April 12, 2024

2024 Conferences in UX Design, User Research, and Service Design

A group of UX designers and service designers gather at a conference listening to a keynote speaker.

Can you believe it’s almost May? 2024 seems to be sprinting ahead, making it high time to dive into the world of upcoming UX design, user research, service design and human-centered design conferences. And guess what? We’ve taken the reins on all the research for you! Today’s blog is all about helping you stay ahead of the curve, as our dedicated team at Outwitly has meticulously crafted a lineup of conferences and events worth your attention this year.

Remember last year’s virtual frenzy of UX events spanning the globe? From conferences to hackathons to webinars, the options seemed endless. It can be overwhelming to sift through it all, so we’ve taken a deep dive to present you with a refined selection of standout events.

Our roundup blends free and paid events, spanning the virtual realm and face-to-face interaction. And for those with a knack for public speaking, there are still opportunities to snag a spot as a keynote speaker! This list reflects the events that most excite Outwitlians – our esteemed colleagues in service design, UX design, and design management. These conferences cover various topics, ranging from UX and research to design ops and product/customer experience.

So, without further ado, here are our top 11 recommendations for human-centered design conferences and networking events to pencil into your schedule this year.

Here’s the quick list, but we dive into details as you keep scrolling through:

  1. UXRConf 2023 by Learners
  2. Product Design Week by Tech Circus
  3. The Women in Product Conference
  4. Collision
  5. Service Design Network Next Gen Conference
  6. SmashingConf
  7. UXPA International
  8. Service Design in Government (SDinGov)
  9. EPIC
  10. CanUX
  11. UX Edmonton


Must-Attend Virtual UX & HCD Conferences and Events in 2024

1. UXRConf 2024 by Learners

When: Thursday, June 6th, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm PST

Where: Online and in San Francisco

Cost: Free online or $699 USD in-person

Best For: UX researchers and service designers

UXRConf by Learners is back for year seven! What makes this event so special is the option to attend virtually for free – we have so much respect for an organization that provides accessible educational opportunities to folks in our industry.

This event is all about UX research focusing on creatively solving problems. Last year’s conference topics included research democratization, the impact of metadata, monetization research, building a values-aligned research career, how AI models will change research, and much more. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for the 2024 agenda and will be sure to update you once it’s live!

In the meantime, Learners has a great YouTube channel filled with previous talks, livestreams, and presentations. Plus, they’re hosting several other events throughout the spring leading up to the conference! Check them out below:

  • UXR LA – April 26, Los Angeles. Get Tickets (Free Online, Paid In-person)
  • Big Research – May 8, Chicago. Get Tickets (Free Online, Paid In-person)
  • GOOB – May 15, Boston. Get Tickets (Free Online, Paid In-person)
  • Enterprise UXR: Strategy – May 21, Santa Clara. Get Tickets (Free Online, Paid In-person)
  • Research Leadership Summit – June 5, San Francisco. Get Tickets (Free Online, Paid In-person)


2. Product Design Week by Tech Circus

When: November 11th to 15th, 2024

Where: Virtual and London, UK

Cost: You can purchase tickets for specific days starting at £330 or attend the entire week for £1,320!

Best For: Product designers, UXers, and UX writers

If you’re in the UK, Product Design Week is a must-attend for so many reasons. You’ll be learning from the world’s leading experts on topics that are valuable to you and your specific skill set. They break down the event into multiple different conferences that zoom into categories like design leadership, user research, UX writing, and UX design!

We are also big fans of the conference’s structure – you can attend the entire week and pick up new skills outside of your profession or select the most relevant topics for you and your current work. The agenda is as follows: 

  • Day 1-2: Design Leaders+ (Cost £760)
    • Tech Circus describes this as an exclusive event where C-suite business executives and design teams get together to discuss the outward-facing experience of a business. You’ll dive into design’s crucial role in a company’s core capabilities.
  • Day 3: The Bad Conference (Cost £330)
    • This conference teaches attendees how to design an experience that connects with their audience. You’ll hear from experts in fields like psychology, anthropology, behavioural science, philosophy, and more!
  • Day 3: UX Writing Conference (Cost £330)
    • You’ll discover the latest methodologies for crafting game-changing and user-friendly content in design. 
  • Day 4-5: UX Live (Cost £660)
    • The two days are broken up into “Mastering UX: Skills and Techniques for Success” and “Designing for Tomorrow: Exploring the Future of UX Design.”


3. The Women in Product Conference

When: May 14-15, 2024

Where: Virtually 

Cost: They offer three “ticket tracks” tailored to your professional expertise!

