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Introducing Challenge Sprints

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Are you facing a big, messy headache of an enterprise UX problem? Wish you could work on it with some peers who share the same challenge?

Good news! We’ll be trying out something new at Enterprise UX 2016: Challenge Sprints. They’ll be a great way for you to crack a tough enterprise UX challenge with small groups of about 20 peers. You might even return to work with a solution to apply right away!

XPLANE logoSound promising? It gets even better:
1. XPLANE, the consultancy that uses design to transform the way organizations solve challenges, is providing a crack three-person team to facilitate each challenge sprint.
2. If your challenge statement is one of the four accepted, your Enterprise UX 2016 registration is on us. And we’ll list you on the conference program.

Here’s how Challenge Sprints work

  • Submissions come from you. We’ll select four challenge statements (submission form below) and let you know when they’re live.
  • Anyone registered for the conference can attend. Space is limited to 20 people per sprint, first-come first-serve, at no additional cost. No more than one Sprint per person, please.
  • Two hour sprints. At the end, we’ll work with each team to create a short, shareable video of the outcome.
  • Ongoing collaboration. We’ll make Slack channels available to each team before, during, and after the conference.

Challenge Sprints are scheduled as a parallel track during the main conference program. So participating in a Sprint does mean missing one of the conference themes, but you can catch up: all conference presentation videos will be available for you to watch shortly after the conference.

What might make for a good Challenge Sprint?

That’s ultimately up to you, but here are some models:

For design systems to be successfully adopted by our enterprises, we have to give up control of them. If we’re no longer owners what role should UX people have after the design system is socialized?


There are many strands of user research happening independently throughout our enterprise. If we could align them, the sum would be greater than the parts. How might we bring them together to yield better insights?


To submit your challenge statement


Submissions are now closed. Winners will be announced April 29th.

To participate in a Challenge Sprint

  • Check back here, subscribe to our mailing list, and/or follow us on Twitter so you’ll know as soon as they’ve been announced.
  • We’ll provide a form to sign up for Challenge Sprints then.

See you in San Antonio!

challenge sprint image

Get your boss on board and come to Enterprise UX 2016

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Hoping to attend Enterprise UX 2016? Need a little help convincing the powers that be? Here’s our contribution to the growing genre of “convince your boss” lit. But if you have additional questions or need more help, just let us know.

Reason #1: You’ll get better at designing and researching in and for large organizations

  • Enterprise UX 2016 is built around four curated themes that magnify the conversation we’ve all been having in dribs and drabs: how to create better, more humane enterprise experiences
  • Our main conference program mixes a wide array of session types—two keynotes, twelve presentations, five workshops, four challenge sprints, and eight raucous short-storytelling sessions
  • Our advanced workshops are taught by acclaimed experts, and range far beyond design and research basics

Reason #2: You’ll be learning from true innovators

  • Our speakers are amazing, ranging from design leaders at Honeywell, GE, Salesforce, IBM, and Intuit—to authors of the field’s most influential books, like Rise of the DEO, Service Design, and The Connected Company
  • We’re driving our speakers crazy by making them work—together—on their presentations months in advance

Reason #3: You’ll make important connections

  • A healthy mix of industries send their people; in 2015, large groups from Apple, Capital Group, Dell, Frost Bank, Google, Intuit, Qualcomm, Rackspace, and Salesforce attended
  • About 60% of attendees hold mid- and senior-level positions—a uniquely high proportion for a UX conference
  • There will be no shortage of opportunities to mingle at the conference and reception

…and Reason #4: 15% off with this code!

Register with code 4REASONS by June 1 and you’ll get 15% off your pass. If you do, here’s an estimate of what the Enterprise UX 2016 will cost in US Dollars:

  • $1,356: Two-day main program at 15% off (June 8-9)
  • $591: Optional one-day workshop at 15% off (June 10)
  • $697: Three nights at Westin Riverwalk (at $199 for a city view + 16.75% tax); reserve by May 17 for discounted rate)
  • $100: Estimated meals and incidentals (we’re providing most meals)
  • $400: Estimated RT airfare from San Francisco or New York
  • $50: Estimated taxi to and from airport (we’re providing shuttles between the Westin and the conference center)
  • $3,194: Estimated total for attending Enterprise UX 2016, including one workshop

The first Enterprise UX conference was a fantastic success—and we’re looking to top it in 2016. We hope you’ll be a part of it!

