CanUX 2006 (Banff, Alberta, Canada)

Later today, I'll be heading west to Banff to attend CanUX 2006.

For what it's worth, you can check out the official description here. Essentially, it's a workshop that's all about hands-on learning. Geared towards "the folks in the field" (AKA, the practitioners), CanUX is all about the user experience. If you're involved in design, architecture, or usability, then this is the workshop for you.

When I first heard about this event, I wondered what it was all about. Being a developer, I understand why other developers may cringe a little when they hear phrases like "interface design" and "user experience". (As a side note, I enjoy studying design and user experience. And yes, I have fired up Photoshop & Illustrator in the past.) To compensate for any implied lack of understanding, developers could use - what I like to call - the Cirroc Defence.

(Setting sarcastic bit to true.)

For those of you didn't watch Saturday Night Live (SNL) in the 1990s, there was a pretty good skit that was regularly shown entitled, "Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer". It featured Phil Hartman playing the role of Cirroc, a caveman lawyer who used his "frightened view of the modern world" to win a jury's sympathy in court. The skit plays on this when Cirroc is featured elsewhere (i.e. a restaurant) using the same "defence" to get what he wants (i.e. another martini).

For developers heading to a "user experience" or design-related workshop like CanUX 2006, I suggest using something similar to defend or justify our existence:

"Ladies and gentlemen of this design conference, my name is John. I'm just a developer. I was discovered long ago in the .COM era of the late 1990s. I haven't been a part of your world until recently and don't know much about things like element interaction or interface usability or even the user experience. I'm just a developer. Your world frightens and confuses me. [...]"

Personally-speaking, I've never been to a workshop with non-developer types in the crowd. I hope I don't stand out like a sore thumb. No doubt, my Toshiba Tecra M5 will certainly differ from the other types of PCs that might be used there. My only hope is that by runningWindows Vista, my street cred will improve in the eyes of these folks.