Welcome to another installment of “Behind the Click.” This time, I’m going to take you inside the world of UX via Glennette Clark. Just what is UX? It’s a growing buzz-word in the tech game, and something you should know. It stands for “User Experience.” Developers take human psychology and studied human reactions and responses to create digital experiences users can enjoy. Glennette is playing a particularly interesting role in this space and will certainly serve as encouragement for all those out there, whether techies or not, who dream of producing their own conferences while firmly seated within an office holding down another position simultaneously. Read on to learn!
Current Occupation: Producer, UXCampDC and UXMobileCamp; Senior Business Analyst/Health and Human Services (Contractor)
Favorite website: I don’t have a favorite web site per se. I have a favorite app that allows me to read blogs from many different sources. That app is Zite on iPad.
Favorite read: The Princessa by Harriet Rubin. I highly recommend this book for all women.
Recent read: The Hunger Games
2012′s ultimate goal:
I want to build a network of support for the nonprofit I want to start. The mission of the nonprofit is to support underrepresented minorities, especially black and Latino, in building start-ups. One of the biggest hurdles for building a start up isn’t talent or lack of ideas, it’s financial. Most people in my target audience don’t have the financial means to focus 100% of their time to building a business. They have bills to pay.
The nonprofit, Start Up for All, will be an incubator that will provide participants with mentors in sales, PR, marketing, finances, etc. while providing them with a stipend to help cover their bills while they work to get up and running. In return, we will take a 6-8% equity position in the business.
Quote that Inspires You:
Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. - Steve Jobs
Ldc: So, are you a Washington, D.C. native? How was it attending Howard University and how do you find D.C. currently?
GC: Actually, I am originally from Elizabeth City, NC. Going to Howard was a great experience. I have family in DC so, moving from NC to DC was not that big of a change for me.
Howard was a different experience for me socially because I had come from a predominately white high school. In most of my HS classes, I was the only or one of the only black kids in my classes. It was great to be around other smart black people.
LdC: So you have created this extraordinary program in tech. What exactly does UXCamp DC and MobileUXCamp DC entail?
GC: UXCamp and MobileUXCamp are un-conferences or barcamps. An un-conference is just like a conference except that there are no pre-selected speakers and no keynotes. Each participant has the opportunity to speak because the sessions are participant-led. The discussion leaders can talk about anything that they think would be of interest and other people will go to their session, or not, based upon their interest in the topic.
Both UXCamp and MobileUXCamp are all day events with 24 breakout sessions. UXCamp focuses on user experience design and MobileUXCamp focuses on mobile user experience design. UXCamp DC 2010 was the first un-conference in the states. They had been doing them in London for at least a year prior.
Our sponsors are companies with an interest in gaining exposure to the participants as well as an interest in positioning themselves as leaders in the UX space.
LdC: What, exactly, inspired you to create this program?
GC: I wanted to learn more about user experience design and gain more exposure to the community because I wanted to move into that profession. Although I have more than 15 years of web design and development experience, user experience design was an emerging field. I found that I enjoyed the production and outcome of the event as much as I enjoyed the learning.
LdC: So, what has response been like?
GC: So far, every UXCamp and MobileUX Camp DC has been sold out with waiting lists. I am also able to get a good group of sponsors who have seen value in supporting the events. To date, there have been three UXCamps and one MobileUX Camp. The next MobileUXCamp DC will be September 15, 2012.