When I attended my first Internet User Experience conference in Ann Arbor in the mid-2000’s, I knew I wanted to get involved with local user experience groups.
The people I met at the conference were doing all the things I found fascinating about the web: user research, usability testing, and information architecture. I wanted to learn more!
It was easy to find out what user experience groups were in the area. I askedDave Mitropoulos-Rundus, coordinator for the conference, co-founder and then-president of Michigan Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA), now known as Michigan User Experience Professionals.
There weren’t a lot of active local UX groups in the mid-2000’s. Michigan UPA was organizing the majority of the UX events happening in Ann Arbor, metro , as well as other events around the state.
Fast forward to 2014.
I’ve seen incredible growth in the number of metro Detroit UX groups in the past few years. The new groups held meetups, book clubs, and brought brand new events to the area, including:
I’m amazed at all the new people I meet at UX events in the area.
At our Detroit User Experience group happy hour last night, one of our new members asked:
Deborah, I want to attend more user experience events. How do I find out about UX groups and their meetups?
Music to my ears.
I love sharing information about local UX groups! If you’re also looking for UX groups in the metro Detroit area, here are the ones I know about.
Detroit User Experience
Founded in early 2013 by Jodi Bollaert, Detroit User Experience (UX) has grown from the first book club meeting of five people (I was one of them!) to almost 300 members. I joined the group as co-organizer in mid-2013.
The Detroit UX group is for people working in a UX-related profession (or wannabe) who would like to meet like-minded folk to network, share ideas, present, learn, vent (a little), discuss good books, and more.
We meet at various locations in Detroit and the suburbs. We’ve held networking events, book club meetings, held the first World Usability Day Detroit, hostedRosenfeld Media full-day UX webinar, partnered with Vitamin T for Digital Detroit Rendezvous events, and held an accessibility awareness day panel of web professionals.
Ladies that UX Detroit
Formerly Detroit Women of Design & UX, the new Ladies that UX Detroit group aims to bring together brilliant and creative women* in the design and UX fields of southeast Michigan who want to build and leverage a network of like-minded ladies.
Through organizing events and providing a central place for connection, they hope to foster an atmosphere of learning, mentorship, and support.
Ladies that UX Detroit is an inclusive group; if you identify as a woman, and you’re involved in the UX, tech, and design fields, you’re welcome to participate.
I was glad to hear my friend Emily Bowman, who recently returned to the Detroit area, will take on leadership of the group. I can’t wait to hear about their future events and activities.