The local UX scene
I’m pleased and humbled to announce that I’ve just become the Local Leader of IDF Medellín at the Interaction Design Foundation. This means that, in the coming months, I’ll be taking up the responsibility (and pleasure) of building a vibrant and meaningful community of UX Designers in Medellín and helping the other local leaders from the IDF Colombia.
For UX designers in Medellín, as well as people around Medellín interested to learn more about User Experience, this means that there’ll soon be regular meet-ups where we can network with one another, discuss UX problems and solutions, and talk about anything relating to user experience and design. I can’t wait to see the community we’ll build together! The first IDF Medellín Meetup will be held at Cariñito Café by Ciudad del Río. We’ll meet in a casual environment, over delicious coffee, and we’ll discuss the future of the IDF Medellín and the local UX community.
There’s a lot of talent in this city and there are some active groups in the UX community but this is a chance to grow the community even further: by being a Local Leader of the Interaction Design Foundation I have the perfect opportunity to be supported by a non-profit organization that is very serious about UX.
Presently, there’s only 4 Meetup groups related to UX in Medellin and none for graphic design.
Medellin User Experience Group is the most active Meetup group in the city and they have held 21 events since 2013.
Experiencias de usuario asombrosas by Pragma is a private Meetup group with no events held in the past.
The Medellin Interaction Design Meetup Groups is organized by me before becoming a Local Leader for the IDF.
Go to Ceiba is another Meetup group that offers good quality and interesting Meetups but is not 100% about UX or Interaction Design
Most of these Meetup groups offer two to three events per year which is a low frequency for a city the size of Medellin: this indicates there’s a need for more events but it could be also that people are not interested in Meetups or don’t know they exist.
In order to test the water and see what was happening with these meetups, I met with the leaders of these Meetup groups and we organized a Meetup in November 2017 called “Día de la Usabilidad: Planeación para el 2018” with the main objective of listening to the UX community and plan for next year: it was an interesting Meetup and we had around 30 attendees. We saw interest in growing the community by both the attendees and the leaders and we might join forces in the future to organize other events but each Meetup group seems to have their own agendas.
Now with the IDF Medellín Community, we have a chance to add a new way for the UX Community in Medellín for learning, networking, mentoring and meeting people that share the same interests.
Note: the Interaction Design Foundation has a membership but the events are mostly free and you don’t have to be a member to go these events or Meetups.
For many cultural reasons and very strong private and governmental sectors, Bogotá is more active in UX. We can find more UX meetups and events but not too much more than Medellín and the rest of large cities in Colombia, there is the IDF Bogotá local group and they held five events since 2015.
There are 7 Meetup groups. 4 Meetup groups about UX and 3 about Graphic design:
UX Experiencia de Usuario / Colombia, has a nice write up about their objectives but they haven’t had any events and there’s nothing planned on their agenda:
Ux Workshops Colombia held one quality event in 2017 and there’s nothing on their calendar for 2018:
Meetup IxD — Bogotá is a group that is looking to consolidate a local community, they have held two small events
DiseñoWebFusa is about everything related to Web design and they don’t have any past or upcoming events:
Más Diseño Bogotá is the most active and oldest Meetup group in Bogotá in terms of members, and events, it has held over 35 events since 2012 and although is not a Meetup group entirely focused on UX, they do a lot of UX related meetups.
As the third largest city in Colombia, Cali has 2 Meetup Groups and an active IDF Cali local group with 3 events held since 2014.
There are 2 Meetup groups. 2 Meetup groups about UX and 0 about Graphic design:
IDF Cali is a group organized by Cali’s IDF local Leader and they have held one event in 2017.
Cali Usabilidad Meetup is a group about Usability but they haven’t held any events yet.
North Coast or Caribe
There’s only one local chapter of the IDF in this region, it is the IDF Barranquilla and they have held one event in 2014 but nothing after.
Comunidad de Diseñadores del Caribe is the only Meetup group on the North Coast but they haven’t held any events yet.
The rest of Colombia
There’s no UX meetups or IDF local groups in any other cities in Colombia and there are very few design groups that have held only a couple of events.
Makerspace — MakerMan Manizales
I’m guessing that there’s a chance that there could be other groups with different Meetup formats or platforms but the information above is the only one I found online. There’s obviously some sporadic courses, seminars or talks in Colombia but in this case, I’m only considering community building groups. If there’s any other groups or meetups that you consider are relevant, please let me know in the comments below.