Going to MIX? Don’t have a clue what’s going on? Schedule Microsoft MIX08 with my Excel workbook.

MIX08For a design-orientated conference, Microsoft’s MIX08 event has one of the worst-designed session timetables/planners I’ve ever come across. The sessions are listed in no apparent order and doesn’t actually provide any methods to sort the list by title, time, place or focus just in case you have any sense of control.

If you wanted to see what’s on during a particular time-slot, nope, can’t do that. If you wanted to see what’s on in a particular room on a day, nope, can’t do that. If you wanted to plan a list of sessions you’re interested in to find any conflicts, nope, can’t do that.

Because my time is so much less valuable than whomever designed that, I’ve taken the liberty to recompose the entire schedule in an Excel workbook to give some sense of time and place with what’s going on during the 3-day event with over 76 sessions in total.

MIX08 Schedule

First, I made an overview schedule of all the events and functions at MIX.

MIX08 Schedule

Then for each day, I compiled a detailed schedule of all the sessions that are happening that day columnized by which room it’s happening in.

Together with some nice colors, cell formatting and customized view options, if I may say so myself, I have designed a pretty damn good timetable.

What I’m going to do for myself is color highlight the sessions (cells) which I’m interested in attending so I have a clear picture of where I should be and when. Because I would feel so guilty being the only person at the event who actually has a clue what’s going on, I felt obliged to make available this Excel document for everyone else to download.

Download the schedule in Excel 2007 format (XLSX) here or the Excel 2000 format (XLS) here.

I’ll try to update the schedule when sessions time/place change. As a result of any errors in the schedule, I hold no responsibility if you end up in a LOLCat convention by mistake. But I’m sure you’ll fit right in.

Update (25/1): Added BlogZone opening and closing times to the overview.

22 insightful thoughts

  1. Wow. Isn’t that MIX thing a conference about the web and user experience from the largest software company? Why are they always talking about it instead of just create good experience? I’m serious, are there online calendars for this event? Windows Live Calendars anyone? Or a Silverlight session planner? (Did anybody say web experience???) Even a simple and useful spreadsheet has to be created by bloggers. Not even buying Yahoo AND Google would solve this kind of problems…

    So thank you for that.

  2. I just took a look at it. It’ll be useful only in an absolute bind. The cells format correctly with exemption to the text, a large block of text doesn’t seem to span out over multiple cells like it should.

    Strike 1, Windows Mobile team.

  3. I’ve uploaded a new version that should print out very nicely on A4 paper. I scaled the summary to fit on one portrait page and the sessions to fit on 2 landscape pages.

  4. Thanks Long, your spreadsheet is useful. I wished the sessions on the mix08 site were made available as RSS in xml or as a json feed.

  5. Outstanding work. Now I can actually see how my days will be broken up. I totally agree with the sentiments about the *terrible* design of the Mix planner. They absolutely dropped the ball. Maybe someone could ask about it at one of the Q&A’s? ;)

    Maybe the Office team created it….

  6. I’ll have to disagree. All MIX attendees were advised that they have access to commnet (https://content.visitmix.com/Default.aspx) where they can find the schedulle builder, an AJAX based tool with an off-line companion which we can use to filter and select the best conference on each timeslot to fit your needs. I can also sync that to my personal schedulle in outlook.

    Regards

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