If you’re like me and ready to venture back into the design conference world (vaxxed and masked, of course) and yearning to be inspired by the most innovative design minds of our time, buckle up. I have a shortlist of conferences to add to your software and experience design-focused arsenal.
Save the date for these 2022 conferences!
Ordered by opening date
March 2-4, 2022 | virtual event
The theme for 2022’s conference is “One year on, what have we learned?,” which is a season two-like take on 2021’s “Design in Perilous Times” theme. As Interaction states, “Equity, diversity, and inclusion are more critical than ever. We only succeed when our efforts are truly human-centered.” These themes and concepts are at the forefront of our times, and Interaction is ready to bring us content to fuel these necessary fires.
True to their focus on diversity, past Interaction conferences have given us talks from science fiction writers, indigenous peoples’ activists, hip hop artists, economists and so many more. Thanks to this, there are endless possibilities for inspiring moments. Though organizers haven’t announced the Interaction 22 lineup yet (they’re currently accepting submissions, so apply!), it’s sure to be FOMO-inducing so don’t miss out.
Design Value Conference
March 29, 2022 | one day virtual event
The Design Value Conference promises to instruct attendees how to increase the value of design in their company and to learn how to reshape design operations to create harmony between business and design. This light touch (only four hours long!) and free conference heralds speakers from PayPal, Philips, and Uber Eats.
South By Southwest (SXSW)
March 11-20, 2022 | virtual and in-person event
Undoubtedly the most famous conference on this list, SXSW unites artists, musicians, technophiles, and makers from all over the world. They gather to discuss the most important and relevant topics of our times and showcase the newest, most innovative trends in each industry.
Smartly, SXSW offers three different tracks of content; Interactive, Film, and Music. My eye will be on the Interactive track, as it will feature benchmark design and tech content. Just as you’re very likely to spot many a famous person at SXSW, you’re equally likely to walk away with your socks blown off by motivating content.
April 2022 | virtual event
With 2021 as its inaugural year, Config is a global design conference presented by our favorite UI-building tool, Figma. I consider this a conference for designers by designers as the speaker and workshop lineup is overflowing with designer-titled talent from all over the world.
The focus of this conference lies squarely in the interactive, software, and tech space. So, pass this one along to those interested in sharpening their skills, hoping to remain on top of upcoming and current trends, and looking to rub elbows with the best in our industry.
September 22-23, 2022 | virtual and in-person event
Full disclosure: I have never attended this event and that fact pains me. Story markets itself as a conference for creators and storytellers. However, I’ve known designers of all backgrounds, bankers, and nurses who have attended and found professional inspiration from Story’s content.
Story combines many different industry disciplines like theater, writing, music, art, and more to create an interactive and engaging experience. The 2022 speaker lineup includes NYTimes best-selling authors, NASA scientists, poets, musicians, dancers, and more to create this truly unique event.
I’ll see you in Nashville. Join me?