UX Book Club: looking for shows of interest and feedback

25 Nov 2008 - 12:52am
515 reads
Steve Baty

Apologies for the cross-posting

I'm thinking of starting up a UX Book Club in Sydney. The group would meet
once a month (1 - see below), and would come together to discuss a
particular UX book. The club would operate as follows:
* Everyone who attends needs to read the nominated book (you won't be barred
from entry, but it helps everyone get more out of the night);
* Everyone needs to jot down and bring along: 2 things in the book that
really struck a chord; and 1 thing they either hated, disagreed with; or
don't understand.
* The book would be within the practice of user experience, which might
include books like Indi Young's Mental Models; Dan Saffer's Design Gestural
Interfaces; Todd Zakiwarfel's Prototyping; and classics such as Don't Make
Me Think; the Inmates Are Running the Asylum; etc.
* The book should not be arduous to read!
* Next Month's book will be announced at the current meeting.
* Communication via twitter & through mailing lists like IAI-members, IxDA
and some of the LinkedIn groups dealing with UX and/or IA.

In keeping with the book-club theme the location would be somewhere like a
wine bar (or a bookstore), although the noise level has to be low, and be
able to accommodate a group of 15-30 people.

As an added twist, each book might - where appropriate - include a film
reference to watch along with reading the book. So, for example,
Todd's bookon prototyping - or Buxton's
book on sketching - might be read in conjunction with a viewing of IronMan.
Dan Saffer's book on gestural interfaces might be read in conjunction with a
viewing of Minority Report or Quantum of Solace. People would be instructed
to watch the film with the topic of the book in mind. An alternative - if a
venue could be found - would be to show parts of the movie at the book club
meeting, but I think it's more managable if people watch it themselves.

I know some of the authors who's books we'll be reading/critiquing follow
this list: in principle, would you be willing to provide a signed copy of
your book as a prize for the group? Would it get to be too much of a burden
if this sort of thing sprang up in a bunch of different places and each one
was asking for a freebie!?

Such a meeting would provide experienced folks with a chance to revisit some
classics in a critical light; as well as getting an incentive to read some
more current materials. And for less experienced folks it would provide them
with a forum to ask those 'I don't get it' questions that they might
otherwise never understand.

I haven't sorted out a location for the get-together; and it will probably
not start meeting until after Christmas.

Do you think that would work? Do you know if anything similar has been tried
(and failed) previously?

Note 1: There has been some discussion as to whether monthly would be too
frequent. Thoughts on this point would be welcome.

Steve 'Doc' Baty | Principal Consultant | Meld Consulting | P: +61 417 061
292 | E: stevebaty at meld.com.au | Twitter: docbaty

Blog: http://docholdsfourth.blogspot.com
Contributor - UXMatters - www.uxmatters.com

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