Want to share this with your boss in print? Here’s a PDF.

If you or your boss never needed these reasons, why not register now?

A Call for Enterprise UX Storytellers

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If you have a compelling story about your adventures designing solutions for people within complex organizations, we want everybody at the Enterprise UX 2016 Conference to hear it.

The storytellers who rose to a similar challenge last year enchanted us with tales of bravery, fear, ingenuity, and failure. (Watch the video of the 2015 storytellers.) For this year’s conference, we are looking for three kinds of stories:

  1. Great Ideas: 
Instead of just bitching about a recurring problem, you came up with a solution that will make it go away forever. Or maybe you’ve got part of a great idea and want some of the other big brains visiting San Antonio to help you figure it out.
  2. Tales of Horror: 
You took on the unique challenges of enterprise UX… and failed! Tales of Horror should be about a specific project or effort, and there must be a clear moral to the story.
  3. Rants: We want to hear your frothing, emotional tirade. To get a slot on the program you’ll have to clearly describe what caused your outburst, and skillfully connect your experiences to experiences common to your audience.

The details

  • Each story must be told in five minutes or less.
  • Slides are optional. (Most of last year’s storytellers didn’t need them.)
  • If you get on the program, your conference registration fees are on us.

Submissions: Convince us that you are the storyteller we’re looking for by submitting:

  1. A detailed outline of the five-minute story
  2. Video of yourself telling at least a rough draft of your story. (Recommended. The quality of the video doesn’t matter; something shot with your phone will be fine. And don’t worry too much about being polished for the submission. Polish will come later.)
  3. Submit the (brief!) form below to enter.

Deadline: End of day April 1. We’ll announce the winners on April 15.

Questions? Contact The Enterprise UX Storytelling Session’s organizer Dan Willis (dan [at] dswillis dot com).

The submission period is now closed. Thanks to those of you who applied!

Sneak Peek rate ends soon

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Planning to attend Enterprise UX 2016 in San Antonio this June? You’ve got just a few days left to register at the Sneak Peek rate.

At 12:00am EST on Tuesday, January 12, the rate will increase by $200 for the two-day main program, and by $300 for the main program plus a one-day workshop.

Not sure about attending? The program might sway you—as might the speaker lineup. You could also take a minute to watch the 2015 conference’s highlight reel—or spend some more time checking out the videos of the presentations.

Hope you’ll join us this June in San Antonio!

Enterprise UX 2016: speaker line-up and new themes

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We’re back!

First things first: write “Enterprise UX 2016” on your calendar for June 8-10, 2016. Thanks to Rackspace’s generosity, we’ll be returning to San Antonio, Texas. Our main program (June 8-9) will be hosted at Rackspace’s unique headquarters; our day of workshops will be at the Westin on the Riverwalk (June 10).

The main program sandwiches two keynotes—by John Maeda of Kleiner Perkins and GE’s Greg Petroff—around four “mini-conferences” that address these themes:

    1. How to Succeed when Everyone is Your User (with Ted Booth, Sam Ladner, Fredrik Matheson, and Russ Unger)
    2. Growing UX Talent and Teams (with Susan Worthman, Adam Cutler, Karen Pascoe, and Ian Swinson)
    3. Designing Design Systems (with Jack Moffett, Nathan Curtis, Dawn Nidy, and Leisa Reichelt)
    4. The Politics of Innovation (with Richard Dalton, Steve Baty, Maria Giudice, and Harry Max)

We’ll reprise our wildly successful Enterprise UX Storytellers’ session, curated by Dan Willis, which might feature your five-minute story (or rant). And we’ll be experimenting with some other ways to get you involved with the program—more on that soon.

Our full-day workshops will be taught by Andy Polaine, Dave Gray, Lisa Welchman, Nathan Curtis, and Samantha Soma. All in all, an all-star lineup all around!

Want to keep posted as we flesh out our program? Sign up for our occasional announcements via email—or follow @enterpriseux on Twitter.

And interested in sponsoring? Read on to learn why this is a good idea.

See you this June in San Antonio!