UXcamp Berlin 2016 Recap

Stanka Bozalieva / Wednesday, July 27, 2016

From the people, for the people. Аnd for fun. 

It’s what UX Camp Berlin is about - the UBER and Airbnb of conferences. In other words, it’s one of the best events I had the privilege to attend this year.



What is UXcamp Berlin?

UXcamp Berlin is an intense, two-day event, born from the desire to share knowledge and party at the same time. It’s а place where you can meet, learn from or just have fun with 500 international UX professionals from such diverse disciplines as Information Architecture, Development, Interaction & Visual Design, Service Design, Psychology and Usability.

'Rules of UXcamp Berlin:
There are no spectators, only participants. Attendees must give a demo, a session, or help with one, or otherwise volunteer / contribute in some way to support the event.'

This year, the large number of UX professionals resulted in 10 (yes, 10) simultaneously running sessions during the course of the 2 day event, 2 official parties (Friday and Saturday nights) and, I feel compelled to mention, a room streaming the 2016 UEFA European Championship!


How can I get there and why?

According to the rules there are two ways to get in the camp:

1. You can attend as a volunteer, if you sign up fast while there are available slots.
As a volunteer, you help by donating 1 hour of your time assisting at the hot beverages stand, helping with the registrations, delivering the water to the venue, etc.




2. You can join as а session host. Registering to host a session is free but you have to be REALLY quick since the number of tickets is limited and sells out in 2 minutes (literally).
No rush at all ;)


Hosts moderate 45 minute sessions. Some sessions were focused on regular talks, discussions and workshops covering a great variety of topics - gov.uk insights on how to design for a better citizen experience, involving playfulness in a serious topic, innovative research methods, how to create a kick-ass presentation and many more including Raya Dimitrova’s talk 'Building UX Culture in the Workplace' and my discussion 'Empathy and Mirror Neurons'. Stay tuned to this space!

Other sessions were more abstract. You could attend a guitar performance, a chair yoga lesson, personal stories about hitchhiking, or something totally bananas…like wearing an actual banana costume for two ridiculously hot days in order to prove the point that

Surprise and Absurdity Works.


I’ll try to put that session into practice to see if it really does work :)

1. This is me making it short. Just 7 more rows below.
2. Forget about this post.
3-4. Imagine yourself giving a talk at a conference in a Kermit/Niki Minaj Halloween costume.
5. Good news - you can actually do it next year!
6. Turn to your side and say something absurd to the person next to you.
7. Surprise! It’s the zombie banana guy.

8. No, he won’t haunt you in your dreams. Ok, he might but his preferred habitat is UXcamp Berlin or twitter.
Want to make your own story, or be a part of one? Join the event next year at http://www.uxcampeurope.org/!