User-centered design and LIFT

Laurent and I have been interviewed by Fabio Sergio for the Convivio website (a European network for human-centred design of interactive technologies). What is interesting is that Fabio highlighted an aspect that we haven't really though about when organizing LIFT last year:

Fabio: I am not sure the term really makes sense in this context, but after experiencing LIFT 06 I’d be tempted to say that you applied a Human-Centered approach to the design of the conference last year, and all seems to hint you’re doing it again this year. Is this impression in any way correct?

Nicolas: Even though the human-centered approach nicely reflect what happened, it was actually not that intentional and this mindset emerged from how we thought a conference should be organized and from the type of event we would have liked to attend in the first place. Besides, when you start building a conference from scratch, you don’t have all the needed expertise so you do it with others.

Laurent: Actually, I feel LIFT06 was deeply human centered, but that was not really intentional, nor did I follow a method or something. It was more me trying to see how I could best accommodate the constraint I had: small budget (LIFT is auto-financed), short notice, small team, no previous experience in organizing events. So we tried to get help from the community as much as we could, as LIFT is a gathering more than anything else. We asked people to help us with some decisions and suggestions, outsourced a few things to the attendees, and after the event gathered precious feedback via a survey.

Why do I blog this? LIFT06 was really an occasion for us (Laurent, John, Steve and I) to learn how to organize an event based on a low-profile cross-pollinating approach. It's good when external persons highlight an aspect we haven't thought of (or maybe because we're so deeply into user-centered XXXX that we're shaped by this way of thinking?).