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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

April 2014: Building the muscles of innovators, with Steve Portigal

Posted: March 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

How can you broaden your sphere of influence within the field of user experience? You can start by building your muscles! Steve will take a look at some fundamental skills that underlie the creation and launch of innovative goods and services. He will discuss the personal skills that he considers to be “the muscles of innovators” and the ways you can build these important muscles, including noticing, understanding cultural context, maintaining exposure to pop culture, synthesizing, drawing, wordsmithing, listening, and prototyping. Along the way, he will demonstrate how improving these powerful skills will equip you to lead positive change.

Steve Portigal is the founder of Portigal Consulting, a bite-sized San Francisco firm that helps clients to discover and act on new insights about themselves and their customers. That means that he’s important enough to have a company named after him, but not important enough to have an invincible army of minions… yet. Steve delighted conference attendees at Fluxible 2013. He’s also author of Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights, a Rosenfeld Media book.

Sounds like a great time, right? Register now!


Thursday April 17, 2014
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, P2P Room
151 Charles St. W.
Kitchener, ON N2G 1H6

Fluxible draws experts to Waterloo Region from around the world

Posted: September 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: General | Tags: , | No Comments »

Fluxible:  A User Experience EventUser experience has become a familiar phrase to just about everyone in the technology business. For companies looking to distinguish their products in a crowded marketplace, UX is the not-so-secret weapon for turning potential customers into raving fans.

But how do you create a great user experience? How do you set up a team or an organization to deliver it? How do you even break into the field as a career?

All these questions and many more will be addressed on September 14–15 at Fluxible, the UX party disguised as a conference. This is the second edition of Fluxible, a home-grown event in downtown Kitchener that has already developed a reputation outside Canada for its solid content and quirky sense of fun. Last year’s inaugural event was a resounding success, with cheers of encouragement from the audience when asked if they want it again in 2013. Well, here we are!

This year, you’ll enjoy talks and half-day workshops from some of the most respected and knowledgeable experts in their fields. Topics include the culture of design teams, the power of metaphor in design, starting out in UX, design that drives action, Lean UX, and much more.

With a mix of excellent content and ample opportunity to meet UX practitioners from around the world, Fluxible provides an immersive and enlightening weekend for everyone. Add a healthy dose of live music, art, and hand planes — and a great experience gets even better.

Whether you’re an aspiring designer, a practicing researcher, a hiring manager or startup founder, or just someone with an interest in learning how to design great experiences, Fluxible has something for you.

And it gets better. Fluxible has provided a special “uxWaterloo” promotional code that unlocks a $200 discount off regular registration. Don’t miss this chance at an exceptional UX learning opportunity. Register today!


September 2013: Making a career in UX

Posted: August 31st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

A career that focuses on user experience in creating products or services is one that is engaging, enlightening, and rewarding. It’s one that many people are attracted to, and yet, as a still-young field, it isn’t always clear what the best career path is, either when starting out or when trying to grow mid-career.

We’re here to help!

In this session we’ll have a group discussion on UX careers, led by a pair of people whose deep knowledge will benefit anyone interested in a career in UX.

Kate Wilhelm has been owning her development as a user experience practitioner since she became the first Information Architect at BlackBerry seven years ago. She creates opportunities to learn and grow through whatever scrappy means she can devise, both on the job and off, and finds ways to bring others along for the ride. At BlackBerry, Kate works on making it easier for developers to create apps for BlackBerry. She also works on bringing a user focus to projects and on building awareness and capacity for UX in her company and community. Kate is delivering a career-related workshop at Fluxible (September 14&15), Starting Out or Bulking Up: UX Circuit Training for Any Fitness Level.

Kristina McDougall has spent more than 15 years working with local software companies, delivering recruiting solutions, and also working directly as a software sales rep and consultant. Kristina leads recruitment and executive search for The Laudi Group, managing critical senior level searches for high-growth tech clients. It is her goal and passion to help the leaders of Canada’s tech sector, by connecting them with the talented individuals who will drive their success.

Bring your questions and your own experiences to this session, and together we’ll discover ways to illuminate your UX career path.

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


Where and when

Thursday September 12, 2013
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, P2P Room
151 Charles St. W.
Kitchener, ON N2G 1H6

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!

Reality was indeed augmented at our last meeting

Posted: February 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Daniel IaboniDaniel Iaboni delivered a wonderful intro to designing for augmented reality last week at our February meeting at Felt Lab. Thanks again to Daniel for traveling from Toronto to generously share his knowledge with us. Thanks, too, to REAP for hosting us at Felt Lab, a perfect venue for this particular event.

