An Event Apart Minneapolis 2010

I had the distinct pleasure of presenting at An Event Apart 2009 in Boston and Chicago (read about my experience), so imagine my delight when Jeffrey and Eric asked me to reprise my talk this year in Minneapolis and San Diego!

AEA attendees are a tough crowd — they’re already smart, successful and very well-informed on the latest and greatest the web has to offer — so teaching them something new and getting them to think about something they haven’t before certainly isn’t an easy task. To say I was scared, despite having done it twice before, would be the understatement of the century. I was terrified. In fact, I was shaking when I woke up, and nauseous up until the moment I hit the stage.

Giving the same talk two years in a row can be particularly troubling because everyone in the audience might have already seen it the year before! Or at least that’s what I told myself. Everyone already knows this stuff. Everyone is smarter than me. Everyone is gonna think I’m ugly. Yes, these are the things I kept telling myself.

Much to my surprise (again), the talk was a hit. I’d made a few tweaks since the last time I gave it, so the updated slides are posted below, along with tweets from the audience.

Whitney Hess

Thank you so much to everyone who cared enough to listen, who took the time to come up to me afterwards and offer their thanks. If I can encourage just one person to start bringing their users into the design process, then I feel like I’ve done my job.

If you were in the audience and enjoyed the presentation, please tell me about it in the comments. And if you didn’t enjoy it, I definitely want to hear from you as well. I practice what I preach, and continuous improvement is very much a part of my life. So help me!

Great notes on DIY UX

From Luke W
From Marc Drummond
From RedMonkey
From Recursive Awesome
Twitter stream from A Feed Apart




Amazing pics from John Morrison, David Rutledge and others.

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  1. says

    I brought 5 people on our team and we all really liked your approach to usability. A less formal, more relevant way to involve users was refreshing to hear. We started doing it in new ways a couple days after your talk. Thanks so much!

  2. says

    Hey Whitney,

    I’ve had the good fortune to see your presentation twice. It was great in Boston last year, and even better in Minneapolis this year. The updates you made to it are excellent.

    Your talk demonstrates that using UX to help your clients isn’t as complicated as one may think.

    Your point about continual improvement is great. Everything is evolving on the web, right? So why would we think a web site should be or even could be “perfect” when it’s launched? Always room for improvement so have a process to collect information from users and make your site/product/service better over time. I think that’s a key to long-term success for any business.

    Lots of good UX resources in your presentation too, especially regarding user testing. Which is also something that can be kept simple and any testing at all can make a big difference.

    Thank you for pushing yourself to your limits, the rest of us benefit greatly.

  3. says

    Hey Whitney,
    I was most excited to see your presentation at AEA in Minneapolis, and you didn’t let me down. Great job! (And you’re not ugly! :)

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