IA Seminars and the People Who Love Them

IA Seminars and the People Who Love Them

Ericka Harshaw

Higher Learning

Since it will be a couple of years before I pursue my Master’s degree, I’ve been trying to find cost-efficient ways to learn more about IA. As a result, I’ve come across several 2012 IA seminars that may help in doing so.

It isn’t an all inclusive list, simply some of the best that I’ve come across based on location, speakers, past attendees, agenda, and cost.

Nielsen Norman Usability Conference

In 2012, the Nielsen Norman Group will be holding their annual usability conferences in New York (Feb 26 – March 2), Las Vegas (March 11 – 16), Edinburgh (March 19 – 23), San Francisco (April 2 – 7), Amsterdam (April 23 – 27), and Washington D.C. (May 14 – 18).

They will be offering up to six days of hands-on learning by experts who have real world experience and the war stories to prove it. Topics will include Web usability guidelines, applying IA, writing for the Web, application design, integrating social features and mobile sites, and addressing how users think.

Speakers will include Jakob Nielsen, Kara Pernice, and Kathryn Whitenton. One day could cost up to $1,054 depending on when you register.

Pros: The course levels vary from introductory to advanced. Also, you can register for as many days as you like and the more days you register for, the better your discount.

In addition, the networking opportunities will be abundant since IA enthusiasts and professionals from around the world attend these conferences. If that isn’t enough, their seminars are hosted in six cities across the globe.

Cons: The only downside that I’ve seen so far is the cost, which is a little steep.

IA Summit

The IA Summit is one of the premiere events for IA and UX professionals. The 2012 event is presented by both ASIS&T and the IA Institute. It will be held at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, Louisiana from March 21 – 25.

Speakers will include Stephen P. Anderson, Christian Crumlish, and Seth Earley and the focus will be designing across channels. The cost of the summit itself ranges in price from $1,050 to $470 depending on when you register and your professional status.

Seventeen pre-workshops will also be offered on the 21st and 22nd with topics ranging from visual design to social experiences. Pre-conference workshops range in price from $650 to $300 depending on when you register and the length of the workshop.

Pros: The pre-workshops will be taught by some of the field’s leading experts. In addition, the networking opportunities will be abundant considering the lengthy timeframe of the summit and its prestige.

Cons: The pre-workshops aren’t included in the cost of the summit. Also, the summit is only being held in one city.


WebVisions is a nationally recognized conference that explores the future of Web and mobile design and technology. Their seminars generally feature an awesome lineup of visionary speakers, workshops, parties, studio tours, and other activities that promote networking and collaboration.

In 2012, WebVisions New York will be held January 18 – 20 at the Hudson Hotel and WebVisions Portland will be held May 16 – 18 at the Oregon Convention Center. Speakers will include Luke Williams and Nathan Shedroff. WebVisions Atlanta and WebVisions Barcelona haven’t been planned yet.

A full day pass costs between $200 and $500 depending on location, when you register, what events you register for, and your professional status.

Pros: In addition to speakers and workshops, they also offer studio tours, parties, and additional events depending on location. Each conference includes free WiFi and some include afternoon refreshments. Conferences will be held in multiple locations including Barcelona.

In addition, discounts will be given to AIGA, IxDA, CHI, IA Institute, NYC Business Networking Group, NYC Web Design Meetup and W3C members as well as groups.

Cons: Their conferences seem to be geared more so towards networking and UX news rather than hands-on learning.

Follow the UX Leader – Workshops on Advanced Web Practices

Follow the UX Leader believes in learning by doing so they offer a series of hands on, interactive training workshops focusing on UX, IA, writing for the Web, and content strategy.

In 2011, there were seminars in Vancouver and Ottawa but their upcoming 2012 winter seminar will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston, Jamaica from January 30 – 31 and February 2 – 3. Speakers will include Kristina Mausser and Jeff Parks. Each course is $300.

Pros: Courses will include continental breakfast, snacks, and a buffet lunch. Also, you will save 10% when you register for 3 or more courses.

Cons: This event isn’t as well known as the previously mentioned events and there aren’t as many speakers or activities.

UX London

UX London 2012 will include 15 of the most influential UX practitioners from around the world. Speakers including Bill Buxton, Jared Spool, and Janice Fraser will give inspirational talks and lead practical workshops.

The conference will take place at the Cumberland Hotel in central London from April 18 – 20. Your ticket will include a full day conference, two days of workshops, lunch, drinks, and an after party. Tickets generally range from $745 to $995 depending on how quickly you register.

Pros: The conference, workshops, and lunch are included in your ticket price. The price itself is pretty affordable considering everything that’s included. Also, the networking and hands-on learning opportunities will be abundant considering the number of speakers that will be in attendance.

Cons: The focus of the conference is moreso on UX in general rather than IA.

User Interface Engineering

If you don’t have the time or money to get away for a couple of days, try virtual seminars. UIE has a new line of 2012 seminars that you can register for as well as older recorded seminars that start at $129.

The topics range from IA, dashboard design, intranets, UX, and prototyping. Speakers include Josh Clark and Anders Ramsay.

Pros: You can view these seminars from the comfort of your own home. You can also purchase recordings even if you did not sign up for the live seminar.

Cons: Their virtual seminars aren’t as interactive as in person seminars. Also, there will be limited time for questions and comments, and you will not be able to see the speaker during the seminar (a picture will be shown on screen).

You also have to pay an additional $40 to have lifetime access to the recorded archive of a virtual seminar. Because of this, it might be better to wait until a seminar is archived and simply buy the recording since you are given lifetime access to recordings.

Learn more about the process by visiting how seminars work.

Learn by Doing

My goal is to attend at least one of these seminars next year. What about you? Don’t forget…World IA day is February 11, 2012 so show your support.


February 2018
« Aug