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December Recap- UX Show and Tell

Posted: December 23rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Events | No Comments »

Our December “Show and Tell” was a great way to close out 2011 and learn about what others have been working on!

Mark gave us more insight into how he has designed an application that displays connections between medical facilities.

Chris provided an update about the volunteering he is doing with REEP.  This was great to hear, as there are a number of uxWaterloo volunteers helping REEP and continuing the design discussions that we had in our October event.

David explained how he created a solution that allows product designers to share feedback on their designs through an intranet.  It was great to see such a collaborative approach to wireframing!

James demoed a tool that is helping designers put their wireframes in a development-friendly format.

Artem has been working on a BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) game that allows users to use their chat session as a game and place votes to play the game.

Bob took us through a new venture that he’s working on, where he’s able to provide design thinking into the business plan and strategy.

It was great to hear about such a large variety of projects and we look forward to other show and tell events in the new year.  Thanks to everyone for making our 2011 uxWaterloo events so interesting and insightful!  All the best to you over the holidays and stay tuned to our uxWaterloo blog and @uxWat feed on Twitter for news about our 2012 events!


(December 2011) UX Show and Tell

Posted: December 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Register

Tuesday Dec 20, 2010
5:30 to 7:00 pm + Join us for drinks afterwards
Pollock Executive Briefing Centre at The Communitech Hub
151 Charles St. W., Suite 100 (Tannery Building) in Kitchener
[Map

Show off your work or your tools this winter!

What are you working on before the holidays? Come share with us at this month’s UX Show and Tell event! Bring examples of anything from your work: research artifacts, personas, sketches, wireframes, design comps, prototypes, documents… anything goes. Even show off a favorite tool, if you’d like. Tell us about a challenge you faced, explain a problem that you solved, or simply share something you’re proud of.

Tips for presenting

Prepare to make your presentation brief, to allow time for questions and discussion. And importantly, please be aware of our 3 golden rules:

  • No sales pitches
  • Anchor your demo in design/UX (e.g., a code review wouldn’t be appropriate for this event)
  • Choose only one or two pages from that 5-pound design specification

A projector, laptop (Macintosh), and Internet connection will be available. If you can present from our laptop, that would help the evening progress more smoothly. But feel free to use your own computer if necessary.

Do I NEED to bring something to show?

No, it’s not required that you bring something to show. But we certainly encourage you do so, as you’ll be surprised how much fun it can be. Remember, you don’t have to show a lot. Even a single screenshot can be plenty. And yes, you DO have something that others would find interesting or valuable!

Mix and mingle afterwards

After the event ends at 7:00, we’re planning to get together at a nearby pub or restaurant. If some informal chitchat over a drink and food sounds like fun, please just hang out for a few minutes afterwards while we see who’s interested and decide where to go.


Job: UI Programmer at InGamer Sports

Posted: December 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Jobs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

InGamer logo

Location: Guelph, Ontario

InGamer Sports provides a new form of fantasy sports game that allows people to play on a game by game basis. Players pick any five athletes they want and change those athletes during the game. This removes the barriers that classical fantasy puts in the way of the casual fan. Our technology is in market with Rogers Sportsnet.ca.

You will have an opportunity to make very direct and substantial contributions to the product. This job requires that you:

  • Have worked on at least 3 professional projects from start to ongoing maintenance phase
  • Can re-interpret interaction approaches for delivery platforms
  • Believe that product creation demands craftsmanship
  • Deliver successful software through efficient teamwork

You will be implementing your solutions in the web browser stack, experience with any of these additional technologies that our platform uses would be helpful:

  • Ruby on Rails
  • Linux (Ubuntu)
  • Amazon Cloud Services
  • ssh
  • Apache
  • git
  • bash
  • MySQL

To see what we’re about, come play a game!

All applications must include a cover letter and resume to be considered. Please send applications to apply@InGamer.com.


November Recap- Thinkering at the FELT Lab

Posted: November 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

On Thursday, uxWaterloo had the privilege of being one of the first groups to tour the new FELT lab.  We got a chance to practice “thinkering,” which happens when you tinker with technologies and think about how they can be applied to your daily life.

Our evening began with an introduction from students from the University of Waterloo’s Research Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP).  Our challenge was to get together in groups, and brainstorm ways that we could combine the various technologies in the lab with a tool called Apptui

Please click on the photo below to see a photo slideshow and the various technologies that we were able to play with.  Thanks to REAP,  Quarry Integrated Communications, and everyone who attended for such a fun and collaborative event!


(November 2011) An Evening of Serious Play at the New FELT Lab

Posted: November 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

FELT lab logo

Our November event is an exciting opportunity to get some hands-on play time with a variety of interactive technologies in the recently launched FELT lab, located in St. Jacobs. uxWaterloo is one of the very first groups to make use of this terrific new facility!

A digital sandbox for serious play

Founded by the University of Waterloo’s Research Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP), the FELT lab is designed to spark “research entrepreneurship” between UW students, faculty and industry experts. It focuses particularly on interactivity and responsiveness in digital display environments, and has numerous corporate partners who’ve brought some terrific toys to the table.

The lab is located in the offices of Quarry Integrated Communications, but has a separate entrance off King Street in St. Jacobs. Inside the lab, you’ll find a range of emerging technologies such as Christie Canada’s MicroTiles, GestureTek’s Cube and Kiosk, Float4’s interactive FX, and Kommerz’s Mixed Reality Interface (MRI).

And we’re going to have some serious fun!

uxWaterloo’s event will feature some hands-on creative, integrative thinking, and building. Guided by students from the REAP program, we’ll work in groups to brainstorm (and bodystorm!) unique combinations and innovative applications of the lab’s technologies. We’ll pitch our best ideas to each other while learning about all the lab’s capabilities and technologies in the process. And, we’ll be documenting the process and ideas on video, ensuring that our creative energy is captured for posterity.

