ABOUT UX BALKAN INITIATIVE

Connecting UX design communities around the Balkans

UX Balkan is an initiative with a mission to gather a community of designers throughout the Balkan region, who are working or are interested in the field of user experience. Its main goal is to enable them to meet, learn, share experiences and collaborate together.

The first UX Balkan project is a road-trip through the capitals of the Balkan region, packed with design talks, meetups and networking, organized by local design communities, such as this one you’re attending.

In the future, we’ll try to bring even more top-notch designers from all around the world, and from our region, to share their experience and knowledge with local design communities and agencies. We are planning to open a job board for all designers interested in working in the Balkan region, interview the best design and development agencies out there, and more. We’ll see what the future holds.

Our plan for September 2017
Events
Days on the road
Speakers in total
Kilometers Traveled

Road trip route and events

09:00h — 18:00h

More than 20 talks at #WCZG

WordCamp Zagreb is a three-day event (September 1–3), starting with free workshops on Friday, conference day on Saturday, and a Contributor day on Sunday.

During the conference day on Saturday (09-18h), there will be more than 20 talks that you can enjoy, besides the one Austin will hold at noon. Support these crazy folks, awesome people, and designers who are organizing it, by attending all talks that you may be interested in.

Museum of Contemporary Arts
Avenija Dubrovnik 17,
10000 Zagreb

12:00h — 12:40h

Design is not Art

Austin Knight, Hubspot

This talk is not about design or art; it’s about designers. It’s about the things that we create and the ways in which we create them. It’s about the processes that we use and how those processes define us.

It’s about the qualities that set us apart (and why they matter). What are the differences between design and art? What is the most important quality that a designer can possess? And how are the two so closely related? In this talk, we’ll examine the ways in which design and art are fundamentally different, and how through those differences, we can extract the qualities that comprise great designers and leaders.

Learn about the contrasting purposes, data sources, and creative processes that design and art hold. Gain a new perspective on what it means to be a designer, and how designers that possess one particular quality are prone to better feedback, accountability, innovation, collaboration, and outcomes. Finally, hear personal accounts from designers at companies like Google and Apple, sharing their approaches to design and the qualities that they value.

You may or may not leave this talk convinced that design is not art, but no matter what, you will leave with a better understanding for what it means to be a designer.

18:00h

Welcome & Gathering

We’ll gather at the Poligon Creative center, where UX Slovenia community will organize UX Happy Hour Extended meetup.

Poligon Creative Centre
Tobačna ulica 5,
Ljubljana

19:00h — 19:40h

Deflecting bullshit

Austin Knight, Hubspot

For our first UX Happy Hour Extended, we’re delighted to welcome Austin Knight, Senior UX Designer at HubSpot, speaker, and author, who will talk about “Deflecting Bullshit – How to Defend Your Work Against Terrible Feedback”. As a digital nomad, he works remotely and lives amongst different design communities all around the world.

As a digital nomad, he works remotely and lives amongst different design communities throughout the world. He mentors students and startup founders at Columbia University in New York, co-hosts the UX and Growth Podcast in Boston, leads a study on South American design in Rio de Janeiro, and speaks at select international events every year.

19:40h — 20:30h

Networking

After the talk, there will be some drinks so all the attendees can enjoy a beer or two, and talk to each other. Topics are endless – from providing feedback on the talk to chit-chat about the UX design scene and events in Slovenia.

18:00h

Gathering and Warm-up

HUB 385
Petračićeva ulica 4,
10000 Zagreb

18:15h — 18:30h

SaaS product management – from design to development

Marko Varat, Repsly

Marko will be talking about the process of creating and developing an application for managing field activities used by over 900 manufacturers around the world.

From food, beverages, and clothing, to footwear, sports equipment, and electronics – they covered it all. Their product, called Repsly, is used by companies such as Dyson, Kimberly Clark, L’Oreal, Adidas, Victoria’s Secret, Canon, and numerous small family businesses in over 70 countries.

18:40h — 19:10h

Deflecting bullshit

Austin Knight, Hubspot

We’ve all been there: trying to anticipate design feedback before it happens, drafting responses in our heads, dreading the possibility that our work could be destroyed in a mere 30 minutes.

Defending work and ensuring that a design remains intact through a design review can be a challenging endeavor, and in many ways, it requires a very specific approach. In this talk, we’ll discuss the best ways for designers to work with their stakeholders, defend their designs during reviews, and ultimately create the best outcomes for everyone involved.

It’s time that designers start standing up for their work and ensuring that it sees the light of day. Or is it?

19:20h — 21:00h

Networking

18:00h

Gathering

Inchoo Office
Trg slobode 6,
31000 Osijek

18:30h — 19:00h

Deflecting bullshit

Austin Knight, Hubspot

We’ve all been there: trying to anticipate design feedback before it happens, drafting responses in our heads, dreading the possibility that our work could be destroyed in a mere 30 minutes.

Defending work and ensuring that a design remains intact through a design review can be a challenging endeavor, and in many ways, it requires a very specific approach. In this talk, we’ll discuss the best ways for designers to work with their stakeholders, defend their designs during reviews, and ultimately create the best outcomes for everyone involved.

It’s time that designers start standing up for their work and ensuring that it sees the light of day. Or is it?

19:00h — 20:00h

Networking

18:00h

Gathering

Come on time and reserve your seat for the talks. Be sure to save the tickets you’ll receive at the entrance for the possibility to get some free license codes to help you in your work.

ICT HUB Playground
Kralja Milana 10,
11000 Beograd

18:10h – 18:40h

A Designer’s Guide on How to Create High Converting Copy

Nevena Tomović, GoDaddy Belgrade

As designers you are excellent visual artists, you can design an interface with emotions, understand your users, and move people to action. But, when it comes to copy, you are lost for words. It all comes down to one thing – having a conversation. This talk will remind you, how to let go of the rules, and focus on what you already know and that is talking to your customers.

