Better User Experience Podcast #35: Jim “Big Tiger” Remsik from the UXmad Conference

Today I had the pleasure of chatting with Jim Remsik to talk about the UXmad conference being held this Summer in Madison Wisconsin.  I get the feeling something amazing is going to happen there.

First off, Jim, and his wife and co-organizer, Jen,  understand what makes conferences great.  He comes from the Ruby Conference Culture.  Have you heard about this?  Following the ‘many pieces, loosely joined’, decentralized mindset, the Ruby organization supports (via funding and materials) small, local conferences of Ruby developers.  It’s like a grassroots conference organization.  This is where you find conference innovation? Like LessConf, Scottish Ruby, and Nordic Ruby.

Based on his experiences, he designed the UXmad conference to inspire and connect the participants.  We talk about meeting new friends and going on adventures – even if the adventure is only going for lunch, it could lead to more. More connection, more friends, more community, more adventures.

How does the UXmad team achieve this?  By making the conference “their own”.  The are not blindly following the deprecated rules. But rather, they are designing to meet their unique and insightful objectives.  For instance, instead of a lunch buffet at the conference hall, they are giving $10 vouchers to local restaurants.  It’s incentive to join a group and quest for resources… He’s turned lunch into a quest. And, the conference into an adventure.  Jim understands and is designing a conference that respects and promotes face to face interaction and the true goal of conferences, inspiration and connection.

Pardon me while I shoot tears of joy from my face.

UXmad Conference Details:


Twitter: @uxmad

Dates: Thursday, Friday, Saturday // July 19-21, 2012

Where: Overture Center for the Arts, Downtown, Madison, Wisconsin

What: UXMad is a one track conference with twenty-one sessions featuring speakers from near and far. The conference will showcase to locals the assets of the UX community and allow visitors to Madison a chance to experience one of the best, brainiest, and least expensive places in the US to live and work. And cheese.


  • $399 — Conference & Workshop
  • $149 — Workshop Only
  • $299 — Conference Only

[highlight color=”eg. yellow, black”]Register before Friday, April 13, 2012 with the promo code BUX50 and receive $50 off the price of admission. Booyah![/highlight]

Conference Speakers:

Andrew Maier

Co-founder of UX I fancy myself a Photographer, Graphic Designer, Interaction Designer, and UX Enthusiast. Speaker. Writer. Vegetarian. San Francisco, CA ·


Curate life™ // Product Designer at @doworktogether // Creator of @artinmycoffee // Helping with @TeamSassDesign San Francisco, California ·

Jeanne Carpenter

I’m a cheese geek from Wisconsin, working with artisan and farmstead cheesemakers to help spread the gospel of Wisconsin cheese. Oregon, WI ·

Dale Sande

When you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe, then you will be successful. Seattle, WA ·

Also mentioned on the podcast:

Hungry Academy, CodeAcademy, Madison College

BizConf, LessConf, Nordic Ruby, Scottish Ruby and the Regional Conference Grant Program from Ruby

Chris Alexander – A talk titled: “Designing with Forces: How to apply Christopher Alexander in everyday work” by Ryan Singer of 37 signals

Pre-BizConf - Mexican dinner - Big Tiger

The force is very strong with this one.

Leave a Reply