  • Senior leaders – $299 USD
  • Executives – $349 USD
  • General admission – $274 USD

Best for: Women who are product managers

Outwitly is a 100% women-owned company, so the Women in Product Conference definitely excites us! Data gathered from 2023’s event shared that an impressive 67.5% of speakers identified as women of colour, and 59% of attendees identified as women of colour. On top of this incredible representation of diversity, the Women in Product Conference has an Empowerment Fund that you can apply for if you’re eager to attend this conference but are up against a financial barrier. Applications for that close on April 26th, 2024.

The theme of this year’s event is “Evolve and Excel,” which presents a thoughtfully curated lineup of speaker sessions and networking opportunities, providing attendees with practical tools and insights to excel in their roles. You’ll engage in discussions on responsible tech design, demystifying AI, team management and career development.

This conference is good for practitioners of all skill levels. So whether you’re a seasoned professional staying ahead of the curve or an aspiring leader ready to advance, grab your ticket because you won’t want to miss out!


4. Service Design Network Next Gen Conference

When: Friday, April 12th, 2024 

Where: Virtual and Hybrid. For the first time ever, SDN global partners are hosting on-site events from the following locations:

  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Kūldiga, Latvia
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Cologne, Germany
  • Atlanta, USA
  • Puebla, Mexico
  • Mexico City, Mexico

Cost: Depending on whether you’re a student, a young professional (1-5 years out of university), or a professional/member of the Service Design Network, admission ranges from €34.99 to €229.99 for in-person admission, virtual admission, or a hybrid of both!

This year’s conference theme is “Infinite Threads: Interdisciplinary Collaboration to Unlock the Power of Service Design.” They call themselves the conference for the next generation of designers, so if you’re a student, a junior in your career, or transitioning into the world of service design from another industry, this would be an excellent choice! 

According to their site, here’s what you can expect to gain from the Service Design Network Next Gen Conference 2024:

  • Elevate your career by joining portfolio reviews, meeting industry experts, and learning about the latest and greatest in service design.
  • Enjoy 24 hours worth of inspirational speakers, fun games and activities to network and meet new people!
  • Hone your skills through workshops, panel discussions, and hands-on learning activities.
  • Get the chance to connect with leading companies making waves in service design worldwide. 

This one’s coming up quickly, so make sure to secure your ticket soon!


Register for our UX, service design, and research newsletter.


Top In-Person UX, Service Design, and Research Conferences of 2024

5. Collision

When: June 17th to 20th, 2024

Where: Toronto, ON

Cost: General Attendee tickets are $790 CAD

Collision is the must-attend conference if you want to be completely immersed in the world of Tech. With over 40,000 attendees from more than 130 different countries, this event is truly massive – it’s no wonder Politico calls it “the Olympics of tech.”

Their speaker lineup is shaping up beautifully, featuring founders, CEOs, and executives from notable tech startups and companies disrupting the industry. Topics will range from AI, consumer experience, SaaS, designing impactful experiences, and so much more. You can scroll through the 2023 agenda to understand the variety and value you can expect in this year’s event. 


6. SmashingConf 

When: October 7th to 10th, 2024

Where: Virtual and New York City, NY

Cost: $349 USD for students, $699 for general attendees, and $594 for teams purchasing 4+ tickets

Best For: Front-end developers, UI designers, and UX designers

SmashingConf is described as a friendly and inclusive conference for designers and front-end developers. We’re super impressed by their commitment to inclusivity, as noted in their Accessibility Statement and Code of Conduct. They go above and beyond to create a welcoming experience for all attendees – kudos to the Smashing team!

You can expect an impressive speaker lineup on topics like accessibility, design systems, AI and UX writing. What makes this conference extra special is its full-day, hands-on workshops. Their site says that you’ll be taking away a ton of new skills that can be put into practice immediately, allowing you to dive into new techniques and ideas on exciting topics in UX and design. Explore SmashingConf’s workshops here.

SmashingConf gently nudges those interested to save their seats quickly, as their venue only holds 500. 


7. UXPA International

When: June 24th to 27th, 2024

Where: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

Cost: This conference offers a range of ticket packages and discounts (for members, groups, government and nonprofit employees, sponsors and students). They offer single-day options, course options, and virtual-only pricing, to name a few. Virtual Only tickets are $800 USD and give you access to the main conference keynotes, tracks, and talks. Video recordings of all talks are also included.

Best For: UXers of all kinds!

This conference welcomes UX professionals from all walks of life: researchers, designers, or anyone involved in creating amazing user experiences. It’s hosted by the UXPA (User Experience Professionals Association International) an organization that supports people who research, design, and evaluate the user experience of products and services.

Their program’s user experience design impressed us – it’s simple to plan your agenda by filtering by segments, tags, and dates. We also love that the speaker profiles on their websites are linked to their LinkedIn profiles, so you can easily learn more about them in that context. We think this foreshadows what will likely be a great experience, whether virtually or in person. 


8. Service Design in Government (SDinGov)

When: ​​September 18th to 20th, 2024

Where: Edinburgh, Scotland 

Cost: You can choose to attend 1, 2, or 3 days, and the prices range from £336 to £750. Prices will continue to rise as the event date approaches! 

