Review: STLUX 2011

On February 25, I attended my first ever STLUX conference. STLUX is a one-day user experience conference where professionals come together and explore current research, trends, and best practices in creating phenomenal user experiences.
The conference was held at the meeting facilities at the Edward Jones headquarters, but it was organized by GatewayCHI. (Fun fact: CHI stands for Computer + Human Interaction, not the company that makes hair straightening irons.)

I didn’t quite know what to expect from the conference, but I was excited to have the opportunity to find out. The crowd seemed to be a healthy mix of in-house IT and project management folks, with a sprinkling of agency account execs, web designers and developers.

Because I attended with several of my colleagues at Edward Jones, we tried to divide and conquer the 26 different presentations and break-out sessions. I attended the following presentations:

  • Ignite STL UX 2011
  • The quality of use metric
  • UX and Marketing Research: Why we have to work together
  • Qualitative/Quantitative: Learn more about your users with Web analytics
  • Viral loops: Building self-marketing applications
  • Using UX and web analytics to redesign a site to optimize conversion
  • They sell farm equipment? Redesigning Monsanto’s Corporate Homepage
  • Keynote Presentation: David Gray – “Game Storming”

In many cases, I felt that the analytics-related presentations were too high-level. The 50-minute time slots didn’t give a lot of time to get down and dirty. So often it was more of an introduction to the topic, rather than a deep dive. This was a major bummer for me, because I am taking on the responsibility of building more in-depth measurement profiles for my projects.

My favorite presentation was Josh Jeffryes’ Viral Loops: Making Self-Marketing Apps because he really got me thinking about the importance of social incentives when designing new sites/products/applications. He was also gracious enough to answer all of my crazy questions!

One thing I regret about the conference was that I did not take advantage of any networking opportunities. Since I was new to the conference and to the group, there were a lot of new faces and I didn’t get to talk to anyone. Since I followed along with the conference on Twitter ( @STL_UX), I know there were lots of conversations taking place. Oh, well, there’s always next year!

Were you at the conference? If so, what did you think?

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2 thoughts on “Review: STLUX 2011

  1. Overall, my team was really impressed by the conference. For $40 a person, it was very well done with a great mix of people. I hope they do it again next year… the facilities at Edward Jones were awesome.

    We actually presented our philosophy on User Experience design called UX KARMA that day. You can check it out here:

    Good UX Karma: Guiding Principles to Simpler, Easier, Happier Design

    It’s high-level stuff and doesn’t dive in super deep, but we tried to provide a lot of examples that fit. We’re working on an annotated version of the slides for download too.

    1. Hafiz, thanks for sharing your presentation! I wanted to sit in on your session, but it was during a time slot where our team had to divide and conquer. I heard great things from my coworkers who attended!

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