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Talk [clear filter]
Friday, October 2

10:30am EDT

Articulating Instagram’s Voice, or, how I got a bunch of visual storytellers excited about language
Instagram is all about using photos (not words) to tell stories and share moments. So, how did I, as their first content strategist, get everyone excited about capitalization rules and voice attributes? Setting or revamping content standards and voice guidelines are vital to developing a fantastic app. But getting buy-in and support can be a real drag. I learned a lot articulating Instagram’s voice and writing our content standards, including that making words everyone’s business is the key to creating standards everyone can’t wait to use.

avatar for Hazel Jennings

Hazel Jennings

Content Strategist, Instagram
Hazel Jennings is the founding member of the Instagram content strategy team and spends her days articulating and evangelizing Instagram’s voice. She got her start right here in Pittsburgh: working at Fifthroom Markets and Greener Expressions. In her spare time, she writes and directs... Read More →

Friday October 2, 2015 10:30am - 11:10am EDT
  Children's Museum - Theater 10 Children's Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

10:30am EDT

Enhanced Experience: A multi-disciplinary view of experience design from the trenches
The design and construction of multi-touchpoint, organic experiences is a hot topic among designers. I’ll bring a perspective grown from many years of designing successful physical, digital and service ecosystems for many of our most beloved brands in entertainment/theme-parks, healthcare and education. This talk will provide history, context and practical tips for someone looking to implement change for others or themselves in this space, and a battle-tested POV on the roles, required organizational changes and future opportunities for multi-touchpoint, service-orientated design practice.

avatar for Nick de la Mare

Nick de la Mare

Co-Founder/Principal, Big Tomorrow
Nick is a Principal and co-founder at Big Tomorrow, a San Francisco, CA and Austin, TX based multi-disciplinary design firm specializing in the creation of paradigm-shifting experiences and services that bridge the digital and physical worlds.With nearly 20 years experience, he has... Read More →

Friday October 2, 2015 10:30am - 11:10am EDT
   New Hazlett Theater 6 Allegheny Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

11:30am EDT

Designing for Disruptive Innovation

Sometimes we get so focused on winning small victories of the present – like sign-off on UX or design support – that we’re blindsided by larger issues from the overall business context. This case study tells the story of a team who experienced this first-hand and learned some lasting lessons as a result.

Like any good tale, the story features heroes, villains, and dramatic twists. Hear how product management and user experience joined forces to tackle a serious business problem. Learn how their field research with potential customers busted some big assumptions and uncovered an incredible opportunity. Then find out what happened when they presented that opportunity to an executive team wrestling with disruptive innovation.

This case study will illustrate:

  • The value of involving skeptics instead of avoiding them.
  • The basics of conducting field research and analyzing findings.
  • What designers need to know about disruptive innovation.
  • How destroying assumptions may be UX’s most important contribution.
  • Why not to trust a focus group, ever.

avatar for Robert Barlow-Busch

Robert Barlow-Busch

Vice President of User Experience, Boltmade
Robert provides coaching and support to the user experience team at Boltmade, a product design & development shop based in Waterloo, Canada. He draws upon experience as both an in-house executive and a trusted consultant to deliver great design work for Boltmade’s international... Read More →

Friday October 2, 2015 11:30am - 12:10pm EDT
   New Hazlett Theater 6 Allegheny Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

11:30am EDT

What is Beautiful Software?

Amazing design results start with a solid design practice. Over the last hundred or so years designers and design educators have established a foundation of skills, theory, and principles that give us a way of thinking about, talking about, and doing design.

Beginning with an overview of traditional design foundations from graphic design, industrial design, and architecture, this session will explore the evolution of the language of design as it tries to keep up with modern design practice and the types of things that designers are working on in the 21st century.

How can we describe the beauty, aesthetic values, and ethics of something that impacts the quality of our lives but we can’t see, like a social network. Design’s traditional critical language doesn’t adequately account for the aesthetic properties of these new kinds of design outputs and practices. We will explore a possible new framing and critical language that extends tradition and works to evolve how we think about, and do, design in the age of the network.

