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May 2017: This is not a talk about alt text

Posted: April 28th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

Often discussions about IT accessibility focus on how markup, such as alt text, can be added by developers to enhance accessibility. While good markup is important, it won’t ensure your interfaces are truly inclusive. In today’s presentation, Janna Cameron will share different approach, a design-centered, outside-in way to make truly exceptional experiences for people with disabilities. She’ll bring in examples from popular web applications.

Janna is a Senior Designer at the Manulife RED lab. Janna has been working in the UX accessibility field for 10 years — and has spoken about the subject in numerous venues, including for the US National Federation of the Blind Web Accessibility Training Day, the Canadian Marketing Association and EASI.

Please register for this free event


Thursday May 18, 2017
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, 2nd floor
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April 2017: Designing for a billion Gmail users

Posted: April 14th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

In February 2016, Google announced that Gmail, its cloud-based email service, now serves one billion monthly active users. With use-cases ranging from business to consumer, across various countries and platforms, Gmail is designed and built to provide reliable, secure communication so its users can be more productive and collaborative.

In this talk, Kylie Poppen will share personal lessons and anecdotes learned as a result of designing for those billion. Kylie is an interaction designer on Gmail, focusing on mobile clients and security features. Previously she was an interaction designer and frontend developer at bebop where she worked on building complex enterprise applications. Kylie earned a bachelor’s degree in Symbolic Systems with a focus in Human-Computer Interaction from Stanford University.

Note that we’re meeting on a Tuesday this month!

Please register for this free event


Tuesday April 25, 2017
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, 2nd floor
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Job: Senior User Experience Designer at NetSuite

Posted: April 10th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Jobs | Tags: | No Comments »

Are you ready to take on the next biggest challenge in your career?  Do you thrive in an entrepreneurial environment that delivers industry leading cloud applications? Oracle NetSuite is building a next-generation, ERP cloud suite that is powering some of the world’s highest growth medium sized companies. If you’re looking to share your unique perspective and ideas at a collaborative table and help equip all kinds of businesses achieve their visions, check us out.

Position Summary

We’re looking for a new member of our global Experience Design Team to work out of Kitchener location. Our team lives to bring delight to our enterprise software products, and you will too!

As a Senior User Experience Designer, you are a creative problem solver with a passion for providing innovative & engaging designs that are easy to use. Specifically, you’ll work with cross-functional teams of designers, developers & product managers to build a new vitality into our set of Financial products. Using a combination of best practice and innovation, you’ll help our team create a strong, best-in-class experience for our global customers.

You understand users. You design to solve problems. You see elegance and power in simple interactions. You can gather requirements, make decisions, present ideas, and work collaboratively to come up with viable solutions.


  • Hands-on creative problem solving in a cloud-driven enterprise software system.
  • Work with a multi-disciplined of designers, user researchers and product managers in a fast-paced, dynamic, agile environment, balancing business value, technology, user needs, and operational costs.
  • Turn actionable user research & high level product requirements into high-quality design deliverables that communicate design solutions and facilitate discussion, including user flows & wireframes.
  • Facilitate design sessions, and use iterative UX techniques to synthesize findings and feedback into an informed experience design.
  • Make informed decisions: present design alternatives and effectively communicate rationale and trade-offs, and react quickly and confidently to any changes in project plans.
  • Demonstrate a passion for iteration and eagerness to receive feedback, thoughtfully incorporating user, UX team member, developer & product manager responses into design revisions.
  • Prioritize multiple projects of varying timelines, degrees of complexity and scope.


  • Degree in Product Design, Human Factors, Human Computer Interaction or related field, or equivalent professional experience.
  • Minimum 5 years working in the field of UX Design. Experience with “big data software” a huge plus.
  • Online portfolio demonstrating your problem-solving ability: problem analysis, personas, scenarios, user journeys, sketches, wireframes, prototypes, task-flows or other relevant design artifacts.
  • Analytical and strategic mindset. We privilege how you think over pixel-perfect visual design skills.
  • Flexibility to work with geographically distributed teams
  • Leadership abilities with exceptional interpersonal skills
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Experience working in Agile Development methodology is a plus.
  • Experience in User Research and Usability Testing is an asset.
  • Front end web design experience (HTML, CSS) is an asset.

As part of Oracle’s employment process candidates will be required to complete a pre-employment screening process, prior to an offer being made. This will involve identity and employment verification, salary verification, professional references, education verification and professional qualifications and memberships (if applicable).

Oracle is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and protected veterans status or any other characteristic protected by law.

