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Friday, May 15

7:00am EDT

Check in with a volunteer at the door, pickup your nametag, then head on into the main exhibit hall for breakfast.

Friday May 15, 2015 7:00am - 7:45am EDT
**Exhibit Hall**

7:00am EDT

Speaker Lounge
Limited Capacity seats available

Reserved for speakers and conference contributors.

Friday May 15, 2015 7:00am - 10:00am EDT
Liberty Lounge (C)

7:45am EDT

Meet & Greet
A short and fun meetup for new attendees & those who want to start the conference by meeting new people. 

We'll start with an Icebreaker by a UXPA Boston board member, followed by 20 minutes of speed networking.  

avatar for Dan Berlin

Dan Berlin

VP, Experience Research, Watch City Research
Resident foodie and ... gulp ... Frank Zappa fan, Dan leads our research team where we perform both traditional and novel user experience research techniques. All our client engagements are varied; Dan helps determine which research activities are the most appropriate, will maximize... Read More →
avatar for Diana Brown

Diana Brown

Product Design Director, New Relic
Diana DeMarco Brown currently works In a fully remote role as the Director of Product Design for Applied Intelligence at New Relic. She has worked as a designer and design manager for SmartBear, Nuance, Aspen Technology, Autodesk, Raytheon, and The MathWorks. She has also served... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 7:45am - 8:15am EDT
Liberty A/B - Unconference

7:45am EDT

Breakfast & Method Cards Game
Meet your fellow attendees by trading method cards to win books and software. Continue playing throughout the day, while prizes last. 

Friday May 15, 2015 7:45am - 8:45am EDT
**Exhibit Hall**

8:15am EDT

Meet & Greet
A short and fun meetup for new attendees & those who want to start the conference by meeting new people. 

We'll start with an Improv Icebreaker by a UXPA Boston board member, followed by 15 minutes of speed networking. 

avatar for Eva Kaniasty

Eva Kaniasty

UX Consultant, Red Pill UX

avatar for Astrid Chow

Astrid Chow

Senior UX Design & Research Lead, IBM Watson Health

Friday May 15, 2015 8:15am - 8:40am EDT
Liberty A/B - Unconference

8:45am EDT

Opening Keynote: Don't fear the research!
Welcome and opening words. 

avatar for Eva Kaniasty

Eva Kaniasty

UX Consultant, Red Pill UX

Friday May 15, 2015 8:45am - 9:15am EDT

9:15am EDT

In Defense of the Floppy Disk: The Vocabulary of the Interface
No one knows that the floppy disk means save. At least, that's what the campus librarian insisted when she reviewed the website I worked on for her university. I had done research on just this issue, proving that over 100 college students could identify what the floppy disk meant, but it wasn't enough. New students are always coming in, she said, much younger than the ones I polled. So I went back and surveyed 526 high schoolers to find out definitively: Do teenagers understand the outdated tech in our icons? The survey says yes. But beyond answering her question, I learned a lot of other interesting things about the way younger users interact with the web. 

Some of what we’ll cover:

Visual language builds off metaphors from the past, just like spoken language

Users don’t always need to know an icon’s origin -- context can help them 


avatar for Lis Pardi

Lis Pardi

Director, Experience Design, Mad*Pow
Lis is an Experience Design Director at Mad*Pow and in past roles has been an information architect, usability researcher, interaction designer and general supporter of the floppy disk save icon. She has an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and has worked... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 9:15am - 10:00am EDT

9:15am EDT

Coping with Complexity in Health Care: Enabling Sense-Making through Great UX
Sponsored Session

Video Recording:
This session will be video-recorded. If you do not wish to be recorded, please choose to attend a different session.

Current trends have expanded the role that people play in monitoring, managing, and making decisions about their health. Whether people are selecting the right health insurance plan, evaluating treatment options, or trying to comprehend and gain actionable insight from complex medical tests or their own fitness data, they are often faced with complex and unfamiliar information and data. Failure to make sense of this information can lead to anxiety, poor decisions, and missed learning opportunities. User experience professionals have an important role to play in improving health care by facilitating comprehension, clarity and actionable insight. In this session we will discuss how to design experiences that support complex decisions and sense-making in the healthcare space.  You’ll learn how different types of users approach diverse health information and offer you practical guidance on how to improve their experiences.

avatar for Medullan Inc.

Medullan Inc.

Medullan is a digital healthcare consulting firm that envisions and crafts amazing user experiences to engage and motivate healthcare consumers and facilitate business transformation.

avatar for Rob Gifford

Rob Gifford

Manager, UX, Medullan
Rob Gifford is a cross-functional User Experience professional with 6 years of experience designing, architecting, and researching websites and software. He has experience implementing the UX process in various different settings and teams, and he works with Lean UX methodologies... Read More →
avatar for Rebecca Lord

Rebecca Lord

VP, UX, Medullan
Rebecca is an accomplished UX professional with over twelve years experience, specializing in creating simple and elegant human-centered designs.  With an education in studio art and anthropology, she blends curiosity and compassion for people with creativity in all of her work... Read More →
avatar for Tim Merrill

Tim Merrill

Senior Manager, User Experience, Medullan
Tim is a UX/Design evangelist and leader with 16 years of consulting, in-house design, team management and business ownership experience. With a degree in Neuropsychology from Syracuse University and a concentration in art, he is passionate about using Lean methodology, human-centered... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 9:15am - 10:00am EDT
Liberty A/B - Unconference

9:15am EDT

How to Visualize Quantitative Data from User Research
Whichever type of user research you conduct, you are going to have some type of quantitative data. Even if you are doing qualitative user research, you can still collect quantitative data or sometimes convert qualitative data to quantitative data. When you have quantitative data in hand, how to visualize them? Which visualization approaches are appropriate for your data?

To answer these questions, this presentation will first give an overview of the visualization methods for quantitative data, ranging from the simple statistical graphs to the more sophisticated visualization techniques. This is to illustrate the variety of the data visualization possibilities.

Then the presentation will focus on the common quantitative data types from user research and show the possible data visualization methods for those data types. A number of real-world user research examples will be shown so that everyone can learn from the concrete examples. Common software tools for data visualization will be demoed as well so that the audience can gain practical knowledge. 

The user research examples will range from most common user research data types to less common ones to make sure each attendee will get something valuable from this presentation.  As one simple example: you have tested two designs Design 1 and Design 2 with ten participants and gathered performance data for each design. Your goal is to find out which design is better in terms of performance. What should you do in this case? How do you visualize all the participants' performance data from Design 1 and Design 2? How do you show the difference? How do you indicate if the performance is significantly different for these two designs?  

Finally, the presentation will discuss about the factors that should be kept in mind when choosing the appropriate data visualization method. For example, the audience type, data-ink ratio, accuracy, and so on.

In summary, from this presentation the audience can learn the variety of visualization methods, how to choose appropriate visualization methods for their user research data, and how to use software tools to create commonly used visualization.

avatar for Minmin Yang

Minmin Yang

Principal UX Lead, Amazon
Minmin is a well-rounded UX practitioner with ten years of industry experience of interaction design and user research. She has a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction and taught the interaction design and prototyping class at Bentley's HFID program. Currently she is working on a brand... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 9:15am - 10:00am EDT
Back Bay C/D

9:15am EDT

Lightweight Journey Mapping: The rewards of customer driven narratives
A common challenge for User Experience professionals is to exercise a broad enough approach within realistic business resource constraints.  For example, ethnographic research is expensive and time-consuming, but we experience great payback in the quality and richness of insights.  This method is inspired by the richness of information that comes from ethnographic research. It combines tools from critical incident technique, journey mapping, and medical diagnosis practices to efficiently and effectively understand more about the hurdles and delights our customers experience as they interact with our products.  We offer ‘Journey Mapping Lite’ as a practical and simple method for capturing ethnographic gems.

A traditional customer journey map is a diagram that is used to visualize a customer's interactions, or touch points, with a brand. The traditional journey map spans across time and devices, as well as workflows, and reveals the customer's perspective on their entire interactions with a company (e.g., purchasing and using a product, troubleshooting support, and continued sales and marketing). We have adapted the method to tap into a customer's most salient interactions within a specific goal oriented activity or desired workflow.

The Journey Map Light method can be used in combination with other traditional methods, for example a customer interview or usability study.  The purpose of incorporating a lite journey map is to allow the user to drive the exploration of their most salient delights and hurdles across their workflow. Just like a traditional customer journey map, this can also span multiple company touch points and/or products.

How to use the method?

The method involves putting together a timeline that is anchored with starting and ending points of a workflow and/or goal oriented activity. The user then describes 3-4 of the most salient milestones in that workflow, and assigns a rating to each of these milestones. The user then has the opportunity to step back, drive the discussion and elaborate on each of the milestones.

When to use the method?

This method can be used in early discovery phases to understand how users are currently interacting with our company and experiencing our product(s) within their workflow (the pains and delights). It can also be used in the during development phases to understand and explore the most significant (to them) interactions that the customer experienced, for example, as part of a usability study.

Why use this method?

Benefits of using this method:

1. Provides more context and mental model insights than an interview alone.

2. Effectively and efficiently summarizes the most significant pains and delights of users' workflows, in their own words.

3. Recorded results can easily be shared with a broader set of stakeholders.

4. Can potentially get you to a new understanding of how your customer works, how they think, their constraints, assumptions, etc. when the user is driving the discussion (vs. when we drive the conversation with questions or tasks).

5. Provides a measurable outcome (in the form of ratings).

6. Works with broader study objectives. When we used it, our study ended up spanning across a number of 'touch points', 'products' and 'features'. This is one way to talk about a broad space in a manageable way. It allowed us to quickly understand and focus a on what was most important to our customers.

7.  Usability practitioners who want to extend their skills into the broader UX domain will find this method easy to integrate into their toolkits.

avatar for Laura Dove

Laura Dove

Sr. User Experience Specialist, MathWorks
Laura has over 20 years of UX and human factors experience. She leads a company program UX effort, supporting new scientific and engineering trends via product offerings. Always focused on cross-functional engagement and achieving good project traction, she enjoys customizing hybrid... Read More →
avatar for Stephen Reinach

Stephen Reinach

UX Manager, MathWorks, Inc.
Stephen has over 20 years of human factors and UX experience. Currently at MathWorks, he manages a UX team and works collaboratively with software development teams to identify requirements and create and enhance product designs for complex technical computing applications (think... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 9:15am - 10:00am EDT
Back Bay A/B

9:15am EDT

Content First approach - Similarities between UX & Content Strategy, and why they both should be tightly coupled.
As we have all heard the mantra "Content is King”, and as content is starting to become the main reason why customers are engaging with websites/mobile apps/product/etc (there you go – I said it out loud). It is paramount that we treat Content Strategy with importance, and ensure it is included from the start of design process if not prior to that.


