Friday, June 25, 2010

Attended UPA International Conference 2010 @ Munich, Germany.

Embracing Cultural Diversity – User Experience Design for the World
RANZ @ Usability Professionals Conference 2010 - Munich, Germany

Attended UPA international conference at Munich, Germany. Last year I had plan to attend UPA conference at Portland but could not make it. This year, I am impressed with the theme of the conference “Embracing Cultural Diversity – User Experience Design for the World”.  and decided to have my presence. While doing the registration, I was in a small confusion weather to attend UPA Conference (or) UX London Conference (stars bashing on my head!!!) . I spoke to my buddy UX pros and Finlay decided to attend this.

For the first time in its history, the Usability Professionals’ Association International Conference will travel to the heart of Europe. The key theme focused on how UX professionals can create great user experiences across different cultures, meeting the challenges of delivering to diverse audience.

The international UPA conference was hosted in Munich, Germany, and provided a great opportunity to meet and network and to share ideas, visions and innovation strategies across cultures and across countries. There were more than 800+UX professionals from more than 50 countries.

Tutorials and workshops on 24th Monday and 25th Tuesday, then two and a half days packed with presentations, Idea Markets, and opportunities to network with other user experience professionals. Workshops and Tutorials begin on Monday, May 24, and regular conference sessions begin on Wednesday, May 26 at Munich, Germany at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel.

I have reached to Munich via Frankfurt by Lufthansa airline on 25th June. I used to wonder is this city called "Munich" or "Munchan" but both are the same. Stayed at Intercity Hotel which is at located at central Munich. The hotel was cool and very accessible and BTW free WIFI. Without internet we will end up nothing in Europe :) Went to the conference hotel in the evening to just have a overview of the place, people, etc and done with the formal registration. After that i started exploring the Exhibition stalls in the conference.

The conference venue itself is very beautiful! It’s being held in the Hotel Bayerischer Hof and it’s one of the grandest and most expensive hotels in Munich. I did not stay in this hotel as this is very very expensive €250. The only WIFI available in the building costs €27 for 24 hours and could not afford to spend for Internet during conference breaks. You can make out lunch and dinner with that penny.

The lunch sessions were a great idea, rather than being a formal thing, you just head to a restaurant (which has a topic) and discuss. Unfortunately, we had about 50 people go to our restaurant, which resulted in bill chaos and a very slow lunch. There was also too many people so the leader couldn’t really lead the discussion (as he was on a different table) but I met some great people and I managed to get back to the conference in time. Sometimes, it’s just easier to let the venue sort out the catering, since they are equipped and used to dealing with big groups in a short time period. We had some great discussions on User experience and everyone sharing their practical experiences. One thing which i have realized that all the UX designers across the globe will have same set of problems. "Dev /QA Vs UX"

I really enjoyed the conference and made many international UX friends. Got an opportunity to meet more than 800+ UX professionals from 50 different countries. Happy to see some of my old friends from India and abroad. Jumki Iyyengar, Sameer Chabuskwar from India, Saud Sultan from Singapore, Daneil Suiz from Hongkong & on....!

The experience in Munich was awesome. Munich is a very beautiful city. I am really impressed with the architecture, roads, food and mainly public transport. Even i had a free ticket for tram / bus / metro, i just preferred walking across streets. Did not get much time to explore the city but after the conference ~7.00PM walked around the city with my gears and clicking photographs. Good thing is that climate was good and it was long day. Me, Saud and Tania (Ukrine friend) generally used to go around the city in the evenings and take some photographs. I know you all have missed this but don't worry..!!! I will be sharing you some great photographs & my experiences.

Did not done any shopping except some magnet Souvenirs, Pens & Beer mugs. I have a habit of collecting some fridge magnets from each place i visit and stick to my fridge... (its my dashboard!). Water is expensive than Beer. German Beer is famous in the world and tried tasting different Beers, even i don't have much habit of drinking.... just followed the Funda...."Be a ROMAN in ROME"!!! Finally... realized we should experience everything... that ithis world offers!! lol!

Trust me…if you are planning for UX conference don't miss UPA next year at least. If you get a chance try planning a trip to Munich, Germany for a vacation…Its awesome.!!!! I have taken lots of photographs in the conference and also in the city... to share with you all...enjoy!!!
Stay tuned... will be posting more details shortly...

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