Hip to Be Square: Mission Accomplished

The inaugural Squares Conference is in the books and, having a few days to digest, I think it’s fair to call the Squares Conference a success.

The theme of presentations at Squares Conference seemed to be that having a mission statement and guiding principles are a critical part of success. This was repeated by several speakers including Drew Wilson, Cap Watkins, Cameron Moll, Carl Smith and Kyle Kutter.

Kyle and Cameron in particular discussed how to create a singular statement that reflects a company’s values and goals. This statement can be used to refer back to during any decision making process and that decision can be made easier by having a singular vision.

Additionally, this enables new clients to quickly understand what a company stands for as well as giving new employees a background on the company and a way to be sure they’re a fit for the company culture.

The Squares Conference slogan is “Hip to Be Square,” a reference to the Huey Lewis and the News song of the same name. Since Squares Conference is an offshoot of the Circles Conference this was also a bit of a play on words in that regard. If “Hip to Be Square” was the conference’s mission statement, then they can officially stamp “mission accomplished” across the entire event.

There was plenty of nerdy fun to be had including pingpong, mocktails from Red Bull, foosball, and a virtual reality simulator using Occulus Rift that simulated cliff diving! The attendees were in high spirits and discussions about responsive typography, WordPress coding, and React.JS were heard throughout the hallways of the beautiful venue in Grapevine.

Next year’s Squares Conference is likely to build on the momentum of this year’s conference, and hopefully the conference organizers and volunteers are able to remain true to their mission statement and continue to be a hip and cool spot for “squares” like me and other designers and developers to learn about our craft in a fun and engaging environment.

Andrew Zusman

Andrew is a user experience designer at Velocis in Dallas, Texas. He is also an accomplished teacher of user experience design. He taught at Israel's Netcraft Academy for UX Design and Development. Andrew is the creator and editor of the popular newsletter UXKingdom (UXKingdom.com). You can follow him on Twitter: @UXAndrew