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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
[View on Google Maps]

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
[View on Google Maps]

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
[View on Google Maps]

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
[View on Google Maps]

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
[View on Google Maps]

December 2016: Creating a brew pub experience at Abe Erb

Posted: December 6th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

As many of you know, we’ll sometimes host uxWaterloo sessions at a pub where we can enjoy great conversations about UX and related topics in a casual atmosphere. We’ve done this at many locations over the years, but for December we’re doing something special.

Abe Erb is a Waterloo brew pub that we’ve visited in the past, most recently for our UXtoberfest session back in October. Abe Erb is about to open a brand new  location at the historic Tannery building in downtown Kitchener, and anticipation is high within certain circles in the community. Join us for a special private tour of the new space, and hear from co-founder Tony Theodosiou as he shares with us the thinking that goes into creating a delightful brew pub experience, lessons learned along the way, and new things to expect from the new location.

Note the special day and time for this event: Sunday December 18, at 1:00pm in the afternoon!

You can find Abe Erb on Twitter.

Please register for this free event


Sunday December 18, 2016
1:00 to 2:30 pm

Abe Erb (Tannery location)
151 Charles Street West
Kitchener, Ontario

October 2016: UXtoberfest is back!

Posted: October 18th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

September was a busy month on the UX calendar in Waterloo Region. Fluxible 2016 delivered a full week of events that delivered plenty of insights into practice, products, and the people behind them.

Let’s get together and celebrate Autumn with our second UXtoberfest session. We’ll meet at Abe Erb in Uptown Waterloo and together talk about all of the UX goodness that will fit!

Please register for this free event


Thursday October 20, 2016
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Abe Erb Brewing
15 King Street South, Uptown Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario

Job: Senior Product Designer at D2L

Posted: October 3rd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Jobs | No Comments »


Location: Kitchener, ON
Position: Senior Product Designer
Company: D2L

Are you a motivated Product Designer who is passionate about creating delightful and usable experiences that help users become awesome? Do you like to think big and have a desire to inspire the people around you? Do you want your design work to have a bigger impact? If this sounds like you, then come join our Product Design team as a Product Designer, and help us change the way the world learns!

We are a design team of just over 20 individuals. Our primary roles are Product Designer or User Experience Researcher — but we are much more diverse than our roles suggest. Although most of us have been at D2L longer, our team is just over one year old. In that time we’ve come together in a big way and we’ve made some big splashes together.

We are organized in persona teams: “Learner Experience”, “Teacher Experience” and “Institutional Experience”. Our team personas do not define us — we are one team and work in pairs that transcend these groups – because learning is a two way street between learner and teacher. If you are looking to be a part of a nascent Design Culture — this is the place for you.

We are not looking for unicorns. We don’t want you to code — unless that is how you communicate naturally. We don’t want you to spread yourself thin across too many areas of specialization.

We are looking for someone who wants to share what they know about design and someone who wants to grow as a designer. Someone who wants to focus on designing the right experiences for learners and teachers. Someone willing to fail early and diverge…

“The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas, and throw the bad ones away.” — Linus Pauling

If this sounds like you, we want to talk to you. If this sounds to good to be true, it isn’t — the catch is that we expect you to bring your A game — every day.

What we are looking for

  • Passion — We want to see your passion for users, for design and for working collaboratively with other talented designers and user researchers.
  • Portfolio — You don’t need to have launched products that have changed the world. But, you will need to show us your designs and have a conversation about the business and user problems you are trying to solve.
  • Point of view (POV) — We want to hear what you have to say. We are looking for designers who have and can form opinions about their work. You’ll need to be able to talk about your ideas, concepts, research findings and designs in front of others – including senior leadership.

What we offer

  • A design team like no other in Kitchener-Waterloo.
  • A place for you to learn and grow as a designer and a human being.
  • Projects that will make you feel good again about working in tech. It’s not all about eyeballs, advertising and closing VC rounds.
  • A chance to change the way the world learns.
  • A strong commitment to work/life balance. Because you and your family matter.

Brass tacks

Ok, beyond passion, portfolio and point of view, we are looking for someone with some real design experience — 5+ years worth.

We are looking for someone who is a team player and wants to collaborate with others. You should understand that everyone can be a leader. Being a self starter is a given.

If you have the 5+ years experience, we’re assuming you can work in an agile environment and you understand and practice key concepts including: Lean UX, Design Sprints (Google Ventures version of Design Thinking process) & Story Mapping. This experience is a vital foundation for the work that you’ll do here.

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” —Albert Einstein

Apply online on our website.

September 2016: Fluxible, Canada’s UX Festival

Posted: September 6th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Events, General | No Comments »

September is a busy month in the UX community here in Waterloo Region. The fifth edition of Fluxible is happening!

Started as a two-day conference back in 2012, for 2016 Fluxible has grown into Canada’s UX Festival, a week-long affair that runs September 19 through 25! The Festival comprises Fluxible Conference, Fluxible Workshops, and Fluxible Meetups, with each providing some fantastic opportunities to learn and to meet UX folks in the community.

We think there’s something for everyone, and rather than create a single uxWaterloo event for September, we’ve decided to  suggest instead that you look at the various Fluxible events and see which ones appeal the most. Go check them out!