Submission Types and Topics

This year's conference theme - Simplicity - can be interpreted as simplicity in design, in your work, simplicity in an interface and a variety of other meanings.  What does it mean to you?  The committee is eager to see how you would explore UX and Simplicity in one of these presentation types and considering the topics below. 


60-Minute Presentations

Presentation sessions focus on a practitioner's ideas and experience with usability methods, skills, philosophy, design, business case studies, or other relevant topics. Speakers should plan ample time for innovative audience participation within the 60-minute allocation.


Ignite sessions consist of a series of speed presentations, all related to a single topic. If your Ignite submission is accepted, the facilitator is responsible for recruiting 5-7 speakers to give talks on the topic in the official Ignite format (20 slides, 15 seconds per slide, 5 minutes total).  Facilitators are also responsible for creating the final Ignite videos to be posted after the event. Ignites have an hour slot. Learn more about IGNITES.


Panels generally cover the same areas of interest as presentations and consist of 3-5 experts in the topic at hand. Submissions should include a short, anonymous position statement from each potential panelist. Like last year, 2015's panels will have a 60-minute time slot. 

Pre-Conference Courses (formerly called Tutorials)

UXPA pre-conference courses allow attendees to extend their knowledge with half-day and full-day sessions led by experienced and skilled UX professionals.  These courses are classroom-style sessions, where instructors teach attendees specific user experience knowledge or skills. Courses will include presentations covering in-depth explorations of a topic, as well as discussions and activities to allow attendees to share and practice their new skills.  

We are looking for courses on a range of topics, including design, evaluation, research, and UX management. Courses can be targeted for novice or advanced user experience professionals, or for a more general UXPA audience.  

Note: Course leaders are entitled to an honorarium, either in the form of direct payment ($1,000 for full day and $500 for half day) or greater conference registration discounts (TBD). 


Posters are a way to present research results, new ideas or concepts in an informal, visual and interactive manner.

It's often helpful for submitters to include an image depicting the planned layout of the poster. There is no official template for posters, so be creative and find the best way to tell your own story. Selected poster presenters will be responsible for printing their own posters.  


Tools & Techniques

There are a wide variety of techniques and tools UXers use to learn things, move a project along, and help simplify processes. How have you used any of the following to achieve those goals?

  • Research tools & techniques, such as journey mapping, card sorting, and contextual inquiry
  • Design tools & techniques, such as Design Studio, specific design or prototyping applications, and low-fidelity prototyping
  • Development techniques & tools, such as HTML5 prototyping, extreme programming, and developing for accessibility
  • Evaluation tools & techniques, such as remote user testing, 5-second testing, tree tests, A/B or multivariate testing

Design Psychology

How have you used behavioral and cognitive psychology knowledge to help create a simple, streamlined experiences with your users?  Potential subcategories might include:

  • Gamification
  • Inclusive Design, for people with a broad range of physical and cognitive abilities
  • Immersive research/anthropology/ethnography
  • Design techniques rooted in behavioral psychology
  • Specific content choices (copy, video, imagery, color, typography, etc.)

Service Design

In the past few years, the practice of UX has rapidly evolved beyond just the desktop. People's interactions with brands are taking place over multiple online and offline platforms. Are you designing for multiple touchpoints? Does your organization take a holistic view of customer engagement, and are you or your team charged with optimizing a customer's entire experience with a brand? If yes, how? If not, what are the obstacles and how can we overcome them? Subtopics include:

  • Mobile/Responsive design
  • Design for accessibility & diversity
  • Social media integration
  • Call center, kiosk, or in-store design integration
  • The role data measuring and integration have in all of the above

Career Development

What's motivating you to continue developing your skills? Why do you evangelize UX as a force for change? What's the next step in your career, and how are you going to get there? Are your next steps clear?

  • Why and how do you develop your hard and soft skills?
  • Why do you practice UX instead of managing a team (or vice-versa)?
  • What are the differences in key skills for practitioners vs. managers?
  • How does the practice of UX differ if you're working in a large company, small company, agency, or as an independent consultant? What are the advantages and challenges of each, and how does a practitioner determine which is the best environment for their own personality?

UX Strategy

Many claim the next step in the evolution of UX is becoming more strategic. How simple should it be to get UX practitioners to get involved in the bigger decisions and longer-term direction of the business? How can we simplify our own processes and bring greater efficacy and efficiency to our UX work? Subcategories would include:

  • ROI - How do we overcome the gap between our ability to plan/report ROI and the clients' expectations of it?
  • Getting access at the Board of Directors level. Is it necessary? If so, how do we achieve it?
  • What role can Big Data and quantitative methods play in helping UX gain traction within organizations?
  • How can UX help set the vision and the long-term objectives?
  • Where does UX strategy sit amongst all the other strategies - business, communications, digital, content, social media, etc.?
  • Agile & UCD: How do they work together? Or don't they?
  • Lean UX vs. Lean Startup: What can the two movements learn from each other?