Daniel has made his slides available on slideshare for those of you who want to able to review them, or who missed the event.

See you next month!

November 2012 event: UX on agile teams

Posted: November 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

Our November event is special, in that we’re teaming up with Waterloo Agile Lean to explore how UX works in an agile environment. Working together, we’ll share our collective experiences and insights in wide-ranging discussion. Amongst the questions we hope to address:

  • Are their alternatives to UX designers working an iteration ahead of developers?
  • How can Agile cross-functional teams think more about user experience using tools like personas?
  • How can can designers, developers and technical writer/content designer work as an integrated team?

We’re sure that you’ll have many of your own questions, and bring your own answers to the discussion. Don’t miss this great opportunity for UX stakeholders and development stakeholders to share ideas, stories from the trenches, and useful tips and strategies.

Note that once again we’re meeting on a Tuesday this month, rather than a Thursday.

Sign up now

Where and when

Tuesday November 27, 2012
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Accelerator Centre
295 Hagey Blvd., Waterloo

Sign up now to join the fun!

Job: User Experience Designer (Contract) at Blue Coat Systems

Posted: October 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Jobs | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Job: User Experience Designer (1 Year Contract Position)

Company: Blue Coat Systems Canada, Waterloo, Ontario

The Company

Blue Coat Systems is the technical leader in application delivery networking. Blue Coat offers an application delivery network infrastructure that optimizes and secures the flow of information to any user, on any network, anywhere. Blue Coat offers unmatched visibility into the security and performance of business applications and web traffic running across the networks of the distributed enterprise and provides the comprehensive application and user control required to contain costs, enhance business productivity and respond quickly to changing business requirements. Trusted by many of the world’s largest organizations including 97 of the Fortune 100, Blue Coat has shipped more than 20,000 proxy appliances.

The Products

The Blue Coat Proxy SG™ family of proxy appliances provides total visibility and control of Web communications with wire-speed performance. Based on Blue Coat SGOS™, a custom, object-based operating system with integrated caching, these proxy appliances leverage existing authentication systems to enable flexible policy enforcement down to the individual user. Proxy SG combines comprehensive proxy support of all Web protocols with integrated content filtering, instant messaging control, peer-to-peer (P2P) control, streaming control, pop-up ad blocking and virus scanning. Blue Coat’s end-to-end product portfolio includes powerful reporting, policy and configuration management software – delivering a scalable proxy solution for centralized or distributed enterprise environments.

The Opportunity

The Waterloo User Experience team owns the revitalization of the user interfaces for our products. We are looking for a UX Designer to join our team. You will be responsible for designing rich and engaging user experiences for web and mobile applications and helping to define the user experience across Blue Coat products.

The typical duties for this position would include:

  • Create and maintain documentation (typically wireframes) that enables engineers to build software that fosters a delightful user experience
  • Collaborate with Subject Matter Experts, Product Management, Documentation teams and Engineers
  • Participate in regular brainstorming sessions, design reviews and other team-wide design efforts
  • Assist in standardizing design patterns and visual designs in our products
  • Conduct user research through the design process to ensure we are meeting customer needs.

The Requirements

  • User interface design experience, preferably in complex systems.
  • Post secondary education in Psychology, Information Systems, Computer Science or related discipline.
  • Understanding of interaction design and experience in applying user-centered design methods.

The following would be a real plus for the position:

  • Ability to translate user needs or other engineering analysis to design requirements.
  • Background in requirements gathering (interviewing and observation skills)
  • Ability to work in cross-functional teams
  • Effective communicator who is able to work in teams locally and remotely
  • Wireframe design experience
  • Graphic design

If you are looking for a challenge in a fast paced company, come and join Blue Coat!

September 2012 event: Fluxible preview

Posted: August 31st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

As exciting as a monthly uxWaterloo event can be, the big user experience event in Waterloo Region in September is going to be Fluxible, which is happening on September 22 & 23. This very first Fluxible event features a great lineup of talks and workshops by UX experts from four continents! You may recognize speakers James Wu, Dan Szuc, and Whitney Quesenbery from uxWaterloo events. There are many more joining them for what organizers Bob Barlow-Busch and Mark Connolly describe as a UX party disguised as a conference. Plus, Fluxible has a theme song — how cool is that?

For this uxWaterloo meeting we’ll have a bit of a preview of Fluxible, with some special Fluxible guests joining us for a discussion around various UX topics. Hope you can make it out, and that you also consider registering for Fluxible.

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

Sign up now

Where and when

Thursday September 20, 2012
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!

One more thing. As a special offer to uxWaterloo folks, you can register for Fluxible and receive a big $200 discount over the regular price. What a bargain! Register now!