On February 21, 2017, we celebrated our very first birthday! We played games, ate cupcakes, chatted and brainstormed ideas for the year.
We had the back room of Joe Kools all to ourselves for the party. This created a casual, informal and fun atmosphere which was the perfect vibe for the night. As people came in they were greeted and given a bingo card, which was designed by Meaghan Turner.
Prizes for the bingo game included a gift card to Indigo, chocolate and stuffed echidnas. Thanks goes out to Alison Roussel and the team at Digital Echidna for providing the cute stuffed animals and sticker swag 🙂
After having some laughs and chats, we headed upstairs to eat some delicious LTUX (Ladies that UX) themed cupcakes which were provided by Donna Todd. We celebrated our first-year successes and brainstormed ideas of what topics and events we’d like to see in 2017.
New this year, we formed a committee!
We announced this awesome news and each committee member introduced themselves to the group. You can see a list of our committee members here.
Following this, we played a persona themed ice breaker game which Emily Wyss created. Each person paired with someone they hadn’t met before or didn’t know super well and interviewed each other while filling out a persona worksheet. The result was a fun, hilarious and creative way to get to know each other before breaking out into brainstorming mode.
We ran a feedback workshop, inspired by Idea Rating Sheets. For this exercise, we needed a facilitator (Kathleen MacAinsh), stakeholders (committee members) and participants (Ladies that UX members).
The group broke out into small groups to discuss the questions:
1. What kind of meetup topics and activities would you like to see this year?
2. How can Ladies that UX support, inspire or motivate you?
After small group discussions about their ideas, each group was given sheets of paper to individually write out the main ideas they wanted to get feedback on.
This format allows for those more extroverted to get their chance to talk out their ideas first and those who are more introverted to think through their ideas while they are writing them out on paper.
After all the ideas had been collected, everyone was encouraged to go around the room and read each other’s ideas and rate them.
Through this exercise, we received lots of amazing feedback and ideas to help us plan and prioritize our programming for this year. You can see the results of the idea sheets here.
Following the meetup, the planning committee met to review the results and plan the year.
During our meeting we determined our year’s goals:
- More women speakers
We have tons of amazing local talent here in London and we’d like to see more women speakers this year. Whenever possible we’d like to have a woman speaker since part of our groups’ purpose is to promote women in this space.
- New faces running the meetups
Mainly Kathleen and Ashley have been running the start of the meet ups, we would like to give others the opportunity to get up in front of the group to do this (practice public speaking). It also shakes things up a bit to keep it exciting.
- Community involvement
Giving back Asking our members to donate to women’s shelters, donate blood together or gather food for our local food bank. Since we’re all getting together anyway, we’d like to put a philanthropy spin on what we do to give back to our community.
- Strong focus on diversity and inclusion
Realizing that not every person faces the same challenges. Being aware of unconscious bias, constantly educating ourselves on it, calling each other out if we’re doing it and doing everything we can possible to ensure our members feel welcomed, valued and safe. Enforcing our code of conduct.
- Education around User Experience
Helping those new to the field to understand what it is and how it’s different from a user interface. Provide information to UX design and research professionals on further career development and encouraging them to mentor each other. Providing further education on user experience at all skill levels.
- More workshops
While a full day workshop can be a lot for a team of volunteers to put together, we can still focus on doing more workshops on a smaller scale. Such as mini-workshops at the end of talks that can help others with the next steps.
With these goals in mind, we reviewed the ideas and their rating score against our group’s vision, mission and goals for this year. The result was a year’s worth of members-focused topics that align with our year’s goals. We have a Trello board with a backlog of awesome ideas, that we will likely evolve throughout the year. You can see the plan for 2017 and the first quarter of 2018 on our meetup page.
A huge thank you goes out to everyone for their awesome ideas and feedback during the birthday party event. If you weren’t able to join and want to give your feedback, please feel free to do so anytime by sending us an email. We love hearing from you!
Big thanks to Melony Holt for the wonderful photography.