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Why We’re Getting 1000’s of People Drunk

Jonathan Kim
Aug 21, 2017 · 3 min read

This October will mark the 4th Boston Drunk User Testing. What started as just a handful of “design-y” startups and a couple of kegs has grown to hundreds of people and dozens of simultaneous usability tests.

It’s no coincidence that DUT aligns with Appcues’ mission of helping teams create products their users love. This year, we’re excited to bring it to more people and more cities (more on that later).

The User is Drunk

If you found yourself in just the right part of the internet in 2015, you may remember a niche craze at the intersection of software, design and copious amounts of alcohol.

Not familiar? Allow Will to fill you in.

While the “drunk” part of drunk user testing may sound like unhealthy startup Kool-Aid, the point is something that even the tee-ist of teetotals can get behind: great design is simple and clear.

Not Quite a Meetup, Not Quite a Conference

One of the things that makes DUT a great event is the format. It combines the socializing of a bar meetup with the focus of a conference. There are no boring slides to sit through or awkward introductions.

While that may seem like a gimmick, it’s actually important for progressing design. DUT literally puts design at the center. It forces us to talk about it constructively, and anyone, regardless of skill, can say, “I didn’t like that,” and be contributing to design.

Sponsoring an event like DUT is a great way to see how frequent feedback leads to better design. It’s a place where designers, engineers and product managers can get first-hand accounts of what users think.

Our hope is that it’ll encourage teams to make user testing a core part of their product development process. And hey, sometimes even attendees learn something about themselves.

Our engineering team has really gotten into it. At the Appcues booth, we had a time trial to see who could complete a specific user test in the shortest amount of time. We kept a leaderboard throughout the night and awarded prizes to the two people with the shortest times.

The event has been a huge hit so far, and we’re just getting started.

How to Get Involved

In past events, we selected about a dozen local startups to participate as sponsors. With the help of our friends at Wistia, we handled the venue, tickets, beer, food—everything. All sponsors had to do was show up and chip in for expenses.

This year, we’re throwing two DUT events in Boston and our first one in San Francisco. For both of these events, we’re looking for:

  • Companies interested in user testing their software products
  • Volunteers who want to help with logistics
  • Fun spaces that can host 300+ people

We love this event and think you and your community will too. Hope to see you at the next one!

Want to see Drunk User Testing in your city? We’d love to work with you! Reach out to to get the ball rolling.


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