Big Design Conference in Dallas is going into it’s 8th year in September but this June saw the launch of Big Design Latin America in Quito, Ecuador. Rocketeer Adam Polansky, a co-founder of the Dallas conference, flew to Quito to help coordinate the speakers by helping some to polish their presentations and to give a workshop designed to show designers how they already fit in the User Experience umbrella and to help them establish a local UX community.
“This was a great first-year event!” said Polansky who has spoken at events across the country and places like Buenos Aires and New Zealand. “The venue was great, well suited to the size and needs of the event with a very helpful staff which is necessary when you’re trying to get a conference off the ground.” "The volunteer staff was enthusiastic and pulled-off a few miracles to make things happen.” Speakers came from Disney, IBM & Microsoft as well as several regional businesses and organizations including Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina.
“The key was that this be a conference for and by Latin America not a showcase of English speaking presenters who would pack-up and leave. I was tentative about my workshop as I don’t speak Spanish and I wasn't sure how many attendees spoke English. We had translation services via headsets that allowed everyone to participate in their own language in near real time. There was a a mix of young, individual contributors and students as well as executives from some of the larger firms in Ecuador. It was a new experience for me and the feedback was extremely positive."
"At the end of the conference, I got to speak to the entire assembly about the importance of keeping the conversation alive with local meet-ups and workshops as the way to grow and anchor a strong UX community. I’m optimistic that professionals in Latin America will have an increasing presence in the broader UX ecosystem.”