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Ux Local Groups


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  • Transcript

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