If you were doing anything except attending Hathway’s User Experience and User Interface Meetup on the evening of May 28, sad to say it but—you missed out.

Debuting new digs, design and a new deck, Hathway hosted its inaugural SLO UX Meetup, drawing a crowd of nearly 70 thinkers and makers from about 20 different companies to check out the event.

Founded in Feb. 2013, the SLO UX Meetup group consists of 267 members and has held 16 official meetups to-date. Members meet up around once a month to talk about user experience design, tech trends, and other industry topics facing the experts on the frontlines—usually in combination with cold beverages and some food for thought. Hathway was pumped to host their first Meetup, and hopes to host more in the future.

Thinking about joining or attending a future meetup? Stay in-the-know about upcoming events.

But if you’re on the fence, here are 14 things you missed at the Hathway SLO UX Meetup, which may be more than enough reasons to come to the next one:

    1. A fridge that would put a fraternity to shame. SLOUX_blogimg1
    2. The best local Mexican, dishing out appetizers. Nacho’s Catering Service (Pismo Beach) was here dishing out our Mexican cuisine faves, spicing things up. SLOUX_blogimg2
    3. Around 70 of the most innovative, creative minds in the county, under one roof. UX/UI experts and enthusiasts alike turned up to take in some of the insights offered on the true differences between UX and UI, and the future of tech as it relates to both. SLOUX_blogimg3
    4. 70 Periscopers spying on the event. Closely “mirroring” the number of people who turned up to see attend the event live, 70 viewers tuned in via Periscope to catch some of (or all of) the meetup action. SLOUX_blogimg5
    5. Our favorite startup, Welkio, rocking sign in. Thanks to the Welkio digital sign-in system, guests were able to print a custom name badge upon arrival, and Hathway was able to gather email info and see how many companies were represented at the event.
    6. 20 different companies representing at the meetup, including Shopatron, Mindbody, Rosetta, Bishop Peaks Technology and more. With every meetup, it becomes more and more apparent that San Luis Obispo really is becoming the “new silicon valley” with both the tech companies it nurtures and the tech experts it draws from all over to work here.
    7. A killer presentation on the future of UX/UI. Users, experience, engagement, advancement. Why does it all matter so much, how does it work and where is it headed? View the presentation for yourself if you missed it. SLOUX_blogimg7
    8. All of the dirty details on the unique relationship between Mr. UX and Mr. UI. Creating a comical juxtaposition in which UX & UI and their relationship were explained by real humans who carry out each function every day, those at the meetup got a better grasp on how they work together and had a few laughs along the way. SLOUX_blogimg8
    9. A heavy dose of insight. We heard from a few attendees that the idea they’d had of the differences between UX and UI were the exact reverse of what they actually are, the presentation serving to disband any common misconceptions. Sending attendees home from a meetup with some new perspective is what we were going for! SLOUX_blogimg9
    10. A wealth of discussion and questions. Tens of conversations were happening all over the place the entire evening, including questions and discussions both following the presentation and also among attendees. If you watched on Periscope, did you eavesdrop on any good ones? Tell us about it. SLOUX_blogimg6
    11. Full stomachs to accompany the full minds. After the main presentation, Nachos Catering served up a hearty dinner to keep meetup attendees’ energy up while continuing to network and discuss some innovations of their own. SLOUX_blogimg12
    12. More drinks. ‘Nuff said.
    13. Exclusive tour of the Hathway headquarters. So, maybe this was mostly attendees wandering through our open-space office layout, bamboo plants, zen-friendly furnishings, baubles and contraptions, ping pong and foozball tables. But not just anyone gets to see the relaxed and funky space Hathway makers and thinkers get to spend every day hanging out in.
    14. Ashton Kutcher. Okay so he wasn’t actually here, but he did follow us on Twitter after an open invite to attend the meetup. So…maybe next time?

You can view the slide deck from the presentation at your leisure, and like our Facebook page to take a look at the other candid photos from our evening of UX/UI excitement.

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