18:45h — 19:15h

Designing products in an enterprise and for an enterprise

Ryan Murphy, GoDaddy US

You may be an amazing designer. No really, you’re good. But it doesn’t matter if you give product managers, engineers, and executives a shitty user experience. Learn three important rules when working with these key stakeholders.

19:20h — 19:50h

Lean UX in the enterprise

Austin Knight, HubSpot

This is the story of how we doubled the conversion rate on HubSpot.com, by leveraging a lean design process that’s focused on rapid iteration and objectivity. Get an in-depth look at our distinctive UX process and how we’ve applied it at a public company with over 1,600 employees across 7 global offices.

See exactly how it works and walk through every step of a real project, where we redesigned HubSpot.com in a period of less than 3 months. See the results, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and how we achieved them.

Walk away with all of the information that you need to apply a similar process at your company. This isn’t another abstract process talk; it’s a hands-on session with actionable learnings and take-aways, backed up by data and a well-documented case study.

20:00h — 20:30h

Designing in large companies

Design Discussion

This time again we’ll have an opportunity to engage in a discussion with the topic about how it looks like to design in a large company. Get ready to ask questions! Use #UXBGDiscussion on Twitter to ask some of your questions.

20:30h — 21:00h

Networking

Let’s mingle with our friends and colleagues, share your experience and ask extra questions to the speakers.

18:00h

Gathering

Adobe Romania
Anchor Plaza, 10th floor,
Bulevardul Timișoara 26,
061331 Bucharest

18:30h – 19:00h

Talk TBA

Speaker TBA

Soon.

19:00h – 20:00h

Networking

18:00h

Gathering

PROTIK – ICT Center
Papa Gjon Pali II 3,
1010 Tirana

18:30h — 19:00h

Meet WebXR

Austin Knight, Hubspot

VR and AR that runs in the browser, on everything from laptops, to smartphones, to headsets. No special apps or devices required; the one that’s in your pocket will do. It’s open source, and you can start designing and building with it today.

In this talk, we’ll be discussing WebVR and WebAR, and how they’re changing everything that we know about design and our interactions with the digital (and physical) world. Dive into the foundations of WebXR, take a look at some of the mind-bending experiences that have been created with it, and get a detailed rundown on how to design for virtual and augmented reality.

Finally, learn how to get started with WebXR and deploy your own code using A-Frame and AR.js. This is a crash course on designing for, building for, and being inspired by WebXR. This is a glimpse at the future of the web, and an opportunity to help define it.

19:15h — 20:30h

Networking

Meet some of the speakers
UX Balkan
Austin Knight
Austin Knight
Sr. UX Designer
HubSpot // United States
UX Belgrade
Ryan Murphy
Ryan Murphy
Sr. Manager of UX
GoDaddy // United States
IxDA Croatia
Marko Varat
Marko Varat
UX & UI Designer
Repsly // Croatia

YOU’RE PROBABLY WONDERING…

Frequently Asked
Questions

To help you with some basic questions about this initiative, please check this section. In case you cannot find the answer you are looking for, drop us a line and we’ll get in touch ASAP. 

Why are you guys doing this in the first place?

We’re trying to give back to the design community in a way. All of us are now senior designers, and when looking back on the most difficult periods in our careers and challenges we were facing – we realized that we could help others with our experience.

Seven talks in 14 days. Seems crazy, isn't it?

Yep, Austin is a crazy guy. He’s the only speaker who will be doing talks on 4 different topics at 7 events. However, some of the folks will be joining him in holding talks at one of the events within their local design communities. Therefore, check Ryan, Marko, Nevena and other speakers as well.

Who benefits most out of your initiatives?

Local communities and designers. Some of the local communities will start their first meetup just because of this initiative. Some of them will be encouraged to continue working on such things within their collectives. And others will hopefully see what we are doing together, and get inspired to do something on their own. It’s a win-win situation for everyone who’s involved in creating digital experiences.

How are you financing all this?

Completely by ourselves. We do not have any sponsors, and we are covering all the expenses by ourselves. In that way, we’re really sure that our main goal for this initiative is clear and that we’re going in the right direction. However, we’re open for contributions and donations for further events, so if you have something in mind, please get in touch with us.

Beside the talks, what are you going to visit while in region?

2.169km is a long distance to drive, but we’re really looking forward to the road. Balkan has so much to offer, that we’re not going to be able to visit all the capitals and interesting places on this road-trip. However, we’ll be visiting some of them – besides various design and development agencies from the region, we’ll be visiting a few national parks and do some sightseeing in our free time and during the days off.

Support your local UX Design Communities
Wordcamp Zagreb
UX Belgrade
IxDA Croatia
UX Slovenia
Design Talks Osijek
ProductTank Tirana
UXD Romania

 

September 2017 touring route

Ljubljana + Zagreb + Osijek + Belgrade + Bucharest + Tirana

Follow our future activities

MISSING SOMETHING?

Get in touch with us

We’re just at the beginning and to really connect design communities around the Balkans and share our experiences, we’ll need to work together.

Your feedback and opinion are valuable to this project, so we’ll take to our heart your thoughts on it. We’ll be happy to get in touch with you.

As you can see, this website is made based on a WordPress template, and it’s far from perfect. Some stuff is maybe even ruining your experience, but it’ll do the job for now. We’re aware of that and already thinking ahead since we have some ideas where UX Balkan could go in a few years.

So, if you a designer or developer willing to join our small team of volunteers – you’re more than welcome to get in touch. We cannot wait to collaborate with others and improve whole experience around UxB community 🙂

Remaining days on the road...