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May 2013: Design workshop

Posted: April 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

We’ve done design workshops in the past, and they’ve proven to be popular events where our uxWaterloo community has been able to design solutions for real-world problems in a highly collaborative hands-on session.

For our May event, we have another great project lined up for the design workshop treatment.

How can a physician or pharmacist know whether a patient understands the directions provided for taking their medicine? The question is even more challenging when the patient is a senior citizen. Kelly Grindrod, of the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy, thinks that a tablet app would be a great tool in answering that question. But what should the app look like? How should it behave? We’ll work in groups to generate ideas that explore possible solutions. We’ll even have some real-world users on-hand to work with on the design!

Bring your creativity and your curiosity!

Please note that this event is at the School of Pharmacy at King and Victoria in downtown Kitchener!

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

Sign up now

Where and when

Tuesday May 21, 2013
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Room 7004, School of Pharmacy at the University of Waterloo
10 Victoria Street South (at King Street)
Kitchener, ON N2G 2B2

Sign up now to join the fun!

April 2013: Sound design for user experience

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

Designers continue to push the limits of mobile display while hardware manufacturers continue to expand the size of their devices’ screens. As hardware manufacturers reach the limits of what constitutes a mobile device, interaction designers need to start thinking outside the screen by exploring alternative sensory pathways.

Anyone who has experienced the intrusion of music or sound effects on a website understands the drawbacks of audio interface objects. From a user’s perspective, sounds in websites and applications are an unexpected and unwelcomed intrusion that, in most cases, offer no additional information or value. For most UX designers, the emotional impact of audio makes the risk of turning away customers is too high to justify wading into the highly complex and technical domain of audio design. Many have simply accepted the old adage ‘silence is golden’ and abandoned audio altogether.

Patrick Noonan, of Akendi, will present audio design recommendations that target the limitations of mobile GUI’s. These recommendations will highlight the suitability of audio features on the mobile platform and illustrate how when the same user-centered design process traditionally applied to visual elements is applied to audio elements, the result is rich, immersive mobile experiences that can save your next mobile interface design.

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

Sign up now

Where and when

Thursday April 18, 2013
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, P2P Room
151 Charles St. W.
Kitchener, ON N2G 1H6

Sign up now to join the fun!

Job: Interaction Designer at Google

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Jobs | No Comments »

Google logo

Location: Google in Waterloo, Ontario
Team or role: User Experience & Design

The mantra of the the User Interface (UI) team is: “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” As a UI Designer, you have a strong technical background and work closely with Engineers and Product Managers to design products that are simple but great for the user, focusing on interaction and visual design. Using your keen design aesthetic you design and conduct experiments with real users so that improvements to the user experience are based on real user behavior. Your job is to make sure that our products are intuitive, accessible and usable to our millions of users.

You design and lead the UI construction for complex projects with a broad scope and evolving objectives. You contribute to the overall product strategy through concept generation, prototyping and collaboration with with UX team to promote feature integration, as well as working with researchers to design user experiments to test your designs.

Please include URLs for an online portfolio in addition to resume. Submissions without a portfolio included will not be considered.


  • Help to define the user model and user interface for new and existing Google products and features.
  • Develop high level and/or detailed storyboards, mockups, and prototypes to effectively communicate interaction and design ideas.

Minimum qualifications

  • BA/BS degree in Design (e.g. interaction, graphic, visual communications, product, industrial), HCI, CS, or a related field (in lieu of degree, 5 years relevant work experience).
  • 2 years relevant work experience.

Preferred qualifications

  • 3 years experience designing outstanding web-based products for a consumer-oriented website.
  • Excellent CSS and HTML skills; solid knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and/or Fireworks.
  • Proven ability to act as a leader in communicating conceptual ideas and design rationale, all within a user-centered design process.
  • Must be self-motivated to prioritize and manage workload and meet critical project milestones and deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to build good working relationships and excellent problem-solving skills.


Users come first at Google. Nowhere is this more important than on our Advertising team: we firmly believe that ads can provide useful information if, and only if, they are relevant to what our users wish to find. Hundreds of thousands of advertisers worldwide use AdWords to promote their products; hundreds of thousands of publishers take advantage of our AdSense program to deliver ads relevant to their site content. We build and maintain the platforms that have made Google what it is today, and are constantly innovating to deliver the most effective advertising opportunities of tomorrow.

Apply for this job at Google.