To apply, please email your resume and portfolio to Gary Good:

Job ID: 17000ETV

March 2017: Engaging people with dementia

Posted: February 16th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

As a growing number of technologies emerge to help people with dementia maintain their independence and quality of life, there’s an increasing opportunity to give people with dementia a voice in the development of technologies intended for their use.

Join Jennifer Krul, of Emmetros, to learn how they approach user research when developing technology that makes it easier for people with dementia to speak for themselves. Jennifer and her team are fully committed to including and engaging people with dementia and their care partners in many aspects of our business, including product design, testing, and commercialization.

Engaging people with dementia matters to Jennifer and her team. They’ve partnered with Applied Health Sciences (AHS) and the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP) at the University of Waterloo and the Ontario Dementia Advisory Group (ODAG) on a research project exploring best practices for engaging people with dementia in design, testing, and commercialization of technology intended for their use.

Today, Jennifer shares what they’ve learned.

Please register for this free event


Thursday March 16, 2017
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, 2nd floor
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February 2017: How FreshBooks persuaded its customers to accept radical change

Posted: January 19th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

Change can be hard. Join Aaron Wright and Jeff Kraemer as they take us on a journey of change at Freshbooks:

At FreshBooks, we realized that we had to reinvent our 10-year-old product; it was inflexible, and riddled with tech- and UX-debt. But we had a problem: our customers generally loved the old product. So, we designed and built a new product in stealth. We tested and iterated every week for almost two years, until we had a product we believed our customers would love.

But how to get them to switch? Most companies just push users to “upgrade,” but the new product had fewer features—isn’t that a downgrade? Lots of companies force users to change, but we heard loud and clear that our customers needed to be in control. And we’re determined to give our users extraordinary experiences, so what’s an extraordinary “change” experience?

This is the story of how we learned just how much our customers hate change, and how we persuaded them to change anyways. We’ll go into detail on how we tackled this as a design problem, starting with phone call interviews in which we simply told them a new FreshBooks was coming, and listened. Then, onto a technique from the Lean Startup framework called the “Concierge MVP” that gave us cheap and early insight into how our customers would react. You’ll also hear about our Lean UX process, which gives our designers a way to pilot and test radical changes, validate them with our customers through usability testing, and iterate from their findings.

About the presenters

Aaron Wright stumbled into the field of UX while pursuing a degree in Graphic Design at York University. Originally just trying hone his web design and app-building skills, he soon learned that there was, in fact, an entire field devoted to the study of user experience itself and immediately changed focus. And hasn’t looked back. Now a UX Designer at FreshBooks since 2012, he’s livin’ the dream of taming complexity and trying to make boring work (like accounting) as close to fun as humanly possible.

Jeff Kraemer ran his first usability test back in 2001; this was before screen-recording software, so recording the test meant pointing a VHS videocamera at the screen. Since then, he’s spent time specializing in content strategy and instructional design, but he really loves being a UX generalist. Previously at Workopolis and Usability Matters, Jeff is now Principal UX Designer at FreshBooks.

Please register for this free event


Thursday February 16, 2017
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, 3rd floor theatre
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January 2017: Researching the Kano Model

Posted: January 1st, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

In a fast-paced agile environment, UX professionals often pull from their well-established toolbox of tried and true methods and practices to quickly and effectively solve user problems. However, it is sometimes necessary to seek out alternative methods which satisfy the unique needs of a particular project. In this month’s session, Erin Steed and Tony Bergstrom of D2l share their experience with the Kano model.

The Kano model, a customer satisfaction model created by a Japanese academic, is used to identify the delighters, must-haves and less relevant aspects of a user’s experience with a design. To evaluate the Kano model as an effective tool for an upcoming project, the product design team at D2L tested it with a feature-rich prototype which already had significant qualitative feedback. Through experimentation and iteration, the model proved useful by quantifying qualitative results, validating individual features and informing business decisions.

Tony and Erin will discuss why D2L chose to investigate this model, explain how the data is compiled and provide insights into lessons learned along the way.

Erin Steed is a user experience designer with degrees in psychology and adult education, as well as a diploma in graphic design. As Senior Product Designer at D2L, she applies her interest in user research and passion for the design process by creating delightful and intuitive experiences for educators and learners.

Tony Bergstrom is a Senior User Researcher with graduate degrees in Computer Science focusing on Human-Computer interaction. Working at D2L, he spends time finding ways to investigates questions and provides insight into user expectations. He favors approaches that balance both qualitative and quantitative feedback because it demonstrates more clearly what people do and what people think.

Please register for this free event


Thursday January 19, 2017
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, 3rd floor theatre
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