Any design or experience is not going to be successful, unless there is significant amount of emphasis being put on ensuring content is there to support the design & customer needs. In many cases content will have to be created, rewritten, purchased, re-shot, etc., to fit the new design & experience. This also becomes that much more interesting (read - complicated) as we enter the realm of Responsive Design. 


This is easier said than done, especially as we move into to a content rich world where everything is tracked, stored, and globalized. You will be up for a ride if you assume that we can always rewrite the content afterwards. Unfortunately I was part of projects where we did that and paid dearly for this both in terms of hundreds of thousands of dollars to fixing the content or actually not being able to release the project at all.


In this session I will share my experiences from various projects I have led over the last few years, where we faced this problem, what we did, successes we had, and the perils of not including Content Strategy into the design process from beginning.  In addition, we will cover:

  • how we can map UX design stages to Content Strategy to ensure content is part of the process from the beginning

  • how both these fields are so similar, yet often times they are completely independent

  • Case study – from real world projects spanning web, mobile and tablet experiences

  • Lessons learned and hopefully attendees can take these and use them for their own projects

  • Synergies of having both Design and Content teams as part of the same group/management, and benefits of working closely together.


Some of the takeaways for attendees will be:

  • Cost of not having a content first approach

  • How to integrate Content strategy within UX design process

  • What obstacles we face when we go on this journey

  • Ways to overcome potential hurdles

  • What to do with images especially when dealing with responsive nature of the designs (x, 2x, 3x, 4x,etc)

  • Share some deliverables we have used successfully especially when dealing with huge content stores, how to coordinate massive manual content work when you have teams spread across the world.


avatar for Vijay Hanumolu

Vijay Hanumolu

Head of Global Customer eXperience & Content Strategy, Analog Devices Inc
Vijay Hanumolu is Head of Global Customer eXperience & Content Strategy at Analog Devices Inc., where he oversees CX and Content Strategy teams that support Analog Devices worldwide digital experiences. Prior to joining Analog Devices, Vijay was Principal UX Architect/Mentor at Mobiquity... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 9:15am - 10:00am EDT

10:15am EDT

Career Networking
Looking for work, or just curious about the current job market? Mingle with potential employers in the semi-private setting of the Liberty Lounge (the small room next to Liberty).

Note: this is a completely unstructured networking session. 

avatar for Kate O'Connor

Kate O'Connor

UX Recruiter/Business Development, Onward Search
avatar for MadPow



Friday May 15, 2015 10:15am - 11:00am EDT
Liberty Lounge (C)

10:15am EDT

Lightning Debates on Controversial UX Topics
Are you a fast thinker? If you are constantly thinking of new topics and making connections between them, you may be. If you are a fast thinker and easily get bored in presentations focusing on a single topic, this is the session for you. We will debate a number of topics in the field at lightning speed and consider the pros and cons of each. We’ll leave the connection making between them to you, fast thinker.

If you are new to the field, this session will be a chance to get a good sampling of current issues and controversies in the field.  You can listen to what we have to say and pick a few topics to explore in more depth on your own later. We will provide a list of relevant resources for each issue.

We are a researcher and a designer. One has been in the field for decades and the other for only one. We have both worked within large corporations and as consultants. We bring wide perspectives and have researched and experienced many controversial topics and hot issues.

Topics will be presented in random order and we will debate the topic for 6 minutes and then open it up for two questions from the audience. Then we will continue our debate with the next topic.  We will continue to do this until we run out of time or topics.

Topics to be debated:

-        Discount usability testing (unmoderated studies, testing with internal “users”, and expert reviews)

-        In house UX vs. consulting

-        The value of A/B testing

-        Specialists vs. generalists

-        Magic Number of Participants = 5


avatar for Shannon McHarg

Shannon McHarg

User Experience Designer, Efficient Interaction
Shannon McHarg is a freelance user experience designer who thrives on solving complex problems and has done so in domains like tax preparation, ecommerce, eLearning, and health insurance. Shannon has more than 13 years of experience as a designer, and holds a master's degree in Human... Read More →
avatar for Chauncey Wilson

Chauncey Wilson

UX Consultant, WilDesign Consulting
Chauncey Wilson is a UX Architect with 40 years of experience in human factors, usability, and user experience design. He has published and presented widely at UXPA, STC, CHI, APA, and HFES conferences. The author has published several books and chapters on usability engineering... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 10:15am - 11:00am EDT
Liberty A/B - Unconference

10:15am EDT

Driving B2B Innovation & Product Development Using Collaborative UX Research Techniques
The B2B world continues to struggle to create innovative, customer-pleasing products that positively impact the bottom line through increased sales and retention. Where better to introduce simplicity than these domains in which virtually everything is complex and often not fully understood by those who design, research and build digital experiences? Think law, investment banking, medicine, IT, etc.  What do they have in common? 


  • Roles, responsibilities and work flows that are complex, nuanced and vary greatly by persona

  • Complex and deep taxonomy and language in which getting the right hierarchy and “bucketing” can make or break a product’s success

  • Content that, if not tagged correctly, won’t enable each audience to perform key tasks and won’t support products critical to success in the digital landscape

  • High costs for training & customer service to support unintuitive experiences


Engaging skilled knowledge workers to participate in research is costly, their time is limited and, as an additional challenge, they are often constrained by privacy laws or rules.  That said, engaging them early on and throughout the process is essential to create solutions that are elegantly simple to learn and use. 

Through our experience working with these audiences, we have developed powerful methods to infuse their voices in UX design as well as organizational thinking.

This session will provide concrete techniques and real-world examples of ways to partner with your audience and stakeholders to accelerate development, infuse customer-led thinking into the organization and bring innovative products to market successfully. Of course success can be defined in many ways: competitive advantage, rave reviews, adoption, retention and reduced training/customer service costs.

UX practitioners and stakeholders can benefit by learning and using these techniques to identify product opportunities and connect their work directly to their company’s bottom-line.

avatar for Alfred Kahn

Alfred Kahn

Director, Customer Experience, Wolters Kluwer
Alfred Kahn is the Director of Customer Experience for Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, responsible for the quality of the user experience for all Law & Business applications and websites. In this role he has established a robust user research program to support all aspects of product... Read More →
avatar for Tamara Sachs

Tamara Sachs

CEO, Sachs Insights
Tammy founded Sachs Insights 25 years ago to ensure marketers and developers channel the voice of the user in products and communications.    Sachs Insights is an eclectic 30 person community of researchers, ethnographers and documentarians passionate about uncovering people’s... Read More →
avatar for Pete Wasserman

Pete Wasserman

Director, B2B Research & Consulting, Sachs Insights
Pete Wasserman is the Director of Research & Consulting of Sachs Insights’ B2B Practice. Sachs Insights is an eclectic 30-person community of researchers and design strategists passionate about uncovering people’s experiences. Sachs was founded over 25 years ago to ensure marketers... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 10:15am - 11:00am EDT

10:15am EDT

Modern Day Attitudinal Tracking: How to use a Mood Meter to get real-time moments of truth during Think-Aloud Protocol
As an innovative user experience research firm, we’re always looking for ways to quantify user emotions and experience in real time.  After countless studies we’ve figured out a unique way to dig inside our participant’s hearts and minds to achieve honest feedback that may not always be apparent in verbal format. We asked ourselves, “How are they feeling while interacting with our subject devices/platforms?” And is it always the best method to summarize a group of emotions after the completion of a task or activity? There must be a more straightforward approach to analyzing the peaks and valleys of user experiences throughout studies.

As a result of these ideas, the concept of a Mood Meter began while brainstorming before an out-of-box experience study for a major electronics client. The client was particularly interested in classifying remorse cases and insights to the individual and varried stages of interactions with the product. More importantly, the client desired to understand the subtle inflections of the participant’s mood and how that may or may not affect the overall perception of the device. To gather this insight it would require a tailored approach to monitoring gradual changes in a users’ mood. Establishing an emotional connection from one step to the next was critical. We wanted to measure the emotional journey of interacting with this product beyond a standard Likert scale and review questions “after” completing a task.

We wanted and needed to understand these nuances and identify the root cause for an uptick or downturn in user experience during the initial stages of interaction with the packaging, the device itself and introductory steps. As researchers, we felt it was necessary to strive to better understand where these pain-points actually occur and allow for the users to dictate this to us in real-time.

In user research, we strive to understand the customer’s mental journey. With the Mood Meter, we’re getting close to that by setting the standard with real-time attitudinal tracking. How did we do it? Participants were informed that they had just purchased a new device and were starting their journey at a “Mood-Level” of 10. Upon being given task instructions, we asked users to interact with the Mood Meter as frequently as they felt necessary. This gave us the ability to track real-time behavior by monitoring and instantly tracking where negative/positive touch points occurred.  Participants were encouraged to simply “click up or down” on the device and they encountered positive and negative stimulants. This eliminated the need for users to recall an entire task worth of experiences and summarize it with one general score.  Becoming hypersensitive to the subtle nuances of packaging, instruction manuals and the user interface allows participants to communicate their feelings on a measurable and quantifiable scale. Adding to the gamification of the research, this new method allows for moderators to probe about specific situations at exactly the right time minimizing the interruption of user’s experience with the device.  Video recording and screen sharing the sessions can be confusing for clients to follow, now stakeholders are able to easily follow along in remote settings by keeping track while the Mood Meter changes. This is real-time experiential measurement.

This research tool has allowed what was a researcher’s worst fear, a quiet and introverted subject,  into a scenario where users participating in a research study to are able to call attention to the way they are experiencing a product.  Researchers are not the only ones that benefit from this new dimension to conducting think-aloud protocol. The convenience of the Mood Meter gives subjects the option of sharing their journey by eliminating the requirement to verbalize how they feel/perceive the product/interface and what the impact is in that specific moment in time while allowing for clients to easily quantify pain-points along the user’s journey.

The beauty of introducing the Mood Meter to user research is that we can pinpoint where the “mood swings”, high and low points, occur and gather data over the course of the entire experience, which gives our client some pretty compelling insights. We create a task-by-task analysis that captures real-time behavioral data versus casual observation. The added value of the Mood Meter is the elimination of guesswork and observational data. We no longer need to assume when it’s a good time to interrupt a participant’s thoughts and begin a more directed discussion. By watching our participant interact with the Mood Meter, we can easily explore the drivers for that emotional shift and find our opening to start probing. It’s a real-time perspective with immediate insight, and that’s powerful.

