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Chicago Camps

UX Camp Winter Home Edition

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Online — Everywhere — 10AM CT

Details

UX Camp: Home Edition is a 1-day mini-conference delivering design goodness to you, where ever you may be.

On Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 10AM CT, from where ever you are—we’re serving up 2 awesome keynotes that bookend up to 12 (3 tracks) really great presentations!

Normally, we’d all be heading to downtown Chicago for some (hopefully) nice weather, great views, city sounds, and then the abundant food and snacks that we like to provide from the comfort of Columbia College Film Row.

Things are different now, and we want to do something that is great for our community, spreads to the broader community, and still provides opportunity for presenters to present and attendees to learn. We’re giving this a shot, and we hope you’ll give us a shot, too!

We’ve got an awesome lightweight UX Camp Winter hoodie available courtesy of our pals at Nerditees, for only $16.50.

UX Camp Winter hoodie

Each hoodie purchase adds an extra ticket to our “Need One, Take One” pool of free passes—get yours today!

Meet Our Awesome Sponsors

Our sponsors are helping to make this event special and paying it forward by showing support for UX Camp: Home Edition.

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

Keynotes

Carolyn Chandler

Carolyn Chandler
Director of User Experience, Eight Bit Studios

Carolyn Chandler has been working in the field of User Experience Design for over 20 years, after finding it due to a driving interest in psychology and anthropology. As Director of UX at Eight Bit Studios, her areas of specialty include design strategy and leadership, interaction design, and user research and modeling. She co-authored A Project Guide to UX Design with Russ Unger (now in its second edition) and Adventures in Experience Design with Anna van Slee. Due to her work in teaching and mentoring students and start-ups, Carolyn was named one of “Chicago’s Tech 50” by Crain’s Magazine. She appreciates cheesy puns and words like spork.

For more, keep up with Carolyn at dhalo.com or on Twitter as @chanan.

Remotely Human

Necessity is the mother of invention… and this year, have we had necessity! Many teams were suddenly forced to work entirely remotely, requiring major adjustments to work styles and tool sets. While most technology companies supported remote work to a certain extent, it’s been quite different to remove in-person possibilities completely. Gone are the casual water cooler chats, taps on the shoulder, work social events, and other interactions that can be the glue of strong working relationships. For those of us in the UX practice, we’ve also faced the challenge of conducting research from our homes, and running brainstorming sessions without post-it walls and collaboration space.

Some of the adaptations in this time may stay OF this time when workplaces open up again. But which ones should we bring into the future? What have we learned about connecting while remote? What elements make us feel engaged and human? What tools have people used to fill the gaps? We’ll explore some ideas and approaches that may help us and our teams through this winter, and beyond.

Margot Bloomstein

Margot Bloomstein
Brand & Content Strategy Consultant, Appropriate, Inc.

LMargot Bloomstein is a speaker, strategic adviser, and the principal of Appropriate, Inc., a brand and content strategy consultancy. For two decades, she’s helped organizations improve communication through brand-driven content strategy. Her clients include Al Jazeera America, the American Montessori Society, the American Veterinary Medical Association, Harvard University, Lovehoney, Pitney Bowes, and Sallie Mae. She is the author of Trustworthy: How the Smartest Brands Beat Cynicism and Bridge the Trust Gap and Content Strategy at Work: Real-World Stories to Strengthen Every Interactive Project and the creator of BrandSort™. Margot teaches in the content strategy graduate program at FH Joanneum University in Graz, Austria, and lectures around the world about brand-driven content strategy and designing for trust.

For more, keep up with Margot at appropriateinc.com/trustworthy/ or on Twitter as @mbloomstein.

Design for Trust: Our Opportunity, Our Responsibility

Cynicism is easy. Hope takes work. Trust bridges the distance between them, and designers have a unique opportunity to foster it. In today’s economy, we need new strategies to earn trust and help consumers and citizens alike make more confident decisions. But undermining confidence is cynicism: it erodes trust in the media, government, science, and consumer brands. To regain trust, we’ll go beyond the buzzwords of empathy, transparency, and authenticity. Drawing on examples from publishing, retail, government, and beyond, we’ll discuss how a new framework for content and design can empower people and renew their confidence—and even strengthen society itself.

