Interaction 2016 - Helsinki

Interaction. The design conference that feels more like the American holiday known as “Thanksgiving” in the sense that I’m traveling far away from where I live to share in the company of family. Many friends that I continue to see in this conference year after year sure feel like family to me.

I’ve consistently gone wherever this amazing gathering of brilliant minds takes me since 2010 —except for last year’s conference. Things didn’t align for me to attend in 2015. 

This year, I’m excited to be back. This time, I’m in Finland. A country I had yet to visit. This simply added to the already numerous incentives to attend.

Being able to come back to Interaction is privilege I’m not fully covering financially this time around. I am indeed thankful to be working at a company that values continued education and supports my attendance to this incredible event by covering most of the costs. Conferences of this kind are certainly not cheap. 

This year, given the fact I no longer live in Austin, TX., I had to choose whether to attend my “professional Thanksgiving” or my “professional Christmas”: SXSW. They usually don’t take place to close to each other, but this year was different. I chose Interaction because is the conference that has single-handedly had the most impact in my career as a designer. The things I have learned; the contacts I have accrued; the inspiration I have gathered; the incredible friendships I have made… I owe it all in great part to this event the Interaction Design Association has put together every year since 2008. 

I simply wouldn’t be where I am right now as an Interaction Designer if it hadn’t been for Interaction. 

I probably also wouldn’t have gathered quite the karaoke skills I can now demonstrate in any stage —big or small.

For those of you who know me and I’m lucky enough to spend some quality time again in the next few days: I’m really happy to see you again!

For those of you who are reading this after meeting me for the first time somewhere in Helsinki: it’s a pleasure to have met you. Let’s indeed keep in touch!

And finally: whether you are my friend or I don’t know you at all, but you are a User Experience/Interaction Designer; Usability specialist, or interested in Information Architecture, visual, mobile design… etc, believe me when I say that of all the events you could attend in order to grow significantly in this field, Interaction is without a doubt worth your while.

Be sure to follow the #IXD16 hashtag on Twitter/Instagram to see the conference unfold before your eyes —whether you’re sitting next to me during the talks or thousands of kilometers away in the comfort of your own home. 

Also, if you don’t follow me on social media already, come say hi on Twitter (@ixDiego) and Instagram (@diego).

Hasta pronto!