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July 2014: Informal Pub Meetup

Posted: July 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

It’s time to chase away those summertime blues with a July uxWaterloo session that features informal talk and drinks! We’ve done this before — even using this very same announcement — and the laid-back atmosphere and conversations are a welcome addition to any summer schedule. Join us!

As an added bonus, there’s a very good chance that Bob and Mark will provide an update on Fluxible 2014. There are some exciting things brewing! Really!

Please register for this free event


Thursday July 24, 2014
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Patio at The Barley Works
(upstairs in the Huether Hotel)
59 King St. North
Waterloo, Ontario

June 2014: Intellectual property for designers

Posted: June 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

Update: Pub UX!!!

Unfortunately, our speaker Kuyler Neable for Thursday’s session has had to postpone on short notice. We’ll reschedule him for the fall, but our June event will now be a pub meet-up. Join us for a uxWaterloo session that features informal talk and drinks! We’ve done this before, and the laid-back atmosphere and conversations are a welcome addition to any summer schedule. See you there!

What is your most valuable idea? Why is it valuable to you? How do you know it is actually yours?

Ideas are intangible, and, yet, can be highly valuable. Creativity and innovation have a significant impact on many aspects of our lives, from the global economy and international trade, to individual, personal expression. Governments create laws to protect intellectual property. Technology companies rely on new inventions for commercial success. Our personal identities may rely on originality and expression. We all live and thrive in a world of ideas, each in our own way.

But, to what extent to you actually own your ideas? How can this ownership be enforced? How does our intellectual property law system simultaneously account for inventions as assets for a corporation, the aesthetics of a unique design, or the individual expression of a person? Please join Kuyler Neable in exploring the concepts, principles, and laws that contribute to patent, trade-mark, copyright, and industrial design protection.

Kuyler is an intellectual property lawyer with the firm of Bereskin & Parr LLP. He spends his days helping his clients realize the value of their high-tech inventions by protecting their intellectual property with patents, and is also an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Engineering at Western University, where he lectures on copyright and trade marks.


Thursday June 26, 2014
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Patio at The Barley Works
(upstairs in the Huether Hotel)
59 King St. North
Waterloo, Ontario
Communitech Hub, P2P Room
151 Charles St. W.
Kitchener, ON N2G 1H6

May 2014 bonus event: Product Design at ZURB

Posted: May 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

We already have a terrific UX Book Club event happening this month on May 22. Register now if you haven’t yet done so.

But now there’s more!

Fluxible 2013 featured ZURB founder Bryan Zmijewski presenting on Design that Drives Action. This month, two of Bryan’s colleagues will bring a new talk to uxWaterloo as part of the ZURB World Tour.

The folks at ZURB have been practicing product design since 1998, long before people even realized they were building digital products and not just websites. Yet most companies are still struggling with the concept of product design in a digital world. But they don’t have to. In this special uxWaterloo event, learn how you can elevate your game and design online products that everyone will want to use.

Alok Jethanandani is one of ZURB’s stellar designers. He’s worked on several client projects and is the main designer on ZURB’s product suite of apps.

Rafi Benkual is ZURB’s Foundation Advocate. He works on the world’s most advanced responsive framework, helping others design responsively.


Thursday May 15, 2014
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, P2P Room
151 Charles St. W.
Kitchener, ON N2G 1H6

May 2014: The art of seduction at UX Book Club KW

Posted: April 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | 1 Comment »


UX Book Club KW is meeting again in May and this time we’re focusing on art of seduction. Well, in terms of designing interfaces, at least!

Join us on Thursday May 22nd at 7pm, to discuss Seductive Interaction Design: Creating Playful, Fun, and Effective User Experiences by Stephen P. Anderson (@stephenanderson). The book takes a fresh approach to designing sites and interactions based on the stages of seduction, and examines what motivates people to act.

It’s packed with excellent examples of websites employing seductive design, and goes even further to delve into the fundamental psychological theories behind exactly why each of the examples work so well.

We’re pretty excited to be hosting this month’s meeting at DVLB, the fabulously hip coffee bar in Uptown Waterloo.

You can grab the book directly from Peach Pit Publishing, and other places, including WordsWorthBooks in Uptown. And if you’re just looking to borrow a copy instead, we’d be happy to lend you ours.

So, have you been seduced? We hope so – see you there!