Schedule

Kick-off
Margot Bloomstein
Opening Keynote — Design for Trust: Our Opportunity, Our Responsibility
Break
Ian Fenn
8 Ways People Screw Up Their UX Portfolio
Barkha Sharma
Usability: The Subset of UX
Billy Carlson
Revisiting Wireframes — Techniques & Principles for the Whole Team
Break
Maria Pereda
Don’t Let Ambiguity Be the Death of Your Design Project
Amanda Weller & Megan Machamer
Remote Digital Ethnography: Understand Online Dating Behaviors Within the Digital Environment
Nikki Espartinez
Mapping the Journey of a Design Career
Lunch
Jeff Eaton
Your System is a Language
Diana Sonis & Lis Hubert
Leave a Trail of Breadcrumbs: Designing Navigation with Customer Intentions
Lindsey Gates-Markel
Think Like a Developer to Design Better Structured Content
Break
Meena Kothandaraman
Unpacking Context During a Pandemic: Reflections & Tips
Casey Hald
Rapid Prototyping in the Design Process
Jatin Gupta
A Digital Designer’s Carbon Footprint
Break
Carolyn Chandler
Closing Keynote: Remotely Human
Closing Ceremonies

Speakers

Amanda Weller

Amanda Weller
Senior UX Director, Ipsos

Amanda has over 10 years of experience designing and executing custom projects that deliver creative, insightful solutions to complex problems to create intuitive, innovative, useful, fun experiences for people around the world.

Fluent in various methodologies to deeply understand users needs, pain points, and behaviors. Adaptive and empathetic moderator whose thoughtful analysis produces actionable results. Passion for tech and finance with strong cross-industry experience including consumer products, media, apps, IOT, healthcare, packaging, and service design.

Megan Machamer

Megan Machamer
Research Director, Ipsos

UX research specialist and ethnographer with 10 years of social science research experience in both professional and academic contexts. A highly dedicated applied anthropologist who is enthusiastic about culture and technology, and specializes in: research design, discovery, ethnography, and international research.

Academically, she hold a Masters in Social Science from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of California San Diego, as well as an Associates of Arts in Math and Science with special emphasis in Psychology from MiraCosta College. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology since September of 2016.

For more, keep up with Megan on Twitter as @mmmeganmelissa.

Amanda & Megan present:

Remote Digital Ethnography: Understand Online Dating Behaviors Within the Digital Environment

Observing participants can present several challenges, yet still turns out invaluable data that informs our designs—so how in the heck can we observe thoroughly while still maintaining a remote posture? The digital layers of a users’ ecosystem interact to impact their experiences in user experience research today, ethnography should combine the physical and digital planes to understand multiple influences on any one interaction.

In online dating, there are many contextual elements to consider, including: virtual profiles, messaging, filters to find appropriate matches, use of multiple competitor apps, and geolocation, which create the user’s online environment. The UX digital landscape combines the context of the physical world plus in-app environment and connected ecosystems. The user’s environment is primarily digital. The surrounding world is just one plane/layer of consideration in these interactions and digital ethnography can help us understand how to design for these different layers of experience.

Barkha Sharma

Barkha Sharma
User Experience Designer, TO THE NEW

Barkha is an experience designer at TO THE NEW, a digital transformation services company in Delhi, India. Academically, she holds a bachelors in computer science engineering and is pursuing masters in psychology.

Immense believer in the fine balance between user’s needs and business requirements, she has quite some experience in conducting design discovery workshops, performing comprehensive usability audits, and prototyping for digital applications in a multitude of domains including FinTech.

She’s also a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. buff, an avid reader, and an amateur astronomer.

Usability: The Subset of UX

UX and Usability are two words that are often used interchangeably and without much regard to their differences. Since usability is an important aspect of UX, we need to understand the differentiation, and make sure that those around us understand, as well.

We’ll evaluate the similarities and differences of UX and usability, and help make sure we’re all able to communicate them effectively. It’s valuable to not only understand what makes a product or service usable, it’s also important to know how to evaluate usability using standard heuristic principles.

