There’s a huge variety of conferences taking place this year for the web design community – too many to choose from, in fact. To make life a bit easier, we’ve rounded up a selection of the UK-based web design, developer and UX conferences that Ballyhoo staff are thinking of attending this year, along with some key information where available.
a dedicated time and space away from the screen to think about the future of our industry
As it’s still early on in the year, many sites aren’t listing their full schedules and pricing yet, but we’ll be keeping the list as up-to-date as possible. Many are very affordable, with discounts usually available for early birds and students. Although many take place in the capital, they do spread the length of the UK too which means that, with Ballyhoo based in Birmingham, travel isn’t too much of an issue.
At Ballyhoo, we take a proactive approach to industry conferences. These events are not just a chance to get away from the office and have an expenses-paid jolly; they present an opportunity to not only expand your knowledge but network with peers. Most importantly, they allow you to create a dedicated time and space away from the screen to think about the future of our industry and how you can adopt and adapt to emerging technology and design trends.
Things to Consider
Before we get listing, there are a few points to consider that factor into whether going to a conference will be a sound investment for you. Cost can be prohibitive regardless of whether you are an employer weighing up the expenses or a freelancer with precious little time to spare away from paid work.
Total ticket price
Go as far as adding tickets to your basket and getting the full price breakdown. Many have hidden booking fees.
Do you have friends or family in the area? Can you stay nearby and then travel a short distance on the day so that you don’t need to shell out for a city-centre hotel? Does travelling down early on the day itself make sense?
If you’re on your own, the train is probably cheapest, and you can use the time productively to check out the agenda. If there are a few of you, carpool and don’t forget you can usually claim back the mileage to cover fuel (45p per mile plus 5p per passenger!).
Many conferences film and release their content on video after the event – often for free, others may charge a small fee. If you don’t have the time or funds to attend in person, this presents an excellent opportunity to absorb and benefit from the content at your leisure.
UK Web Design, Developer & UX Conferences 2018
January 17-19, 2018
From £1,090 +VAT
Taking place over three days, this software developers conference covers a huge variety of topics, delivered by nearly 100 speakers, with multiple tracks available throughout each day. You can attend one, two or three days and there are an additional two days of workshops taking place on the days prior to the event, you can purchase these separately or as part of an “All Access Pass”.
January 19, 2018
Early bird all sold out, but student tickets are still available. There’s even an after-party in the venue bar which includes a complimentary drink.
Agile Content Conf
January 29, 2018
Agile Content Conf is one for content strategists and online marketers. Not strictly web design but an essential piece of the puzzle. Current pricing available is until 15th January, and a two-day ticket is available if you also want to attend the workshop on the day after.
February 15-16, 2018
From £150 +VAT
This PHP conference takes place over three days, with the first day being an optional, immersive workshop day. You can choose to attend the full programme or pick and choose which days to attend (discounts available for subsequent days). Tickets include breakfast, lunch and refreshments and there are pre-conference and mid-conference socials to attend too.
February 20, 2018
This user experience conference is in its second year now, and its theme is “exploring how to improve collaboration between designers and business stakeholders”. Speakers come from a range of big-name companies, including Uber, British Gas, Zendesk and Deliveroo.
Early bird tickets (15% off) are still available until the end of Jan. Student tickets are available too at 50% off. Included in the ticket price are a breakfast registration event, a buffet lunch and an after-party with a free bar.
March 7-9, 2018
From £190 +VAT
This (predominately) UX conference is one for anyone in the public sector looking to create engaging service design. Whether you are part of an internal design team or contracting for government, this event brings together top speakers on the unique challenges that creating truly accessible and goal-oriented services can bring.
Tickets available to attend 1-3 days, with discounts available when booking across multiple days. There’s a 20% discount for anyone employed by central or local government, with further discounts available for academics, students and groups.
March 15-16, 2018
From £135 +VAT
Another event coming back for its second year, UX in the City is delivered by the team behind UX Cambridge and UX Scotland. The Financial Times, Google, Foolproof and University of Nottingham all have speakers attending this two-day event.
You can go for one or two days, lunch and refreshments are included, and there are free evening social events.
March 17 – 23, 2018
From £556 +VAT
Neilsen Norman Group’s UX conference hosts a number of full-day sessions on a wide variety of UX topics. This is one of the pricier conferences to attend, but there are discounts available for subsequent days/sessions booked. You can also pay an additional fee for session certification to demonstrate CPD.
