World Usability Day Tallinn 2014 – Looking Back at the Biggest UX Event in the Baltics
Some you might know that we are the driving force behind the World Usability Day Tallinn conference along with Tallinn University and EstCHI. Here is a quick overview of what went on at the event along with some interesting statistics.
Surprisingly we ran out of conference passes in just a few days. Eventually we closed our registration when the number hit 490 participants, which unfortunately meant that more than 90 people were left on the waiting list.
My personal guess is that if you can get 300 people signed up before you have released any information regarding the speakers and topics then it's pretty sure to say that you are on the right track. The event is gearing up to be one of the biggest UX conferences not just in the Baltics, but also in Scandinavia and Central Europe.
Snapshot of conference attendees
This year brought a spike among people working in management positions, followed by designers, analysts, project managers, and developers. This spike shows that UX has gathered the attention of decision makers and not just designers or developers, i.e. 'the usual suspects'.
Speakers, panelists and sponsors
This time we had three great speakers from abroad.
- Tommy Strandvall – Eye Tracking Expert and Trainer at Tobii Technology, Sweden
- Mall Allpere – Senior UX Manager at TeliaSonera, previously at Electrolux, Sweden
- Aga Szoštek– UX Design Professor and Design Manager, Poland
We also had a panel discussion. The topic was measuring usability and included several panelists, including:
- David Lamas – Interaction Design Professor at Tallinn University
- Hegle Sarapuu – Chief Experience Officer at Trinidad Consulting
- Risto Hinno – IT Service Development Advisor at the Estonian Department of Economic Affairs
- Janno Kauts – Leading Specialist at Tallinn City Government
- ...plus 2 more panelists from the Estonian public sector
The event was once again moderated by Peeter Marvet.
This time the conference was a little bit different
The main theme behind this year’s conference was engagement. We had quite a lot of discussions among ourselves about adding game elements into the mix. Ideas ranged from physical games, interactive boards and prizes under the seats to music games and throwable soft and plushy microphones for Q&A's.
Ultimately it was our gamification designer Taavi who suggested we try LiveCube, the gamified event app, which he was involved with during his time in New York. The app has been used at some huge conferences in the US with pretty impressive results.
It really became a game for some people, maybe even drawing a bit of attention away from the event itself. Using LiveCube we also launched our hashtag #wudtallinn to the Twittersphere, reaching well over 250 000 people on Twitter.
Our prizes included remote user testing sessions from Loop 11, one Experimental Interaction Design Winter School pass from Tallinn University and 10 hours of free UX consultations from Trinidad Consulting.
Loop 11 remote user testing prizes went to:
- Raimo Reiman – 5 user testing sessions
- Kristjan Karmo – 3 user testing sessions
- Justpickles – 1 user testing session
Interaction Design Winter School pass went to the second best picture taker Raimo Reiman (EPL) while 10 hours of free UX consultations went to Sander Laumets (Ericsson).
If you missed the conference then you can see all the presentations below. The presentations will soon be uploaded to YouTube as well.
You might have noticed that I ran around the conference with a microphone and a cameraman, bugging everyone whenever I got the chance. The outcome can now be seen below. Our point was to highlight what the event is all about and ask what UX means to the participants.
Afterparty – sponsored by Trinidad Consulting
Our official afterparty was held at the Garage48 HUB. This time it wasn’t just drinks with speakers and a few attendees. Instead we hosted a full networking party lasting until midnight. It would probably have gone for longer if we didn’t run out of beer.
Several designers took advantage of the situation and both showcased their games and let people test their games in the process. One of those being Rikai Games, a small Estonian game studio building educational games.
Next conference in November 2015
You can already contact us and let us know how you could sponsor our conference. Meanwhile you can join our regular EstCHI meetups, which will return after a short and well-deserved break.
Rest assured that we will be bringing more and more guest speakers to Estonia to speak about the world of UX and interaction design. Our next meetup will probably happen after February or May. The exact time is not yet decided.
If you have a topic that you would like us to address or speakers that you would like to see at the conference / meetup then let us know in the comments below. :)