The Mood Meter has become a vital tool for our ethnographic and task-based behavioral research. We’re confident this tool and sound reporting tactics will make great strides for user experience research and ultimately the clients we serve. We will continue to explore the Mood Meter research tool and tweak its design to improve user engagement. A more targeted, quantifiable understanding of our users will only benefit our clients and the UX research community as we continue to optimize the experience.

avatar for Rick Damaso

Rick Damaso

User Experience Researcher, Key Lime Interactive
Hi there :) They say, those who choose a job they love never work a day in their life... I couldn't agree more. I've conducted research on 3 different continents, worked with some of the worlds iconic brands, and empowered brilliant teams to improve their customers' experiences... Read More →
avatar for Jonathan Knopf

Jonathan Knopf

Senior User Researcher, Key Lime Interactive
Senior Researcher with a strong background in User Experience (UX), Human Computer Interfaces (HCI), Human Factors Engineering (HFE), and Games User Research (GUR). Diverse technical background with medical devices, multiple programming languages, and mobile/web development processes... Read More →

Ania Rodriguez

CEO & Founder, Key Lime Interactive

Friday May 15, 2015 10:15am - 11:00am EDT
Back Bay C/D

10:15am EDT

UX Research with Limited Literacy Audiences: Tips and Case Studies
Most of us eat and sleep with our smart phones. But there are still many people who find technology stressful and overwhelming. People with limited literacy skills are often included among this latter group.

By following a thoughtful, user-centered design process, you can overcome the common barriers to reaching and engaging people with limited literacy skills, such as:

•           Complex information and navigation

•           Unfamiliar tools

•           New technology

Reaching out to and receiving meaningful feedback from audiences with limited literacy skills can be challenging and requires special considerations. This presentation will offer tips for conducting user testing with limited literacy audiences.

From our experience conducting usability research with hundreds of participants with limited literacy skills, we’ll share lessons learned and practical tips for a user-centered design process that leads to easy-to-use, accessible content and tools. 

This presentation will detail proven strategies for:

•           Recruiting participants

•           Developing questions and prompts in plain language

•           Moderating testing sessions

We’ll discuss user-centered design methods that are particularly effective in gaining insights from participants with limited literacy skills, including collaging, card sorting, and in-person usability testing. We’ll also talk about how to choose the right software and testing environment to meet this audience’s needs.

Lastly, we will explore — through case studies — the behaviors, habits, and preferences of limited literacy users.

avatar for Mary Ann Petti

Mary Ann Petti

UX Research Manager, CommunicateHealth, Inc.
Mary Ann is a project manager and lead user researcher for CommunicateHealth clients. The interest she has in people, in their motivations, is genuine. Mary Ann has a desire to understand what makes people tick — and to create information and experiences that meet their needs. Whether... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 10:15am - 11:00am EDT
Back Bay A/B

10:15am EDT

How to Drive Great Design in Organizations (Small and Very Very Large)
Great designs are only useful if they are actually implemented. How do you drive design and innovation in organizations that haven’t previously thought of design as a core value? How can we drive design and design culture so “UX” and “Product” are synonymous?

We present best-practices and pitfalls that we’ve learned based on our 30 years combined of UX experiences, to help to drive design strategy and deliver effective design communications.

1.  How to focus on value

Nothing will de-rail a design effort faster than lack of consensus between designers, stake-holders and developers as to what the business value of the design is. We’ll discuss techniques for driving consensus. 

2.  How to create a strong internal design language

Imagine your CEO talking about “slippy design” and understanding what a “primary action” is. We’ll discuss how to craft a company-wide language that drives great UX.

3.  Designing in an agile world

Stake-holders don’t understand the design process—it’s too slow they murmur. How do you get your stakeholders to appreciate time taken on a design is worth it?

Best practices for design presentations

We know that people don’t like to read, and the popularity of infographics and various other data visualizations prove that, so we need to think carefully of our deliverables, and how to make them more consumable.  Some best-practices that we’ve learned include:

1). Visualize, when possible

Visualize whatever deliverables you have would help people to understand your concept more clearly. As human beings, we understand visuals faster because they affect us both cognitively and emotionally. 

2). Use real content

No more lorem ipsum! Don’t fake your design! Real content make your design more realistic, and can also make people think more deeply.

3). Prototype, as fast as you can!

Prototyping is not only a good experience design tool, but also a very effective presentation tool.

4) Tell a story

Stories define our world and people love stories. Combining UX with storytelling will make you a better communicator. For instance, writing user scenarios is always a good way to show the design in context.

5. Best practices for explaining testing data

Great—now you’ve built consensus, a strong design language, you’re delivering results at blazing speed but how do you and your organization know you’ve succeeded? We’ll discuss how to best communicate test results to show your designs are valid.

avatar for Shaun Wolf Wortis

Shaun Wolf Wortis

Director User Experience, Pegasystems
Pegasystems leads the enterprise application-building software space worldwide. Our clients are the largest organizations in the world, our software solves incredibly complex problems and touches the lives of millions world-wide every day. I the lead the product UX team. (Before... Read More →
avatar for Meng Yang

Meng Yang

Manager of User Experience and Customer Insights, NetBrain
10+ years of experience in interaction design and user experience research. This is the 4th time that my presentation is accepted to Boston UXPA!

Friday May 15, 2015 10:15am - 11:00am EDT

11:15am EDT

Typography: the key to your visual information hierarchy
UX and UI designers must truly understand typography in order to help users easily navigate their information hierarchy. By taking advantage of a visual type hierarchy you can give order to the elements in your design. Just as web designers and developers use header tags – h1, h2, h3 and so on – to organize the importance of text, text hierarchy uses visual cues.

Creating an effective type hierarchy means using a type ramp, typographic grid, and logical white space, in order to create a clear user flow. In this session you are introduced to the relevant parts of a typeface, and their effect on usability. You will also discover the importance of building and using a typographic grid.


Jennifer Smith

Manager, Credit Union Experience, PSCU

Friday May 15, 2015 11:15am - 12:00pm EDT
Back Bay A/B

11:15am EDT

Wear your words: wearables & speech design
With the explosion of devices in the wearable market, speech provides a real solution to the challenge around interaction methods on varying devices. Although not yet present, speech has the power to become a standard as it offers intuitive capabilities and hands free control across different form factors. Just like the devices themselves, the optimal speech interaction will have varying feature support based on the form factor, functions, and capabilities.  

How do we design optimal voice interactions across all of these unique devices such as hardware built into t-shirts, soles of sneakers, jewelry, glasses, watches and more? Maybe it makes sense for your watch to announce an incoming text message but it might be quite odd to hear that same message coming from your buddy’s belt. Or maybe your t-shirt knows that you’re running and thus triggers a more verbose dialog to reflect an eyes-free environment. Leveraging the environmental, location, and contextual information that these very personal devices often provide is one really powerful way to design smart, flexible speech interactions.

Designing to adjust to form factors, situations and sensory data leverages  speech as part of a potentially rich ecosystem of modalities that wearables can employ. For instance, sometimes you will want to design for speech as an input method, but rely on other output modalities - show understanding by simply taking action or perhaps by notifying a user with a tactile vibration response. Again, the entire interaction should be shaped with respect to the wearable itself.

In this talk, we’ll discuss how to design speech experiences in the wide variety of contexts that wearables bring to the table. We’ll provide examples and learnings around some fundamental themes in speech design: discoverability, guidance, personalization, and awareness of / integration with context and data.

avatar for Kristen Deveau

Kristen Deveau

Senior UX Designer, Nuance Communications
Kristen is a senior user experience designer who specializes in speech integrated UX and visual design solutions. She focuses mainly on handset and wearable devices and is passionate about creating optimal experiences on all different types of form factors. She has a BA in graphic... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 11:15am - 12:00pm EDT

11:15am EDT

Mentoring Session 1
Need a little advice? Another perspective? Whether you are moving into user experience (UX) or have been there for years, we all have points in our career when talking to someone with a neutral perspective can help. 

  • Are you looking for a way to re-tool your skill set? 

  • Are you trying to break into the field of user experience? 

  • Maybe you’re dealing with a difficult boss, colleague, employer, client, or company. 

Our group-mentoring sessions will give you another angle on how to advance your career or move beyond a difficult situation. You may think your issue is unique, but don’t worry: our mentors just may have a similar story to share. Our sessions will include mentors who have years of experience as UX directors, managers, designers, developers, and researchers – many of whom had to make that leap from a different career into the user experience field.

Mentoring will take place in groups of 2 mentors to 8 mentees. Mentoring groups will form on a first-come first-serve basis, so please show up on time to get mentored!

There will be 5 tables at this session, each with their own focu, to meet your mentoring needs. Choose from New to UX/Career Changers, Team of One/Solo Practitioners, or UX Career Development.

