Questions and answers with Debbie Spalding
How many Big Design conferences have you attended?
I’ve been lucky enough to go four times. 2013-2016.
What is one “stand out” speaker or talk you remember from a previous conference?
There are a lot from which to choose! Even so, there are two that I saw in succession during the 2015 conference that particularly resonated with me given the work I was doing at the time. The first was the opening keynote by Ann Rockley, who spoke about Intelligent Content. The next was a presentation by Sarah O’Keefe called “Design vs. Automation.” They both provided great introductions to structured content and helped me realize how that structure could enhance the user experience.
What keeps pulling you back to the conference year after year?
I find that the speakers address subjects that are where “the rubber meets the road.” Most of the material is very pragmatic, and the ideas and information can be directly incorporated into your thinking and processes. The conferences also provide a great opportunity to re-connect with former colleagues and network with others in the design community.
For someone who is trying to pitch the conference attendance to their boss, what would you say is the biggest selling point of Big Design?
I think the biggest selling point is the value of the content. If you’re not learning something new, you’re gaining insights that can improve the way you think about things or approach things.
For our out-of-town guests, what is the coolest thing about Dallas?
There are restaurants galore, music, downtown/uptown, sports, parks, shopping,… If you want to get out for some fun, you definitely won’t be lacking in options!
Is there anything else you’d like to add about Big Design?
I’ve had the opportunity to attend a variety of conferences across the country, and I’d have to say that Big Design consistently stands out in terms of the content, networking opportunities, and location.
Debbie Spalding is User Experience Architect with VistaPath UX. Debbie has over 10 years of experience as a user experience architect / information architect. Previously, she marketed and managed business-to-business e-commerce software and network services.