Best For: Designers, managers, and developers working in public sector transformation 

The SDinGov conference is returning for its 11th year for a 3-day in-person event. You can expect a carefully curated event experience that includes a mix of inspirational keynote speakers, interesting live sessions, hands-on group sessions, and a Q&A with speakers. Watch their 2022 highlights video to preview what you can expect from an SDinGov event, and browse testimonials from past attendees here.

Whether you’re managing, designing, or developing in the public sector, or you’re a government employee, consultant/contractor in the industry, or working at a design agency, you’re sure to find a ton of value in the thought leadership and inspiring talks. We love their emphasis on being able to walk away with real-world skills and techniques you can apply to your daily work. If you’re a fan of our blog, you know that tangible, actionable tips are kind of our thing. 


9. EPIC2024 Conference / Learning and Networking Week

When: August 18th to 21st, 2024

Where: Los Angeles, CA

Cost: To register, you must first become a member, then you can choose your conference ticket and any add-ons that interest you. Check out the pricing details here

Best For: Researchers and designers doing ethnography

EPIC2024 is the premier international conference on ethnography in business and organizations, hosted by a nonprofit and run by members and volunteers. EPIC is on a mission to bring together researchers, designers, strategists, marketers, engineers, entrepreneurs, executives, scholars, students, and more. 

Their conference encourages attendees to…

  • Learn expertise, methods, and skills
  • Explore social dynamics and cultural contexts
  • Find new sources of inspiration and space for reflection
  • Build lasting connections and networks

This year, EPIC2024’s theme is “Foundations, Displacement, Generation.” Their website shares, “This momentous 20th EPIC conference marks a pivotal moment when society, industry, and ethnography need to achieve profound transitions to create livable futures on the planet. We invite diverse people and creative partnerships to reexamine foundations, reckon with displacement, and craft new capacities for generation.”

We love their approach to delivering education, featuring many different avenues like case studies, PechaKucha, interactive experiences in real-time, artistic interventions using various media, small-group “salons,” classic keynotes, and more. Explore the Main Program and high-level schedule so you can begin planning!


10. CanUX

When: October 30th to November 2nd, 2024

Where: Ottawa, Canada

Cost: Tickets are on sale soon! Check back on the CanUX website for the most up-to-date pricing info. 

Best For: UXers of all kinds!

We may be biased, but we can’t wait for CanUX 2024, as it holds a special place in the hearts of us Outwitlians. Not just because we’re proudly Canadian, but because our whole design team attended the 2023 event where our CEO & founder, Sara, delivered her talk on Unlocking the Full Potential of UX. In case you missed it, you can access a copy of her slides here

Last year’s event was amazing – folks travelled from all over Canada, the US, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Sweden, and Jordan to be there. 

The CanUX (pronounced “Canucks” like the Vancouver NHL team) team is working on the agenda for the 2024 conference, but it will follow a similar format to 2023, with two full workshop days followed by two days of conference sessions. Like always, attendees can expect a wide variety of topics to be covered by industry leaders in areas like user experience and service design. 

If you’re interested in presenting at the 2024 CanUX Conference, their call for speakers is open until June 15th, 2024, or if you’d like to volunteer, send your name and email address to info@canux.io

An image of Sara Fortier, with a button to download the slides from her 2023 CanUX presentation: Unlocking the Full Potential of UX

11. UX Camp – Edmonton 

When: May 17th Workshops, May 18th Conference

Where: Edmonton, Alberta

Cost: Workshops range from – $10-$50 CAD each, and the conference is $50 CAD early bird or $75 CAD general admission

Best For: UXers in Alberta or anyone

#UXCampYEG is hosted by UX Edmonton, whose goal is to connect and grow a community of people across disciplines and industries who share a passion for design and UX – it sounds like a welcoming experience for all! This year’s lineup boasts a mix of experienced leaders from public and private sectors, discussing everything from Designing enterprise ecosystems to AI (duh), Rituals for Collaboration, and even Building Alberta’s first UX Major. Also note that the speakers list includes consultants so this could be a great opportunity for the Outwitly talent community to learn from other’s career trajectories in the field.

Early bird ticket sales end soon, on Monday, April 15th! UX Edmonton hosts packed events to showcase speakers who share invaluable experience-based lessons and insights.

Here’s what caught our attention:


That concludes our shortlist for must-attend UX and HCD conferences in 2024. Hopefully, this provided you with more information about the incredible events being offered globally, both virtually and in person. The design community sure is special — there’s never a shortage of opportunities to network, learn, and develop your skills! Don’t forget to follow us on Linkedin, subscribe to The Weekly Wit, and be sure to send us a DM letting us know which conferences we’ll see you at this year. Happy planning!