March 23, 2018
Early bird tickets have already sold out and current pricing is only available until 23rd Feb, at which point last chance tickets go on sale. There’s a real social aspect to Render Conf, with both a pre-event quiz night and an after-conference party. You can also book the pre-event workshop day taking place on the 22nd March (various sessions).
March 23-25, 2018
Okay, not exactly the UK, but close enough. Offset Dublin is a creative festival featuring content across multiple disciplines including graphic design, photography, illustration, fashion, photography and film. Creative types will be in their element here. The website itself is a joy to browse.
Early bird tickets are still available. Students and recent graduates get a nice discount too.
March 24, 2018
So, this non-profit event calls itself an “unconference”, where they do things a bit differently with 20-minute sessions, such as talks, demos or discussions with a focus on sharing and socialising as a catalyst for learning. The schedule isn’t even confirmed until the day when speakers have to scramble for their desired timeslot. For anyone who’s working in UX design, accessibility, UI, user research, or similar.
It’s only two months away but tickets haven’t been released yet. However, we do know that the price will include free meals, a UX quiz with prizes and an afterparty.
May 9-11, 2018
From £425 +VAT
Covering a huge array of topics, including Java, infrastructure, server side, web frameworks, browser apps, security, architecture, AI and even delving into cybernetics and the tech of the future.
You can attend up to three days depending on your preference. Currently, only 2 or 3-day tickets are still available.
May 10-11, 2018
A web performance conference covering site speed, scalability, accessibility standards and more.
A limited number of free tickets are available on a ‘Scholarship Scheme’ whereby applications may be accepted from anyone who feels their personal circumstances hinder their ability to attend the conference.
May 24, 2018
Camp Digital brings together digital, design and UX with a range of presentations and workshops from top speakers on topics such as ‘Humanising Data’, ‘Agile: How to Get Stuff Done Without Wasting Money’ and ‘Using and Understanding Assistive Digital Technologies’.
Only last-minute tickets are still available. Even so, this is still one of the more affordable conferences to attend.
June 8, 2018
Pixel Pioneers launched in 2017 and is back again this year in Bristol on June 8th. The event promises to be a hub for creative culture and looks to bring together the web community for more than just the latest cutting-edge tech. You’ll get eight practical sessions with actionable takeaways for your money plus a range of extras (goodie bag, exclusive Slack channel, afterparty).
You can also attend an additional user testing or UX psychology workshop day taking place on the 7th June (prices vary). Students get 50% off the main conference!
June 13-15, 2018
Taking place at Dynamic Earth (sure to bring back memories of school trips for anyone from Scotland), this is an established UX event offering the opportunity for the design community to gain hands-on, practical experience and learn from industry peers and leaders alike. This is a 3-day programme, but you can attend your preference of one, two or the full three days (from £210 +VAT).
June 21-22, 2018
For user researchers, by user researchers. Some of the world’s best design and user research experts are due to be at User Research London, helping to shape user experience based on the accurate measurement and understanding of user needs.
Only a talks-only early bird ticket is currently on sale (ending 18th May). Presumably further tickets for the workshops and talks will then go on sale at a higher price.
June 27-28, 2018
From £499 +VAT
Being a lead developer’s a tricky balance between knowing your s*** and having the tools and confidence to lead your team and deliver results. If this sounds familiar, head down to The Lead Developer to network with your peers and stay ahead of the curve. Whet your appetite with your choice of two full-day workshops on the 26th June.
July 11-13, 2018
July 13, 2018
UX Bristol 2018 is now in its eighth year, promising “hands-on UX techniques from leading practitioners in a friendly and sociable setting”. The event takes place over a single day, during which you have the opportunity to attend four workshops (from a choice of 12).
Tickets on sale in late May 2018.
August 1-2, 2018
Turing Fest is “Scotland’s tech gathering” and this year they present their most ambitious programme yet. The conference takes place over two days, each with three tracks to choose from – which may be a tough decision! On Day 1 you’ll be able to choose from either Product, Strategy or Growth, while on Day 2 your options are Engineering, Culture or Marketing.
Individual day tickets are also available for £249 +VAT. Group discounts of 15% are also available if there are four or more of you.
August 13-17, 2018
Create experiences that people will fall in love with. Get inspiration for your current projects and advice on how to build a design team of your dreams. Find out the secrets of what makes products successful and what mistakes companies made when they were building new services.
