Tuesday, December 8th, we had the first issue of the UX Book Club Amsterdam chapter.
Dirk Geurs and myself along with Bart Schoenmakers had seen the runaway international success of UX Book Clubs and wondered why there wasn’t an Amsterdam edition yet. I visited the Zuid-Holland edition organized by Jeroen van Geel when I was still living in Delft and that was definitely a lot of fun.
Because it’s an open source initiative, having this itch means you get to scratch it yourself. So we got cracking. We rounded up some interest (thanks Peter Boersma), made a page on the wiki and one on LinkedIn (Join the LinkedIn Group if you want to participate!) and got it underway.
One hurdle (or maybe I should call it an advantage) is that because none of us can provide a location1, we need somebody in the book club to sponsor every event. This is some extra work but it also adds some variety to every event. Also, if you want to participate and your office has room to spare to have 10-15 people talk about a book for an hour or two, get in touch!
The discussion was too wide spread and far to summarize coherently, but I think I can try a one paragraph version:
The main concensus was that The Back of the Napkin was not a complicated but still quite a good book with some simple methods to use drawing and visual problem solving in a business context. For UX practitioners who are already well versed with visual methods, drawing and dealing with large amounts of information, the techniques laid out in the book may be overly familiar. I still thought it was nice to have everything laid out in a coherent framework. All in all an interesting book, but more suited for our non-visual colleagues.
The event being a success we are now looking forward to the next one. It’s not a very difficult event to organize (though it is a lot more work than you would suspect) but having one under the belt can only make the next one easier and better. We now already have a venue for the next event (to be announced shortly) and will be starting the book choice.
For the book choice we are still looking for a method that will ensure enough interest so that the people voting for the final book will also be present for the event.
So stay tuned, watch the LinkedIn group and I hope to see you at a future UX Book Club.
- Though my office situation has changed very recently. ↩