Billy Carlson

Billy Carlson
Design Education, Balsamiq

As a designer, Billy is his happiest when designing for a greater purpose. Whether it’s creating ways for users to enjoy their experience more seamlessly or complete a task more efficiently, he always places the people at the center of what he creates. He currently works as a Design Educator at Balsamiq, a design software company, where he helps designers and product folks learn best practices of all phases of UI and digital product design. Previously, he led large UX teams at various corporations’ internal design groups, such as Threadless, where he led the design and development of several mobile applications, the design of the Artist Shops program, and facilitated partnerships.

Billy’s passion for making started at an early age, but it wasn’t until college that he became fascinated by all forms of design. He prides himself in bringing the creative community together and does so by hosting creative events in partnership with local design groups, as well as mentoring young designers by facilitating portfolio reviews and project critiques. He is also an Adjunct Lecturer at Northwestern University’s Segal Design Institute.

For more, keep up with Billy on Twitter as @billycarlson.

Revisiting Wireframes — Techniques & Principles for the Whole Team

Wireframes are not only design artifacts, they are also effective communication tools. Learn how wireframes can be used in multiple ways throughout the product design process to ensure that user goals are clear, many ideas are explored, and developer hand-off is more seemless.

Casey Hald

Casey Hald
UX Design, Experian

Casey has been doing web design and user experience since 2008. He’s worked extensively on enterprise software—developing rapid prototypes and conducting usability sessions to determine usability for designs.

Casey has worn multiple hats in his career, mostly pertaining to workflow design and front-end development. On the side, I mostly play the roll as a front-end developer for designers. Full-time—however—my passion is user experience and workflow design for enterprise software.

For more, keep up with Casey at casey.carrd.co or on Twitter as @solllve.

Rapid Prototyping in the Design Process

No one likes spending hours of time on a well thought out design, only to learn that the idea behind the design wasn’t backed by user feedback. Creating with a prototype mindset makes it easier to create quickly, without the added anxiety of thinking you will need to crumple it up and throw away later.

Rapid prototyping is quick, often rigged workflows built for the purpose of proving or disproving an idea or assumption. It’s important to keep in mind that design and rapid prototyping are two very different things. When you think design, you think pixel-perfect, time consuming layouts.

We’ll work through how these two very different actions play an important part in user experience design. Learn how rethinking your approach to usability sessions as a rapid prototyper will allow you to either prove or kill an idea in record time.

Diana Sonis

Diana Sonis
Founding Partner, CX by Design

Diana is a passionate believer in holistic, 360 strategy and design, with extensive expertise in UX Design, CX Design, Service Design, and the Design Thinking methodology.

As founding partner of CX by Design, Diana’s mission is to identify nuggets of opportunity within an organization, reorient its existing systems and structures to improve the human experience, help others extend their thinking, and drive material business advantage.

Having designed, built, and successfully sold several companies, Diana works to help businesses shape abstract concepts into concrete online and offline experiences that respond to the needs and motivations of real people.

When she’s not solving strategic challenges, Diana can be found in pursuit of good coffee everywhere.

For more, keep up with Diana at dianasonis.com or on Twitter as @DianaSonis.

Lis Hubert

Lis Hubert
Founding Partner, CX by Design

Lis is an acclaimed design and strategy thought leader, writer, and speaker with extensive expertise in Digital Strategy, Customer Experience, Information Architecture, and Design Thinking.

As founding partner of CX by Design, she has made it her mission to help companies meet their strategic goals. She does so by making the invisible visible through research, making the complex simple through her unique perspective, and bringing understanding and meaning through expert facilitation.

With over a decade of designing successful products and strategies for clients of all sizes, her passion lies in helping her partners think holistically about driving, and enacting, real change. Lis helps businesses not only increase their bottom line, but also their longevity through customer loyalty.

When not tackling complex strategic problems, you can find Lis traveling the world enjoying the human experience to the fullest.

For more, keep up with Lis at elisabethhubert.com or on Twitter as @lishubert.

​Dina & Lis present:

Leave a Trail of Breadcrumbs: Designing Navigation with Customer Intentions

Navigation in complex websites and products is… well, complex. How do you help your users go from A → B → H when you’re putting an intricate product line online or managing thousands of pages within a digital ecosystem? We believe that answer lies in designing for customer intentions.

