A few times over the past month, I’ve been lucky enough to find myself in the company of Atlanta’s incredibly intelligent and welcoming UX community. I can honestly say that after a few years of not having access to a community like this, I see no reason why not to get immediately involved…so I am jumping right in because the
koolaid water is just right. Here’s a quick recap of some recent local events:
Atlanta IxDA :: local leaders meeting
I’ve been a mentor for the IxDA for awhile, but I’ve not had the luxury of living in a city with a local chapter until now. So when I was invited to attend the Atlanta IxDA Local Leaders 2011 planning meeting, I jumped at the opportunity to get involved.
The local leaders that I met (Danny Muller, Jamie McAtee, Alisan Atvur, Josh Cothran and David Demembrum) are fantastic. They gave me the rundown on the general pulse of the Atlanta UX community, recapped some of their best events from the past year, and discussed learnings from organizing and moderating those events. From there, we brainstormed on the 2011 calendar. Although it isn’t public yet, at some point it will be made available on the Atlanta IxDA site. The events I signed up to help organize are scheduled for the summer months (after I’ve delivered my book manuscript), and suffice it to say that I am incredibly excited about playing a small part in shaping what happens next year.
Last month, CHI*Atlanta hosted Karen Holtzblatt, the co-author of the incredible book Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems. In her talk “Practical Innovation,” she deconstructs the product development journeys of both the iPhone and of the technology behind Cameron’s Avatar, and spells out how both of these “game-changers” really are just a set of already well-understood and well-distributed technologies, recombined in a new way with a surprising and experiential “twist” that together catapulted both products into history. Karen is an absolute force of nature, and if you ever get a chance to see her speak, GO. In case you didn’t already know, Karen also happens to be the brains behind the Contextual Inquiry method…really, must I say more?
Tonight (11/18), CHI*Atlanta will host Eric Peterson at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. Eric is the author of Web Analytics Demystified and The Big Book of Key Performance Indicators. I look forward to hearing what he has to say regarding the merging and synthesis of the constant qualitative and quantitative data sets generated by Web Analytics, and also, hear a little about how he helps organizations see beyond data sources to actually helping them articulate the questions they really want to have answered. If he throws in some insight I haven’t heard yet regarding A/B tests, I’ll be a happy girl. (Props to Colleen Jones and Toni Pashley for organizing these great events.)
(I am also very appreciative of the fact that this month, I have met two experts (Hotzblatt, Peterson) for three of the methods that I will cover in my book (Contextual Inquiry, Web Analytics, and Key Performance Indicators). It is not lost on me that pieces of the puzzle for the book continue to show up at my doorstep at every turn.)