Chicago Camps

UX Camp Fall

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Columbia College Film Row – Chicago

Photo: Anne Worner


UX Camp is a full day of UX Goodness–we’ll leave few topics uncovered and you’ll learn current topics and improved upon standards in one of the hottest fields today!

If you’re just getting your start in UX and you’re hoping to learn more, or you’ve been in the field awhile and want to stay current, UX Camp is for you. A full day–3 full tracks–of UX talks, surrounded by impressive keynotes and all for a great price that includes your lunch.

Sign up now–these tickets go fast!

Meet Our Awesome Sponsors

These fantastic sponsors are helping us bring this great event to you.

Interested in Sponsoring UX Camp?

We’re actively looking for sponsors for UX Camp. If you’re interested, or if you know someone we should talk to, please let us know!


Natalie D. Hanson, Ph.D.

Natalie D. Hanson, Ph.D.
Principal, User Experience, ZS Associates

Natalie D Hanson is a Principal and partner at ZS, where she built and now leads the User Experience team. Prior to ZS, she worked at SAP, where she also built a User Experience team supporting Board-level projects. Natalie holds an M.A. in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University Seattle, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Temple University. For most of her career, Natalie has found herself surrounded by individuals and teams with deep expertise in unfamiliar domains (such as computer science, and more recently data science). As a result, she is very curious about and committed to making interdisciplinary teams work. Natalie is the founder of anthrodesign, a vibrant, global, online community of over three thousand multi-disciplinary researchers who use ethnographic methods in the business setting.

For more, keep up with Natalie at or on Twitter as @ndhanthro.


Call for Speakers

Are you interested in speaking at UX Camp? We sure hope so! Submit your talk and let us know what’s on your mind to share.

First time speaker, or have limited experience? Let us know—we welcome new speakers and have been known to help folks round out their proposals.

Submit your talk—come hang out with us in Chicago and share what you’ve learned!

Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson
Senior Mobile UI Designer, Allstate Insurance Company

Amy Johnson is a Senior Mobile Visual Designer at Allstate Insurance Company. At Allstate, she designs exclusively native mobile experiences for Allstate Mobile and works closely with UX architects, Developers and Researchers. She has worked in many different environments from start-ups to large corporate companies.

She was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder after being misdiagnosed for most of her life. With a newer understanding of how her mind works, she has new a doggy companion and is challenging what is a “normal” working environment. She strives to raise awareness of neurodiversity and hopefully start conversations that create more productive and inclusive working environments.

For more, keep up with Amy at or on Twitter as @J_Justified.

Neurodiversity at Work: Valuing Teammates Who are Wired Differently

I am a Visual Designer in corporate America; I am also on the Autism Spectrum. I’ve thrived in my career using self-awareness as a tool for bringing out my best work and approaching design from a different direction. Growing a neurodiverse design team has its hurdles, but the pros far outweigh the cons. I will talk about improving work environments, identifying communication styles, and being a great team mate to those that are wired a bit different.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the benefits of hiring those with atypical brains
  • Learn how to best collaborate with individuals that have ADD, ADHD, Autism and more
  • Make your team work environment healthier and more flexible for all employees; both neurotypical and atypical
Brian Santiago

Brian Santiago
Senior Product Designer, Fastly

Brian has 15+ years of experience across all design disciplines from a wide range of industries including supply-chain, data science, and internet infrastructure. He currently is helping his colleagues at Fastly, an edge cloud platform that powers fast, secure, and scalable digital experiences for the world’s most popular businesses, including Airbnb, the New York Times, and Vimeo. You can usually find Brian in Northern California where he enjoys overreacting to the Chicago Cubs, trying to lower his golf handicap, and searching for the perfect croissant.

For more, keep up with Brian at or on Twitter as @thebsantiago.

Creating User-Centered Organizations Through Rapid Usability Testing

Few will argue the benefits of usability testing, but regardless if you are a seasoned UX professional or new to the field, traditional usability testing can be extremely time consuming. Often times many will completely skip testing because the friction is so high. In my talk, I will share the lessons I learned from when I introduced a low-friction and light-weight testing framework to my colleagues at Fastly, a company that powers over 10% of all internet traffic. This new approach increased our usability testing frequency by 4x in 8 months, gave teams greater insights into their products, and gained greater adoption of the testing process throughout the organization.

Cynthia Gelper

Cynthia Gelper
UX Content Strategist & Storyteller

I’m a content strategist and practitioner of human-centered content design. Based in Chicago, I got my start as a marketing and technical writer for digital agencies but was drawn to the usability side of things when I saw the sometimes profound disconnect between marketing goals and user objectives. In my blog on or on Twitter as @ContentLama.

What Content Strategy Can Teach UX

In my talk, I’ll discuss the role of content strategy in a project and how usability, no matter how researched and executed, stands and falls on the shoulders of content. This includes what user experience designers need to know to perform content strategy functions – even if the project doesn’t have the budget to hire a dedicated content strategist.

I’ll describe how content strategy contributes to a project, including a structure for creating a project goal and plan, from message architecture through editorial calendar to style guidelines. I’ll give examples of how content strategy can help accomplish business goals without leaving the users behind and help you think about how content will be sourced, managed and measured.

I’ll also give cautionary examples of what happens when you don’t include content strategy in your planning and when you put content last, instead of first.

Finally, I’ll talk about how UX and content strategy folks can help enhance the other’s work and collaborate for better results.

Diana Deibel

Diana Deibel
Lead Designer, Grand Studio

Diana Deibel is a Lead Designer at Grand Studio in Chicago, a multidisciplinary product design consultancy where she focuses on VUI design, UX strategy and research. Her favorite work combines behavior theory, dialogue writing, and creating a useful, enjoyable experience – while hopefully avoiding breaking any UX laws.

