12 March 2010

Okay, so I'm not really there. I'm in rainy Vancouver with a hashtag and an online web schedule. Clearly, the event is jam packed with all sorts of goodies. As I looked through the long list of presenters, I came up with ten sessions (in no particular order) that I'd want to be listening in on:

1) Long Distance UX (Alex Cook and Lisa Kamm)
Collaboration is key to the UX process, but it becomes increasingly difficult across locations. Working remotely with engineers, product managers and other UX'ers is challenging. Learn how members of the Google UX team work with other offices and team members domestically and internationally to create the best user experiences possible.

2) Design for Awareness: Mobile Technologies & Health (Robert Fabricant)
This presentation will explore an emerging class of design solutions that combine mobile technologies and sensors to target a variety of health issues. These technologies have the potential to heighten our awareness of our own behavior in meaningful ways, opening up new opportunities and challenges for interaction designers.

3) Blah Blah Blah: Why Words Won't Work (Dan Roam)
Since the industrial revolution, we've judged human intelligence by our ability to talk. And just look at where that belief has gotten us: from politics to energy, we're deeper in conceptual debt than ever. This session shows how combining our innate verbal and visual skills is the only way we're going to solve the big problems ahead.

4) The Final (Mobile) Frontier: Battery Life in Africa (Gabrielle Rosario and Mike Stopforth)
Africa is a much misunderstood market, but potentially as large as China or India. Computer and internet penetration is extremely low, but cellphones are everywhere. How to tackle communication and social services on a continent where electricity - including charging cellphones in rural areas - is the greatest challenge.

5) Getting Your Company Funded (Reid Hoffman and Justin Fishner-Wolfso)
In this presentation, learn all the basics on how to take your company to the next level. Get the skinny on how to accept angel or VC funding without giving away the farm. There's so much jargon around financing and this session will debunk it all -- including term sheets, liquidation preferences, board composition, demand rights, option pools, valuations and much much more.

6) Interactive Infographics (GOOD)
Insights and examples from the frontier of interactive infographics. The smart, interactive presentation of data is emerging as a new form of media. Still in an early stage, this format shows major promise. We'll explore what this is all about and where it's going.

7) Design for the Dark Side (IDEO)
Design usually focuses on making the world around us better - optimism often rules the roost in our industry. But what might happen if we forced ourselves to design for a catastrophic or dystopian future? Can we learn something by designing for a darker side of human experience?

8) DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education (Anya Kamenetz)

9) UX Process Improved: Integrating User Insight (Steve Portigal and Aviva Rosenstein)
Finding detailed specifications for implementing user research methods is easy - but matching specific methods to your particular needs can be a challenge. We'll outline an underlying framework for research approaches so you'll understand why each method works as well as when to use it.

10) Keynote by Valerie Casey

(Now to check out the music and film line up!)

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