In this session, Lis and Diana will cover why designing for customer intentions throughout your digital ecosystem empowers your team to build a bridge between what customers need and what your business provides. We’ll dive into how to design an organic flow that carries the user through your site with intuitive ease rarely found in more traditional, hierarchy-heavy IA structures.

Many teams miss these important steps in their rush to implement new designs, leaving users confused, and business stakeholders frustrated. Come ready to jump in!

Ian Fenn

Ian Fenn
Senior Product Designer, Tails.com

Ian Fenn is a Senior Product Designer at tails.com. Since 2014, he has been advising other designers on how to represent their value effectively to potential clients and employers. He is the author of Lobster Book, the definitive guide to UX Portfolio design, and creator of the popular UX Portfolio Essentials course.

For more, keep up with Ian at uxportfolio.design or on Twitter as @ifenn.

8 Ways People Screw Up Their UX Portfolio

Portfolios are required for designers, researchers, strategists, and managers. Yet, most people in our field do not want to show off their work. In many respects, we do not understand the essentials of a killer portfolio until we see it. In this session, Ian Fenn will explain the essentials of your portfolio. He will give practical tips and tricks to make sure you show the best version your “self” in your portfolio. In addition, Ian will explain the importance of treating your portfolio like a product that you design.

Jatin Gupta

Jatin Gupta
Product Designer, T-Mobile Full-time

Jatin is a product designer at T-Mobile currently designing the T-Mobile for Business self-service platform. He is passionate about problem-solving in the digital space while keeping sustainability and ethics in mind. Jatin’s previous experience includes working as a front-end developer, accessibility researcher, and an AR game designer.

When not designing, you can find him reading self-help books or watching table tennis and fantasizing about how his ambitious goal of beating Space X in their domain would look like.

For more, keep up with Jatin at jatingupta.co or on Twitter as @booWendyb00.

A Digital Designer’s Carbon Footprint

Designers may be inadvertently contribute to climate change through their normal, everyday activities. As digital designers, we use a lot of resources and since many of them are digital we tend to overlook the impact we can have on our environment.

We can change our behaviors, practice sustainable design, and reduce our carbon footprint by practically applying behavior change, which is definitely part of our role as designers. A lot of conversations about climate change give a very zoomed-out view where the individual level contribution is completely discarded. We’ll discuss ways to change our behaviors and have an impact on climate change as individuals.

Jeff Eaton

Jeff Eaton
Partner, Autogram

Jeff Eaton helps large organizations understand, model, and manage their content. For 25 years, heଁs tackled digital publishing, web development, and content strategy problems for organizations large and small.

Whether he’s fixing problems with CMS architecture or editorial workflow, his work sits in the overlap between design, communications, and technology. Today, heଁs a partner at Autogram, a strategic consultancy focused on the intersection of design systems and high-variance content.

For more, keep up with Jeff at angrylittletree.com or on Twitter as @eaton.

Your System is a Language

Software development, component-oriented design, and content strategy practices all emphasize the idea of building a “shared vocabulary” to make communication between team members easier. But a vocabulary implies grammar, context, and more… What can we learn about our content models and design systems by taking the metaphor of language seriously?

Lindsey Gates-Markel

Lindsey Gates-Markel
Senior Content Strategist, Pixo

Lindsey leads content strategy at Pixo, working with teams of clients, designers, and developers to explore the space between what exists and what is possible. She loves dumb questions and metadata.

For more, keep up with Lindsey at lindseygatesmarkel.com.

Think Like a Developer to Design Better Structured Content

If you work on websites from the ground up, you know the pain of seeing your best-laid content plans go awry. Hasty help text, mysterious CMS constraints, and unclear user stories can turn even the sharpest strategy into a sad site.

When you plan structured content with the mindset of a developer, you can avoid more confusing pitfalls from the get-go. Time will be saved, and you’ll ensure developers can use your work, and plan richer content, empowered with a clear understanding of what’s possible.

In this session, you’ll learn:

  • Why to put on your “data glasses” when planning content
  • How to write user stories that resonate with an end-to-end team
  • How to turn content needs into a clear UI for content authors
Maria Pereda

Maria Pereda
Director of Product Design, Clio

Maria leads design at Clio, helping increase access to justice while improving the lives of lawyers. Previously, she’s led teams at Roadmunk, Schoology, Critical Mass and GE. In her spare time, which is never, Maria is learning to play guitar.