For more, keep up with Diana at or on Twitter as @dianadoesthis.

Garrett Polifka

Garrett Polifka
UX Lead, Paylocity

Garrett Polifka is a User Experience Team Lead with fifteen years experience in the creative industry; ranging from marketing to front-end development as well as software design. At Paylocity, Garrett is responsible for contributing to the organization’s design system, Citrus, while leading a design team. His team is involved with the evolution of their industry-leading, cloud-based payroll, and human capital management software, within their Talent suite. Garrett prides himself on his desire to consume more information than an average 1984 computer could handle each day.

For more, keep up with Garrett at or on Twitter as @garrettpolifka.

EQ + Design; Elevating the Design Process

Emotional intelligence is a core competency that we should all explore to foster stronger bonds as a community. By being mindful of the moment, now, we’re better-prepared to sense emotions within. Through self-awareness, we can harness a shared power to work together more efficiently. Being more aware of ourselves through emotional intelligence, we can shape our perceptions and become a more mindful participant in the design process.

Julie Morycz

Julie Morycz
Senior Designer, Grand Studio

Julie Morycz is a Senior Designer at Grand Studio where she focuses on visual/UI design and digital UX. She is an adaptive, inquisitive designer, and is passionate about creating human-centered solutions to common problems… with a side interest in all the crime shows.

For more, keep up with Julie at

Diana & Julie present:

The True Crime of Bad Design

Much like true crime shows look at the notorious criminals in our culture, we will look at the notorious (and some not-so-notorious but equally “criminal”) UX/UI snafus in the recent years, including mistakes from our own work and what we’ve learned as individuals and a community about why certain tactics or styles don’t work in digital and conversational interfaces.

Eva PenzeyMoog

Eva PenzeyMoog
Designer, 8th Light

Eva is a UX Designer and empathy enthusiast. She spends her time at work designing intuitive user experiences and leading diversity and inclusion initiatives. She spends her non-work time consuming as much zombie media as possible, creating cyanotype prints, and rubbing the bellies of her pitbulls, Hamlet and Horatio.

For more, keep up with Eva at or on Twitter as @epenzeymoog.

Designing Against Domestic Violence

The reality of domestic violence doesn’t disappear when people leave enter the digital world. Abusers use technology to exploit and control their victims, meaning that technologists have a responsibility to ensure that users of our products are empowered to protect their safety. How can we prevent people with violent intentions from forms of abuse and control that are digital, such as browsing a victim’s computer, finding sensitive information about them online, or creating fake content in their name? How can our products that involve real people, such as software for building managers, protect against an abuser talking their way past a building’s doorman whose uses software to track approved guests? While there’s no simple answer and ultimately no way to ensure our users’ safety in all situations, thoughtful considerations and small changes while designing and building products can and does result in meaningful contributions to people’s safety. This talk will explore how to think through a lens of safety, create those thoughtful considerations, and advocate for an emphasis on safety.

This presentation will deal explicitly with domestic violence and may be triggering for some attendees. Please do not hesitate to leave the room at any time should you need to.

Gabby Hon

Gabby Hon
User Experience Lead

With 20+ years experience in UX, and having worked with Fortune 100 companies and top agencies, Gabby has seen things you people wouldn’t believe.

She’s chosen making enterprise software less of a nightmare as her professional focus.

In her free time, Gabby is an internet spaceship mogul, and enjoys talking to nerds about how what you learn in a game can translate to real life.

For more, keep up with Gabby at or on Twitter as @gabbyhon.

The Map Is Not The Territory: Against UX Portfolios, and For Rational Hiring

Mired in deliverable purgatory, and possessed of strategic skills that are continually undervalued, UX professionals are further humiliated by hiring requirements that include portfolios. I will explain why portfolios are entirely wrong for evaluating the worth of a UX professional, why hiring managers can’t seem to stop demanding them, and propose a path out of this quagmire.

Jon Yablonski

Jon Yablonski
Interactive Design Lead, Vectorform

Jon is a Interactive Design Lead at Vectorform, where he invents digital products and experiences. His passion lies in exploring the intersection of design and development, and often merges these two disciplines into a hybrid approach for solving digital problems. When he’s not building wireframes or style sheets, Jon is curating Laws of UX and the Web Field Manual.

For more, keep up with Jon at or on Twitter as @JonYablonski.

The Intersection of Psychology & UX Design

The human brain is so complex that understanding it has proven to be arguably the greatest challenge of modern science. It exhibits patterns that are integral to how we perceive and process information, which we’ve evolved for survival over thousands of years.

An understanding of these patterns is fundamental to designing human-centered experiences, and we can use established principles from psychology to guide us. Instead of forcing users to conform to the design of a product or experience, we can use this knowledge to design for how people actually are.


Columbia College Film Row

We are big fans of our venue and sponsor: Columbia College in Chicago. Columbia is a great place to learn and upgrade your design skills and we’re excited to partner with them!

Columbia College

About Columbia College

Columbia College Chicago is an institution of higher education specializing in arts and media disciplines, with nearly 12,000 students pursuing degrees within 120 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Check out Columbia College.

Where to Park?

There are several easy-access parking garages available in the surrounding blocks.

Where to Stay?

Coming from out of town? We recommend staying at The Congress Plaza Hotel on Michigan Avenue in the heart of Chicago.

Chicago Sponsors Camps

  • Rosenfeld Media
  • Simplecast
  • Lead Honestly
  • Columbia College Chciago

Code of Conduct

All delegates, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at any Chicago Camps, LLC event are required to agree with the following code of conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event.

The Short Version
Full Version

Be respectful of other people; respectfully ask people to stop if you are bothered; and if you can’t resolve an issue contact the organizers. If you are being a problem, it will be apparent and you’ll be asked to leave.