February 1, 2011

I’ve decided to write several posts counting down to Interaction 11. Nine more days until the show.

*Note: Unfortunately during a hosting move the accompanying images for this post were lost. Lesson learned.

There is certainly plenty to be excited about this year. First, the conference is sold out. Not only is it sold out but it felt, to me at least, that it sold out lightning fast. So those attending should feel great from the beginning for even having a conference pass. Mental note – be on the lookout for Interaction 12 Early Registration.

Below I’ve posted a few screenshots of the Interaction 11 app for the iPhone.

Welcome Screen

First off, the app was built by the crew over at smudgeproof. This is the first I’ve heard of smudgeproof but I can say at first blush I like their work. They’ve done a great job of taking the key aspects of what a conference attendee needs most and dropped it into this nifty app. I did some searching around the internets and wasn’t able to find out who is responsible for the overall visual design for the conference. Once I do, I will post an update. As someone who lives in Colorado, I can say the visual design does a great job of reflecting the local landscape both visually and in terms of the color palette. Yes it’s an iPhone app and no there isn’t an Android version. I’m an iPhone user so this doesn’t phase me but I can see some attendees wishing there was an Android app. But hey, if you have to choose one mobile platform to build on for 2011 it has to be the iPhone.

Conference Schedule + MY Schedule

How many times have you gone to a conference where you can’t recall which session is coming up next? This happens to me more often than I should admit. Worse yet, how many times have you found yourself fumbling around with the two dozen flyers, booklets, etc given to you at registration as you’re trying to find the paper schedule you’ve highlighted reminding you which session to jump into after lunch? I’ll be glad to leave all that behind this year. The app has the full published schedule. This includes the pre-conference workshops, all meals, the Friday activities and the Sponsored Parties.

While the schedule itself is nice, the option to keep track of the sessions I’ll be attending using the “My Schedule” feature is going to be extremely helpful for me. Find your session and select “Add” and you’re done. Say goodbye to that paper schedule. Hey, you’re in Boulder so you can tell the locals you just saved a tree.

The App Has a Map

I can’t decide if this is brilliant or obvious. Either way, I’m loving the map. A lot of conferences are in one location, Interation 11 is a little spread out. The organizers have done a great job of incorporating downtown Boulder into the conference plan. The conference hotels and venues and a few local restaurants are each highlighted. At first glance, I’m unsure why some local businesses are highlighted while others aren’t. I’m guessing the local businesses (restaurants) will be hosting events during the conference. One other item I’m unsure of in regards to the map: When I choose a venue there is a button that says “Open”. This button doesn’t appear to be working properly. There are a couple of things that could be happening: 1) Maybe the app is going to updated before the start of the conference and/or 2) the app is customized for iPhone 4? I’m using a 3GS with the 4.2 iOS.

Catch a Bus + Wireless Info


“IxDA is pleased to offer complimentary transportation connecting all official conference locations in and around Boulder.” Each of the conference venues (and their addresses) are listed. The app also reminds attendees of specific venues on the evening bus loop including: Thursday Night’s Opening Party, Friday evening’s Recruiting Fair, and Saturday night’s Closing Party.


It’s well known that most conferences suffer from the lack of wireless connectivity because hotels generally charge exorbitant fees for this service. IxDA rolls a little different. Under the info tab there is a list of (four at the time of this post) wireless networks that attendees can tap into. That’s right, the wireless networks at various conference locations are listed and passwords are included. Boulder Digital Works, University Memorial Center, Absinthe House and the St. Julien all have networks available. Refreshing to know wireless will be easily accessible at the conference.
Come and Get It

Overall the application has some really nice features and is pretty nice for a conference app. The crew over at smudgeproof did a great job at delivery a good experience – even before the conference has begun.

Click here to get the app [edit: link no longer works]
Next Up – Countdown to IxD11: The Locals View

On February 3rd, we’ll be 6 days away from the official start to Interaction 11. I’ll serve up some unique places to visit and things to do that will help you experience Boulder like a local.

Posted In Conferences, User Experience.