Midwest UX

History of MWUX

In 2010, Erik Dahl, Imran Riaz, Pam Haaser, Lindsay Ramhoff, Brandon Stephens and Denise Philipsen connected the IxDA Columbus with local chapter of the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA). Together they set the core values of what was envisioned for the conference and drew upon personal experiences with other local/national conferences (e.g., Code Mash, Stir Trek, IxDA international conferences, UPA international conferences, etc) for inspiration.

They wanted to create something rich in community and creativity with an authentic, cross-discipline and grassroots feel. Importantly, it must be affordable and approachable for other designers who many not have resources to make it to the pricier national and international conferences.

Since the inaugural event in 2011, Midwest UX has been a hit. Compelling talks, a casual environment, discussions of innovative ideas and engaging conversations have attracted great attendees and sponsors.

2014 Call for Cities

I am pleased to formally open the Request for Proposals for cities & teams interested in hosting the 2014 MidwestUX conference - an annual, regional conference of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA).

The first year of the conference sold out with 250 attendees with 100+ on the waitlist. We moved to a new venue in 2012 and housed ~400 attendees. We have continued to gain momentum this year and increased interest from around the region as we move to Grand Rapids and anticipate capping the event at 450 people.

We are looking for a core team of conference producers and organizers in cities around the Midwest to make a solid case for the conference to be held in their city in 2014.

I look forward to your submissions, and to seeing all of you at MidwestUX 13 in Grand Rapids, MI in October!

More Information

Why the Midwest?

2013 marks the third year of Midwest UX, an annual design conference held within the Great Lakes Megaregion—a clustered network of American cities whose population ranges or is projected to range from about 7 to 63 million by the year 2025.

Megaregions are the new competitive units in the global economy, characterized by the increasing movement of goods, people and capital among their metropolitan regions. All past and future host cities are part of the group of North American metropolitan areas which surround the Great Lakes region mainly within the Midwestern United States, the Southern Ontario area of Canada, along with large parts of Pennsylvania, New York and Quebec. The region had an estimated population of 59,144,461 is projected to reach about 65 million by 2025.

The Great Lakes Megaregion (The Midwest) is both of strategic and crucial significance to the future of our craft. The question isn't, "Why the Midwest?". The question is "Why on earth not?".

Past Editions


Columbus, OH

Speakers for the first ever Midwest UX ranged from veterans to up-and-coming fresh faces, including the likes of Dan Willis, Jesse James Garrett, Marc Rettig, Jared Spool, Karl Fast and others.


Columbus, OH

The second year of the conference featured Richard Buchanan, Nathan Martin, Peter Morville, Chris Risdon, Boon Sheridan and others.