Attendees will learn:

  • The history of design foundations and how they have evolved
  • How to practice foundations and apply them to your work
  • How these concepts will evolve in the coming years

avatar for Matt Nish-Lapidus

Matt Nish-Lapidus

Design Director, Normative, Vice President, IxDA, Normative
Matt Nish-Lapidus holds a degree in new media art from Ryerson University, and has a rich background as a practicing designer, musician, and artist. His work has included everything from the digital library catalog in use by the New York Public Library to enterprise software for hospitals... Read More →

Friday October 2, 2015 11:30am - 12:10pm EDT
  Children's Museum - Theater 10 Children's Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

1:45pm EDT

Artificial Intelligence & Humanistic Interaction Design: Beyond robots and virtual girlfriends

Designing for digital products and other forms of interactions is becoming more about the optimal balance of the science behind the product (technology, connectivity and data computing) and the art of the actual experience (human cognition, logical flow, sensory experience, content and context).

Humanism in this regard is the use of measurable behavioral data, empirical analysis, dynamic mental models, and rational decision-making methodologies to solve problems that alleviate and improve human experiences.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – as it involves creating computer models of “brains” based on how human beings consciously solve problems using step-by-step deductive reasoning and our growing knowledge of the world — will be an increasingly large part of the digital products we use every day at home and at work since it delivers the right balance of “art and science”.

In the next decade or sooner, technology and technology-abled products and experiences will be able to detect or predict each person’s mental, emotional and physical conditions, tailoring the interface design to adapt to each user’s specific goals, interests and needs. Interaction design will be triggered by humanistic data as it combines the optimal balance of artistic and scientific inquiries.

avatar for Drew Davidson

Drew Davidson

Vice President of Design, ÄKTA
Drew Davidson graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Psychology and a master’s in Computer Technology. His distinguished career has allowed him to bring his vast knowledge of user experience design to companies across the country, including Nielsen... Read More →

Friday October 2, 2015 1:45pm - 2:25pm EDT
  Children's Museum - Theater 10 Children's Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

1:45pm EDT

The Wicked Craft of Enterprise UX

We know craft is important, but how does it fit into the ambiguity and complexity (or wickedness) of enterprise UX? What is the role and place for craft in designing enterprise software? There’s massive scales of objects, convoluted processes with buyers (not users), and politically charged organizational matters. Whew! My talk proposes shifting our notion of craft from “precious object” towards “facilitative anchor”, guiding crucial conversations about what matters most: goals, values, criteria. Thus, craft becomes a tool for the designer to achieve alignment and provoke useful dialogues.

To demonstrate, I will share 3 stories from my career at Oracle, Citrix, and CloudPhysics, of how I used craft to clarify issues and build relationships. Each offers slight variations on the “facilitative anchor.” The first is about a “reactive” model of craft. The second is what I call “interpretive” craft. And the final story involves “collaborative” making. Craft becomes a path to teamwork, and a model of design leadership through making.

Key takeaways:

  • A framework for craft as “facilitative anchor”, with specific artifacts shown
  • A career-oriented pathway of using craft at multiple levels, from tactics to strategy (even when dealing with the CEO!)
  • Tips on how to get non-UX stakeholders out of “analysis paralysis” and into a “maker culture” posture

avatar for Uday Gajendar

Uday Gajendar

Principal Designer, Self
Uday Gajendar is a proven design leader focused on envisioning next-gen concepts & guiding start-ups on UX fundamentals. Uday has 12+ years of diverse strategic design experience at Peel, CloudPhysics, Citrix, Netflix, Adobe and others, from enterprise to consumer, web to mobile... Read More →

Friday October 2, 2015 1:45pm - 2:25pm EDT
   New Hazlett Theater 6 Allegheny Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

2:45pm EDT

⚡Re-humanizing Rehab: UX of tomorrow’s in-home rehabilitation system

Many stroke survivors lose use of one of their arms, requiring prolonged and costly physical therapy beyond what is covered by most health insurance plans. Through co-design with patients in their homes, our team continues to research and design a personalized system for patients’ homes that will cost under $500 when completed.

