UX Fest is happening on June 4, 2018. A reasonable question to ask, especially for those not among the 2,000+ attendees of previous Fresh Tilled Soil events, is who comes to UX Fest and why? Will there be designers present? (Yes) How about product leaders? (Yes). Developers? (Mmm hmm) Can you promise unicorns and show ponies? (That would be weird. It would be weird, wouldn’t it?)
Who Comes to UX Fest?
Many (most?) conferences and events are either intentionally very narrowly-focused on a single role (e.g., Marketing or Sales) or broadly-focused to encompass an entire industry. UX Fest targets the middle area that includes all those involved in creating experiences. User Experience is an umbrella term that includes a lot of disciplines – design, brand, strategy, development, and product to name a few. All fall under the User Experience banner.
It’s incredibly valuable to involve the whole team in designing products and solutions. With their diverse skills, mindsets, and experiences it would be foolish not to. Everyone has a role, and every job is an inherently creative one, whether it’s obvious (designers) or not (engineers). Some of the best product solutions we have worked on at Fresh Tilled Soil have come from engineers who have such a good understanding of the problem space (thanks to a great product leader) and an inherent grasp of the opportunity afforded by the technology stack, that finding quick, elegant solutions to customer needs becomes second nature.
We recognize that the most successful teams are cross-functional teams that can get close to the customer. UX Fest brings together all of these people from different disciplines (and sometimes independently-operating silos) within the organization to have a conversation about what’s important to their particular project, product, role, or business.
The user experience isn’t just the designer’s responsibility. It doesn’t just live in a CEO’s hands. It lives in every single person and department as part of the culture of an organization. It’s in everyone’s hands to make everything really fantastic for the user. Everyone in the company owns the product experience, and its success or failure rests with each person who touches it.
The roster of speakers at UX Fest is composed of diverse, visionary product and design leaders. They are inspirational storytellers, but they are also like us – they are doing the work alongside us.
What about the companies that will be represented? What if I’m in an early-stage start-up trying to validate product-market fit? What if I’m head of design for a large enterprise organization with a huge product team that’s distributed across multiple offices and locations? What if I’m part of a product team at an emerging growth company that’s just trying to figure out what to build next? You should all come!
Conference attendees come from a healthy cross-section of companies by size/stage and type.
Why Do People Come to UX Fest?
The diversity of roles present at UX Fest gives us a new understanding of what UX means to different people and what it can be with a new perspective. It provides us with an opportunity to learn from one another and increases the likelihood of making beautiful products and experiences.
UX Fest isn’t about just sitting in a chair and staring up at somebody speaking. People come to UX Fest to get reinvigorated, to connect, and to have the one-on-one conversations that they don’t normally get to have at conferences. UX Fest attendees come to learn and share ideas with one another.
The upside for Fresh Tilled Soil in hosting this event is we not only get to meet and spend time with our peers, but we also get to strengthen our collective connections with the design community, which makes us all stronger. It makes a rising tide for everybody.
See some of these attendees for yourself:
Come to UX Fest 2018 to be among design evangelists like you!