This year 24 Hours of UX came up with another incredible event that took place from June 8, 2022 and connected local communities to a global audience. Over the course of the nonstop 24 hours, 31 UX talks were presented to the audience by fantastic communities around the world.
Between 300 to 350 individuals attended the event on average, although this number continuously changed as the event went around the globe and interacted with the event’s 1600 registrants.
Communities from different parts of the world including Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America, and Australia joined the event.
Veteran designers like John Bowie and Debbie Levitt also spoke at the event for the first time on a variety of topics ranging from virtual reality to accessibility to mentoring and additionally touching upon gender-neutral personas and indigenous cultures.
The event was truly global as there were talks in Spanish and Arabic which were translated in real time by an interpreter.
DesignWhine collaborated with 24 Hours Of UX as a media partner in 2022. After a few emails back and forth, we connected with Peter Horvath and Keith Instone over a call which is where we learnt the story behind the founding of such a beautiful community and the secret behind the number “24” in their name.
It all started in the June of 2020 when Peter and Jesse, a couple of digital enthusiasts living in Geneva, Switzerland concluded the first 24 hours of UX virtual event, reaching to an audience of 7000 designers across 6 continents — all in a span of just 40 days!
Much like DesignWhine, 24 Hours of UX was also born out of the dreaded Covid-19 days. With Peter and Jesse having immense experience in hosting in-person events with renowned speakers from BBC, Microsoft, EA, IBM, and the United Nations to name a few.
While these in-person events were successful Covid-10 put an end to in-person events.
In early May of 2020, as they were lamenting their event options for they realized that there must be countless grassroots event organizers, deeply embedded in their local communities — but struggling to adapt to a fully virtual environment.
It was then that the idea of 24 Hours of UX was born. Peter had the idea of doing a 24-hour non-stop event, and Jesse had the idea to do this together with other organizers.
The concept was simple: every organizer gets one hour to fill with a topic and format of their choosing, and we merge these single events into a 24-hour thread of content.
They picked up middle of June as the deadline for putting all of this together which was just short of 40 days from where they were!
And so the cold emails began, Jesse finding and contacting other grassroots organizers west of Geneva, Peter doing the same for east of Geneva. They explained the vision asked them to join them.
The all-important first follower was Greece’s Athens UX Community. Then came Nairobi’s UX Kitchen. Then Beijing, Morocco, Wellington and suddenly 24 Hours of UX had turned global.
The next crucial step was when Aldrich Huang, the CEO of UXtesting.io, showed up as a hero to provide the much needed boost. Aldrich, with his vast network, connected them with event organizers in Asia and their momentum grew.
Then came Jesse’s second great idea: adding keynote speakers to the mix! After Jeff Gothelf and Susan Weinschenk said “yes”, there was no stopping. Before long they had also signed up A.J. Wood, Indi Young, Jake Knapp, Jeff Patton, Phil Balagtas, and Brian Sullivan. With an all-star lineup of keynote speakers, the stage was set.
The next obvious step was to get some funding. Peter and Jesse had been cold emailing their corporate contacts for sponsorship, but their network was limited. Luckily, Jonathan Parra, one of the organizers of the now-partner Las Vegas UX/UI solved the problem by linking them up with Adobe. This was at 10PM Geneva time, and by the next morning at 6AM, UXtesting.io decided to also join as a lead sponsor. Brian Sullivan, from the Dallas User Experience Group, brought in Big Design Events as an associate sponsor. Jesse’s company, Whitespace, and Peter’s company, holistique.design, also chimed in, and the break-even was achieved.
As the event day approached, they transitioned from initiators to managers and made sure everything was running well. Peter and Jesse designed the event experience, prepared how-to guides, examined the platform, did dry runs of the event, and wrote scripts along with setting aside time for themselves since they always had to have someone on hand to serve as administrators and facilitators.
In all humility, the 24-hour worldwide event had a truly remarkable impact. The event conversation was brimming with passion, the speakers were thrilled to address thousands of viewers concurrently, the international audience was appreciative of having free access to high-quality information, and the nation’s organisers won recognition on a worldwide scale.
Now in 2022, 24 Hours of UX remains a fully virtual and active yearly event because glocal has become a powerful force for inclusion!
This article was last updated on November 27, 2023; Originally published on August 3, 2022