Why UX Ireland: Part 2 of 2

Tiffany Moon

Content Designer

This is the second instalment of a 2-part series on Why UX Ireland. Click here to read Part 1, where the co-founders discussed the current state of the UX industry in Ireland and the vision for the UX Ireland conference.


We’re back with Séamus Byrne, Director of UX at Graphic Mint, and Mark Dalgarno, CEO and Founder at Software Acumen, for a quick chat about the conference and what to expect at this 2-day event.

Ireland is overflowing with talent and we’ve seen our fair share of design events. How is UX Ireland different?

Mark: Building and developing networks and communities is a key focus for us, so we work plenty of networking and social time into each day’s programme. We also encourage our speakers to spend as much time on site as they can and to become participants of the event as much as they are speakers. This opportunity to learn from an individual, then spend time socially with them throughout the event is a real plus.

Even before the event happens, we work to make the event a valuable experience. For instance, we run an anonymous submission review process where the Programme Panel are sent the session submissions without any speaker identification on them. So each session is reviewed entirely on its own merit which means we don’t just target all those speakers you hear from regularly, you also hear from a speakers who are new to you. That means the opportunities to learn, engage and network are expanded to a diverse range of people you may otherwise not meet. And yet people who join us year on year will find that they build new networks at the event and expand them each time they meet new people at the event.

We also encourage our speakers to spend as much time on site as they can and to become participants of the event as much as they are speakers.

We also love feedback! Whether it’s comments through Twitter or email before the event, verbal feedback at the event or through our feedback forms or via email after the event, we review everything we get and work with participants wherever possible to create a really positive experience. We try to shape the event based on what people tell us has or hasn’t worked for them and we are always looking for new “delighters” to add that little something extra! To find out about delighters – why don’t you join us for UX Ireland and experience them for yourself!

UX Ireland sounds like an event anyone would definitely not want to miss! What else can people expect or look forward to at UX Ireland?

Séamus: UX Ireland has a stellar programme. We’ve scanned the planet to bring you some great speakers. We’ve got Jon Kolko, who’s going to do a fantastic talk about creativity and how to manage the chaos around it in the enterprise.

We’ve got Brenda Laurel, who’s like a maven of the gaming and multimedia industry. She’s worked for Atari in the 1970s. She’s going to be exploring “realities” and right now we only have to look to Pokemon Go and how that’s reinvigorated the augmented reality technology. Brenda’s going to zoom out and talk about how can we as humans mediate this sea of realities that we experience every day and keep ourselves grounded.

Then we have some great local speakers. We’ve got Frank Long of the award-winning agency Frontend, who’ve been practicing UX a long time here. We’ve got Benjamin Keyser, who’s Director of Design at Intercom. We all know Intercom’s a huge Irish success story so it would be great to hear how they’re looking at their product and improving it. And then we also got Simona Maschi, who runs the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, one of the best and most progressive design institutions in the world.

UX Ireland has a stellar programme. We’ve scanned the planet to bring you some great speakers.

Besides that, our programme’s going to be even better because of the speaker submissions we received. We have more than 30 sessions covering a wide range of UX topics and themes, including how products and services have transformed lives for the better. We’re going to talk about research and design methods that help us better empathise with our users, and innovative interactions between humans, technologies and their environment.

Mark: It’s going to be extremely good value and a seamless experience. A great range of sessions to choose from. An enjoyable social evening. A helpful, knowledgeable team who take pride in offering a great event for everyone. New connections. A carefully selected menu for lunch and refreshing snacks during the breaks. An event you will look forward to returning to next year!

Séamus: And because it’s our first year, you can expect UX Ireland 2016 to be a dynamic, vibrant conference with amazing, stellar programme which caters to UX, UI and User Research. It’s going to have a really positive atmosphere and practical, collaborative interaction with fellow attendees and an amazing space. The TCD Biomedical Sciences Institute is state-of-the-art. It’s brand new and it’s got really good, high tech and it’s got good areas to relax in as well.

It’s going to be a seminal moment in Irish design culture’s history. It’s UX Ireland 2016. Don’t miss it!