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 Try to start planning UCamp 2-3 months beforehand or as early as possible.

Before First Planning Meeting

  • Determine the community, date, and geographic location of the UCamp
  • Create a wiki planning page in respective community
  • Contact Community Conference/unconference planners to learn logistics for UCamp (location, type of room, supplies, times for lunch and breaks, etc).
  • Contact Lead of Programmer's Cafe to start syncing up plans for collaborative project(s).
  • Detemine if planning meetings will use Breeze, conference line, etc.  If using Breeze, make sure planning participants know how to get into Breeze and use it before the calls start.
  • Send out emails to Community lists asking for volunteers to help plan the UCamp.  Do this several times and as early as possible!
  • Create links from "Fluid UCamps - Planning" page, main Fluid web site and Meetings pages so people can learn about the UCamp.
    • Send postings to community lists (Fluid-work, and community the camp is for) announcing the UCamp and first planning meeting.

Planning with UCamp Team

  • Select the UCamp theme - what is the main goal to accomplish.
  • Determine who from Design Community will attend UCamp.
    • UCamp Attendance Sign up should be a separate child page from main wiki planning page and include:
      • name
      • role
      • institution
  • Determine who is the UCamp Audience
    • Junior Designers
    • Senior Designers
    • Developers
    • Project Managers/Coordinators
    • Curriculum Designers
    • A mix (if so, what estimated percentage of each)
  • Who wants to present at UCamp and on which topic(s)?
    • UE team members may have topics of interest they want to share as presentation
    • Canvas Community via community list for topic suggestions
      • If you are going to do topic canvasing, do so early in the planning process.
      • Have separate child wiki page for Community Suggestions
  • Create sign-up list for speakers/topics on UCamp Planning wiki
  • What structure should UCamp activities take?
    • Planned talks
    • Open discussion format
    • Lightning Talks
    • Outside speakers (would require advanced planning, budget)
    • Collaborative Project with Designers and Developers
    • Some mix of above
  • Lightning Talks need separate child page from main wiki planning page and include:
    • Description of what a Lightning talk is with links to further information
    • Suggestions on length of talk and structure
    • Suggested Topics List (participants suggest topics they want to hear)
    • Sign-up List (Lightning talk presenters sign up)
    • By their nature Lightning Talks are brief and some may occur on the spur of the moment at the UCamp.
    • Be prepared for flexibility!
  • Take notes from meetings and post on wiki planning page
  • Schedule next planning meeting
    • Meeting frequency often increases as UCamp date approaches.
  • Send email to community lists summarizing UCamp planning and also, encouraging people to attend.
    • Reminder emails should be sent out frequently, especially to encourage the community's involvement.
  • Collect or make arrangements for any needed supplies at UCamp such as: flip charts, markers, post-its, paper, and so on.

Collaboration Project Planning

  • Meet with Designers to determine collaborative project
    • How to find a small component piece that we could work with?
    • Canvas Community via community list for topic suggestions
      • If you are going to do topic canvasing, do so early in the planning process.
      • Have separate child wiki page for Community Suggestions
    • Make sure that mockup html/css code is ready for the UCamp
    • Make sure designers have a chance to do some user research ahead of the UCamp
    • Brief all designers before UCamp on design rationale for collaborative project
    • Determine logistics of how to conduct collaborative session with developers (how to spread Designers out, small groups, etc)
  • Meet with Developer Lead for Programmer's Cafe to coordinate ahead of time and describe project ideas, requirements, etc.
  • Try and work with Developers to so they can have their appropriate coding environment setup ahead of time.

Post UCamp

  • Send to lists email requesting Feedback on UCamp
    • What worked
    • What needs improvement
    • Ideas for future UCamp topics
  • Start thinking about the NEXT UCamp!!! (smile)

1 Comment

  1. I attended UCamp at Newport Beach. It was very interesting. One thing that would probably help would be to get participants not just to sign-up but to make them fill a matrix with their interests and skills.

    For instance, my profile as a participant would be:

    INTERESTS

    Sakai: High
    uPortal: Moderate
    Moodle: Low
    Kuali Student: None

    User Experience: High
    User Interface: High
    Information Architecture: Moderate

    SKILLS

    Design Patterns: Beginner
    Usability: Intermediate
    Graphic Design: Expert

    HTML: Expert
    CSS: Intermediate
    JavaScript: Beginner
    Java: No idea
    Apache: No idea
    Tomcat: No idea
    MySQL: No idea
    PHP: No idea

    And so on, so that multi-disciplinary teams could be pre-built and projects could be pre-assigned. I know that would be very useful to back-end people, who have to prepare their workspace on a server somewhere.

    If you capture all that info in a spreadsheet, it would be easily searchable.

    Mathieu Plourde, mathieu@udel.edu