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Local Groups How-To (and Why) Stacy Merrill Surla [email_address] RUX (Richmond UX Group) April 30, 2008
Why are local groups important?
Hard to do it alone <ul><ul><li>The profession is growing, but... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A large proportion of UX prof...
<ul><li>“ Communities of Practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn ho...
<ul><ul><li>Local groups give UXs regular social and intellectual contact with peers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validation...
<ul><li>Local groups are more than just a nice thing to have.  They're the key to the future. Building IA as a profession ...
<ul><li>“ Whether we like it or not, we are all in the business of influencing people's thoughts and behaviors; we are age...
Challenges
<ul><li>&quot;Why were people so excited about doing things when we talked in person, but when I followed up later via ema...
<ul><li>“ When the dot com crash happened, the IA role disappeared. People hunkered down into roles that could be justifie...
<ul><li>“ There are lots of professional groups, but no social groups. There's no place to go to talk about issues at work...
<ul><li>“ In Germany we have five or six big cities where IAs could work, but these cities are far apart. The Netherlands ...
<ul><li>Where do we start?  </li></ul><ul><li>How do we gather interest? </li></ul><ul><li>Are we overdoing?  Underdoing? ...
How Do You Do It?
<ul><li>“ A little perspiration, a lot of love, and a few glasses of wine” </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew Boyd, Canberra, Austra...
<ul><li>Successful local groups work in three domains:  </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer leadership, project management, and  p...
<ul><li>Think “Spa” when organizing your group and when planning activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Everything should be refres...
<ul><li>Involve everybody who wants in </li></ul><ul><li>Give it away </li></ul>Volunteer Leadership
<ul><li>Makes some simple plans </li></ul><ul><li>Up the ante when you get good at it </li></ul><ul><li>Replicate your suc...
Tips <ul><li>From the “ Create a Network ” checklist on iainstitute.org  </li></ul>
<ul><li>Speak up on listservs about your group </li></ul><ul><li>Find people and and invite them (eg IAI Member Directory,...
<ul><li>Decide what &quot;success&quot; means to you.  </li></ul><ul><li>An event with 3 people or 20? One good conversati...
<ul><li>Face to Face Meetups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Little or no agenda (dinner, cocktail/coffee hour) </li></ul></ul><ul><...
<ul><li>More Ambitious Events </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Event redux </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deliverables fair </li></ul></u...
<ul><li>Virtual Meetings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teleconference (e.g. via Skype) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local or regiona...
<ul><li>Enough room </li></ul><ul><li>Right ambiance for the activity </li></ul><ul><li>Centrally located; good parking or...
<ul><li>Setting up the local group itself is a project </li></ul><ul><li>Organizing each event is a project </li></ul><ul>...
<ul><li>Start a discussion list </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider: Announcements only, or discussion? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>...
<ul><li>Keep things as simple as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat whatever works best </li></ul><ul><li>Quality matters m...
<ul><li>Read a book about organizing volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Read a book about event planning </li></ul><ul><li>Make ...
<ul><li>“ We’ll support flamenco  dancing if an IA wants to organize it” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dan Brown, DCIA </li></ul><...
What’s Next
<ul><li>What’s happened so far? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s your next event? </li></ul><ul><li>Which challenges or tips are r...
<ul><li>Beyond checklists, local leaders need infrastructure, recognition, and the weight of established organizations beh...
<ul><li>“ The average IA is not a rock star in persona. She's thoughtful, slightly quiet, considerate – an unlikely candid...
<ul><li>Thank you, Ironworks, for supporting RUX </li></ul>Support for the Community of Practice
<ul><li>Etienne Wenger  http://www.ewenger.com </li></ul><ul><li>BJ Fogg  http://www.bjfogg.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew ...
<ul><li>IA Institute  http://iainstitute.org/en/network/ </li></ul><ul><li>Local Groups Coordinator Survey, 2007  http://i...
<ul><li>Stacy Merrill Surla </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>Contact
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  • Transcript of "Ux Local Groups"

    1. 1. Local Groups How-To (and Why) Stacy Merrill Surla [email_address] RUX (Richmond UX Group) April 30, 2008
    2. 2. Why are local groups important?
