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April 2015: Design for the Network

Posted: March 8th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Matthew Milan

Important note: This event has been rescheduled to April 16. The time of day and location remain unchanged.

For our March April session we’re delighted to welcome past Fluxible speaker Matthew Milan back to Waterloo Region!

For thousands of years, networks have played a growing role in the progress of human society. They are the hardware infrastructure that the software of culture runs on. Design has always been about creating culture; what’s different now is that the target of design isn’t just a user, a group or a market. We’re designing for the network.

Proposing a new target for design means that we need a new language of design. We need to consider a new aesthetic, new materials, and new methods, methodologies and mindsets. Perhaps most importantly, we need to reflect on whether the future of design should continue to be human-centered.

This talk will delve into the role of design in our connected world of networks, software and systems. We’ll explore approaches and perspectives that can help us become more networked-centered in our work as designers, and challenge some core elements of current design practice by asking what it means to “design for the network”.

About Matthew Milan

Matthew is the Co-founder and CEO of Normative, a software design firm headquartered in Toronto. Matthew is a design leader with 15 years of experience in the domain of emerging technologies, specializing in software design, innovation and product development. A veteran of startups in the areas of knowledge management, geospatial visualization and machine learning, Matthew excels at helping collaborators turn complex ideas and information into compelling and engaging user experiences.

A recognized voice in the areas of design and strategy, Matthew speaks regularly at conferences on a wide range of topics including interaction design, systems theory and wearable computing.

Please RSVP for this free event

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Thursday April 16, 2015
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Atlas/Matrix room
Communitech Hub
Kitchener, Ontario

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March 2015: Introduction to user story mapping

Posted: March 8th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Events | No Comments »

Note: As our original March event has been rescheduled to April, we’re now presenting this fine workshop event for March.

User story mapping has been described and demonstrated by Jeff Patton for years in workshops and, most recently, in his terrific book User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product. It’s a great a tool for helping software product development teams focus on users and their needs rather than on features.

In this session, uxWaterloo’s very own Mark Connolly will provide an introduction to Patton’s user story mapping through a straightforward hands-on workshop that focuses on the key concepts and enables everyone to create their first story map. Sounds like fun, right?

Register

Thursday March 12, 2015
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Atlas/Matrix room
Communitech Hub
Kitchener, Ontario

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February 2015: Reasonable people shouldn’t use design thinking

Posted: February 6th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Events | No Comments »

Design Thinking is itself contradictory. It is not about designing and not limited to thinking; it is large and contains multitudes. It also won’t solve your big problem because the problem is, we don’t understand the problem.

Design Thinking provides a guided iterative process of addressing problems that are difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. The outcome sometimes addresses fundamental needs that your users didn’t know they had, which negates — rather than solves — the original big problem. Design thinkers sometimes are required to change reality to what they need it to be, before a solution can be found. This is not a process for reasonable people, as George Bernard Shaw observed: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

In this discussion, David Loop from SAP Canada tells two stories that illustrate how the problems we try to solve are not generally the right problems — and how Design Thinking can help guide us to success.

About the speaker

David Loop is a Senior Design Thinking coach and facilitator for SAP Canada. He has been assisting informatics, business, and industry teams in finding their insights and advancing to solutions. David brings a wealth of knowledge and varied experience to his talk with his past in knowledge management, software development, consulting, education and theatre

Please RSVP for this free event

We manage our monthly events at Meetup.com. Join us there!

Register

Thursday February 19, 2015
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Atlas/Matrix room
Communitech Hub
Kitchener, Ontario

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Startup Weekend wants YOU!

Posted: January 7th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Events | No Comments »

Got any plans for the first weekend of February? Yes? Well, cancel them. Because you’re starting a company instead.

This year’s edition of Startup Weekend happens at the Communitech Hub on February 6-8, and UX designers are a hot commodity. Anyone is welcome to pitch a startup idea, then teams organically form to turn the top ideas into reality. It’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. And it’s loads of fun.

Check out the details and get registered.


January 2015: Design is kids play at UX BookClub

Posted: December 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

Design for Kids, by Debra Levin Gelman

A new year is fast approaching, and with it comes new UX Book Club meetups, topics to discuss and colleagues to meet! We’re excited to let you know that our next UX Book Club meetup will be on Thursday January 15th, 2015.

To kick off the 2015 series, we’ve selected a fun read that focuses on something completely different from previous books: Design for Kids by Debra Levin Gelman (@dgelman).

Debra’s book discusses how design changes when your users are kids. How do they interact with and understand technology? What special considerations should you take into account when your product will be used by kids? How should you change your UX practice and methodologies?

Many of our interactions with children will have helped us form our own ideas about how to design for kids. Debra’s writings and our own anecdotal experiences should fuel an interesting and thoughtful discussion. We expect this will be a great one!

There are many locations to buy this book, including Amazon.ca, or buy a hardcopy or e-book from Rosenfeld Media. (Psst! If you came to Fluxible, now is a great time to use that free ebook coupon for Rosenfeld Media!)

