Today was the first full day of WritersUA conference. They had a nice breakfast buffet for us (provided by Adobe) and then we went straight into the opening session, led by WritersUA President Joe Welinske. They had a lot of audience participation in a quiz using real-time response pads that immediately aggregated results on the screen. Many of the questions related to our everyday work and personal lives, while some were there just for fun. Fun Fact: Did you know that Memphis was named after a city in Egypt?
I attended the following 3 sessions:
- Embedding User Experience in the Product Development Life Cycle by Michael Hughes. Read my session summary published by Tech Writer Today Magazine here!
- Improving Your Online Help with Topic Type Patterns by Linda Urban.
- HTML5 and CSS3 to the Point by Scott DeLoach
They were all very interesting and directly related to my everyday work, so I would say that things are off to a great start. Probably the best one for me was the first session on UX in the product development cycle. Michael Hughes’ presentation really hit home for me and provided a lot of excellent advice for ways that UA professionals can add value to the product development cycle.
After that session we took a break for lunch, which was in the grand ballroom that made me feel like I should’ve been wearing an evening dress and gliding across the floor dancing to classical music. Like this woman pictured below in the ballroom…
The tables were designated by interest areas. I sat at the DITA table and learned a bit about the uses and benefits of DITA from some leading experts. I’m trying to decide if switching to DITA would be beneficial for me or not. Jury is still out…
Just before sunset, we attended a cocktail hour mixer on the famous rooftop terrace of the Peabody Hotel (where the opening scene of the movie The Firm was filmed). The weather was perfect for the occasion and the view of downtown Memphis and the river couldn’t have been better. They served fresh fried green tomatoes and other hor dourves, which were delicious. We also visited the ducks in their “palace,” which was nicer than my first apartment in college.
After the mixer, me, Al, Connie, and Keith walked to the highly recommended Flying Fish restaurant. We each got a different kind of fish and I was dared to get the banana pudding so I could try all of the banana pudding in Memphis and declare the best (a welcome challenge). So far, Central BBQ still takes the cake for the best banana pudding I’ve ever had!
I will be writing more detailed session summaries on TechWhirl so be sure to check them out (and subscribe to the fabulous email listserv).