Chicago Camps

UX Camp Spring

Saturday, May 19, 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!


Don Bora

Don Bora
Co-Founder & Principal of Technology, Eight Bit Studios

Don Bora has been a professional software developer in Chicago since 1990. In his career, Don has started 6 companies two of which he sold and two of which are still alive and making a lot of noise.

Don is a cofounder of Eight Bit Studios, a leading web and mobile application firm in Chicago. At Eight Bit, we blend design, UX, and software development collaboratively to deliver digital products to our customs. If we do it right, everyone has a great time and walks away with a smile on their face.

In addition to his Eight Bit responsibilities, Don frequently mentors young entrepreneurs and students alike. Don also serves on the board of, an immersive bootcamp for military veterans.

Don has been an outspoken advocate for women and girls in tech, seeking to bridge the technology gap by exposing the fun and creative side of programming. He frequently mentors both high school and college students who display an interest in technology and coding.

For more, keep up with Don at or on Twitter as @dbora.


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.

Alina Cvetkova

Alina Cvetkova
Product Designer, XING

Alina Cvetkova is a product designer with a passion for user-centered design and setting up UX processes. Originally from Latvia, Alina has at the moment settled in the sunny Barcelona. Currently, Alina is working as a Product Designer for the B2B side of the social business network XING, where she, together with the rest of the team, is providing design solutions to help recruiters hire the best talent possible.

For more, keep up with Alina on Twitter as @nuacco.

Anticipating User Needs with Data

These days it is not enough to simply provide an interface for the users to reach their goal: users expect so much more from products. It’s essential to address user needs in a smart way, and sometimes there are needs which the user hasn’t even expressed yet.

Anticipatory design and smart data help address this. We’ll explore a practical way that shows how to identify and use data that can help users reach their goals by boosting their journey with useful and helpful information.

Brian Montana

Brian Montana
Senior Interface Developer, Conversant

Brian Montana has an MFA in New Media and works as a Creative Technologist at Conversant. He’s a former Marine, cancer survivor, organizer of CodePen Chicago and museum adventurer.

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

Web Animation API-llusion of Life

Animation in applications and on the web are much more commonplace, however, whether or not they are an enhancement to the user experience is suspect. The first question we need to ask ourselves is “do we need animation?” and if we decide the answer is yes, then we need to know where to begin to craft an effective animation experience.

Animation has become a strong way to telegraph intent to users and give personality to products. There’s an amazing world of principles to learn from and rich history to investigate that will shape your vernacular and purpose when working with animation. We’ll start with the beginning of animation usage and move into the foundations that lead to believable and useful animations. Then, we’ll get current and learn about how to implement UI/UX animations and the Web Animation API that leverages a more performant approach to dynamically animating UI.

There will be animation, code and friendship!

Claire Mallory

Claire Mallory
User Experience Specialist, Centralis

Claire Mallory is a User Experience Specialist at Centralis, where her endless curiosity, critical thinking, and deep listening skills make her a valuable asset on research and design projects. Claire has helped optimize the user experience for clients in the health care, consumer products, and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining Centralis, Claire was a Designer-in-Residence at Designation. She loves making pottery, gardening, and hanging out with cats. She hates running but does it anyway.

For more, keep up with Claire at or on Twitter as @claire3mallory.

Don’t Fear the Recruit!

A solid recruit is essential for good research—UX cannot exist without research, and research requires participants. And yet, recruiting can seem like a daunting or insurmountable task. As the foundation of successful user research, recruitment deserves careful attention.

In this talk, we will focus on the many possible (and varied) ways to secure research participants. We’ll share the pros and cons of each approach, from scrappy DIY methods to outsourcing your recruit to the professionals. We will also discuss best practices for defining your target audience, writing a screener, and compensating participants. You will leave with an understanding of the tools and techniques necessary for a successful recruit, putting you in the best position to conduct successful UX research.

Colleen Pellissier

Colleen Pellissier
UX Designer, Fuzzy Math

Colleen is a Chicago based UX designer and podcast producer. She’s passionate about storytelling, solving problems, user-centered design, asking questions, and listening. Prior to getting into UX design, Colleen worked in public radio and audio documentary. Her radio stories have aired all over the country by the powers of radio waves and the Internet. Currently, her heart belongs to design. A list of Colleen’s top five favorite things (not in order of importance): wallpaper, museum memberships, Fiona, water, and pizza.

For more, keep up with Colleen at or on Twitter as @cr_pellissier.

Neil Jacobsen

Neil Jacobsen
UX Designer

Neil is a Chicago transplant working as a podcast producer as well as a teacher’s assistant and design mentor with Designation. He loves the design research process, talking to users, then bringing back ideas to them for testing. Neil moved to Chicago to learn the art of long-form improvisation at the Second City and iO theaters; he’s currently performing, coaching, and teaching around the city. He’s happy to facilitate a corporate improv workshop with anyone reading this. Literally, anyone. Neil loves to ride his bike and make furniture from reclaimed wood (aka garbage).

