Presentation proposals

It's that time of year! Time to collect proposals for UX Australia presentations and workshops.

We will be taking proposals until midnight 17 March 2017. We never extend the deadline, so plan ahead and get your proposal done in plenty of time.

The UX Australia main conference presentations are on 10 and 11 August 2017.

What are we looking for

We are looking for a diverse range of presentations, on a wide range of topics related to user experience. The conference runs for 2 days, and we'll have at least 2 talks at a time, so there is plenty of room for variety.

We will be looking for long presentations (45-minutes) and short presentations (20 minutes). We do have 10-minute talks, but ideas for those are collected in July.

Topics are quite diverse and will be about all kinds of things that user experience folks are interested in – everything from practical UX techniques; getting good design done in an organisation; working and communicating with others; fundamental principles of psychology and cognition; and more. Although we expect many of the presentations will be about digital, we aren't restricted to that – our audience loves presentations that relate to cross-channel design, service design, design of physical space and design of physical items.

Our audience loves talks that inspire them to go back to work and do better. But not vague, big ideas that sound good but offer little. Our most popular inspiring talks are always somewhat grounded – they come from real-world experience and offer real insights.

The audience also loves talks that give them practical tips and ideas that they go away and apply to their projects. Case studies are fabulous – but not the kind that go 'we did this then we did this' – the kind where they can hear about the insights, lessons and things you'd have done differently. Even better are talks where you can assemble what you learned from multiple projects into something broader and considered.

There are a couple of things we are explicitly not looking for: metaphor/simile talks (UX is like ...); "UX lessons I learned from something completely unrelated"; anything that pits designers against developers (indeed, anything that puts down a particular group); detailed development topics; and pitches for a product or organisation.

Audience engagement

A long conference can get tedious. Session after session of listening to presentations just makes people go to sleep. As such it's very important that presentations keep the audience engaged. Not only that – presentations that keep the audience engaged are the ones that people remember the most and learn the most from.

When planning your proposal, think about what you might do to keep people engaged (and 'show-of-hands' questions are not the answer). It may be via making your presentation easy to relate to, stories, video, activities, volunteer involvement or something else. Making people laugh always works. At a minimum you must plan time for questions.

Please make sure you describe this in your proposal – it's a part of the reviewing criteria and big factor in which proposals we choose.

How to submit a proposal

We are a little different to some other conferences, so if you've had experience submitting elsewhere, be extra careful. We want proposals, not completed talk descriptions. It's a subtle difference, but at this point of the process, you need to sell your idea to the conference organisers and the reviewers (you're not selling it to attendees). That means being very clear what you are going to talk about, exactly what you'll cover (don't say "we'll cover techniques" without explaining what they are), where your ideas came from and why you're qualified to talk about it. It might mean your proposal is longer than talk descriptions you'll see at other conferences, and may be written in less formal language. It's OK to not have sorted it all out perfectly, but you still need to have a very good grasp of the idea you're thinking of covering.

We do ask for a website-ready short description, but this is so we can make the program availble quickly - we'll assess your idea on the longer proposal description.

Tips:

  • You may submit more than one presentation idea.
  • If you have an idea that could be done as a short presentation or a long one, submit them both, with an appropriate description for each length.
  • If you're not sure if your idea is OK, no need to ask us for advice - we're just going to tell you to submit it anyway.
  • We can have a look at a draft proposal and tell you if it has the right level of detail, but won't tell you whether it will be accepted (it will be compared against everything else)

All proposals must be submitted via the conference submission system: UX Australia 2017 proposals.

We'll accept proposals until midnight 17 March. No extensions and no excuses. Sorry that sounds tough, but we've given you 7-8 weeks to write your proposal; and there's a lot to be done before registration opens on 1 May.

Diversity

We genuinely aim for a diverse set of presentations from a diverse group of speakers who come from a wide range of backgrounds. We know that variety is fantastic – we learn best from people who have had experiences different to ours.

We don't have quotas or selection rules, but we will be selecting from diverse genders, ages, cultural backgrounds and experiences. Some speakers will be experienced presenters, but many of our speakers will be relatively new.

That means we actively encourage proposals from everyone. Don't think "I'm not (something) enough".

What happens next

We have a group of very excellent reviewers, and they'll look through the proposals. They'll rate them and give us comments about what they'd like to see at the conference.

We take the reviewers' ratings and comments on board and use them as input to the final selection. We don't just use reviews – we also use our experience of what our audience is interested in, and aim at a diverse and balanced program.

We'll get back to everyone in about the 3rd week of April.

Speaker benefits

We pay for presentations - $A800 for long talks and $A400 for short. Speakers get one free registration per presentation (and one additional speaker at student rates). We don't pay for flights or accommodation. We pay after the conference, by invoice, as receipt reimbursement or as credit towards future events (whichever option suits you – some people can't invoice or charge us).

We expect speakers to attend the entire conference, be engaged and available to attendees.