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When UX takes over your life!

Ryan Sackett User Experience Consultant

Outside of my day to day as a UX Consultant at Precedent Towers, I  decided that balance was needed for a better work life balance, so I decided what better hobby to take up than – you guessed it – more UX stuff!

I have helped run UXPA Scotland, a network that is designed to support people who research, design and evaluate the user experience of products and services for the past few years now. Over the last year I have taken charge of the ever growing events schedule, and, specifically the programme of speakers.

Despite occasionally wondering if without realising it, ‘has UX slowly taken over my life’? I get so much out of it that I know doing more is better than nothing at all. But like many of us with out of work ‘professional hobbies’, my efforts are sporadic and time intensive and you find yourself in a constant juggling act , trying to ensure you can accommodate it all.

A few weeks ago, after being approached to help out with the forthcoming UX Scotland conference, yet another UX work/hobby that I couldn’t turn down, I found myself reviewing a huge stack of submissions from members of the UX community looking to speak at the event. Delighted and daunted just about summed it up.

I couldn’t escape the fact that there are so many interesting facets to UX. The discipline is so vast and varied that choosing the right mix of speakers and topics was no mean feat.  I was grateful that I had so much involvement finding speakers and content for the events programme for UXPA  Scotland as the task ahead was a daunting,  and in truth, reviewing talks for a paying event felt like a different beast altogether. When the quality is so good and those submitting talks are people you respect, judging becomes all the more difficult.

I made my choices, made them again, then again and after a bit more deliberation I got there in the end. I’d been supplied with a criteria, but in the end found that gut instinct seemed to balance out three key factors – how current the topic was; if the talk felt practical; and, finally if the content sounded interesting.

I am happy to report my selections all satisfied at least two of the three criteria and I’m looking forward to seeing them, and as many others as I can squeeze in, when the conference rolls into Edinburgh on June 20 & 21 this year.