Home to over twenty Fortune 500 companies (not to mention the thousands of other corporations and start-ups), Dallas and Forth Worth are two of the largest cities in the United States. The massive population contained within those two cities and the areas around them have drawn a large number of businesses, many of which are now thriving. And with the success of the north Texas region has come a large population of UX professions (and the resources to match).
The tech scene is not particularly contained within the area, meaning big-name businesses are scattered across the region. With headquarters belonging to Exxon Mobile, Samsung, AT&T, both Southwest and American Airlines, Fed Ex, GE and GM, and Rolex, the “Big D” has had a foot in the tech door for several decades now. However, industry titans aren’t the only ones doing well in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. While many residents claim “everything’s bigger in Texas,” the start-ups and smaller-scale companies don’t take the slogan to heart. Instead, they find prosperity as smaller businesses (before growing drastically, of course).
A northern suburb of Dallas, the town of Addison plays host to one of the largest annual UX conventions in Texas: the Big Design Conference. In the past, the conference has featured speakers that include Oscar winners and Pixar execs while the event itself is sponsored by names like Microsoft, Adobe, and Capital One. So in addition to dropping their jaws in awe at the high-profile guests of honor, participants also get the opportunity to listen to valuable lectures and participate in hands-on workshops.
The User Experience Professionals Association (or UXPA) has a chapter in Dallas/Fort Worth, as does the Interaction Design Association (IxDA). Both organizations offer a membership to northern Texas-based UX professionals, which in turn, provides members with tips, networking opportunities, exclusive events, and other various perks.
By and large the largest gathering in either Dallas or Fort Worth, the Dallas User Experience Group consists of nearly 2,000 members who meet several times a month to learn, connect, and party with other members of the cities’ UX scenes. Another group, Refresh Dallas, is a self-proclaimed “community of designers and developers working to refresh the creative, technical and professional aspects of new media endeavors in the Dallas area.” Hosting monthly events (most of which are centered around workshops and other forms of learning), the group sets up meet-ups like “365 Ideas To Go From Good To Great On Twitter!” and “Sweating the UX Details.”
So while non-natives might have a bad taste in their mouth when they think of Dallas (thanks to their proud NHL team, frustratingly huge airport, and overabundance of barbeque), there are plenty of items for a “pros” column: a thriving economy, low unemployment rate, and seemingly endless opportunities for UX professionals.
More Country Guides
Check out our Blog to find more in our country guide series.