Play! Create! Share! Learn! It’s going to be an awesome event!

Thursday November 24, 2011
5:30 to 7:00 pm
FELT Lab at Quarry Integrated Communications
1440 King Street North, St. Jacobs, Ontario
[Map]
Sign up now, as space is limited!

Register for Event


FELT lab


October Recap- Design workshop with REEP

Posted: October 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Events | 1 Comment »

In our October uxWaterloo meeting, we worked in groups to brainstorm ideas to improve the usability of the Green Home Planner, which is an online tool made by the Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP).  REEP is an environmental, charitable organization that has provided home energy evaluations in Waterloo Region since 1999.

In the workshop, we got an overview of the company, the product, and the personas of the customers who use the Green Home Planner.  This tool is used by home owners to plan upgrades based on REEP’s audit of their home’s environmental performance.

After brainstorming in our groups, each group presented and showed their design mockups.  Overall, we agreed on the following tips to improve the user experience of this product:

  1. Provide immediate feedback – Allow users to get a updates right away by showing them results on the same screen as where they entered information
  2. Make the site fun and engaging – Motivate the user to complete their information, involve elements of gaming, and allow sharing with social media
  3. Remove barriers to entry – Do not ask a user to register immediately and let them explore
  4. Convey information with images – Allow someone to build their own virtual house and use graphs or meters to view savings and efficiency levels
  5. Use easy input options – Allow users to connect to local providers through postal codes and auto entry of bills

Thanks to all of our workshop participants for bringing their innovative ideas and to REEP for providing us with an excellent design challenge!

 


October 2011: Design workshop with REEP

Posted: October 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

REEP logo

Thursday October 20, 2010
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Accelerator Centre
295 Hagey Blvd., Waterloo

Sign up now, as space is limited!

Register for Event

The October edition of uxWaterloo features a hands-on design workshop for the Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP). We’ll work in groups to generate ideas for improving the user experience of REEP’s Green Home Planner, a web-based tool used by home owners to plan upgrades based on REEP’s audit of their home’s environmental performance. Bring your creativity and your curiosity!

About REEP

REEP is an environmental, charitable organization that has provided home energy evaluations in Waterloo Region since 1999. Over the past twelve years, REEP’s Certified Energy Advisors have shown 13,235 homeowners how to save 18,142 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions and $4,531,000 annually on their energy bills. Participants have reduced their heat loss by an average of 25% through home retrofits based on REEP’s recommendations.

Download REEP’s personas and a product brief

To provide some context for this month’s design workshop, REEP has drafted 2 documents that describe their target audience and the product we’ll be working on. Download the PDF files below:

PDF Download the REEP personas
PDF Download the REEP product brief

Workshop: Tummeling towards a more humane Web

Posted: September 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Hey UXers! Check out this fun workshop coming up at UW’s Stratford campus.

REGISTER OR FIND OUT MORE

How can the digital world be more emotionally resonant and human? Now that a large amount of web activity takes place in real-time social environments between people directly instead of graphic interfaces, we’re bringing together some of the best people who know how to do this in live performance: actors, directors, dancers, casting agents etc. We’ll investigate how they work to create conditions for great emotional engagement and mix them in conversation with innovative thinkers and makers from the digital world.

Heather Gold, solo performer, social artist, web veteran and co-founder of TummelVision.tv has mixed web and performance approaches for over 10 years exploring public intimacy. She’s now extending her inquiry to the broader community and will “tummel” the workshop, bringing together to come up with our collective insights in this landmark gathering to discover direction for the next stage of social web and business and possibly even performance.


(September 2011) Tom Robinson on designing for novices, experts, and others

Posted: August 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

We’ve all seen the frustrations of novice users struggling with a piece of software not designed for them. Novices need features to help guide them through complex software. On the other hand, features designed to help novices may slowdown and frustrate expert users. Before we can design for novices and experts, we need to know how both groups interact with software. Knowing what novices and experts need from software, and which group we should design for, will help us decide what features to include and exclude.

During this session, we will look at who novices are, who experts are, and who’s in between. We will then have an extensive group discussion about which level of expertise people design for and how they approach design for that group.

Tom Robinson is a PhD student at the University of Waterloo. He is researching how people learn to use computer software, looking at the stages of knowledge that people pass through as they learn. Previously, he worked at Maplesoft and TD bank as a GUI developer. He has a bachelors and masters degree in Computer Science, also from the University of Waterloo.

Thursday September 15, 2010
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Accelerator Centre
295 Hagey Blvd., Waterloo

RSVP

Register for Event


(August 2011) BrewUX 2: More beer, more pizza, and new friends.

Posted: August 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

BrickBreweryLogo

This month we’re meeting once again at the Red Baron Lounge, located on-site at the Brick Brewery in Uptown Waterloo. We’ll have a couple of brief presentations about UX happenings around town — and plenty of time for meeting new faces, talking shop, and raising a few glasses together. This is a private gathering for UX Waterloo, in which you can sample just about everything the brewery has to offer.

Where and when

Thursday August 18, 2011
5:30 to 7:30 pm
Red Baron Lounge at the Brick Brewery
(Entrance at the side of the building near the front)
181 King Street South
Waterloo, ONT
[Map]

RSVP required

You must RSVP to attend, as this is a licensed event. We’ll be checking names at the door. Sign up early before it’s sold out!

Register for Event

Please thank our sponsor

Our thanks to Brick Brewery for sponsoring this @uxWat event! To show our appreciation, please visit Brick on Facebook and “Like” them, or tweet a quick thanks to @BrickBrewery on Twitter.

BrewUx July 2011

BrewUx July 2011