Use your widget sidebars in the admin Design tab to change this little blurb here. Add the text widget to the Blurb Sidebar!

January 2014: Designing a product for Kickstarter

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

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 9.39.39 AM

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.

October 2013: The state of UX in Waterloo Region

Posted: October 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | No Comments »


Thursday October 17, 2013
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, P2P Room
151 Charles St. W.
Kitchener, ON N2G 1H6

There’s no denying it: Kitchener-Waterloo is a happening, hopping place to be these days. We’re known as one of North America’s hotspots for technology startups. And despite some big questions about our anchor company (we’re still rooting for you, Blackberry!), new and exciting businesses are choosing Waterloo region as home. In the last 2 weeks alone, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced that Square is opening an office, and Google has decided to expand its presence by setting up a Motorola Mobility office.

With all this activity, we’re seeing a heightened interest in and demand for user experience design. Join us for a lively discussion about the state of UX in Waterloo region. If you’re new to the area, it’ll be a good introduction to the scene; if you’re an old-timer, come prepared to share some of your insights and war stories. We’ll cover such questions as:

  • What local companies are interested in UX?
  • Which of them have UX people/teams on staff?
  • What kind of work is being done by local UX’ers?
  • How has UX changed in our region over the last 10 years?
  • How do we see our landscape evolving in the near future?
  • What could we do to strengthen our local UX community?

Bring your questions and your own experiences. We look forward to a great discussion!

Fluxible draws experts to Waterloo Region from around the world

Posted: September 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: General | Tags: , | No Comments »

Fluxible:  A User Experience EventUser experience has become a familiar phrase to just about everyone in the technology business. For companies looking to distinguish their products in a crowded marketplace, UX is the not-so-secret weapon for turning potential customers into raving fans.

But how do you create a great user experience? How do you set up a team or an organization to deliver it? How do you even break into the field as a career?

All these questions and many more will be addressed on September 14–15 at Fluxible, the UX party disguised as a conference. This is the second edition of Fluxible, a home-grown event in downtown Kitchener that has already developed a reputation outside Canada for its solid content and quirky sense of fun. Last year’s inaugural event was a resounding success, with cheers of encouragement from the audience when asked if they want it again in 2013. Well, here we are!

This year, you’ll enjoy talks and half-day workshops from some of the most respected and knowledgeable experts in their fields. Topics include the culture of design teams, the power of metaphor in design, starting out in UX, design that drives action, Lean UX, and much more.

With a mix of excellent content and ample opportunity to meet UX practitioners from around the world, Fluxible provides an immersive and enlightening weekend for everyone. Add a healthy dose of live music, art, and hand planes — and a great experience gets even better.

Whether you’re an aspiring designer, a practicing researcher, a hiring manager or startup founder, or just someone with an interest in learning how to design great experiences, Fluxible has something for you.

And it gets better. Fluxible has provided a special “uxWaterloo” promotional code that unlocks a $200 discount off regular registration. Don’t miss this chance at an exceptional UX learning opportunity. Register today!


StartupWeekend KW looking for UX mentors

Posted: September 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, General | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Startup Weekend returns to KW on September 20-22, 2013 at the Communitech Hub. If you missed it last year, here’s your chance to get involved with a fun weekend-long, hands-on experience in which new startup ideas take form and come to life.

Communitech is looking for some UXers to participate as mentors during the event. Lend your expertise to the participating teams, make new friends and connections, and help create something awesome. Mentoring doesn’t necessarily require a commitment of the entire weekend. For more information or to express your interest, please email KW (at) startupweekend (dot) org.


About Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend-long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

September 2013: Making a career in UX

Posted: August 31st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

A career that focuses on user experience in creating products or services is one that is engaging, enlightening, and rewarding. It’s one that many people are attracted to, and yet, as a still-young field, it isn’t always clear what the best career path is, either when starting out or when trying to grow mid-career.

We’re here to help!

In this session we’ll have a group discussion on UX careers, led by a pair of people whose deep knowledge will benefit anyone interested in a career in UX.

Kate Wilhelm has been owning her development as a user experience practitioner since she became the first Information Architect at BlackBerry seven years ago. She creates opportunities to learn and grow through whatever scrappy means she can devise, both on the job and off, and finds ways to bring others along for the ride. At BlackBerry, Kate works on making it easier for developers to create apps for BlackBerry. She also works on bringing a user focus to projects and on building awareness and capacity for UX in her company and community. Kate is delivering a career-related workshop at Fluxible (September 14&15), Starting Out or Bulking Up: UX Circuit Training for Any Fitness Level.