    3. 3. Hard to do it alone <ul><ul><li>The profession is growing, but... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A large proportion of UX professionals still work in relative isolation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many projects rely on contractors – UXs who have to work on their own </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Even companies with UX teams can lack managers who understand and care about user experience </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>“ Communities of Practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” </li></ul><ul><li>Etienne Wenger, Cultivating Communities of Practice </li></ul>Creates a Community of Practice
    5. 5. <ul><ul><li>Local groups give UXs regular social and intellectual contact with peers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validation and connectedness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crucibles for new ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer projects help people network and get established in the profession or in new locations </li></ul></ul>Creates a Community of Practice
    6. 6. <ul><li>Local groups are more than just a nice thing to have. They're the key to the future. Building IA as a profession requires building IAs as professionals. </li></ul>Builds the Field
    7. 7. <ul><li>“ Whether we like it or not, we are all in the business of influencing people's thoughts and behaviors; we are agents of change. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The stakes are higher now than ever before. How can one design for impact with awareness, efficiency, and responsibility?” </li></ul><ul><li>BJ Fogg, Persuasive Technology </li></ul>Improves the World
    8. 8. Challenges
    9. 9. <ul><li>&quot;Why were people so excited about doing things when we talked in person, but when I followed up later via email, nothing happened?” </li></ul><ul><li> Javier Velasco, Santiago, Chile </li></ul>Big-Picture Challenges
    10. 10. <ul><li>“ When the dot com crash happened, the IA role disappeared. People hunkered down into roles that could be justified, like visual design and programming.” </li></ul><ul><li>Jason Hobbs, Johannesburg, South Africa </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>Big-Picture Challenges
    11. 11. <ul><li>“ There are lots of professional groups, but no social groups. There's no place to go to talk about issues at work. We need a place to have human contact and talk about professional IA.” </li></ul><ul><li>Mary MacDonald, Boston, MA </li></ul>Big-Picture Challenges
    12. 12. <ul><li>“ In Germany we have five or six big cities where IAs could work, but these cities are far apart. The Netherlands has one main city. They have a local group and are meeting regularly. I'm very jealous of places like Amsterdam where people can get together and drink beer and talk about IA.” </li></ul><ul><li>Wolf Nöding, Nürnberg, Germany </li></ul>Big-Picture Challenges
    13. 13. <ul><li>Where do we start? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we gather interest? </li></ul><ul><li>Are we overdoing? Underdoing? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we keep up momentum? </li></ul><ul><li>IAI Local Groups Coordinator Survey </li></ul>On the Ground Challenges
    14. 14. How Do You Do It?
    15. 15. <ul><li>“ A little perspiration, a lot of love, and a few glasses of wine” </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew Boyd, Canberra, Australia </li></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>Successful local groups work in three domains: </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer leadership, project management, and party planning </li></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><li>Think “Spa” when organizing your group and when planning activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Everything should be refreshing, fun, meaningful, and good for you. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep things as simple as possible, but no simpler </li></ul><ul><li>Declare victory and celebrate often </li></ul>Party Planning
    18. 18. <ul><li>Involve everybody who wants in </li></ul><ul><li>Give it away </li></ul>Volunteer Leadership
    19. 19. <ul><li>Makes some simple plans </li></ul><ul><li>Up the ante when you get good at it </li></ul><ul><li>Replicate your successes </li></ul><ul><li>Work with related associations </li></ul>Project Management
    20. 20. Tips <ul><li>From the “ Create a Network ” checklist on iainstitute.org </li></ul>
    21. 21. <ul><li>Speak up on listservs about your group </li></ul><ul><li>Find people and and invite them (eg IAI Member Directory, LinkedIn, Facebook...) </li></ul><ul><li>Attend events of related associations and cross-promote the group </li></ul><ul><li>Have an action item for people to respond to, like a low-key face-to-face meetup </li></ul>Reach out to like-minded individuals
    22. 22. <ul><li>Decide what &quot;success&quot; means to you. </li></ul><ul><li>An event with 3 people or 20? One good conversation? Enthusiasm and the next event scheduled? </li></ul>Organize an event
    23. 23. <ul><li>Face to Face Meetups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Little or no agenda (dinner, cocktail/coffee hour) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy agenda (book group) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning meetings (future events, activities, infrastructure) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meet during a conference (breakfast, cocktails, dinner) </li></ul></ul>Organize an event