The mentors for this session will be:

Solo Practitioners/Team of One: Janelle Estes, Kenny Kutney
New to UX/Career changers: Susan Mercer, Gideon Goldin
New to UX/Career changers: Mary Lee, Jesse Morano
UX Career Development: Jeremy Kriegel, Sarah Bloomer
UX Career Development: Amy Kidd, Staci Dubovik

avatar for Jen McGinn

Jen McGinn

Director of Cloud Management Product Design, VMware
Jen McGinn just started a new role leading a 45-person product design organization for the Cloud Management business unit of VMware. She is on two panels at this year's conference - one on the state of Agile UX and another debating the benefits of high-fidelity design (on the side... Read More →
avatar for Bob Thomas

Bob Thomas

President, UXPA Boston
Bob Thomas runs his own user research consultancy. Previously, he was Director of User Research at Liberty Mutual Insurance, where he worked for 12 years building a user research practice and managing a team of 10 user researchers and interns. His background includes user experience... Read More →

avatar for Sarah Bloomer

Sarah Bloomer

Principal, Sarah Bloomer & Co

Staci Dubovik

Principal UX Designer, Vistaprint

janelle estes

Chief Insights Officer, UserTesting

Gideon Goldin

UX Architect, Tamr
avatar for Amy Kidd

Amy Kidd

Senior Manager of User Experience, MathWorks
Director of Events & Treasurer @ UXPA International
avatar for Jeremy Kriegel

Jeremy Kriegel

UX Director, Audible
Jeremy Kriegel has been designing great user experiences (UX) for 20+ years. Just as we need to understand the needs and context of users to craft a design solution, Jeremy believes that success also requires us to look at the business context to craft an appropriate design process... Read More →
avatar for kenny kutney

kenny kutney

Information Architect, Imprivata
Kenny has been making life a little better for software users of all kinds since 1987, working for small startups, large corporations, and even as principal of his own design shop. Kenny holds a degree in Electrical Engineering, and has contributed to the design and development of... Read More →
avatar for Mary Lee

Mary Lee

UX Manager, NetApp Inc.
As a UX Manager at NetApp, I lead a team of UX professionals focused on software that enables companies throughout the world to manage mission-critical data that helps their businesses to thrive. I previously served as a Product Manager and User Experience Researcher at Pearson, designing... Read More →
avatar for Susan Mercer

Susan Mercer

Experience Research Director, Mad*Pow
After starting a career in geophysics, Susan discovered that she enjoyed visually communicating her data more than she enjoyed researching the science. She has over 20 years of expertise in user experience, working both as a consultant and in-house designer and researcher. She has... Read More →
avatar for Jesse Morano

Jesse Morano

Sr. UX Designer, Curaspan
HealthCare UX, Mobile UX, Animation, Rapid Prototyping, Minimalist flow diagrams, White boarding, Hiring the right UX people, Interview techniques, UX with a purpose

Friday May 15, 2015 11:15am - 12:00pm EDT
Liberty A/B - Unconference

11:15am EDT

Faulty by Design: A Psychological Examination of User Decision Making
I tell my students each semester the human mind is not optimized for complex decision-making, which explains why we all regularly make less-than-ideal decisions in the most important aspects of our lives.” Unfortunately, the same holds true for our users and customers as they interact with our products and services. In the past we have classified these “mistakes” as user errors. But if this behavior is natural and predictable, is this a correct designation?

In this talk, we will examine the psychological variables influencing decision making and highlight how these factors affect a user’s performance navigating the many decisions embedded in our products and services. The heart of the problem is the act of complex decision making often exceeds our thinking capacity. To accommodate this resource shortfall the mind regularly employs a wide array of simplifying heuristics and biases that are typically “good enough” for the more mundane aspects of life but that result in less-than-optimum decisions in critical situations. And while we design assuming a logical, rational decision-making agent, we will also address the debilitating effects of emotions on decisions. 

avatar for Bill Gribbons

Bill Gribbons

Program Director, Bentley University
Bill is Program Director for the Bentley University Graduate UX Program. Bill also teaches Innovation in the Bentley MBA.    He founded two leading UX consulting organizations; the most recent focused on demonstrating the value of user experience research and design to early-stage... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 11:15am - 12:00pm EDT

11:15am EDT

Doing the Whole Mobile Usability Research, Thing
Over 85% of American Millennials consumers own a smartphone. Companies like Google and Amazon.com have dedicated Mobile and Tablet UX Researchers. They have put great effort into creating the best User Experience for their users. Mobile has become a space in which there is great potential for customer engagement and acquisition.

They will learn what background knowledge they need to know before getting going, find out where resources are available to them for conducting research, learning how to translate their established research skills into Mobile research, see an actual Mobile Usability Test, and then do a mock Mobile Usability Test for themselves. They will even walk away with a Mobile UX Research manual and a swag bag.

avatar for Henry Hernandez III

Henry Hernandez III

Lead Mobile and Tablet UX Researcher, Cengage Learning
His current research focuses on Mobile, Tablet, and Desktop sites and apps for iOS, Android OS, and Window OS platforms. He understands the complexities and differences that conducting Mobile and Tablet UX Research entails, as well as how to best tackle those issues.

Friday May 15, 2015 11:15am - 12:00pm EDT
Back Bay C/D

12:00pm EDT

Grab a box lunch and find some new people to meet. Extra seating in the Ballroom.

Friday May 15, 2015 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT
**Exhibit Hall**

12:00pm EDT

Lunch Table Topics
Join an informal discussion and meet fellow attendees at an unconference table. Please be respectful of fellow participants by keeping side conversations to a minimum. 

The leader will handle introductions and strive to keep the discussion on topic. 

Table Topics: 

  1. UX Design (Alicia Flanders)

  2. UX Research (Marni Martens)

  3. Agile/Lean UX (Bill Barnert & Ron Akanowicz)

  4. Enterprise UX (C. Todd Lombardo)

  5. Consultant Talk (Ron Perkins)

  6. Strategy Talk (Gilberte Houbart)

  7. Healthcare (Hilary Coolidge)

  8. Manager Talk (Michael Hawley & Sarah Bloomer)

  9. Education (Self-organized)

  10. Financial Services (Self-organized)


avatar for Ron Akanowicz

Ron Akanowicz

UX/IA, Self employed
Ron has worked in the tech field for 20+ years in roles such as Business Analyst, Usability Engineer, Information Architect, and User Experience Designer. Ron has used his UX skills for projects and companies as varied as AT&T, Motorola, FedEx, the Smithsonian Institution and in industries... Read More →
avatar for Bill Barnert

Bill Barnert

Bill has been a UX designer since before there was such a thing, implementing UI's of his own design. He has worked on small screens for small startups (SavaJe; Tap 'n Tap) and larger screens for large corporations (Teradyne; IBM). He has an ScB from Brown in Computer Science Engineering... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Bloomer

Sarah Bloomer

Principal, Sarah Bloomer & Co
avatar for Hilary Coolidge

Hilary Coolidge

Sr. Experience Researcher, Decision Resources Group
I love interating with real users of products and helping teams create more positive user/customer experiences in the digital and non digital realm. My work in UX has spanned over 15 years, and a a wide range of companies from app startups to Fortune 500 companies, in industries... Read More →
avatar for Alicia Flanders

Alicia Flanders

Principal UX Designer, Various
As a dedicated user advocate, my life's mission is to transform the work of enterprise application users. Within a user-centered design process, I distill business requirements, domain information, technical features, human factors principles, and users' tasks and needs into engaging... Read More →
avatar for Michael Hawley

Michael Hawley

Chief Design Officer, Mad*Pow
As Chief Design Officer at Mad*Pow Mike leverages his background in interaction design, usability, and design strategy to lead a diverse team of talented experience designers through the process of creating engaging, interactive experiences. You might also call him “chief air traffic... Read More →
avatar for Gilberte Houbart

Gilberte Houbart

Team Lead, UX, Demandware
Launching the UX team at Demandware, a leading commerce platform, has been an exciting and challenging experience on many levels. From putting in place a design cycle based on a "lean" approach and rapid prototyping to developing collaborations with engineering, marketing, our account... Read More →
avatar for C. Todd Lombardo

C. Todd Lombardo

VP of Product, MachineMetrics
Data nerd. Design geek. Product fanatic. Product Design Sprints. Design in Enterprises. UX in Enterprises. Product Management. Product Roadmapping. Product Research. Buzzword bingo winner.
avatar for Marni Martens

Marni Martens

Senior Researcher, Pearson
I have been executing design and development research at Pearson since 1999 - from early exploration and needs assessments to conceptualization/design and field studies, blending qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as user experience and market research techniques to ensure... Read More →
avatar for Ron Perkins

Ron Perkins

Principal, Design Perspectives
I've had my own UX consulting business since 1996. What to think about before starting your own business? What 3 unpleasant things must be done to run your business? Pros and cons of a flexible lifestyle - Can you really live on vacation, and sneak out to go to work? "Time is... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT
Liberty A/B - Unconference

12:00pm EDT

Speaker Lounge
Limited Capacity seats available

Reserved for speakers and conference contributors.

Friday May 15, 2015 12:00pm - 1:45pm EDT
Liberty Lounge (C)

1:00pm EDT

Delicious Design: UXers & Visual Designers Collaborating Together
Many of us work in wireframes and lightweight interactive prototypes to capture, illustrate, discuss, and refine the layout and behavior of the interface we are working on — to design the user experience. And we recognize that visual design is critical for getting to polished, usable, and delightful user experiences. Sometimes, user experience designers are responsible for executing the detailed visual design, but often that is handled by someone else, a visual design specialist.

What are the best ways to facilitate the understanding of the design intent and the communication between the experience design and visual design roles, throughout the lifecycle of a project? 

Topics include:


  • Effective ways for the UX designer to convey interaction behaviors and visual design needs to the visual designer

  • How the visual designer reflects their understanding of the design

  • How to iterate together through increasing levels of refinement of the design

  • Negotiating the level of fidelity that each designer is responsible for

  • What the UX designer can do to make the visual design process effective and efficient


Who will benefit:

  • Individuals who work on teams with separate or overlapping roles for interaction and visual design, to learn how to work together more effectively

  • Consultants who work on UX or visual design and hand off to client for them to complete the other piece, to learn how to get a better chance of success

At the end of the presentation, we will have a discussion with the audience to compare our experiences and to share insights and techniques.

avatar for Jennifer Chaffee

Jennifer Chaffee

Visual Interface Designer, Design for Context
Jennifer Chaffee specializes in innovative graphical interface design for software and web applications, from conceptual designs to detailed specifications. Jennifer has a BA in Graphic Design from RIT and 30 years of experience in the interface design field. Before joining Design... Read More →
avatar for Rachel Sengers

Rachel Sengers

Interaction Designer, Design for Context
Sengers is a user experience designer at Design for Context, a consultancy in the Washington DC / Baltimore region that specializes in user research and UX design for complex applications and rich information spaces. Her background is originally in visual design, then she moved into... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 1:00pm - 1:45pm EDT
Back Bay A/B

1:00pm EDT

Personas: The Cause of, and Solution to, All of Life’s Problems

Sponsored Session

Personas are a common tool to advocate for user perspectives in the design process. When used correctly, they can guide great designs. However, like any other tool, when used incorrectly, personas can lead to less-than-stellar results. Sometimes personas are used to rigidly prescribe or justify design decisions, leading to inflexible designs. Likewise, some companies try to standardize personas across multiple projects, resulting in such high-level descriptions that they become a useless reference in guiding the design.