Because space is limited at DVLB, we have to cap registration to 18.  Go ahead and register now:

Thursday May 22, 2014

7:00 to 8:30 pm
84 King Street North
Waterloo, ON N2J 2X4



April 2014: Building the muscles of innovators, with Steve Portigal

Posted: March 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

How can you broaden your sphere of influence within the field of user experience? You can start by building your muscles! Steve will take a look at some fundamental skills that underlie the creation and launch of innovative goods and services. He will discuss the personal skills that he considers to be “the muscles of innovators” and the ways you can build these important muscles, including noticing, understanding cultural context, maintaining exposure to pop culture, synthesizing, drawing, wordsmithing, listening, and prototyping. Along the way, he will demonstrate how improving these powerful skills will equip you to lead positive change.

Steve Portigal is the founder of Portigal Consulting, a bite-sized San Francisco firm that helps clients to discover and act on new insights about themselves and their customers. That means that he’s important enough to have a company named after him, but not important enough to have an invincible army of minions… yet. Steve delighted conference attendees at Fluxible 2013. He’s also author of Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights, a Rosenfeld Media book.

Sounds like a great time, right? Register now!


Thursday April 17, 2014
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, P2P Room
151 Charles St. W.
Kitchener, ON N2G 1H6

March 2014: How research weaves into a product’s destiny

Posted: March 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

The FatesWho doesn’t like a great metaphor? If you’re a UX practitioner or researcher, you love them right?

In this month’s session, join Janice de JongJulia Thompson, and Susan Simon Daniels as they use the three fates of Greek mythology to illustrate truths about UX research.

The three fates, who represent destiny, are:

  • Clotho. The spinner who creates the thread of life. She is the youngest and represents what is possible. Clotho is pictured with a spindle and thread.
  • Lachesis. The allotter who measures out life. Lachesis is in the middle and decides what kind of life a person will lead and for how long.
  • Atropos. The last and oldest fate is the one who cannot be turned away—she cuts the thread when the time has come.

There’s an interesting parallel between the three fates and the three stages of research throughout a product’s life cycle:

  • Clotho would be trend research typically started earliest and carried out on the farthest horizon, about three years from now. Hear Janice de Jong explain the purpose of trend research, strategies on how to conduct this analysis and how trends influence the product life cycle.
  • Lachesis would be research around product ideas and concept exploration typically carried out a year or two before a product comes to market. Listen to Julia Thompson describe the goals of exploratory research, best practices for methodologies and how research influences product meaning.
  • Atropos  would be research on the product’s usability typically carried out in the months before the product is launched. Hear Susie Simon Daniels identify goals for usability research, best practices for studies and how usability research impacts the product being shipped out the door.

By weaving these three stages of research together, you’ll learn how to spin out a meaningful user experience. We’ll follow a product case study to show the research fates at play through the three stages of trends, exploration and usability research.

Sounds like fun, right? Register now!


Thursday March 20 , 2014
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, P2P Room
151 Charles St. W.
Kitchener, ON N2G 1H6

February 2014: UX Book Club comes to Waterloo Region!

Posted: January 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | No Comments »

For our February session, we’re handing over the keys to the uxWaterloo car to Katie Cerar and  Davis Neable, two members of the vibrant uxWaterloo community. They have a great initiative to introduce at this session. Take it away, Katie and Davis!

If you’re like us, January is a time for new projects, collaborations and hopes for making the year ahead the best yet. It’s also a time for trying out new activities, and we’ve got just the thing for you — come reboot your creative energy and get your brain thinking differently at UX Book Club Waterloo!

On Thursday February 20th at 7pm we’ll be holding the first ever UX Book Club Waterloo meetup, as a special UX Waterloo event. You’re invited to come out and discuss the chosen book with the rest of the UX community.

We’ll be meeting in the back room of Symposium in Waterloo, located at 2-4 King Street North (at the corner of King and Erb).

Our book this month will be See What I Mean by Kevin Cheng (Rosenfeld Books). You can buy the book online (hardcopy and digital) at and be sure to save 30% using our own discount code UXBCKW!see-what-i-mean-small

Here’s a quick synopsis:

Comics are a unique way to communicate, using both image and text to effectively demonstrate time, function, and emotion. Just as vividly as they convey the feats of superheroes, comics tell stories of your users and your products. Comics can provide your organization with an exciting and effective alternative to slogging through requirements documents and long reports. In See What I Mean, Kevin Cheng, OK/Cancel founder/cartoonist and founder of Off Panel Productions, will teach you how you can use comics as a powerful communication tool without trained illustrators. (from

All we ask is that you come ready to share something that really resonated with you and something that threw you for a loop. And, of course, if you’re not able to get through the book, no problem – you might still find you have something to contribute or learn!

