Bringing Fun to meetups at UXBGC
For a designer, it's crucial to stay up-to-date and develop a habit of lifelong learning. Sure, you can read all the design books, tutorials, and blog posts in the world, but nothing compares to having a conversation with or getting advice from people with experience.
For me, getting out into the community and sharing what you know or being open to other people's ideas is how you grow.
Lifelong learning and pursuit of knowledge is an endeavour that is always worth pursuing.
Jonathan CutrellLifelong Education is for Everyone
There was no active UX community in the BGC area.
I am very fortunate to be in a position where I can influence young designers. As the head of product design at YOYO, I am responsible for the development of junior designers. My priority is for the team to experience being a part of a community.
However, after searching the net and asking friends in the area, I was surprised that there was no UX community in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) at the time.
I decided to start one.
I started a group in meetup.com hoping to get at least 10 people to join. To my surprise, I got 25 requests in just a week. One of our junior designers suggested that we create a Facebook group instead, to reach more people - and it's for free. Within six months, UXBGC had over 100 members.
Our First Meetup
The leaders at YOYO were excited about what we were doing for the local UX community. They were (and continue to be) incredibly generous with meeting space and other assistance. They offered to sponsor our first meetup.
I secured our venue, event date, and our budget for the UX primer. Next in my agenda was to invite industry leaders and experts to come and speak in our first-ever event. Lucky for us, one of the premiere UX designers in the country agreed to inspire us with her presence.
Everything was going smoothly until one hour before the event. I received a call from our guest speaker that she couldn't make it to the meetup. She was very apologetic and I understood, things happen and we should always expect the unexpected.
Except, I did not expect it.
The Backup Plan
I didn't have one...but the show had to go on. I gathered everyone and re-arranged the seats to form a circle, so that we all faced each other. I made sure introductions were made for every one, I facilitated the whole discussion, and encouraged interaction. Later we had snacks and drinks, and the room kept on buzzing.
It was a success! I learned that they enjoyed interacting with each other more in that environment, instead of the usual classroom set-up in other meetups. The participants were having fun going around and chatting, and got a lot of insights from their fellow UX professionals.
After the meetup, I convened with the organizing team to look back on the event and discuss what we had learned from our experience. We used the KPT method (Keep-Problem-Try) to identify the good things that happened, the challenges we faced, and improvements needed to get better results on the next meetup.
Summary of our KPT
- Keep: Get everyone involved by facilitating discussions and encouraging interactions.
- Problem: No backup plan for worst-case scenario.
- Try: Facilitate workshops for more engaging meetups.
We've organized numerous meetups since 2016. Join us and I guarantee you'll enjoy learning more about UX design.UXBGC Facebook Group
Do not panic
Things won't always go your way. When something unexpected happens, I've learned to take a step back, re-assess the situation, and decide how to best respond.
Being active in the community has many benefits
Surrounding yourself with a community that truly understands and appreciates UX can be the key to thriving as a designer. It is especially illuminating to speak with people you look up to, as they talk about lessons learned and also encourage you to continue with your goals.