Colleen & Neil present:

Telling the Best Story All the Time, Every Single Time. Forever.

Storytelling tools and methods help throughout the design thinking process, while executing a UX practice, and sharing deliverables. How can we share design choices with clients or stakeholders? How did we arrive at the design decision we made?

You’ve done the work and now need engaging ways to frame or present your findings. Being able to tell a good story supports and enhances your presentations, deliverables, and meetings. We’ll also look different mediums used to tell your story, from verbal to visual and how to engage and effectively communicate with your audience.

By the end of this presentation, we aim to leave the attendee with actionable strategies to tell better stories, anecdotes to share over dinner, and a fierce desire to get around a campfire and tell a tale.

Dale Sande

Dale Sande
Senior Web UI Developer, Spiria

Dale Sande has worked as a senior UX Engineer with companies like Getty Images, BestBuy, Microsoft, REI, AppDirect, and others. He currently leads UI development for front-end projects and manages a development technical education platform with Spiria. Dale is very involved in the front-end community, both locally and nationally. He and a colleague were the inspiration behind SassMeister, he has co-authored two books on Sass and continues to write endless instructional tutorials.

In those rare moments when Dale can actually put the computer down, he enjoys spending time with this wife and two daughters biking, hiking and generally being outdoors in the Pacific North West

For more, keep up with Dale at or on Twitter as @anotheruiguy.

Empowering Your UI Design Systems

It’s time to dispell these misconceptions about building design systems, their role, and issues with maintenance. This talk will also propose new ideas in the industry in regards to building a design system that is integrated into the production development workflow. After all, the more you can involve the whole team in a process, the more likely you will create a process that outlasts the members of the team.

This talk will cover conceptually what a design system is and how to best abstract UI elements from a design and apply to an application. Tools such as Fractal and Pattern Lab will be reviewed, while integration tools like styled components and React Styleguidist or Storybook will be discussed in detail for how to properly weaponize and maintain your UI across your whole team.

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.

Fei Ren

Fei Ren
UX Product Designer, Cappex

Fei is a UX designer and researcher at Cappex in the Chicago area. He likes to hear and share stories and tips regarding UX. Fei has worked with a variety of large companies, small businesses, startups, and non-profits within the user experience design and research field. Fei is strongly interested in learning and sharing about information architecture, user research methodologies, interaction design, and design process.

For more, keep up with Fei at

Understanding & Improving Information Architecture

Information architecture is the art and science of organizing information in the digital world. A lot of times, UX designers and researchers take the responsibility of understanding and improving information architecture of a product. However, it is tricky because users may categorize information differently. This presentation will cover the research methodologies, tools, and skills to study and refine information architecture. Also I will cover the common biases on IA research methodologies.

Karmen Kaufmann

Karmen Kaufmann
Lead Designer, Moment

Karmen is a Lead Designer at Moment where she helps clients envision, create, and evolve digital products through research and strategy.

For more, keep up with Karmen at

How to Shut Up & Listen

When conducting research with users, designers are always thinking one step ahead. “Should I take them down that thought path? How much more time do I have? What’s the next question I should ask?”

Unfortunately, this is how most people have conversations in their daily life as well—completely one-sided, selfish, and focused on the next time they get to talk. That just doesn’t work when you’re trying to get genuine stories out of people.

Using the Constructivist Listening Dyad (a tool developed for educators), design researchers can uncover greater insights through listening, and not just thinking one step ahead to guide the conversation. By forcing yourself to remain silent and fully dedicate yourself to listening to your users, you will empower them to speak their truth. In the end you’ll have honest insights from your users that will guide your design.

In this session, participants (anyone from designers, researchers, and strategists) will walk away with a refreshed empathy for their research subjects, a new method to apply to their generative research, and refined skills in active listening.

Katie Swindler

Katie Swindler
User Experience Strategy Manager, Allstate

Katie leads the experience strategy for Allstate online marketing products including the quoting experiences and My Account. Originally educated as a theatre director, she brings a unique perspective to digital work. She believes if brands wish to truly connect with consumers they must combine emotion and utility, storytelling and technology to create experiences that go beyond satisfaction to delight. Prior to joining Allstate, Katie was a UX Director at FCB Chicago where she was the UX lead on the 2016 global redesign of as well as leading experience design for many other clients such as Cox Communications, and Toyota Financial Services.

For more, keep up with Katie at

Animation in UX: The Subconscious Influence of Motion

If you’re not leveraging interface animations to influence your users, you are missing a critical component of UX design. Like body language, motion design supplies a rich, often-subconscious layer of meaning and personality to every micro-interaction. Digital products can leverage the same techniques used by cartoon animators, actors and dancers to convey personality, improve comprehension and influence behavior through movement. Learn the right animation styles for your brand, users and product.


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
  • MOMENT Design

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.