We’ll discuss best practices in user research to drive persona development at the “right” level, and how to best leverage them to guide successful experience design.

avatar for Jonathan Podolosky

Jonathan Podolosky

Managing Director of Experience Strategy, Mad*Pow
Jonathan Podolsky, Managing Director of Experience Strategy at Mad*Pow, has extensive knowledge innovating customer, guest & patient experiences for major retailers, hospitality companies and healthcare providers. Jonathan is able to leverage 10 years of industry knowledge to reinvent... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 1:00pm - 1:45pm EDT
Liberty A/B - Unconference

1:00pm EDT

Involving People with Disabilities in User Research to Guide Accessibility Activities
Accessibility is typically approached as a technical activity addressed in code rather than as a facet of user experience, addressed through strategy and design. As user experience practitioners and product developers, we ideate, design, and build, and then perform an accessibility review on the finished product. This approach is effective for surfacing issues that may cause difficulties for people with disabilities, and can be particularly effective when the review includes an expert analysis of the impact of issues and guidance on how to go about their repair. There are always changes to be made at the code level that will improve the user experience for people with disabilities.

Adding user research with people with disabilities to the process has many benefits. We can increase the value of review and repair efforts by including perspectives from the people most affected by the issues. And through user research activities that include people with disabilities, we can learn valuable lessons about how decisions in the strategy and design phases affect accessible user experience. In this way we build general accessibility awareness and knowledge on the product development team to inform future efforts and thereby reduce issues in future products.

We work for a well-established and respected accessibility consultancy. As founding members of the user experience team, we have conducted user research activities with people with disabilities and older adults. We have used insights and observations gained from these activities to inform recommendations in different areas, including strategy and design. We will provide details about effective methods, and share insights we have gained from engaging in these activities.

In addition, we will be joined by one of our clients representing the MBTA, for whom we conducted contextual inquiry interviews as well as performed an accessibility review. We will discuss how we used insights gained from user research to conduct a more targeted review and to produce more informative results. We will also share how the review impacted decisions about future plans for the MBTA site and other service offerings.

Attendees will learn:


  • Practical tips for involving people with disabilities and older adults in user research activities

  • Ways in which insights from user research can inform other design, development, and assessment activities

  • The importance of considering accessibility in all user experience activities


We will involve the audience using polling software throughout the session, and will have an extended question and answer segment at the end. We expect a great deal of audience engagement during the session due to interest in accessible user experience and the general influence of the MBTA on user experience and quality of life in the Boston area.

The session will present information and methods that are relevant and applicable to a range of experience levels. Newcomers to user experience may not have had experience engaging in user research activities. Seasoned UX professionals will have had experience with user research methods, but may not have conducted user research and usability studies involving people with disabilities and older adults. Product and project managers may not have experience with integrating accessibility activities into the development lifecycle.

avatar for Laura Brelsford

Laura Brelsford

Assistant General Manager, System-Wide Accessibili, MBTA
Laura Brelsford is the Assistant General Manager for System-Wide Accessibility (SWA) at the MBTA. Since joining the T in 2007, SWA has been at the forefront of a number of accessibility initiatives for the agency, including the development of an internal monitoring program, trainings... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Horton

Sarah Horton

UX Strategy Lead, The Paciello Group
Sarah is interested in exploring ways to improve quality of life through good design. As User Experience Strategy Lead at the The Paciello Group (TPG), she works with organizations and product teams to create “born accessible” digital products and services that work well for everyone... Read More →
avatar for David Sloan

David Sloan

User Experience Research Lead, The Paciello Group (TPG)
David Sloan is User Experience Research Lead for The Paciello Group (TPG). He has over 16 years’ experience as a researcher, educator and consultant, helping people to create great digital products and services that can be used by as many people as possible, regardless of disability. He... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 1:00pm - 1:45pm EDT
Back Bay C/D

1:00pm EDT

Culture eats UX teams for breakfast
It can be difficult to establish or grow a UX team. Often the biggest obstacle goes unrecognized: the impact of corporate culture. This talk defines corporate culture, how it can impact a UX team and offers ways to both identify it and work around it.

The big, unspoken and underappreciated obstacle to the success of your UX team is often unidentified: corporate culture.  Culture is the larger world in which a UX team must sink or swim.  Understanding the impact of your corporate culture will enable you to get a foot hold and gain traction.

When a UX team stalls, it’s often due to cultural barriers or myths which haven’t been explicitly identified. It’s not enough to find an “executive sponsor” when culture can be a far stronger, grass roots force.  By understanding the barriers and myths, a UX team can find ways to address them, get around them and even leverage the opportunities or values.

This talk will lead the audience through different approaches to identify and think about corporate culture, such as barriers, opportunities, myths and values or the competing values framework. My objective is to reveal what culture is, the impact it has on your success and how to work with culture to create an effective UX strategy.  I’ll provide resources to help get you started and provide case studies on how I’ve leveraged culture to create a strategy for a UX team.

The audience will gain a better understanding of what culture is, how to identify their corporate culture and, more importantly, how to think about the impact on their UX practice.

avatar for Sarah Bloomer

Sarah Bloomer

Principal, Sarah Bloomer & Co

Friday May 15, 2015 1:00pm - 1:45pm EDT

1:00pm EDT

Meeting at the Intersection of Content Strategy and UX Design
Let's talk about content strategy. Let's talk about UX design. Let's talk about real-world experiences.

As a content strategist at Mad*Pow, I work with designers and writers, user researchers and project managers, content managers and content creators. We can all do our work independently of one another, but sometimes we get the opportunity - and the challenge - of working together. In this talk we'll look at six scenarios where UX and content strategy combine to make our work better and our lives easier. Participants will leave with concrete tools and processes to follow for future projects.

avatar for Marli Mesibov

Marli Mesibov

VP Content Strategy, Mad*Pow
Marli Mesibov is the VP of Content Strategy at the digital UX agency Mad*Pow. Her work spans strategy and experiences across industries, with a particular interest in healthcare, finance, and education. She is a frequent conference speaker, a former editor of the UX publication UX... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 1:00pm - 1:45pm EDT

2:00pm EDT

Customer pain points for blind and low vision users: Debunking myths to avoid being blind sided
We’ve held a focus group and usability sessions with blind and low vision customers to understand the opportunities to improve their experience with mobile devices.  Areas of discussion included:


  • How the participants learned about mobile devices and their functions

  • Why participants chose their particular device

  • What was their “out-of-the-box” experience

  • How did they learn about and use the voice interface on their device

  • How they learned to use their device

  • What mobile devices allow them to do that they couldn't do before

  • Is battery life a major issue for them

  • How their device has replaced some of their assistive technology




  • The Learning curve on voice UIs is steep.

  • Accessibility features should be easy to find and activate

  • Voice output is a necessity, not an option

  • Voice input and smart phone features are a powerful combination

  • Using their mobile phone gives them an increased sense of independence

  • Figuring out how to operate phone by themselves is challenging yet affirming

  • Information about accessibility features should be more widely available (in box, at POS, on internet)

  • Increasing battery life is perhaps even more important for them than the general population

  • A single smartphones often supplants multiple stand alone assistive technologies


Although smartphones have been transformative for these users, there are still improvements that need to be made.  We've taken these findings and implemented a set of Universal Design Accessibility Requirements within our company, and we'll talk about how you can too.

avatar for John Chin

John Chin

User Experience Strategist, Verizon Wireless
I have been involved in the user research and user interface development of many different mobile products and services at Verizon Wireless. Recently, my research has been focused on the usability and accessibility of mobile devices and their applications. As a user experience design... Read More →
avatar for David Philbin

David Philbin

Strategist and Customer Research Lead, Verizon Wireless
Dave leads a customer research team at Verizon focusing on the user experience around mobile devices. He and his team apply customer research techniques to solve the problems facing the customer and the company. He has over 20 years of experience in the fields of human factors, usability... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 2:00pm - 2:45pm EDT
Back Bay A/B

2:00pm EDT

Sartre and the lab monkey: What philosophy and neuroscience can teach us about UX
The boundary between “me” and “the world” isn’t. We effortlessly incorporate tools into our own body image: when I use a hammer, I don’t think about how to move my hand in relationship to the hammer, but how to move the hammer in relationship to the nail.

In this talk I will show that the boundary between a user and a product is fluid as tools - such as a mouse pointer or even a button - become extensions of a users body. I'll let Jean-Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger explain what exactly happens when tools become part of the body - or cease to be part of us. I'll also present mind-blowing new neurological insights by Atsushi Ikiri and others that show that this is a real process we can observe in the brain.

Taking those findings from philosophy and neuroscience, I will show how this boundary between self and world can be manipulated by clever design (or more frequently, violated by careless design) - and moreover, that establishing this boundary deliberately reduces cognitive load, reinforces users’ expectations and makes products easier to use.

The talk assumes no prior knowledge in philosophy or neuroscience.

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 May 15, 2015 2:00pm - 2:45pm EDT

2:00pm EDT

Behance Portfolio Reviews
During this session, we will offer individual 10 minute portfolio reviews from UX professionals.

An annual subscription to Adobe CS Creative Suite (e.g. Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.) provided by Behance will be raffled off during the session. 

This is a Behance Portfolio Review Event:

Portfolio Review Week was born of a simple wish: to bring our thriving online community into offline spaces, where creatives can sit side by side, sharing their work and developing their craft. These events provide invaluable exposure for creatives, as well as the chance to learn new tricks of the trade from their peers and our experienced guest speakers.

Behance Welcome Video

avatar for Behance


Behance Portfolio Reviews
avatar for Paul Boyd

Paul Boyd

Sr. Director of Design - Health Sciences, Oracle Corporation

Aesh Verma

Demandware, Inc.

avatar for Natasha Franks

Natasha Franks

UX Designer, EF Education First

Kate Jacquet

Sr. UX Designer, EF Education First
avatar for Krista  Siniscarco

Krista Siniscarco

Associate Director, UX Strategy, BEAM
Krista is the Associate Director, UX Strategy at BEAM Interactive in Boston. Her focus on research and strategy combined with her background in user experience design, allows her to bridge the strategy and design practices. Before making the transition to an agency, Krista worked... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 2:00pm - 2:45pm EDT
Liberty Lounge (C)

2:00pm EDT

10-minute talks (students)
Talk 1 - A Game for Building Trust and Communication Skills - Tina Chou

I will review a simple game that small teams can play to improve their communication skills and build trust (while having some competitive fun!). In the game of Instructures, two teams use wooden blocks to build a structure from a blueprint. The catch: the person with the blueprint guides their team using only verbal instructions. I will share how this game has similarities to design and product development processes as well as my observations from playing with UX teams.

Talk 2 - Creation of an Accessible Nurse Call System with an iPad App - Beth Hadley

For many residents of The Boston Home (TBH) located in Dorchester, Massachusetts calling for help is not a simple task. Most residents have limited mobility due to diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), making it difficult if not impossible to reach the help button wired to the wall. Many residents of TBH, however, regularly use iPads attached to their wheelchair. Along with my teammates, I have been working with residents and staff of TBH to develop InstaAid, an iPad application that enables residents to call for help more accessibly.

