Friday, June 25, 2010

IxDA Los Angeles

I got involved as an organizer with the local chapter of the Interaction Design Association in January of 2008. While there was already a UX group in LA, it was difficult to maintain frequent enough meetings. 60 days between meetings can be enough for people to loose interest. We decided to alternate meetings each month between LA UX MeetUp and IxDA. So members have an industry event every month. This is valuable when you are looking for a job, but also to maintain active participation.

The Los Angeles chapter holds meetings on various UX topics which are lead by the organizers or when possible we bring in a well known expert. We talk with the community to see what they want to talk about for upcoming meetings and try to keep the management as open as possible. This has encouraged individuals to step up and have their time in the lime-light on a topic that may be near and dear to them.

My goal in being involved with these groups is to empower individuals. With the constant struggles we face day to day in our offices to sell design, we need all the support we can get.

Los Angeles User Experience MeetUp

Since July of 2007, I have been and active organizer of the Los Angeles User Experience MeetUp community. I learned early on in my career the value of being in touch with other designers for various reasons:
- Discover what you don't know
- Learn about quality local UX studios
- Help others get into the UX field
- Simply talk with other like minded people

I saw the value of having connected community and once Chris Chandler and Weston Tompson initiated the group, I wanted to make sure it had the support it needed to thrive. I therefore got involved as one of the organizers, leading meeting topics, coordinating and scouting for venues. And as any good IA would do, I organized content in a central place so that as organizers come and go, the tribal knowledge is maintained.

This community of nearly 2000 members has been going strong since it's first meeting and is still growing. It is among the largest local groups in the country for the UX industry.