In 2018, she made a promise to never buy clothes again, and to this day, she continues to make her own clothes.

Don’t Let Ambiguity Be the Death of Your Design Project

It seems like everything is fast-paced and we don’t always have the luxury to get all the answers we need before we start diving into our design process, which can be frustrating—if not paralyzing! Dealing with ambiguity is part of the design process, and yet it can feel overwhelming every. single. time. Even worse: the more we climb in our careers, the more it seems we’re expected to be experts at everything, and context switching between.

Gathering information, or just enough information to get started, is a key element of success in the design process. We’ll explore different frameworks to help you understand and identify risk tolerance, decision-making techniques, and how to keep moving while still reaching outcomes.

Meena Kothandaraman

Meena Kothandaraman
Experience Strategist, twig+fish

With 30 years of experience, Meena has consulted to emphasize the strategic value and positioning of qualitative research in the design of product, space and service. Meena is fascinated by the complexity of human behavior, and applies a credible, structured and transparent approach to integrating human stories and anecdotes into mainstream processes. This ensures that research activities provide the best service to the organization, and that learning objectives are addressed to maximize potential.

Meena is a founding member of twig+fish, a research and strategy practice based in Boston, MA, that espouses these research beliefs, while maintaining a utopic work-life balance. She is also a key Lecturer in the Bentley University Human Factors and Information Design (HFID) graduate program. Over her 20-year tenure, her capstone qualitative research course has guided now-leading practitioners to integrating meaningful and successful research practices.

She holds an M.S. in Information Resources Management from Syracuse University and a B.Com . in MIS from the University of Ottawa, Canada. Meena is always inspired in her work by her other passions, namely performing as a South-Indian Classical Violinist, pursuing culinary arts through a cooking show, and staying up to date with her two teenager interests!

For more, keep up with Meena on Twitter as @meena_ko.

Unpacking Context During a Pandemic: Reflections & Tips

Context has always been of importance to unpack and describe when understanding human realities. Context is anything and everything that brings meaning to human realities. Pre-COVID, qualitative researchers readily presented options for studies for both in-context and out-of-context approaches.

With the onset of the pandemic, in-context approaches posed challenges: increased study expense and safety risks to assess. The need to elicit context understanding remains—but without the ability to immerse in it—how do we as researchers understand it? An absence of context understanding can affect a researcher’s interpretation of the human story and reality. This in turn can affect the knowledge applied by a design team.

Meena Kothandaraman of twig+fish will share four observations from recent projects in which participants engaged in a way that revealed more contextual detail. Every project was run remotely—but each time the research team noted approaches that allowed the participant a chance to think of their context and articulate it with more specificity. These approaches are easily applied and will be still be applicable post-pandemic.

Nikki Espartinez

Nikki Espartinez
Independent Product Designer & UX Strategist

Nikki Espartinez is a designer of digital experiences and products. The core themes of her work are User Experience, Design Operations and Design Evangelism. Nikki is very passionate about all three of them.

Alongside that, Nikki also think of the future deeply. From the way we work to the way we actually will live our life, she thinks design is very much integrated on it. To help her explore those thoughts clearer, she started a newsletter on those topics earlier this year.

For more, keep up with Nikki at nikkiespartinez.com.

Mapping the Journey of a Design Career

The User Experience field is an infinitely rewarding one that has no shortage of serendipities, fears, risks, wins and losses. My story is one of fear and bravery, bravery and fear, all told from the fresh perspective of a designer who is convinced she is just getting started.

How do you design a career you’ll be proud of? How do you turn constraints into advantages? These are the questions I want to explore as I talk about my own journey into UX from traditional design. From past failures to wake up calls and personal reinventions, I’ll map out this human’s journey so far.

Location

UX Camp: Home Edition will be 100% online and from where each of us are. And then, later, we’ll share on Vimeo so you can watch and learn again, watch what you’ve missed, or share with your internet pals.

Chicago Sponsors Camps

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

Code of Conduct

All attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at our conference are required to agree with the following code of conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event. We are expecting cooperation from all participants to help ensuring a safe environment for everybody.

The Short Version
Full Version

Our conference is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, Twitter and other online media. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organizers.