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Why I’m Attending Interaction 09, and You Should Too!

December 22, 2008 | Comment?

In February 2009, I’ll be heading up to Vancouver BC to attend Interaction’09, the annual conference organized by IxDA, the Interaction Design Association. I couldn’t be more excited. Why?

This is my tribe of people. Some call themselves interaction designers, some call themselves information architects, some have other variations. But really, they’re all intelligent, curious, kind people with a fascination for how people interact with technology, and improving it in their own way. Just being around them inspires me.

Every time I attend a conference or event like this, I get to see my old friends and spend some time with them. Then I get to meet new people as well, trade stories, and end the evening at the hotel bar with everyone. The sense of community is incredible. And with many people connecting this year via Twitter, it’s bound to border on family reunion.

Oh yeah, it’s a conference!

The keynote speakers are incredible. John Thackara from the Doors of Perception will talk about the sustainability challenges that interaction designers face. Fiona Raby from the Royal College of Art will speak. Genevieve Bell from Intel’s Digital Home Group will speak. Dan Saffer will fire us up to seize our opportunity to shape the 21st century. Marc Rettig will talk about changing the big stuff, like the world. And to close the conference, Kim Goodwin from Cooper will talk about delivering on the promise of interaction design.

And that’s only the keynoters. For 45-minute session talks, there will also be Luke Wroblewski, Leisa Reichelt, Katherine Coombs, Robert Fabricant, Bjorn Hartman, Jenifer Tidwell, Christina Wodtke and David Malouf.

If that’s not enough reason to attend, how about 28 more Lightning Round 25-minute sessions? Topics here range from An Agile UI Pattern Creation Process, Interaction Design Synthesis: Translating Research into Insight, Mission Critical Interaction Design and 25 others. It’s a candy store of knowledge.

But wait, there’s more! A day and a half of workshops preceed the conference. Spend a half day and really dig deep into a topic. There are also two free workshops sponsored by Adobe.

Speaking of which, I’m really excited to be co-hosting one of these workshops with Dan Saffer: Designing for Touchscreens and Interactive Gestures. We’ll be exploring how to design for mediums beyond interacting with the keyboard/mouse.

In the end, it’s all about the people. You’ll meet great people, learn a ton of new things, gain inspiration for the new year, and it’s in Vancouver BC, one of my favorite cities. Go skiing at Whistler afterward!

Learn more at interaction09.ixda.org.

Don’t forget your passport.

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