All in a Name: Fun Times with a Weighted Matrix

Jared Spool

January 12th, 2012

Producing a brand new event is exciting. Lots to think about: the speakers, the topics, and the locations. Yet what immediately separates one conference from another is its name.

Back December 2011, we asked your help in naming our brand new conference. There weren’t a lot of details other than it’s a 3-day consisting of full-day workshops and one day of short talks all focusing on two separate themes – mobile design and Agile. Like all the UIE events, we’re loading this conference with field-leading, edge-defining, top-caliber speakers providing you with techniques to immediately make a difference with your designs and inspiring insights.

We certainly weren’t disappointed with the response. We received over 450 entries.

Many of the suggestions consisted of creating a new word. Mogility, MoAgile, Magile, and Magility were popular entries.

Some folks went the acronym route. Magic: The Mobile – Agile Conference, MAID: Mobile Agile Insight & Design, MAX: Mobile Agile Experience, and MoMMA:Masters of Mobile Media and Agile.

All these submissions provided ammo for another round of name brain storming in our office. These names (some submitted, some we thought of) made the final cut.

  • Be Agile, Go Mobile Conference 2012
  • Adaptation: The Mobile & Agile Conference
  • Adapt UX: The Mobile & Agile Conference
  • BAM – Best Practices for Agile and Mobile
  • UIE Trends: The UX Conference for Mobile & Agile
  • Scrums and Thumbs: UX Conference for Agile and Mobile
  • POP UX 2012: UX in Agile and Mobile
  • UX Immersion 2012: Agile and Mobile

So how do you choose the right name, one that’ll be the forefront of the event’s brand? To make our decision, we turned to the same techniques we use for prioritizing large amounts of user data.

The Process

As with any good process, we first needed to figure out how we’d know if we did a good job. We needed success criteria. So we went about identifying the qualities of a good UIE event name.

As we looked at names we sorta liked and ones we didn’t like as much, we started discussing how they were different from each other. That gave us some perspectives: we wanted the name to be remarkable, but not too cute. It needed to be easy for someone to sell to their boss, since many folks will need to ask to come.

We knew that it had to convey the theme of the conference. A name that was easy to use in promotional materials. And that it conveyed it was associated with UX. In all, we ended up with a list of 8 attributes. But it would be impossible to find a name that matched all of those. So we needed a way to figure out which attributes were most important.

(Coming up with attributes like this is the same way we figure out what makes one study participant different from another, when we’re creating personas. We make playing cards for each participant, pull out two cards, and ask “What’s different between them?” and “What’s the same?”)

We used another technique from our client work: we gave each attribute a weight. Every person on the team assigned a number from 1 to 5, where 5 is a must-have quality and 1 is a nice-to-have.

To come up with a group consensus, we used a two-step voting process. First, everyone gives a number. Then we discussed any differences. (Why did Brian give that one a 2? Why did I give the same thing a 4?) Finally, everyone voted again (because the discussion changes people’s minds) and we chose the mode average. (Some people use median average, but that creates crazy precision that I don’t think is necessary.)

We then put our final cut of names through the criteria to see how they scored. Three names all scored pretty high. Our next step was to see how a designer would use the name in the logo. After seeing some initial sketches, it became clear what to name this new conference.

And the name is…

Are you ready? Here it is: UX Immersion 2012 Conference—Mobile/Agile.

UX Immersion 2012 - Agile/Mobile

It fit all our top criteria and we liked how we can easily shorten it to UX Immersion. (In the office we’ve already shortened it to IMUX or if you want to be Yoda like – UXIM.)

The web site will be up soon. In the meantime, if you want to get updates about the conference, sign up on our email list.

The Winners of the Contest

No one submitted this name directly, however four people submitted names that started with UX. No entries had immersion in the name. Since we can only have one winner, we decided to do a drawing among submissions from these 4 individuals. Congratulations to Gary Anderson. The other three people will receive runner-up prizes of the newly released UI16 OnDemand.

Finally, as promised, we drew three email addresses at random for the virtual seminar give away: Carol Roberts, Marci Kenneda, Chris Eklud.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest updates on the UX Immersion 2012 Conference—Mobile/Agile.

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