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October 2018: What it means to be a design leader

Posted: October 11th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

We’re trying something different this month and featuring a remote presentation/conversation with Silicon Valley design veteran and past Fluxible speaker Uday Gajendar.

Uday will share insights from his career on what it means to be a design leader. Drawing upon experiences at large corporate groups and small scrappy startups as well as an indie consultant, Uday will hit upon a core set of themes: Working at multiple levels of craft, tackling the “wickedness” of complex business apps, collaborating with executives, and becoming an effective “force multiplier” with real impact and value. Each theme will be punctuated with real life “stories from the trenches” from his first day on the job after grad school to later moments along his journey — to help inspire others in their own path of becoming design leaders.

Please register for this free event

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Wednesday October 18, 2017
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, 2nd floor
[View on Google Maps]


September 2017: Looking back and looking ahead at UX in Waterloo Region

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

It’s been almost exactly ten years since uxWaterloo held its kick-off meeting at the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo. And it’s been just four days since the 2017 edition of Fluxible wrapped up. Given these milestones, we think a more reflective and conversational session is in order.

What do we want the next 10 years to look like? What’s on your mind UX-wise? What do you love about the UX community, both locally and globally? What are you looking for more of? How might the Waterloo Region become the place that designers in Canada want to call home?

Join us for lively conversation in which it’s 100% guaranteed that we’ll come up with all the answers! Or, if not, we’ll at least set the stage for ten more years of uxWaterloo topics. Yeah, let’s go with that…

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Thursday September 28th, 2017
5:30 to 7:00 pm
3rd Floor Theatre, Roddenberry, Communitech
151 Charles Street West
Kitchener, Ontario


August 2017: Informal Pub Meetup, Part 2

Posted: July 30th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

Now available in a special August Edition! Complete with this repeated text from our delightful July Edition:

In what is now a beloved summer tradition, it’s time to replace energizing presentations and deep UX thoughts with a lighter event befitting the season. Let’s savour that summer feeling with an August uxWaterloo session that features informal talk, some of it even UX-related, and drinks. As befits any self-respecting tradition, we do this every July and August and the laid-back atmosphere and conversations are a welcome addition to any summer schedule. Join us!

And, as has become a yearly tradition, count on hearing from Bob and Mark with an an update on Fluxible 2017, Canada’s UX Festival! You’ve been warned…

Please register for this free event

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Thursday August 17, 2017
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Abe Erb Brewing
15 King Street South, Uptown Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario


July 2017: Informal Pub Meetup

Posted: July 22nd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

In what is now a beloved summer tradition, it’s time to replace energizing presentations and deep UX thoughts with a lighter event befitting the season. Let’s savour that summer feeling with a July uxWaterloo session that features informal talk, some of it even UX-related, and drinks. As befits any self-respecting tradition, we do this every July and August and the laid-back atmosphere and conversations are a welcome addition to any summer schedule. Join us!

And, as has become a yearly tradition, count on hearing from Bob and Mark with an an update on Fluxible 2017, Canada’s UX Festival! You’ve been warned…

Please register for this free event

Register

Thursday July 27, 2017
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Abe Erb Brewing
15 King Street South, Uptown Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario


June 2017: Designing for business goals

Posted: June 6th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

As designers, it is often second-nature for us to advocate for and empathize with end-users and customers. But in order for our solutions to be robust and sustainable, it is crucial to empathize with our business stakeholders as well.

In this talk, Computer Scientist, business-grad and designer, Ali Rushdan Tariq, will be discussing how listening to and tailoring our solutions to business goals will make us better designers. While he cannot guarantee that this talk will take the place of an MBA education, he will share a few tips and lessons learned from business school and argue how they can be applied to the practise of design without feeling like losing your soul.

Ali is a Design Lead at the Manulife RED Lab, where he helps untangle business problems through the lens of user-centered design. Previously, after earning his MBA from Ivey Business School, he decided to ditch the corporate life in favour of running a startup out of Velocity Garage. His writings on creativity, innovation, and design have been published on various outlets including Fast Company and the InVision blog.

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Thursday June 15, 2017
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, 3rd floor theatre
[View on Google Maps]


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

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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!

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Tuesday April 25, 2017
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, 2nd floor
[View on Google Maps]


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

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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.

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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

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Thursday January 19, 2017
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, 3rd floor theatre
[View on Google Maps]