September 7, 2018
Following a sell-out event in February this year, the UX Conference is back for a day of expert talks exploring the theme of “collaboration between designers and researchers in User Experience design”. Taking place at the The Design Museum on Kensington High Street, you can look forward to seeing reps from Microsoft, Spotify, BBC, NHS, Google and more.
Tickets include lunch and refreshments. Early birds are available for £229 until 1st May, with a second early bird tier at £249 then available until 1st July. Group tickets and video-only are available too.
September 12-14, 2018
As an established UX conference, UX Cambridge is unlikely to disappoint. the full 3-day programme is available to view online with keynotes announced from speakers Alisan Atvur and Sara Wachter Boettcher.
Current pricing is available until 18th May and you can also book individual days at a cost of £210 +VAT per day.
September 19-21, 2018
Generate returns again this September for a 3-day programme at the Royal Institution. Tickets are on sale in April 2018.
October 4, 2018
Gracing Ballyhoo’s doorstep here in Brum, Canvas is back for another round of inspiring stories from the digital frontline. Join eight of the biggest digital disruptors at the Birmingham Rep (connected to the glorious Library of Birmingham) where you’ll have a day of inspiration, get fed and be able to attend an afterparty.
Earlybird tickets are sold out. Standard tickets will be on sale until August 31, after which you’ll be looking at an extra £30 for late bird entry.
October 10-12, 2018
A conference for people leading design teams, overseeing design direction, or instilling a culture of design within their organisations.
Listen to leaders from Lyft, Monzo, Pinterest and other design-led companies discuss the challenges of managing design, and becoming a better design leader..
Early bird tickets are available until 1st September.
October 16, 2018
UX Insider is a new one-day event from the team behind UX Bournemouth. Managing to attract speakers from Google, Sony, The Home Office and Big Lottery Fund for their inaugural event, UX Insider looks promising and hopes to “deliver insight into best practice for creating first-class customer experiences”.
Your ticket includes access to all speaker sessions, breakfast bakes and a hot drink, lunch and soft drinks, and an invite to network with your peers in the evening. From 1st September, tickets will go up in price to £199 +VAT.
October 17, 2018
Join speakers from Lego and NHS Digital for Interact conference, whose theme this year is Intelligence in Design. The conference, taking place at The British Museum, will explore how digital design, UX and AI all place a role in today’s society.
There are several ticket releases, starting with early bird at £199 +VAT until the end of June, standard release at £249 +VAT until the end of August and then final release at £299 +VAT.
October 19, 2018
Not much info available on NUX7 yet either other than the date and location, more details coming soon.
November 2, 2018
The theme at this year’s UX Brighton is Advancing Research. Topics are likely to include survey design, building research teams, researching for new technologies and taking a step beyond traditional methodologies.
Early bird tickets are still available at £145 +VAT with student tickets also available for only £50 +VAT.
November 6-7, 2018
Limited details as yet but a range of speakers have been announced, with the call for proposals still open. The site says “AngularConnect is a 2-day, multi-track conference featuring the world’s leading Angular experts, including the core Angular team at Google”.
An additional day of workshops covering four tracks is taking place on the 5th November, costing £450 +VAT.
November 11, 2018
MUXL is “Europe’s most forward-thinking UX/Design conference”. This year’s 4th annual conference focuses on user-centered design and multimodal interactions (think voice, vision, haptic). Tickets to be announced.
November 12, 2018
‘Freedom’ is the central theme of this year’s Design It: Build It conference, taking place in Edinburgh. You’ll be able to attend eight presentations throughout the day.
November 15-16, 2018
Design systems are a hot topic at the moment, with more and more organisations big and small realising the benefits of standardising their design components to ensure creative unification. Enter the first dedicated design system conference, that we’re aware of, taking place in London this November. From the people behind ReactFest, 10+ speakers are already lined up and there’s a workshop day on the 15th preceding the main conference on the 16th.
All talks, food and an afterparty are included in your ticket price.
November 16, 2018
27th November, 2018
A one-day, uniquely brand-led conference and networking event for conversion-boosting user experiences and user-centred digital customer experience strategies. Discover how 20 UX brand-side professionals are driving cultural change and harness cutting-edge technologies to put UX at the heart of the organisation.
Have we missed anything…?
Let us know in the comments if we’ve missed any Web Design, Dev or UX conferences off the list that you think we should know about. We’ll be happy to check them out and get them added!