Curious what this is all about? Read on!
Every pre-graduate who will one day dedicate his/her professional life to the end user. Students from disciplines such as Product, Web or Interaction Design, Communication, Multimedia, etc.
The UX For Real event is hosted by the Thomas More Institute and Belgium’s leading UX & design agencies Internet Architects, Pàu, KAN, Movify and The Human Interface Group. The end user is our core business and the alpha and omega of our designs and creations.
Curious to know the why?
The idea behind UXForReal came from a handful of companies active in various strands of user experience, ranging from purely digital services to hardware design and development. The focus of this event is on showing students what the industry related to user experience holds in order for graduation students to be more aware of 'what is out there'. This philosophy transcends the individual or commercial interests of the participating companies.
All companies involved are doing this as a pro-bono effort, with the sole belief that current industries need to focus more on user experience. As a way to make the workforce of tomorrow aware of this, we decided to organise an event which gives students a way to collaborate with students from different schools and get feedback on their work from industry experts. In the end, this event aims to focus on the learning outcome and has no intention at all to result in a commercial offering in any way.
The takeaway for the participating students is that they develop interest in considering user experience as a domain for their first job, which is kickstarted by offering first connections in that sector.
This event is paying, for real?
We sometimes get questions why we are charging students to attend this event, which is for sure a relevant question. We do realise that a student's budget is limited, however, there are a couple of reasons why we decided to make this event paying:
- To make people show up. Based on our experience, free events are very nice but often result in 30-50% of registered people not showing up. Since we are focussing on the content, and really want students to be engaged in the activity, we decided to land on a democratic €15 contribution to secure a seat. The other option would have been to charge a higher 'no-show' fee, which requires a lot more follow-up and administration.
- People participate out of their own interest. We did not want to put up an event which could be turned into an 'obligatory' part of an educational course. As organisers, we want people to sign up and attend because they are genuinely interested – not because someone told them they should attend.
- All partners do this voluntarily. No one involved in the organisation gets paid to do this. Since the outcome of the event is by no means commercial, we want this to be a self-sustaining event. Therefore, the €15 registration money is primarily used to cover expenses for food and drinks throughout the day.
What is there to win?
We deliberately chose to not have any 'material' rewards or things to give away as a result of the event. The goal of this event is to learn in a hands-on way, to share knowledge with each other and to better understand how "user experience" is addressed in the industry. Therefore, each participating company is deliberately making a non-monetary investment by coaching teams and sharing insights.