UX Conferences We’re Looking Forward to in 2020

Written by

Sara Keats

Convey UX2019 Conference Header

Image: Attendees just before the opening keynote presentation at ConveyUX Seattle in 2019.

A lot goes into to the selection of what industry conference to attend. Of course, you are going to carefully consider the sessions, read up on the speakers, and consider the overall program. But there is also the travel to consider, the destination, and the overall vibe.

There are countless conference round-ups out there, so here is a list that focuses on the conferences we’re actually attending next year.

Interaction20

February 2–7, 2020
Milan, Italy
https://interaction20.ixda.org

Interaction Week is one of the largest design events of the year. The conference is dedicated to, “design and its consequences.” Interaction Week is the flagship event of the IxDA, whose local chapters produce events throughout the year.

We’re especially excited about Interaction20 this year because our own Siri Mehus is included in the awesome speaker line-up. Siri is a research director based in our Seattle studio, and she’s presenting her work on evolving UX research methodologies for voice. With over fifteen years of experience designing and executing studies of situated human behavior, Siri is uniquely situated to lead a global conversation on conducting user experience research with voice-driven products. There are few sessions about designing for voice at Interaction20, but Siri’s talk is the only one focused specifically on research.

ConveyUX Seattle

March 3–5, 2020
Seattle, WA
https://conveyux.com/

Blink is the headline sponsor of ConveyUX, so of course we are going to be there. Program manager Joe Welinske, who is also our Accessibility Director, has been organizing ConveyUX for eight years. The Seattle conference in March is the biggest conference he’s planned yet.

ConveyUX is Seattle’s premier user experience conference.
The lectures and workshops cover UX research, design, engineering, and strategy, and there are ample opportunities to network with speakers and other attendees. This year, there are two high-profile keynote speakers, Jared Spool and Stacey Higginbotham. Blink also has a few speakers presenting at the conference: chief strategy officer David Westen, principal UX designer Heidi Adkisson, head of design Peter Stern, marketing director Brent Summers, and UX designer Lauren Javor. Obviously we’re biased, but we think this is one you really shouldn’t miss.

Leading Design

San Francisco, CA
March 4–6, 2020
https://leadingdesign.com/conf...

Ben Shown, a design director in Blink’s Boston studio, attended the Leading Design conference in New York last June. “The conference has challenged me to think more actively about career growth for my design team,” says Ben, “specifically to take up sponsorship and advocacy over passive advising and mentorship.”

Based on Ben’s rave reviews, some of our other leading designers are going this year, including Scott Lambrisis, head of design in San Francisco, and Irene Barber and Laura Blanchard, design directors in our Seattle studio. The objective of the conference is to, “[bring] together experts who lead design teams, oversee design direction and instil a culture of design within their organisations.”

Advancing Research 2020

March 30–April 1, 2020
New York, NY
https://rosenfeldmedia.com/adv...

Advancing Research is, “a new conference for people who do research” from Rosenfeld, one of the most trusted user experience conference producers. The program is not announced yet, but we’re betting it’ll feature an array of quantitative and qualitative user research topics.

“Advancing Research is a new conference I am excited about because it is dedicated to UX and CX research,” says San Diego-based UX researcher Brittany Johnson. “There aren’t many research specific conferences, and this one looks legit.”

Epicurrence

TBD 2020
TBD Location

Epicurrence—get it? Like “epic” “occurrence”—invites designers to meet for two days for outdoor activities, workshops, and authentic conversations.

“The dates and location for 2020 have not been released, but I've been looking at it for several years,” says Byron Baker, head of design in Seattle. Last year’s conference was in Breckenridge, Colorado and promised serious skiing and snowboarding by day, and intimate cabin conversations at night.

Design Thinking

April 14-17, 2020
Austin, TX
https://designthinkingusa.iqpc...

“This sounds like a great conference that happens here in Austin,” says director of client relations Lauren Martin. "This would be a great way for our practitioners to meet other designers and researchers while exploring everything Austin has to offer."

Since Blink opened a studio Austin in 2018, we have grown to love the vibrant, creative design community there. The Design Thinking conference includes learning sessions, networking events, and the Design & Innovation Awards. We haven’t attended this event in the past, but we’re looking forward to checking it out this year.

San Diego Start-Up Week

May 26 – 30, 2020
San Diego, CA
https://sandiegostartupweek.co...

Our San Diego studio has been a part of the vibrant local design and tech communities for years. Last year, we were pleased to co-host a lean canvas workshop, a Black women in tech panel, and pitch competition with We Tha Plug during San Diego Start-Up Week. This year, Blink will once again welcome attendees to explore our San Diego studio during the Startup UnCrawl.

“Startup Week has become a milestone event on the San Diego calendar,” says San Diego-based marketing director Brent Summers. “It showcases the multi-national, cross-industry talent and world-class lifestyle of our city. No other event celebrates our rich history of innovation like Startup Week.” We can’t wait to see what the organizers have in store for 2020.

These are just a few of the upcoming conferences on our radar. Next year is packed with opportunities to get out there and learn from experts and peers in other organizations.


What conferences are you looking forward to in 2020?

Let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn. We might add your recommendation to our list!

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