Talk 3 - Changing a Life: Impactful Designs for Sick Children - Wayne Hosley

Providing efficient healthcare to the sick has become a vital role of importance in our healthcare system. In order to complete this task, it is extremely necessary to have the proper tools in order to provide care successfully. For small children with respiratory complications, improper tools have become an increasing problem. 

Talk 4 - Ramp it up! An action based guide for creating accessible websites - Taliesin Smith

The action-based techniques presented here aim to simplify the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. They focus on the POUR principles and accessible design choices rather than compliance with success criteria. Building in the virtual ramp is easier than you think.


Tina Chou

Tina is a student at Bentley University in the MS in Human Factors and Information Design program. A retired sports photographer, she holds degrees in Information Science from Cornell University. In her spare time, you can find her slowly working through her backlog of vintage... Read More →

Beth Hadley

I am a senior majoring in Computer Science at MIT, where I have studied user experience and design from a variety of perspectives, ranging from interactive music systems to accessible technologies. I began the iPad Nurse Call project last year in a class offered at MIT called... Read More →

Wayne Hosley

Wayne Hosley is an undergraduate senior at Tufts University. He studies Engineering Psychology and Human Factors. This year, he has partnered with the Institute for Pediatric Innovation (IPI), a non-profit organization that collaborates with stakeholders throughout the national... Read More →
avatar for Taliesin Smith

Taliesin Smith

MDes Candidate, Inclusive Design 2016, OCAD University
Taliesin is an Instructional Design Specialist at Memorial University. She has a background in front-end development and a passion for web standards and accessibility. She is currently working on a masters degree in Inclusive Design at OCAD University.

Friday May 15, 2015 2:00pm - 2:45pm EDT
Liberty A/B - Unconference

2:00pm EDT

Discussion Guides: Getting to Everything BUT the Kitchen Sink
A discussion guide is universal to every human-centered research protocol. Often heavily reviewed by other stakeholders, it can be vulnerable to scope creep; research is a prime time for all parties interested to ask questions of a real person. While researchers consider the burning questions posed by these stakeholders, they also must be considerate of participants’ time, remain credible by eliminating bias, and also demonstrate the value of different kinds of research efforts. This presentation includes a framework for defining a clear rationale for discussion points and conversation flow in a discussion guide. The presenters will share a case study that uses the framework, as well as ask for audience input to better improve it as a research tool.

Research affords companies powerful moments to build knowledge, understanding, and empathy for customers and users. Because of this, they are sometimes seen as opportunities to address any and all questions stakeholders may have. As consultants, we have seen proposal requests that include questions that can feed multiple research efforts of varying scope. 

A well-crafted discussion guide, the central artifact of the protocol, is crucial in maintaining the credibility of the study. As researchers, we must provide rationale and evidence for all of its contents. This presentation is important to the field because it introduces a tool that is flexible to all types of study designs and addresses an often overlooked part of research: documenting the rationale. 

Providing insight into what truly needs to be uncovered in a study, the questions of relevance, and how it might impact the discussion guide can be a challenge without the help of some guiding principles. This presentation will share a framework and tool that can demonstrate the scope and constraints of a particular research program.

Attendees will learn about a tool that has been effective in aligning stakeholders on the most meaningful discussion points for research; what was in scope and what needed to be considered for future research. In this case study, the presenters will share a common research scenario, which many researchers may have experienced (receiving requests to include questions that are out of scope of the effort). This presentation may also inspire researchers to reconfigure the tool to meet their specific domain needs, or to create their own.

The audience will receive a paper copy of the discussion guide tool to see if it works for them. Because we also only use this tool internally, we are open to audience feedback on how to improve the usability and meaningfulness of the tool. Both novice and seasoned research professionals will benefit from this presentation because it focuses on a universal research artifact: the discussion guide. 


avatar for Emily Chu

Emily Chu

Senior Design Researcher, Motivate Design
Emily Chu is a UX Researcher at Motivate Design. She focuses on extracting user needs from a variety of research methods such as ethnography, online diary studies, discovery contextual research, and of course, usability testing. Emily is always looking for innovative ways to effectively... Read More →
avatar for Meena Kothandaraman

Meena Kothandaraman

Customer Experience Strategist
With over 20 years of experience, Meena has consulted to numerous organizations worldwide and is well versed with the importance of studying user motivations and behaviors, and creating empathy for how products, services and space are consumed. She particularly enjoys creating customer... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 2:00pm - 2:45pm EDT
Back Bay C/D

2:00pm EDT

Getting to Done, Usably: User Experience Acceptance Criteria on Agile Projects
Breaking large, complex projects into reasonably sized chunks of work is critical to a successful Agile development process. Is it possible to deliver a broad, complex workflow piece-by-piece, with a good user experience at every stage? This presentation describes our team’s challenging journey employing user experience acceptance criteria as key milestones for deciding when the work was truly done. It follows a narrative arc, and it includes related examples and references to help generalize its conclusions.

The topic is important to our field because of the growing prevalence of Agile development. I will show that when user experience professionals adopt existing frameworks they can be more effective with less resistance.  Evidence for this adoption includes writing bugs to track usability defects (Wilson & Coyne 2001).

Attendees will learn about Agile acceptance criteria and how to write them to quantify and measure important attributes of user experience. There is a science to writing good criteria, and an art to evaluating them sprint by sprint. The presentation’s narrative will show how a team’s participation in usability testing builds trust, and how to work with developers to find design solutions when the initial approach fails and pressure mounts to find a solution that meets the UX acceptance criteria.

The presentation will include multiple questions for the audience. The presenter will listen to audience responses to gauge how much time to spend on general Agile user experience concepts.

Organizational UX leaders, designers and researchers working with Agile teams, and practitioners looking to expand their Agile UX toolkit will benefit from the presenter’s experience-derived tips and assessment of what works. Descriptions of what didn’t work should also prove both informative and entertaining to all.

avatar for Joshua Ledwell

Joshua Ledwell

Principal Experience Designer, Autodesk
Josh Ledwell is an experience designer who creates efficient, satisfying, and delightful software workflows at Autodesk. He pioneered the Customers in Sprint Reviews collaboration method used by over a dozen development teams. Josh has a master’s degree in Human Factors and Information... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 2:00pm - 2:45pm EDT

3:00pm EDT

A case study on balancing beauty and security in healthcare enterprise software
This talk is for UX practitioners trying to improve the usability of enterprise software. We will share our journey as a case study of how to take a seemingly simple new product and make the project ripple design improvements throughout the existing enterprise solution.  You’ll hear about our success and failures, and we want to hear your stories too!


We will discuss how we balanced design to disrupt the existing prescription workflow to comply with DEA regulations while ensuring a great user experience. We will discuss the way we tackled creating a new product that looked modern and delighted users while guiding them through complex workflows and security standards. You will learn the importance of maintaining a regular review cycle with stakeholders and forcing the iterative design process onto the Agile dev team, even if they don't realize that's what's happening. ;-) 


By attending this talk, you will see that despite the craziness of enterprise security software, insane deadlines, and a large and dated existing platform, modern and sexy UX is within reach! 

avatar for Roxanne Chang

Roxanne Chang

Senior UX Designer, Imprivata
Roxanne Chang started off her career with dual BS degrees from MIT in Chemical Engineering and Electrical Engineering/Computer Science, and then transitioned into UX seven years ago. She currently works as a UX designer at Imprivata, where she gets to create healthcare experiences... Read More →
avatar for kenny kutney

kenny kutney

Information Architect, Imprivata
Kenny has been making life a little better for software users of all kinds since 1987, working for small startups, large corporations, and even as principal of his own design shop. Kenny holds a degree in Electrical Engineering, and has contributed to the design and development of... Read More →
avatar for James Smell

James Smell

Principal UX Designer, Imprivata
Architect Designer Maker Jim has been a registered Architect (Florida) for over a decade. He’s now been in the software design and delivery business longer than the building design and construction business.
avatar for Consuelo Valdes

Consuelo Valdes

UX Designer, Imprivata Inc
A UX designer changing the world at Imprivata Inc

Friday May 15, 2015 3:00pm - 3:45pm EDT
Back Bay A/B

3:00pm EDT

Invent to Present

This practicum will be a mix of presentation and discussion with the audience, about how to develop ideas that you might add to your portfolio. Portfolio reviews are great opportunities for gaining feedback, but sometimes designers and UX practitioners can find it difficult to develop an idea in the first place, and daunting to create a compelling presentation.



This session will discuss ways to develop ideas into a concise presentation, so that a) you can have a simple method for building items in a portfolio and b) more generally feel more confident about how to form a complete message that explains your idea fully. Attendees will learn how to think about their ideas as complete stories, like an invention, and learn simple techniques to develop them. Whether it be a product idea, an improvement or innovation of a common user experience, or a software or multi-media experience, it shouldn’t require extensive design training to get them ready to add to your portfolio, just some creative thinking.


What I will cover:
The presentation portion of the session will walk through how to start from a problem, an idea, an annoyance, a cool slogan - whatever fragment you have - and build around it to cover four basic messages that can create a concise presentation: 

  • “Issue” – what issue have you identified? How does an issue convert into an opportunity?

  • “Concepts” - how you might describe or visualize concepts that attempt to address the issue (physical thing or a process, for example)?

  • “Value”  - how do you concisely communicate an idea’s value?

  • “Experience” - how might you represent the experience of the concept?


A portfolio presentation can consist of one “slide” for each of these topics, or perhaps an idea can be presented quite nicely in one, engaging shot. I will elaborate on the four topics through exemplars, but also leave 15-20 minutes to engage the audience in a discussion about their experiences, and ideas they have.


Ultimately, attendees will learn how to think about presenting ideas, which I hope will add to their confidence not only in building pieces for their portfolio, but also in creating effective presentations to coworkers, managers, clients and customers.


