I’ve been a big fan of The Forge Conference since I first attended several years back.
The user experience (UX) and digital product design conference organized by Fishtown digital product firm O3 World is now in its third year and coming up on Monday, Sept. 26 at the Penn Museum.
Tickets are $375 and I strongly encourage you to get some.
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Here’s why I think the conference is important for Philadelphia.
First of all, UX matters because it is the life and death of your product. With the continued proliferation of startups, ensuring a good user experience has never been more important.
(Need a primer on UX? Check out this great talk from Kevin Jackson of Stitch.)
Take Slack as an example. There are a ton of work chat products out there, but why is Slack dominating? Regardless of who you ask, UX will be one of the top three answers you get. It is simply the difference between happy customers and churning customers.
While it’s long been a critical focus in consumer tech, we used to excuse the enterprise software world with “Well, it’s software for work. It’s your job, it doesn’t have to be easy to use!” Not anymore! Bad UX means no customers, no word of mouth referrals — you get the idea.
By the way, Slack product designer Diogenes Brito will be speaking at Forge and he just recently made Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business list.
The Philadelphia region happens to be really good at UX and UI, and the level of talent here is very strong. Check out the local community associated with PHLDesign or PhillyCHI to get a glimpse of what’s going on there and some of the talent. It is a critical field that is only growing in popularity and demand and is a differentiator for the Philly tech scene, which makes it logical that we should be the home to a preeminent UX/UI event like Forge.
I would strongly recommend getting involved by sponsoring or buying tickets to the event. We at Guru did both. We have sponsored the last two years because I believe it’s that important.
This year’s event will be a opportunity to learn from some of the smartest minds in UX from across the country. With 12 of the 13 speakers coming from outside the region from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Odopod and Mad*Pow, you’ll hear unique perspectives from digital product companies to UX-focused agencies.
Also, I’m excited to hear Steve Hillenius from NASA present —UX for astronauts seems like a can’t miss. 🙂-30-
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