We’re closing the books on edUi.
We’ve had a fantastic ten years, putting on what I and the edUi team hope was a series of really stellar events for all of you.
A lot has changed for institutions of learning and the user experience field in general since we held our first conference in 2009. When we got started, many of our institutions had never heard of UX and a lot of our early talks could be boiled down to “you are not your user.” But over the years we saw more and more requests for higher level, more advanced topics from our attendees. That told us a few things. First, it told us we were succeeding in helping web professionals in colleges, universities, libraries, and museums build their skills and add tools to their tool kits. Second, it made it clear that a lot of the same people were returning year after year to edUi and looking to us to help them continue to grow and flourish in their careers. Third, it showed that a group of loyal attendees had formed a really amazing, supportive community around the conference. And that community is what I and the whole edUi team are going to miss the most.
Virginia Humanities has been the financial home for edUi since the beginning. And edUi’s success is what has allowed the conference to continue as long as it has. But things change. Virginia Humanities has a new executive director and a lot of new and exciting things are happening. It has refined its mission and is focusing on using the humanities to help Virginians share their stories and learn about the experiences of others, all in the hope that we will each better understand one another. It’s an exciting mission and one I’m excited to be a part of. But it’s a mission that edUi doesn’t easily fit within.
The planning team has known this was coming for some time, but we wanted the 2018 conference to be a celebration of all that we’ve achieved. We worried that, if too many people knew this was the last conference, it would put a damper on that celebration. Ten years is a really good run for a conference and we’re all very proud of what edUi has become. The conference has grown and evolved into a unique professional development event, distinctly different from its peers, thanks to a dedicated team of planners, partners, and volunteers to whom I am eternally grateful. But most of all, I and the whole edUi team are grateful to the people who found and made a home at edUi. Whether you gave a talk, told a story, sang a song, asked a question, or just attended, you each put a bit of yourself into the conference and, without you, it simply would not have been the same.
As beautiful and unique as I like to think edUi was, it’s not the only conference out there. If you loved edUi, I encourage you to seek a new home in one of these other events and discover the many ways they are each unique and beautiful unto themselves.
Thank you all for your support. Running edUi and being able to meet so many of you has been one of the most rewarding personal and professional experiences of my life. Planning and executing the 2018 conference felt like reading the last chapter of a really, really good book. You know it’s coming to an end and you’re sad to see so many of the characters go. But as you reach the last page there’s a sense of completion, of wholeness, a sense that all the threads of the story have been neatly resolved. You savor the last few lines and realize it’s over. Then you pick up the next book.
edUi Co-Founder and Co-Director
Director of Communications, Virginia Humanities