Who is this for:
Primarily, this session is a career-building topic, and students and novices might benefit most. However, more experienced consultant or corporate practitioners could also benefit because the principles could help anyone craft and corral their ideas into presentable, compelling packages – using a little bit of inventing to present.  

avatar for Cory Costantino

Cory Costantino

Managing User Experience Designer, UL-Wiklund

Friday May 15, 2015 3:00pm - 3:45pm EDT
Liberty A/B - Unconference

3:00pm EDT

Taboo UX: Bathrooms (10-minute Talks)
Talk 1 - Beyond Ladies & Gents: Designing Bathrooms for Gender Fluidity - Patrick Cleary

With transgender rights coming to the forefront of many political messaging, one of the most contentious topics is the segregation of bathrooms.  Are co-ed bathrooms the way of the future? If so, how will signage, layout of facilities, privacy, and other user experience factors come into play to assure that everyone who needs to use the facilities can do so in a comfortable and trouble-free manner?   I will show the various options that have been presented in different parts of the world, explore their pros and cons and invite the audience to vote on various layouts, sign designs, and use factors.

Talk 2 - Microinteractions in the bathroom and beyond
- Eva Kaniasty

You might have heard of microinteractions… single-purpose features that make a big difference. You might be skeptical…. can something that small have a big payoff, or is this the case of yet another buzzword?    To answer this question, let’s go inside a place where stakes are high, and a critical failure can turn a routine experience into a horror story. Our whirlwind tour of restrooms gone wrong will show you why you must pay attention to microinteractions, or risk watching your UX go down the toilet. 

Talk 3 - Traveling UX Adventures - Marli Mesibov

Have you ever eaten shrimp with lawyers? Or enjoyed a hot shower, and steamed up the whole mirror except for a perfect square under your chin? Have you been a guest in a home that checks to make sure your pajamas are kosher?    If you have experienced all of these, you are clearly a world traveler, and you have experienced UX (and a lack thereof) on the road. Ranging from menus that don't double-check their translations (in French, avocat translates to both "lawyer" and "avocado"), to hotels that consider the benefit of a non-fogging mirror, but forget to check their visitors' average height (the Japanese are typically shorter than their international visitors), UX on the road is fraught with bumps. (Or sleeping policemen, if you're British.)    There's nothing like a good trip to make you appreciate the little things.

Talk 4 - To pee or not to pee... that is the question - Joan Wortman

I would like to share stories about the bathrooms I've encountered in my travels. For instance, last year when I presented at UXPA London, I took on a pet project to observe bathrooms around England and Iceland. These days, one has to be a magician to use some of the devices encountered in public bathrooms. I took pictures and cataloged good and bad user experiences.  I've share my bathroom stories with my coworkers and friends, but would be happy to share my bizarre interest with people who don't even know me yet. 

avatar for Patrick Cleary

Patrick Cleary

Director, Knowledge Management, Epsilon
Patrick Cleary is the Director of Knowledge Management at Epsilon, a global marketing company. He is the designer, knowledge manager, and community manager of Ignite, a client-facing community portal, and The Hive, a collaboration and community portal for employees. In... Read More →
avatar for Eva Kaniasty

Eva Kaniasty

UX Consultant, Red Pill UX
avatar for Marli Mesibov

Marli Mesibov

VP Content Strategy, Mad*Pow
Marli Mesibov is the VP of Content Strategy at the digital UX agency Mad*Pow. Her work spans strategy and experiences across industries, with a particular interest in healthcare, finance, and education. She is a frequent conference speaker, a former editor of the UX publication UX... Read More →
avatar for Joan Wortman

Joan Wortman

Principle User Experience Specialist, MathWorks
Joan Wortman is a User Experience Specialist at the MathWorks.  Her educational background includes Fine Arts, Computer Science and UX. She has more than 20 years of experience designing and developing enterprise and consumer software.  

Friday May 15, 2015 3:00pm - 3:45pm EDT

3:00pm EDT

Predictive Analytics Using Usability and Survey Data: Yes We Can!
This presentation will help  UX practitioners use both descriptive and predictive statistical techniques to gain meaningful insight from data collected employing traditional UX research methods, including moderated usability studies, unmoderated usability studies, surveys and contextual inquiries. 

Over the past five years, excellent books have been published regarding collecting, analyzing and presenting usability metrics. Arguably, the best ones in this category are the Morgan Kaufmann books, including Measuring the User Experience by Tom Tullis and Bill Albert, Beyond the Usability Lab by Bill Albert, Tom Tullis and Donna Tedesco, and Quantifying the User Experience by Jeff Sauro and James R. Lewis. These books do an outstanding job of instructing the UX professional how to choose the right metric, apply it and effectively use the information it reveals.

And yet, as we surveyed the UX research literature landscape, we saw there was very little discussion urging UX professionals to use predictive and other advanced statistical tools in their work. [The current books on usability metrics leave out the techniques often used for data analysis, such as multiple regression analysis.] But these statistical tools⎯which begin with basic correlation and regression analysis⎯are now fairly easy to access. In fact, if you have Excel, you probably have most of these tools already at your fingertips! 

In this presentation, we will attempt to:

  • Show the real-world application of these techniques through some carefully chosen vignettes from the real world of UX design.  By seeing parallels between the problems introduced and resolved in each chapter and your own work, the attendee should easily be able to ascertain the right statistical method to use in your particular UX research project.

  • Provide clear insight into the statistical principles without getting bogged down in a theoretical treatise. But, we provide enough theory for you to understand why you’re applying a certain technique. After all, understanding why you’re doing something is just as important as knowing what you’re doing

  • Minimize the amount of mathematical detail, while still doing full justice to the mathematical rigor of the presentation and the precision of our statements. In addition, many of our numerical examples use simple numbers.

  • Focus on how to get the software to do the analysis. There are a few exceptions, in those cases where Excel does not provide a built-in solution, when we show you how to use other Excel commands to duplicate, as closely as possible, what Excel would do if the technique were a built-in available one. Also, we provide end-of-chapter exercises that encourage, demonstrate, and, indeed, require the use of the statistical software described. By the way, we do not apologize for writing our chapters in a way that does not insist that the reader understand what the software is doing under the hood! 


Paul Berger

Professor, Bentley University
avatar for Mike Fritz

Mike Fritz

CEO, BigUXData.com
Usability, Research, Data Analytics, Jazz, Little Walter

Friday May 15, 2015 3:00pm - 3:45pm EDT
Back Bay C/D

3:00pm EDT

Whoa! Did you see that?
Observing a usability test is like witnessing an accident; everyone sees it go down differently. One of the most important steps in usability testing, and yet often skipped by a lot of firms, is conducting a thorough debrief with the observers after testing is complete. Research should not be performed while working in a vacuum. The data and feedback collected from end users is not complete without understanding the observers’ perspectives, which oftentimes is different from the moderator's. The process for running an observer debrief involves getting all the observers (and even people who did not observe, but should have) to attend a meeting where we review the notes for each test and document the observations and perceived implications. In this session, you will learn various methods for running a debrief, when to use them, and walk away better prepared to get the most out of your research!

After attending this practical session, attendees will be able to take what they have learned and execute a thorough debrief the next day. I will discuss various methods for running a debrief, spending more time on one method in particular, the Wish for/how-to/what-if method. For those that are not familiar, this method is executed by asking observers to create implications for each observation in the form of: Wish for... (W4) How to... (H2) What if... (Wif). The benefit being that stakeholders do not focus on actual solutions at this time, but instead open the discussion up for more out of the box thinking.

What attendees will learn:

-       The importance of running a debrief

-       How to run a debrief (various options)

-       How to keep observers engaged during testing

-       Understanding the difference between observation, inference, opinion, and a recommendation

-       Pitfalls to avoid

Who will benefit from the presentation and why:

Anyone who moderates usability tests or research studies will benefit greatly from this session. They will learn how to distill the key findings from the observers and keep them engaged throughout the testing process.

avatar for Kyle Soucy

Kyle Soucy

Founding Principal, Usable Interface, LLC
Kyle Soucy is the Founding Principal of Usable Interface, LLC (www.usableinterface.com), an independent UX consulting company specializing in user research and usability testing. Her industry diverse client list includes Comcast, Hewlett-Packard, Intuit Inc., McGraw-Hill, and Pfizer... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 3:00pm - 3:45pm EDT

3:00pm EDT

Open Networking
The lounge will be open for semi-private conversation during this time. 

Friday May 15, 2015 3:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
Liberty Lounge (C)

3:45pm EDT

Coffee Break
Friday May 15, 2015 3:45pm - 4:15pm EDT
**Exhibit Hall**

4:15pm EDT

Mentoring Session 2
Need a little advice? Another perspective? Whether you are moving into user experience (UX) or have been there for years, we all have points in our career when talking to someone with a neutral perspective can help. 

  • Are you looking for a way to re-tool your skill set? 

  • Are you trying to break into the field of user experience? 

  • Maybe you’re dealing with a difficult boss, colleague, employer, client, or company. 

Our group-mentoring sessions will give you another angle on how to advance your career or move beyond a difficult situation. You may think your issue is unique, but don’t worry: our mentors just may have a similar story to share. Our sessions will include mentors who have years of experience as UX directors, managers, designers, developers, and researchers – many of whom had to make that leap from a different career into the user experience field.

Mentoring will take place in groups of 2 mentors to 8 mentees. Mentoring groups will form on a first-come first-serve basis, so please show up on time to get mentored!

There will be 5 tables at this session, each with their own focus, to meet your mentoring needs. Choose from New to UX/Career Changers, Team of One/Solo Practitioners, or UX Career Development.