In this lightning talk, I will explain our methodology for building patients’ trust to design a customized system for and with them, using their input to design a system they’ll be proud to have in their home. The resulting system is a set of 3D-printed objects that are manipulated with the patient’s impaired arm in guided exercises, which are observed and assessed by a machine learning algorithm using an integrated Kinect camera. As the patient interacts with the system over time, the system’s targeted therapy for the patient will improve based upon the patient’s specific impairment.

avatar for Zach Hyman

Zach Hyman

Zach is a researcher, designer, and author whose interests include service design, resource-constrained creativity, and studying everyday life, and he’s interested in research that contributes to designing better products, services, and experiences – particularly in emerging markets... Read More →

Friday October 2, 2015 2:45pm - 2:55pm EDT
  Children's Museum - Theater 10 Children's Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

2:45pm EDT

Finding the Perfect Fit: Exploring the shoe shopping experience with elders

This case study presents design research methodology to understand user experience and explore design in collaboration with users. I will present along with my teammate, Sapna Singh.

Description of issue/topic: Through a design studio at OSU, our team of graduate design, business and occupational therapy students undertook a 14-week class in which we worked with a group of five residents at a senior living facility to co-design a new shoe shopping experience.

How we will address the topic: The presentation will begin with background information into the growing 65+ demographic. Our presentation will provide supporting statistics as well as information about the needs and issues of this growing group.

Then we will discuss why our team selected the topic of clothing, and shoe shopping in particular. We will introduce the co-design process and discuss how we implemented this research method with the elder co-designers, challenges we faced with this new (to them/us) method, and recommendations for future work in this method.

Our presentation will summarize our insight into the elders’ current shoe-shopping experience and our learnings about their ideal experience.

Finally, we will share the process prototype we developed and recommendations for further research.

What attendees will learn:

  • Information about the growing 65+ population
  • Practice and theory of co-design
  • Elders’ ideal online shoe shopping experience
  • Working in a collaborative multidisciplinary team

avatar for Danielle Latman

Danielle Latman

Design researcher and strategist, Lextant
Danielle is a design researcher at the consulting firm Lextant in Columbus, OH. In May 2015 she earned an MBA with a focus on design research and strategy at The Ohio State University. She has over 10 years’ experience in research, writing, analysis, digital marketing and strategy... Read More →
avatar for Sapna Singh

Sapna Singh

Design Researcher / Strategist, Ohio State University
Sapna Singh is currently a student in the MFA program specializing in Design Research and Development at the Ohio State University. Her research thesis is focused on exploring the future of graduate design education and its value. She has worked for the last 12 years in human-centered... Read More →

Friday October 2, 2015 2:45pm - 3:25pm EDT
   New Hazlett Theater 6 Allegheny Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

3:00pm EDT

⚡Duet: A unified interactive platform on a smart phone and a smart watch
The emergence of smart devices (e.g., smart watches and smart eyewear) is redefining mobile interaction from the solo performance of a smart phone, to a symphony of multiple devices. In this talk, I present Duet – an interactive system that explores a design space of interactions between a smart phone and a smart watch. Based on the devices’ spatial configurations, Duet coordinates their motion and touch input, and extends their visual and tactile output to one another. This transforms the watch into an active element that enhances a wide range of phone-based interactive tasks, and enables a new class of multi-device gestures and sensing techniques.

avatar for Xiang Chen

Xiang Chen

Xiang ‘Anthony’ Chen is a PhD student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in Carnegie Mellon University. Working closely with industrial research labs in Microsoft, Autodesk and Google, his research takes a hybrid of technical and design approach to explore how an eco-system... Read More →

Friday October 2, 2015 3:00pm - 3:10pm EDT
  Children's Museum - Theater 10 Children's Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

3:15pm EDT

⚡Designing for Virtual Reality

We’re at the dawn of consumer virtual reality becoming real and mainstream. How do we go about designing for it? While we’re still struggling to master responsive design and the chaos of different sized screens, VR blows the lid off the whole problem by wrapping the screen around you. Now we have screens we’re inside of as well.

