MWUX History

Midwest UX is a 3-day conference founded on inter-disciplinary talks and workshops built around supporting and inspiring the growing Midwest design community. Located in Pittsburgh in 2015, conference attendees will experience unique opportunities to participate and learn from regional professionals and international experts.

This regional conference will meld Pittsburgh’s vibrant design, development and start-up communities with international experts. This union will allow participants to discover and engage in workshops and speaker-led sessions to explore and create new experiences for products, services and our local community.

The History of Midwest UX

In 2010, Erik Dahl, Imran Riaz, Pam Haaser, Lindsay Ramhoff, Brandon Stephens and Denise Philipsen connected the IxDA Columbus with local chapter of the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA). Together they set the core values of what was envisioned for the conference and drew upon personal experiences with other local/national conferences (e.g., Code Mash, Stir Trek, IxDA international conferences, UPA international conferences, etc) for inspiration. They wanted to create something rich in community and creativity with an authentic, cross-discipline and grassroots feel. It also had to be affordable and approachable for designers who many not have had the resources to make it to the pricier national and international conferences.

Since the inaugural event in 2011, Midwest UX has been a hit. Compelling talks, a casual environment, discussions of innovative ideas and engaging conversations have attracted great attendees and sponsors.

Why the Midwest?

2015 marks the fifth year of Midwest UX, an annual design conference held within the Great Lakes Megaregion—a clustered network of American cities whose population ranges or is projected to range from about 7 to 63 million by the year 2025. Megaregions are the new competitive units in the global economy, characterized by the increasing movement of goods, people and capital among their metropolitan regions. All past and future host cities are part of the group of North American metropolitan areas which surround the Great Lakes region mainly within the Midwestern United States, the Southern Ontario area of Canada, along with large parts of Pennsylvania, New York and Quebec. The region had an estimated population of 59,144,461 and is projected to reach about 65 million by 2025. The Great Lakes Megaregion (The Midwest) is both of strategic and crucial significance to the future of our craft.

The question isn’t, “Why the Midwest?”
The question is, “Why on earth not?”