    24. 24. <ul><li>More Ambitious Events </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Event redux </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deliverables fair </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guest speakers (invite IA presenters, writers, workshop leaders when they’re in town) </li></ul></ul>Organize an event
    25. 25. <ul><li>Virtual Meetings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teleconference (e.g. via Skype) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local or regional listserv </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online virtual environment (e.g. Second Life) </li></ul></ul>Organize an event
    26. 26. <ul><li>Enough room </li></ul><ul><li>Right ambiance for the activity </li></ul><ul><li>Centrally located; good parking or public transport </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coffee shops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restaurants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bookstores </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public libraries / Community centers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Colleges / Universities with related programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your home </li></ul></ul>Find good locations and reuse them
    27. 27. <ul><li>Setting up the local group itself is a project </li></ul><ul><li>Organizing each event is a project </li></ul><ul><li>Offer a site redesign plan to a local nonprofit </li></ul><ul><li>Envision a service you'd like to see through an affinity association, and offer to bring it into being </li></ul>Organize a project
    28. 28. <ul><li>Start a discussion list </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider: Announcements only, or discussion? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Start a website </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider: How will it be maintained? How about a blog? </li></ul></ul>Stay in communication
    29. 29. <ul><li>Keep things as simple as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat whatever works best </li></ul><ul><li>Quality matters more than numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Declare victory and celebrate often </li></ul>Keep a good attitude
    30. 30. <ul><li>Read a book about organizing volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Read a book about event planning </li></ul><ul><li>Make a project plan, a timeline, a network diagram, or other management prop </li></ul><ul><li>Involve everybody who wants to participate </li></ul>Grow as a leader
    31. 31. <ul><li>“ We’ll support flamenco dancing if an IA wants to organize it” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dan Brown, DCIA </li></ul></ul>Grow as a leader
    32. 32. What’s Next
    33. 33. <ul><li>What’s happened so far? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s your next event? </li></ul><ul><li>Which challenges or tips are relevant now? </li></ul>Next Steps for RUX
    34. 34. <ul><li>Beyond checklists, local leaders need infrastructure, recognition, and the weight of established organizations behind them </li></ul>Support for the Community of Practice
    35. 35. <ul><li>“ The average IA is not a rock star in persona. She's thoughtful, slightly quiet, considerate – an unlikely candidate for evangelist in many respects. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Feeling there's a community behind you is a big support – even if it's invisible, even if it's present only in the imagination.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Jason Hobbs </li></ul>Support for the Community of Practice
    36. 36. <ul><li>Thank you, Ironworks, for supporting RUX </li></ul>Support for the Community of Practice
    37. 37. <ul><li>Etienne Wenger http://www.ewenger.com </li></ul><ul><li>BJ Fogg http://www.bjfogg.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew Boyd, Running a Successful IA Cocktail Hour Program http://iacanberra.org/2008/04/03/running-a-successful-ia-cocktail-hour-program/ </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Stacy Merrill Surla, Building IA Means Building Local Groups http://www.asis.org/Bulletin/Dec-06/surla.html </li></ul><ul><li>Create Network Checklist http://iainstitute.org/documents/localgroups/LG_Check_CreateNetwork.doc </li></ul><ul><li>Organize Conference Redux Tipsheet http://iainstitute.org/documents/localgroups/LG_Tip_Redux.doc </li></ul><ul><li>Leading Successful Volunteer Projects </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.slideshare.net/stacysurla/leading-successful-volunteer-projects/ </li></ul>Links
    38. 38. <ul><li>IA Institute http://iainstitute.org/en/network/ </li></ul><ul><li>Local Groups Coordinator Survey, 2007 http://iainstitute.org/en/learn/research/local_groups_coordinator_survey_2007.php </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>IxDA http://www.ixda.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>UXNet http://www.uxnet.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>UPA http://www.upassoc.org/chapters/ </li></ul>Links
    39. 39. <ul><li>Stacy Merrill Surla </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>Contact
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