Please register at Meetup.com for this free event

Remember, we’re now using Meetup.com to manage our monthly sessions. Join us there!

Register

Thursday January 15, 2015
7:00 – 9:00pm
Boltmade Inc.
187 King St North
2nd Floor
Waterloo, ON
N2J 1R1

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December 2014: Designing for Disruptive Innovation

Posted: December 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | No Comments »

Our very own Robert Barlow-Busch, co-champion of uxWaterloo, spoke last month by invitation of Jared Spool at UX Thursday in Toronto. If you missed that event, here’s your chance to catch Bob’s talk, which people described as informative, inspiring, and entertaining. Join us and find out if it’s true!

Sometimes we get so focused on winning the small victories of the present — like sign-off on UX or design support — that we fail to plan for a project’s bigger challenges.

Robert Barlow-Busch journeyed with a team who faced the possibility of failure after ignoring something big: the future. In this talk, Robert will share how:

  • Having higher-ups support design and research can impact a project
  • Bringing colleagues along for a design journey will turn them into evangelists
  • Destroying a team’s assumptions might be a designer’s most important contribution

About the speaker

Robert has spent over 20 years as an interaction designer with one foot in the marketing world. He’s now leading the charge in both worlds as Chief Experience Officer of MetaMarketplace. He’s busy building Ontario’s design community as co-chair of the Fluxible conference and co-champion of uxWaterloo.

You can find Robert’s ideas in books such as User-Centered Design Stories and The Persona Lifecycle.

Please register at Meetup.com for this free event

Remember, we’re now using Meetup.com to manage our monthly sessions. Join us there!

Register

Monday December 15, 2014
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Boltmade Inc.
187 King St North
2nd Floor
Waterloo, ON
N2J 1R1

[View on Google Maps]


November 2014: Intellectual property for designers

Posted: October 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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.

Finally, from now on we’re using Meetup.com to manage our monthly sessions. Join us there now!

Please register at Meetup.com for this free event

Register

Thursday November 20, 2014
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Kitchener Studio Project
44 Gaukel Street
Kitchener, ON N2G 4P3


October 2014: Wireframing Like a Boss

Posted: October 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Can’t draw? Haven’t picked up a pen since 1998? Not sure what the difference is between a wireframe and a prototype? Just looking to pick up some quick and easy tips for creating full, annotated wireframes for clients. Perfect, this session is just for you!

Caryn Humphreys, of software design and development shop Vehikl, will introduce you to the different types of wireframes (both internal and deliverable), the terminology related to wireframing, and current available software.

She’ll also lead a hands-on workshop that will teach you how to create effective wireframes. Choose from one of the provided web or mobile app ideas and we’ll run through the basics of how to draw your wireframes.

Whether you’re delivering to developers on your team, planning out your design sprint on your UX team, or showing a proof-of-concept to clients/shareholders, you’ll walk away knowing how to wireframe… like a boss. (Or like someone who makes wireframes, at least.)

Register

Thursday October 16, 2014
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Boltmade Inc.
2nd Floor, 187 King St S
Waterloo, ON


September 2014 – A Simple and Usable UX Book Club

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

After a great summer, we’re back! We hope your batteries have been recharged and you’re ready to trade in your beach novels for UX lit.

Join us on Thursday September 11th at 7pm to discuss Simple and Usable web, mobile, and interaction design by Giles Colborne (@gilescolborne). You can grab the book directly from Amazon.ca 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.

As a special treat this month, we’ll be joined by Giles himself! We’re honoured to have him on hand to help further the discussion and give us a chance to pick his brain. (As there may be some jetlag involved, let’s not go too hard on him though.)

Giles’ book is an easy to read page flipper on how we can approach the surprisingly difficult activity of simplifying designs. It outlines interesting and real-life examples, and talks about how we can apply them to our own work.

This time around, we’ll be hosting the event in Waterloo’s own Seven Shores Urban Market and Cafe, the wonderfully delicious cafe in Uptown Waterloo. We’ve booked the private back room – a great space for intimate and lively conversation! As space is limited, registration will be capped at 20. Be sure to register soon to avoid disappointment.

If you can’t make it to UX Book Club on the 11th (and even if you can!) you can also catch Giles at the Fluxible 2014 conference, September 13-14. He’ll be giving a workshop on “Rediscovering Efficiency” which will teach techniques for designing highly efficient user interfaces.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

Register

Thursday September 11, 2014
7:00-8:30 pm
Seven Shores Urban Market and Cafe
10 Regina St. N Unit 4
Waterloo, Ontario


August 2014: Another informal pub meetup

Posted: July 27th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

Our July uxWaterloo session featured informal talk and drinks. It was so much fun that we’re doing it again for August! As is always the case, the laid-back atmosphere and conversations are a welcome addition to any summer schedule. Join us!

We’ll be back to a program of speakers and workshops starting in September, but now’s the time for conversation and relaxation…

Please register for this free event

Register

Thursday August 21, 2014
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Patio at The Barley Works
(upstairs in the Huether Hotel)
59 King St. North
Waterloo, Ontario