This new type of experience presents new problems and opportunities. I’ll discuss common problems including simulator sickness, the screen door effect, and the fragmentation of input devices. I’ll describe some good starting patterns and practices for great VR experiences. Lastly, I’ll cover what are the big exciting problems waiting to be solved.

Participants will leave with an understanding of:

  • What current VR technology exists
  • How to address the most common problems that come up
  • A small set of UI patterns that are especially good for VR

avatar for Rebecca Torbochkin

Rebecca Torbochkin

UX Consultant and Bootstrapper, Scarlet Interactive
As a UX consultant and bootstrapper, I strive to make products that bring meaning, joy, and inspiration to people’s lives. My love of design was sparked by my love of story, which led me to earn a BFA in Communication Design from Carnegie Mellon. I’ve designed enterprise software... Read More →

Friday October 2, 2015 3:15pm - 3:25pm EDT
  Children's Museum - Theater 10 Children's Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

3:45pm EDT

Getting Beyond Use: Designing for meaning with cultural affordances
Much of the discussion about user experience design is focused on use, but there are additional issues to consider. In particular, issues of meaning. John will present the concept of Cultural Affordances—qualities of objects that help people to understand through the frame of their own past experience—and discuss the ways that we as designers can use cultural affordances to more effectively design for our audience.

avatar for John Payne

John Payne

MD, Moment
John Payne is a principal at Moment, a digital product design firm he co-founded in New York City in 2002. John has, over the course of his twenty-five year career as a design consultant, focused on the intersection of design, culture and technology in both physical and digital products... Read More →

Friday October 2, 2015 3:45pm - 4:25pm EDT
  Children's Museum - Theater 10 Children's Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

3:45pm EDT

Natural-born Cyborgs: The neuroscience and philosophy of tool use

The user is more than what’s in front of the screen. In this talk, I’ll show how tools can become natural extensions of the user and explain the neuroscience behind the process. But I’ll also show that tools change us, and in fact even change how we see the world. Some philosophers say that this is the most natural thing ever, and hence call us “natural-born cyborgs” (Andy Clark).

Attendees will learn:

  • how philosophers approach the experience of tool use
  • how the brain assimilates tools like a computer mouse into our body schema
  • how tools change the way we perceive the world
  • what that means for the UX design of tools, interfaces and wearables

avatar for Manuel Ebert

Manuel Ebert

Founding Partner, summer.ai
Manuel is a former neuroscientist who worked on sensory augmentation and mathematical models of perception, before changing fields and becoming a UX designer for startups in the Bay Area.Using his multidisciplinary background, he does research at and writes about the intersection... Read More →

Friday October 2, 2015 3:45pm - 4:25pm EDT
   New Hazlett Theater 6 Allegheny Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Saturday, October 3

10:30am EDT

Designing for Social Impact
More design and user experience professionals are becoming interested in working in the social good sector. Whether your interest is in governmental projects, healthcare, or non-profit ventures, the skills and methods of user experience are of great value. Come learn how to best get started in the field and what might need to change in order for you to be successful.

avatar for Gretchen Anderson

Gretchen Anderson

VP, Product, GreatSchools
Gretchen Anderson spent the first part of her career in design consulting for firms like frog design, Cooper, and Punchcut. Now, as the VP of Product for GreatSchools, she oversees design, product management and engineering and loves the challenge of helping design permeate an organization... Read More →

Saturday October 3, 2015 10:30am - 11:10am EDT
   New Hazlett Theater 6 Allegheny Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

10:30am EDT

Wearable Devices and Everyone
Wearable devices are still in the ‘Wild West’ phase, but we’re finally starting to learn enough about them that we can start making more intentional decisions. This talk will cover the entire wearable device ecosystem from raw data inputs to prescriptive feedback and emerging behavior change models.

