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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.