One of the things that works so well for this conference is the way all the disciplines within design are covered. Attendees learn to come together and work as a team on a variety of projects.
We chose The X Event as one of our best UX conference options because of the range of topics available to leaders within a design firm. Managers can expand their knowledge of UX and learn the various roles each person plays to complete a project.
In addition to user experience, the conference topics look at customer experience and human experience. Bringing all the X’s together creates a powerhouse of information that helps any agency perform better.
What’s Your Favorite UX Conference?
Finding the best UX conference is often just a matter of finding the place you learn the most. You might like the event planners more for one than another. Perhaps the workshops help you learn new skills every time you go. You also must consider cost, travel expenses and how long you’ll be away from the office to attend.
There are dozens upon dozens of options for UX learning. You simply have to look at what’s available in your region and choose the one that makes the most sense for you and your team.
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