The start of yet another hyperlocal UX/design group in Greater Los Angeles

The dream started in 2007 when the Los Angeles User Experience Meetup met for the first time in April and began the legacy that it has today as one of the largest volunteer-run User Experience (UX)…

Our first meeting was in March 2019.

The dream started in 2007 when the Los Angeles User Experience Meetup met for the first time in April and began the legacy that it has today as one of the largest volunteer-run User Experience (UX) professional development organizations in the world with over 6,200 members (as of this writing).

The dream was that we’d have events all over LA. Over the past years, we’ve found that most of the LA-UX events stayed west. And because LA and the UX domain are so spread out, even more meetups sprouted. Yes, LA is very geographically distributed with crazy commute times.

And no one wants to be stuck on the 10, heading east in the evening.

But, still, people live and work on the east east side of Los Angeles and it’s time to bring the design umami unique to the 626/909 communities.

When we do meet, we’ll be hugging the 626 and 909 areas, near the far eastern side of Los Angeles County bordering the southwestern side of the Inland Empire.

Mapping of Metrolink stops along the San Bernardino and Riverside lines, screenshot grabbed Dec 2018

In terms of freeways, that’ll be the 60, 10, 57, 210 past the 605 and the birthplace of In-N-Out (Baldwin Park).

  • Along the 57 and 60, we’ll be passing through San Dimas, Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights.
  • On the Metrolink San Bernardino Line, we’ll be close to Baldwin Park, Covina, Pomona-North, Claremont, Montclair, and Upland.
  • On the Metrolink Riverside Line, we’ll be close to Industry, Pomona-Downtown.

And so… announcing the San Gabriel Valley UX group. A volunteer-run collaboration with the 626 Design and Product Entrepreneurs, the Asian Creative Network: Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles User Experience Meetup.

SGVUX#1: The first meeting of the minds

Our first meeting was Tuesday, March 5. We gathered at the Cosmic Creative Studio in Temple City. The venue is a studio production space that hosts parties, hackathons, gaming tournaments, and production sets. According to the floorplan, there’s a bat cave somewhere in the warehouse. We have not found it yet.

What do we want to get out of this meetup?

Generally, here’s what happened: This was an affinity mapping exercise.

Sticky notes and drinks at our first SGVUX meetup

Everyone wrote out their goals on what they would like to gain out of this new meetup group. The post-its were then organized into unique categories to discover overarching themes. Job hunting, workshops, skill building, and networking were common categories.

Community-building and networking-focused themes

  • 626
  • Coworking-Cafes
  • Jobs
  • Mentorship

Looking for feedback/help/advice on:

  • Career
  • Portfolios
  • Design critique

Learning and developing new skills around:

  • Design thinking
  • IxD — Interaction design
  • Information architecture
  • Product design
  • Research
  • Tools

Other projects and initiatives

Learning is the foundation cultivating a community of practice. In addition to monthly meetups, we’ll focus on collaborative projects and workshops that enforce the mission and values of our SGVUX community.

We’ll plan special events/projects focused on learning collaboratively.

  • UX of Dim Sum — Because food brings us all together, how could there not be workshops about dim sum!? And… I’m sure we’ll have other food-related workshops as well.
  • SGVUX Website — A couple of attendees mentioned wanting to work on a website for the community as well. Through this, we’ll work on skeleton personas, content strategy plan, and designs

How do you want to get involved?

  • Help plan the monthly meetup (research venues and local businesses)
  • Help plan field trips around points of interest
  • Help plan/present workshops
  • Help find partnerships within the 626/909 design and tech communities
  • Help with social media (manage Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts) and public relations (writing event recaps)

We’ll be meeting every first Tuesday of the month unless otherwise announced.