Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fluxible 2014 was another great success

Fluxible 2014 has come and gone, and it feels good to look back on what was yet another successful event. The program of talks and workshops was wonderful, with ample support from the Festival of Interstitial Music. The feedback that we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive, which is a gratifying thing to see.

The Fluxible team was amazing, attending to all the details that make Fluxible such a special experience for everyone. Whether it was the delicious food, the customized water bottles, the Saturday party, or even, inexplicably, the live goats, there was someone making sure that it all came together.

I’m particularly pleased that Fluxible 2014 was at the heart of 5 Days of UX, and that each of the other events was also successful.

My friend Darin White created a terrific photo essay of his experience at Fluxible, and you should check it out to see what you missed, or what you enjoyed, as the case may be.

Bob and I are delighted with the outcome, and are already planning for next year's event. I hope you’re thinking about joining us in 2015!

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Festival of Interstitial Music, 2014 edition

This past weekend was the 2014 edition of Fluxible. I’ll write more about that shortly.

As any Fluxible attendee knows, music is a big part of the Fluxible experience. And we don’t announce anything about the music ahead of time. We do love our little surprises! We also want everyone to be able to experience the music free of any context and expectations.

But eventually we do reveal all!

This year’s Festival of Interstitial Music was an eclectic one, ranging from baritone saxophone improvisations, to a rousing tour of fiddle styles, to a looping extravaganza on multiple instruments, to a sultry and solo-format-defying duet. I’m grateful to all the musicians who play at Fluxible for sharing their music with us. That they make the Region (or nearby) home is a wonderful thing. Do get out and hear them play some time!

This post first appeared in a slightly different form at the Fluxible site.

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's another edition of the UX party disguised as a conference

This coming weekend is the third edition of Fluxible, the UX party disguised as a conference that I co-chair with Bob Barlow-Busch.

Even after having staged this thing twice before, the 2014 edition of Fluxible has enough twists and novelties to keep it interesting. There’s a lot of work that goes into putting on an event like this, but it’s spread out over a whole calendar year, and we have a great team who each take on challenges and make them seem easy.

As always, we have a superb lineup of speakers who generously share their time and expertise and experience to help build a global UX community. Bob and I invite speakers who we want to meet and learn from, and we’re happy that so many others want to learn from them as well.

It’s gratifying to see it all come together again. Be sure to find me and say hello if you’re there.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tune in to 570 on the AM dial

This week I had a fun experience promoting Fluxible on the radio (and, yes, I’ll write more about Fluxible soon). Bob Barlow-Busch and I were on 570 News, joining Eric Drozd for the Tuesday #TechHour and a lunchtime discussion about UX in general and our experiences with Fluxible.

We were initially connected with the show by Chris Plunkett of Communitech, and we were thrilled at the opportunity to talk about user experience for an hour in the middle of the day on AM radio. Where else but Waterloo Region could that happen? Of course, Bob and I quickly realized that the two of us talking for a whole hour would wear a little thin. We recruited Fluxible 2013 speaker Steve Portigal, Fluxible 2014 speaker Brent Bisaillion, and UW Stratford faculty member Karin Schmidlin to join in as well. That made for a much more interesting range of voices!

Eric was a wonderfully engaged, and engaging, host. He made it easy to talk about the role of UX in creating meaningful products, and the hour flew by. And, as an aside, it was a far different environment than in my days in university radio, where the studios were filled with vinyl, carts, and reel-to-reel tapes!

If you missed it, you can listen to a recording of the show here.

Big thanks to Chris, Eric, and producer Neil Adams for making this happen!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Designing and building at Boltmade

It’s been a while since I wrote a post for this blog (though I do post at Fluxible and uxWaterloo), but there are a few things happening that warrant posts here. For now, I’ll mention that I’ve joined Boltmade, a terrific software product design and development shop here in Waterloo. I’ve known Jim Murphy and some of the other folks at Boltmade for several years, and I’m delighted to be working with them to create great software for our clients. It’s a wonderful group of people, and I love what Boltmade is doing.

I enjoyed four years of designing and building heathcare products with the team at Karos Health, and will miss the daily opportunity to work with them. On the other hand, they’re just a short walk away from Boltmade, and I know that lunches and beers after work will remain a staple of those relationships!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Open Ears and Little Match Girl Passion

I joined the board of directors of Open Ears earlier this year.

Open Ears is a “Festival of Music and Sound”, the next edition of which is coming in June, 2014. There will be some great stuff happening, and artistic director Gregory Oh has been hard at work putting together what looks like will be a fantastic program. Announcements will come as things firm up and the marketing train gets rolling!

I’m excited about the musical adventures that I am a part of in my role at Open Ears. The main activities have been a little on-site volunteer work at the Between the Ears festival last May 30 and May 31 (along with one of my sons), and working through planning for next June’s main Open Ears event.

There’s another Open Ears event coming in just a few days that you should know about as well.

David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion will be performed at Conrad Grebel College Chapel in Waterloo, at 2:30pm in the afternoon on Saturday December 21. You should really check out all the details, but the piece is based on a Hans Christian Andersen story about the dreams and death of a young girl, and draws musical inspiration from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Oh, and it’s the winner of a 2008 Pulitzer Prize and a 2010 Grammy Award!

Gregory told me last week that the performers have been moved to tears during rehearsals for Little Match Girl Passion, which is pretty amazing.

Tickets are available in advance online, and can also be purchased at the door. But really, why wait and risk disappointment? Get them online!

Monday, July 29, 2013

You’ve heard about Fluxible, right?

Fluxible: A User Experience Design Event
Once again, it’s been a long while between posts here. Oddly enough, though, I’d created several drafts on topics that, in some cases, no longer seem timely. I’ll see about getting to some of the others.

Meanwhile, one activity that has been a focus of my attention is ongoing preparations for Fluxible, this year’s edition of the user experience conference that I co-chair with Bob Barlow-Busch. Last year’s event was a wonderful success, as hinted at in the video that we released this past March, and this year’s version promises to be at least as engaging, enlightening, and energizing.

Have a look at the line-up of wonderful speakers who will be sharing their wisdom and experience through our program of talks and workshops. Of course, the chance to meet and talk with UX folks from a variety of settings remains an important part of Fluxible. Great stuff!

And, as was the case last year, the Festival of Interstitial Music will be happening concurrently in time and space with Fluxible. It’s pretty certain that we’ll have some fun surprises in store as well.

Registration remains a bargain, with Early Bird pricing available until August 9. Go register now to ensure that you’ll be able to attend what Bob and like to call the UX party conference.