Does that sound good to you? If so, please register for this event as it helps to make sure we have enough snacks etc.

We can’t wait to have you!

Katie Cerar (LinkedIn, @KatieCerar) Davis Neable (LinkedIn, @DavisN) —————-

Q. What is UX Book Club?

A. UX Book Club is a social gathering where we happen to talk about UX books. In a comfortable atmosphere with drinks and food, we’ll discuss a book through a UX lens. Whether you’re new to UX or an old pro, you can expect a lively and respectful debate, and you should come home with some new perspectives to inspire you in your practice. Try to come prepared with a few things you liked about the book, and one thing you did not agree with.

Q. Where will UX Book Club be held?

A. This UX Book Club event will be held at LOCATION as part of UX Waterloo. Future UX Book Clubs may be in pubs, restaurants, coffee shops, or event peoples’ houses! The comfier, the better.

Q. How often will you be holding UX Book Club meetups?

A. Right now we’re thinking of having them once every 3 months. However, we want to run them as often as works best with your schedule. Please send us any and all feedback you have – we’d love to hear from you.

Note that this event starts at 7:00pm and is happening at Symposium Café

Thursday February 20, 2014 7:00pm Symposium Café 2-4 King Street North Waterloo, ON N2J 2W7

January 2014: Designing a product for Kickstarter

Posted: December 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

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Andrew Gardner is an industrial designer whose love of pens and magnets led to the creation of the Polar Pen, an ingenious product that took Kickstarter by storm. Starting with a modest goal of raising $14,000, the project ended up raising over $800,000 by the time it closed.

Andrew’s approach to the project, and the various hurdles that he faced along the way, make for a compelling story with, valuable insights into the process of designing and bringing a new product to market. He’ll be sharing his story with us this month, and it’s sure to be an enlightening session!

Andrew’s design firm, INDIEDESIGN, has worked on projects for a variety of organizations, including Canada’s Olympic team. The company’s stated mission is to “take ideas and dreams and transform them into reality”. Aim big!


Thursday January 16, 2014
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, P2P Room
151 Charles St. W.
Kitchener, ON N2G 1H6

December 2013: Best Practices in Accessible User Experience Design for Mobile Devices

Posted: November 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Designing simplified user experiences for complex and complicated products is hard work. Designing user experiences destined for consumption and interaction on the latest generation of mobile devices introduces slightly different challenges and constraints. Designing user experiences that can be used effectively and universally by customers of all shapes and sizes, abilities and disabilities, is an even more difficult venture that can be very challenging and rewarding for software engineers and UX practitioners. Join Greg Fields as he uses real world examples to explore the best practices and heuristics for creating mobile user experiences that are both accessible and usable. Adventurous attendees are welcome to bring in examples of their work for review and evaluation.

Greg Fields manages a portfolio of BlackBerry Handheld Software products and services at BlackBerry (nee Research In Motion), is a Certified Usability Analyst, remains an Interaction Designer hobbyist, and is generally a curious guy. He has led the introduction of accessible BlackBerry products and services over the last 7 years, led the institutionalization of Accessibility @ BlackBerry, has worked closely with end users in 100+ instances of user studies, is an innovator with 20+ patents in the area of Wireless/UI/Human Factors, and has contributed to international research and standards in the area of Human Factors.

Note that we’re meeting on a Tuesday this month!


Tuesday December 10, 2013
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, P2P Room
151 Charles St. W.
Kitchener, ON N2G 1H6

November 2013: Changing the way streets are designed

Posted: November 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

This month, our special guest is Cory Bluhm, who is manager of downtown development for the City of Kitchener. Cory will be sharing insights about the thinking that went into the user experience of the downtown Kitchener streetscape.

For decades, streets in North America have been designed around utilitarian needs, rather than user experience. Durability, vehicular access and infrastructure servicing took precedence over creating spaces that are attractive and inviting. But in 2010, the City of Kitchener completed the transformation of King Street – one of the first streets in North America to be designed entirely around user experience. Now, King Street has become the model for other cities, like Toronto, Buffalo, Guelph and Niagara Falls, who are building new pedestrian-focused streets. Learn about the thinking behind the new King Street design including the not so obvious changes that have helped breathe life into this street. For example, why do the sidewalks seem wider when in actuality they got smaller? Why does the street seem lively at night, even at times when there aren’t many people around? But be warned, you may never look at a street the same way again.

Please note that we’re meeting at Kitchener City Hall for this event!


Thursday November 21, 2013
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Kitchener City Hall, Conestoga Room
200 King St. W.
Kitchener, ON

Here are some parking options for City Hall.