I woke up early to pack my gear (notebook, adapter, pens & paper, etc.) for todays conference but as usual left a tad late and got caught up in traffic. A trip that would have been around thirty minutes ballooned up to almost ninety minutes! Still, I made it just in time, although I had to sit right at the back (not the ideal place when the theaterette is level ground).
So, about the conference. I came in with little knowledge about "User Experience" but walked away thinking I could undertake a redesign of Amazon.com (yes, that's an exaggeration) but the thing that I took out of this conference is that I was able to break up the three facets of a web site that I always knew of (Code, Design, and Content) to bring in more of the architecture pieces (see Jesse's writings for more detail).
BHP-Billiton along with Different gave us an insight into the redesign of their global intranet, introducing the role of a Brokerage Agent whose role is to act as an arbitrator between parties. Not necessarily mediating between the client and the company, but also in between teams as well.
The final presentation was given by Jackie Moyes, Senior User Experience Strategist at Different. Even though a User Experience strategist would be, IMHO, the primary role in producing a website I really couldn't pick up on how the strategist would convey his or her findings to the team. Rephrased, what would be the outcome of doing a usability study and how would one use that information?
We also had printouts for the slides that the presenters had but they were the thoughtful kind, the one where they have lines next to each screenshot for you to jot down notes. Nice touch. They also had freebies of Jesse's book (signed by the man himself) being given away to the lucky few whose names were drawn out.