Kristina McDougall has spent more than 15 years working with local software companies, delivering recruiting solutions, and also working directly as a software sales rep and consultant. Kristina leads recruitment and executive search for The Laudi Group, managing critical senior level searches for high-growth tech clients. It is her goal and passion to help the leaders of Canada’s tech sector, by connecting them with the talented individuals who will drive their success.

Bring your questions and your own experiences to this session, and together we’ll discover ways to illuminate your UX career path.

Register for the uxWaterloo September meeting. Hope to see you there!


Where and when

Thursday September 12, 2013
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, P2P Room
151 Charles St. W.
Kitchener, ON N2G 1H6

Job: UX Designer at Henkaa

Posted: August 16th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Jobs | Tags: | No Comments »

henkaaCompany: Henkaa

Location: Toronto, Ontario

company information

“Henka,” which means change in Japanese is where the name for our convertible fashion and accessories company is derived.  At Henkaa, everything changes and our flagship product is the innovative Sakura convertible dress, which is essentially one dress that can transform into infinite styles.  The mission at Henkaa is to be a canvas that empowers women of all shapes, sizes, and walks of life to do more with less, to reuse and repurpose, to innovate, to educate, to share, to create opportunity, to grow, and to inspire us and each other. The Henkaa brand was started locally in Toronto, we proudly manufacture domestically in Canada and our sales have grown exponentially on a global scale. We are currently looking for a recent graduate to join our talented team as a UI/UX designer and take part in our quest to become the dominant vendor in the convertible fashion market. Check us out at!

position summary

Are you a brilliant problem solver, quick learner, self starter and excellent communicator who can embrace our dynamic culture and is eager to be a part of something really big? As the UI/UX Designer,  you will define the customer experience, including online, email and mobile touch points to support Henkaa’s strategies and goals. You will build, enhance and improve UI flows. The UI/UX Designer is experienced in end-to-end user experience design, has a keen understanding of interaction design patterns/trends and understands the importance of strong effective UX design and how it impacts user experience, loyalty and overall customer satisfaction.

The position duties include but are not limited to the following:

  • Take ownership of the overall site usability – development, assessment and communication of website usage
  • Conceptualize, design and enhance user interaction designs from concept to go-live including page layout, online content, user interface graphics, icons, color schemes and content
  • Design for a variety of platforms focusing first on the web browser
  • Understand desired customer experience and produce innovative designs, interactions and flows to improve overall experience
  • Manage usability testing for prototypes and gather feedback for iterations of design
  • Analyze site metrics, drive usability testing and recommend changes
  • Providing information to management by assembling and summarizing data, preparing reports, making presentations of finding, analysis, and recommendations.
  • Define how people interact with our consumer sites
  • Brainstorm, research, wireframe, design and refine user experiences
  • Work with the team prototyping, designing and building new features
  • Develop and perform usability sessions with consumers
  • Implement designs and fully code applications front to back end using JavaScript, CSS and HTML

does this sound like you?

  • At least 3-5 years of experience in computer interaction, usability and user interface design best practices
  • Proficiency in design tools: CSS and dynamic HTML and Adobe Suite Master (Fireworks, Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver)
  • Experienced with responsive design methodologies
  • Ability to learn and adapt Usability and human factors Passionate about social product design
  • Strong organizational skills and an acute attention to detail

At Henkaa, we are constantly changing and adapting as we continually strive to make our company better and to provide a great, challenging and creative experience for our employees and customers alike. If you believe you would be a great fit in our growing company and would thrive in this role, then we want to hear from you!

Please include a cover letter, resume, portfolio and salary expectations with your application.

We thank all candidates for applying, but only short listed candidates will be contacted. Thank you for your interest in Henkaa!

August 2013: Another informal pub meetup

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

If July’s event wasn’t enough, we continue our lazy summer schedule with an August uxWaterloo session that features more informal talk and drinks! The laid-back atmosphere and conversations remain a welcome addition to any summer schedule. Join us!

Yet again, there’s a very good chance that Bob and Mark will provide an update on Fluxible 2013. There are some exciting things brewing!

Please register for this free event


Thursday August 15, 2013
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Patio at The Barley Works
(upstairs in the Huether Hotel)

59 King St. North
Waterloo, Ontario

July 2013: Informal pub meetup

Posted: July 8th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | 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, 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 2013. There are some exciting things brewing!

Please register for this free event


Thursday July 18, 2013
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Patio at The Barley Works
(upstairs in the Huether Hotel)

59 King St. North
Waterloo, Ontario