UX Sofia is an international UX (User Experience) conference focusing on design, usability, and user research. It is organized by Lucrat.

Digital wellbeing

The topic of this 12-th edition of the event is digital wellbeing.

Digital technology is a part of our lives and directly or indirectly affects our mental and physical health. Its effects on our wellbeing are both positive and negative. On one hand, digital technology helps us perform various tasks and activities faster and easier and makes our lives more convenient, efficient, connected, and pleasant. On the other hand, it can lead to decreased focus, lower productivity, sleep disruptions, social isolation, and emotional distress. There are also concerns about privacy, misinformation, and job displacement.

Ideally, digital technology should optimize people’s lives. Machines handle mundane tasks, and we focus on the strategic aspects of work and life and derive more pleasure from our hobbies and interests. The balance between machine and human activities defines the digital wellbeing of humans.

Two parties are responsible for maintaining this balance: the users and the makers.

Users (individuals) can set personal boundaries between offline and online activities such as technology-free breaks, limiting screen time, and dedicating time for physical activities, hobbies, and face-to-face interactions. Digital wellbeing also involves good digital hygiene – being aware of privacy, security, misinformation, and ethical issues. In addition, individuals can practice digital detox activities, such as breaks from social media, turning off notifications, time outdoors, offline hobbies, and mindfulness.

Makers (companies, designers, and developers) can promote digital wellbeing by creating technologies that directly encourage healthy usage habits; for example, features that track screen time, provide reminders for breaks, and offer options to limit notifications. They can also prioritize privacy and data protection to ensure users feel safe and secure with their products.

More importantly, makers can take a human-centric approach to technology that aims for mutual understanding between people and machines. If the goal of technology is to optimize people’s lives, it needs to understand their work, activities, habits, and interests. Since the places and ways that humans work and act vary, technologies need to be context-aware and be able to adapt to the individual variations, needs and desires. By building technologies that know individuals, shape themselves accordingly, and offer support in unobtrusive and respectful ways, makers can foster a healthy relationship between humans and machines.

UX practitioners have a big role to play for our future in which software will reflect and understand individuals.

UX Sofia 2023 will focus on practices, solutions, and examples of design that foster digital wellbeing. Together we will look into ways we can improve:

  • Physical health,
  • Emotional and mental health,
  • Social connections,
  • Information and media literacy,
  • Digital literacy and skills,
  • Financial literacy and skills,
  • Privacy and security,
  • Productivity and time management.

(This text was prepared with the help of AI language tools.)

The goal of UX Sofia has always been to expand skills and build knowledge in the fields of design, user research, and user communication. This goal does not change. We will broaden our horizons this year by focusing on design that helps humans to do well and prosper.

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Registrations are open.

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We are no longer looking for volunteers, we have enough for this year’s edition. If you are interested for the next year, please let us know at angelina.ivancheva@lucrat.net.