Community Personal Projects

Researching our communities, part 4: Presentations & panels

This is the fourth in a series of posts analyzing event attendance in the Austin design community. You can jump to any post using the links below.

Also, be sure to read the caveats for this analysis.

Yesterday we began to look at the particular interests and characteristics of professionals who prefer lunches, happy hours, and field trips.  Today we continue by investigating trends in community members who seek out various types of presentations and panels.

Peer Presentations (95 respondents)

Peer Presentation UX professional 10+ yearsPeer presentations were the most popular event overall (and anecdotally, we find that these events do tend to be well attended).  These types of events are good bets for satisfying everyone and have strong general draw, even among more senior practitioners.



Company Presentations (60 respondents)

Company Presentation lack research lack variety graphic design marketing not back-end don't keep track estimation offices learn with coworkers deliverables logisticsWhile presentations by peers were the single most popular type of event, presentations by companies showed much less interest (possibly because these events tend to come off as sales pitches).  Graphic designers appear to be more forgiving of this, while back-end developers appear more hostile.  People who like company presentations may be job seekers — they are more likely to feel that their workplaces are lacking in the areas of user research and work variety.  They want to meet in company offices and are also more interested than average in learning many new skills (such as graphic design and marketing, and, to a lesser degree, logistics, estimation, and deliverables).

They are also more likely than average to miss events because they fail to keep track of them.


Peer Panels (74 respondents)

An alternative to a presentation by one member of the community is having multiple members present or discuss a topic.  They’re slightly less popular than peer presentations, but do provide a broader perspective on the subject matter.  They also allow presenters to share the burdens of preparation.

Again, these are good general draw events, although respondents in our sample who favor peer panels do seem to have special interest in research and writing.


Company Panels (42 respondents)

Company Panel lack variety testing metrics critiquing logistics estimation deliverables it's all interestingCompany panels were tied for last place in terms of popularity.  Trends for people interested in company panels are similar to those for company presentations.  They show higher interest in learning specific skills (such as logistics, estimation, and deliverables, testing and metrics, and critiquing), and are more likely to feel that things are missing from their workplaces (namely, proper critiquing and sheer work variety).  For these attendees, the topic is less important — they’re seemingly less likely than others to miss events because they’re simply not interested.



Continue to Part 5: Field trips & recommendations