For those of us who were there at the beginning, nothing will ever feel like, well, the beginning. For Example '08 was amazing, for no other reason except it was a moment. Yes, the conference was amazing, but when I really think back on it despite all my desire to have that level of catering and homey feel again, the real thing I think those of us who compare everything to Savannah 08 is "the moment" and the only way to describe it is "the beginning".
Obviously, other conferences have gone through similar moments and will again, but instead of looking back, maybe the answer is to look forward.
So in that spirit, I'm going to declare "IxDA is dead. Long live IxDA!"
All this came out of a conversation with Harry Max whom some may know from Silicon Valley, startup community and now it is leading design at Rackspace. We were talking about starting things up and how once started up it never feels the same again and as the start up guy (among others) of IxDA that's the way it feels. None of the other original band of 14 are still involved in any sort of leadership roles, though some are engaged from the outside, but very few. Why not? What's gone? What happened? Does it matter?
So I am declaring IxDA is dead and not only is IxDA dead, but so is interaction design. Why? Because we succeeded. We won. While not everyone is doing it well, or even doing it at all, it is assumed that good UX design has to include IxD and that to me is the win. IxD, in fact, is not just about good UX design, it's considered instrumental in almost all parts of design for all the experience creating design disciplines from graphics to architecture. The reason we came together is here.
Yes, that is incredibly overstated and yes we have a lot of work to do, but the work has shifted from advocating for a discipline of our own, to reaching out and impacting a host of disciplines regardless of titles.
And this is where I think the "next moment" is. I just don't know how to capture it, spread it and make it happen the way that Tog articulated IxD 10 years ago. Between what is happening w/ U(X)PA and IAI (Read Lou Rosenfeld's piece here: http://louisrosenfeld.com/home/bloug_archive/2013/04/putting_my_money_where…). There is a new moment afoot and I feel for 2015 we need to find a way to tap it. (Choosing IxD2015 instead of 2014 b/c conferences are planned so far in advance and that's a good thing.)
One question I've been asking is around the idea of "What is the Maker Faire of IxDA?" What would an event with that spirit, energy, openness, ethos of doing over talking look like for IxDA? I'd be excited to talk about this and any other ideas and thoughts around, "IxDA's next moment".
IxDA is my home, my tribe, my peeps but we all grow, and the contexts of our lives professionally and personally are in constant states of change and so should IxDA with it. So I post here these thoughts and hope that enough of us resonate that we can have a solid conversation about it.