avatar for Scott Sullivan

Scott Sullivan

Applied Designer, Adaptive Path
Scott Sullivan is an applied designer at Adaptive Path in San Francisco. He has a background in theater, modern dance, creative technology, interactive performance art, and visual design. He is happiest getting his hands dirty building things that may or may not have a purpose.Before... Read More →

Saturday October 3, 2015 10:30am - 11:10am EDT
  Children's Museum - Theater 10 Children's Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

11:30am EDT

Cinematic UX

The process behind making a blockbuster film is similar to creating a meaningful website or app. Through the lens of cinema, we’ll walk through practical ways that UX design teams can work together to deliver an award-winning final product. Whether you’re making a low-budget indie for a non-profit or the next summer smash for a Fortune 500, we can learn a thing or two from film.

We’ll take two approaches: (1) a deep look at the filmmaking process and the lessons learned from over a century of refining roles and (2) the challenged wrought by the independent and digital film revolution and its similarities to the commoditization of modern web and application design.

What we’ll cover:

  • A nano-history of filmmaking
  • The key roles and contributions in film and their UX counterparts, e.g. Director, Screenwriter
  • Are you Michael Bay or Wes Anderson?
  • The agile production process of film vs. the original waterfall process and how that translates to modern UX
  • The scope and importance of pre-production
  • Building, coaching, and leading the right size team for your end-goal (indie vs. blockbuster and how can become the other)
  • The evolution of filmmaking and styles and how it relates to modern UX
  • Dealing with “everyone’s a filmmaker” mentality and how it’s entering the web and UX industry
  • Prestige, awards, craft, schlock, and something for everyone
  • Learning from cinema’s mistakes and triumphs, without the popcorn

You’ll come away with:

  • Practical lessons for building a website or app in a non-linear fashion
  • Overcoming the inner critic to get things done
  • Skills for planning and hands-on project management that work for teams of 1 or 100
  • Getting your vision across to everyone involved with less friction
  • A renewed perspective of web and UX design’s future

avatar for Brad Weaver

Brad Weaver

Chief Experience Officer, Nine Labs
Brad Weaver is a Partner & Chief Experience Officer. He designs, he codes, he writes, he UXs, he slices and dices. Brad went to school to be a lawyer, then he came to his senses and has spent the last 15 years as a UX generalist with a geek’s heart of gold. His experience includes... Read More →

Saturday October 3, 2015 11:30am - 12:10pm EDT
   New Hazlett Theater 6 Allegheny Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

11:30am EDT

Interaction Design Practice and 21st Century Work

The world of startups and the speed of technology change creates new challenges for practitioners of interaction design. The shift of value creation “from atoms to bits” in our networked economy seems to make it more difficult to predict success; so many startups fail. Developing genuinely new ideas requires peer-to-peer collaboration across disparate domains of expertise. Teams morph quickly across the phases of development as well as the phases of maturity of an enterprise, as it evolves from startup to market entrant to major player. The rapid evolution of technology pressures designers as well as makers to constantly update their tactical skills. As a result, interaction designers must gain these pragmatic skills, which are the focus of this talk:

  • principles for assembling diverse expertise into a team that can be immediately productive
  • explicitly designing the collaboration process for efficiency and creativity
  • establishing a shared model of the intentions of the product and the system that will deliver it
  • sharply defining the benefits and value created to ensure a successful business outcome.

avatar for Paul Pangaro, PhD

Paul Pangaro, PhD

Chair & Assoc. Prof., MFA Interaction Design, College for Creative Studies
Paul Pangaro, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair of the MFA Interaction Design program at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Dr. Pangaro teaches, researches, and consults on “designing for conversation” to develop and implement innovations, software, and organizational... Read More →

Saturday October 3, 2015 11:30am - 12:10pm EDT
  Children's Museum - Theater 10 Children's Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15212