The mentors for this session will be:

Solo practitioners: Hal Shubin, Len Conte
New to UX/Career changers:
Warren Croce, Howard Davidson
New to UX/Career changers:
Melissa Appel, Azilah Baker
UX Career Development:
Tom Tullis, Diana De Marco Brown
UX Career Development:
Lisa deBettencourt, Melanie St James

avatar for Jen McGinn

Jen McGinn

Director of Cloud Management Product Design, VMware
Jen McGinn just started a new role leading a 45-person product design organization for the Cloud Management business unit of VMware. She is on two panels at this year's conference - one on the state of Agile UX and another debating the benefits of high-fidelity design (on the side... Read More →
avatar for Bob Thomas

Bob Thomas

President, UXPA Boston
Bob Thomas runs his own user research consultancy. Previously, he was Director of User Research at Liberty Mutual Insurance, where he worked for 12 years building a user research practice and managing a team of 10 user researchers and interns. His background includes user experience... Read More →

avatar for Melissa Appel

Melissa Appel

Director of Product, Divert
In my 10+ years making products I have gone back and forth between UX research and product management (usually combining the two disciplines under various titles). I start each project by asking "Why?" and try my best to eliminate personal opinion from product decisions, instead depending... Read More →
avatar for Azilah Baker

Azilah Baker

Senior User Experience Researcher, Fidelity Investments
I'm a UX researcher at a financial services company with 4 years experience in the field. My background is in psychology and I spent a few years in the IT industry, hence my interest in human computer interaction. After taking time out of the workforce to raise my children, I found... Read More →
avatar for Diana Brown

Diana Brown

Product Design Director, New Relic
Diana DeMarco Brown currently works In a fully remote role as the Director of Product Design for Applied Intelligence at New Relic. She has worked as a designer and design manager for SmartBear, Nuance, Aspen Technology, Autodesk, Raytheon, and The MathWorks. She has also served... Read More →
avatar for Len Conte

Len Conte

Principal Usability Professional, MathWorks
The design of industrial strength software appications. Workflow/task analysis UX research and testing Personas Mobile UX
avatar for Warren Croce

Warren Croce

Currently a Lead UX Designer at Staples Inc., Warren has over twenty five years design experience. In 1997 he worked on his first eCommerce site, for Hewlett Packard, as a member of KPMG Consulting’s eCommerce practice. He spent over twelve years at Intuit where he worked primarily... Read More →
avatar for Lisa deBettencourt

Lisa deBettencourt

Founder & CXO, Forge Harmonic, LLC
Lisa is a design executive and strategy consultant. She works with healthcare companies to discover, develop, and operationalize innovative ways to improve patient experience and outcomes amidst increasing regulatory demands, consumer expectations, and technological complexity... Read More →
avatar for Melanie St James

Melanie St James

Chief Experience Officer, The Co8 Group
Melanie is a forward-thinking customer experience leader with a business strategy and product management mindset. Her ability to help teams integrate Service Design, User Experience, Agile, OKRs and Design Thinking allows for the rapid alignment of customer and business needs while... Read More →
avatar for Hal Shubin

Hal Shubin

Chair of the Market Committee, Belmont Farmers’ Market
UX design consultant in greater Boston and beyond. Design, customer research, usability studies & design workshops.And baseball, libraries, local politics, farmers' markets, cooking, music, newspapers (in print).
avatar for Tom Tullis

Tom Tullis

VP, User Experience Research, Fidelity Investments
Tom has worked in the usability field for over 30 years. He manages a 40-person team of user researchers for Fidelity Investments.  He is coauthor of the books "Measuring the User Experience" and "Beyond the Usability Lab".  He is also an adjunct professor at Bentley University... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 4:15pm - 5:00pm EDT
Liberty A/B - Unconference

4:15pm EDT

10-minute talks (Curated)
Talk 1 - Search is the New Black: How Millennials Find Information Online - Miranda Hunt
This talk will discuss how college-age users find information in the digital age. We will be examining what they actually do when they set out to find information, as well as how to provide a user experience that will support them in that pursuit.


Talk 2 - Documenting Design Patterns for cross-functional teams - Dani Nordin

As UX becomes increasingly Agile, a need arises to quickly create and iterate new interface elements. Many popular frameworks exist to document front-end design patterns. Most of them connect directly to the website's CSS, and help developers easily create new interface elements and templates. But what happens when the design and UX team aren't working in the site’s CSS? How can we create truly cross-functional design documentation that works both for developers and designers?


Talk 3 - Shaping organizations through user experience - Greg Raiz

As software gets more complex it becomes more important to make the departmental lines of an organization disappear. Customers can’t tell the lines between Billing, Fulfillment, Operations, Retention, and Support. I frequently we see retail and e-commerce departments have competing business interests. For an organization to be successful it has to be aligned on values of quality and customer satisfaction.

Talk 4 - #HamburgerWars - Mike Ryan
The purpose of this session will be a lighthearted look at the current user experience of the hamburger menu navigation on mobile and desktop platforms. The content will be based upon my observations in user research and additional studies and observations by usability experts. 

avatar for Miranda Hunt

Miranda Hunt

User Research Analyst, EBSCO Information Services
Miranda Hunt has an MSc in Human-Computer Interaction with Ergonomics from University College London and an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in Boston. She currently works in the User Research group at EBSCO Information Services.
avatar for Dani Nordin

Dani Nordin

Research Associate, the zen kitchen
Dani Nordin is the Senior UX Designer at Harvard Business Review, where she works with a cross-functional team of designers, technologists and product managers to integrate UX into an Agile development process. She is also an accomplished speaker, teacher and writer, teaching... Read More →
avatar for Gregory Raiz

Gregory Raiz

CEO, Raizlabs
Greg Raiz is a leader in the Boston technology and mobile community and has worked on a wide range of mobile apps. They got their start at Microsoft as a program manager on Windows XP.  After that, he moved back to Boston and founded a company with a focus on user experience before... Read More →
avatar for Mike Ryan

Mike Ryan

User Research Director, Liberty Mutual Insurance
Mike is a User Research Director at Liberty Mutual Insurance. He performs qualitative research to discover insights that inform direct sales UX and strategy. Mike has been working in user experience since 1995 for companies including Thomson Reuters, Trend Micro, HP, Staples, Welch’s... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 4:15pm - 5:00pm EDT
Back Bay C/D

4:15pm EDT

Designing For & Testing with Seniors
Seniors are cited as one of the fastest growing users of digital and online services.  As a segment, they have a unique set of needs.  Designing for and testing with seniors requires knowledge of the segment and how best to meet their needs.  This presentation will cover some of the findings and strategies we have used in our work with this important audience segment.

Seniors require many unique considerations both in terms of design and in user research.  This presentation will address those needs and provide designers and researchers with specific strategies to use to meet those needs. 

We will share the learnings we have acquired through our experience with both in-person and online user tests with seniors (see outline for some specific examples).  We have conducted approximately 50 user tests with seniors in multiple environments and have learned many tactics and strategies for ensuring success with this valuable market segment.

We will share stories of our experiences with in-person testing.  What barriers we encountered with recruiting, task and discussion guide development, and moderating.  We will share our mistakes so that attendees can avoid making the same, and share our successes so that attendees can benefit.  Designing for the healthcare segment requires meeting specific requirements.  Many of which are useful for design as a whole for this segment.  We will share those as suggestions for guidelines when designing with the senior audience in mind.

While sharing our own stories, we welcome questions and participation about any experience the audience has had with seniors.  We hope to have an interactive and discussion oriented presentation.  We will be prepared to go through 45 minutes of our own material, but also welcome any discussion that helps broaden the discussion so that everyone can share their own thoughts and questions.


Researchers and designers are key audiences who will benefit from this discussion.  We have worked with companies who came to our business as vendors for website design and completely missed the mark because they did not recognize the unique needs of this market segment.  We want to prepare all UXPA professionals for work with this segment in order to allow them to grow their businesses through their understanding and recognition of the value of this underserved user segment.

avatar for Dolores Anoli

Dolores Anoli

Digital Marketing/UX, Tufts Health Plan
avatar for Colleen Beaton

Colleen Beaton

Program Manager, Tufts Health Plan
I'm a healthcare-focused Interaction designer with 13-years experience. I'm Passionate about improving the healthcare experience for both patients and their loved ones. Outside of UX, I'm a big fan of all things comedy, sketch, improv, and stand-up.

Colleen Campbell

Market Research, Tufts Health Plan

Friday May 15, 2015 4:15pm - 5:00pm EDT
Back Bay A/B

4:15pm EDT

Big Love: The Case for Conscious Coupling in UX Strategy
We want UX at the big table where it belongs.  We believe that UX is a strategic business advantage.  The past few years have seen a growing awareness that experience matters, but existential issues remain surrounding who is practicing and owns that UX Strategy stuff.  Where did "Customer Experience" come from?  Why does Experience Design differ from Service Design?  Like Chimpanzees and Humans DNA, aren't we something like 98% the same?  Such arguments are both exhausting and counterproductive. As a veteran of the nomenclature wars, Ronnie believes there may be an answer. In this presentation, Ronnie will posit a future vision that is simple, satisfying and singularly salacious. Experience the power of Big Love.  When it comes to what we do, Ronnie plans to leave no wiggle in the room.

avatar for Ronnie Battista

Ronnie Battista

Practice Lead - Experience Strategy and Design, Slalom

Friday May 15, 2015 4:15pm - 5:00pm EDT

4:15pm EDT

Growing Pains - lessons learned in growing a UX Team
More companies are now setting up UX teams without a full understanding of what it entails, and new UX managers are facing unanticipated challenges. This panel brings together a range of experienced team leaders to share their tactics and lessons learned.

It appears that companies have recognized the value of user experience. In 2013, Robert Fabricant wrote in the Harvard Business Review: “The value of UX as a corporate asset is no longer in question.” New UX teams are springing up with existing user experience teams rapidly expanding. However, the growing pains can be significant:

  • What balance of skills should your team include?

  • How do you scale a team without hiring new people?

  • How do you expand and maintain coherent outputs?

  • How do you measure the UX value to get the headcount you need? 

You’ll hear from experienced UX leaders from several companies grappling with varying situations. We will cover starting an internal team who are located together as well as growing a globally distributed professional services group who all work at different client sites. We expect to address the challenges of delivering to a common set of standards to figuring out which skills to hire first or how to expand a mature team. We'll get beyond the burning issue of not enough skills in the market place, and explore creative ways to grow a team from within.

The audience will gain insights into the thinking behind each growth strategy, what worked and didn’t work from experienced UX managers. We’re present the reality, together with ways to approach and address the challenges of building a new team or expanding an existing team.

avatar for Sarah Bloomer

Sarah Bloomer

Principal, Sarah Bloomer & Co

avatar for Marc Cajolet

Marc Cajolet

User eXperience Strategist, Kronos, Inc
Building a great UX team. Over coming internal challenges to funding and authority, taking on new opportunities for mobile, accessibility, and cloud.
avatar for Lori Landesman

Lori Landesman

VP, User Experience, TradeStone
Lori Landesman is the Vice President of User Experience at TradeStone, which provides enterprise software for the retail industry. Over the last 20 years, she's also worked at Netscape, User Interface Engineering, The MathWorks, IBM and Attivio. Throughout her career, her goal has... Read More →
avatar for Kirsten Robinson

Kirsten Robinson

Director of Product Design, BitSight
avatar for Baruch Sachs

Baruch Sachs

Senior Director, User Experience, Pegasystems

Friday May 15, 2015 4:15pm - 5:00pm EDT

5:15pm EDT

Closing Keynote: Design is a Team Sport
Jared will speak about UX and teams. Check back for details. 

avatar for Jared Spool

Jared Spool

Founding Principal and Author, User Interface Engineering
Jared founded and runs one of the foremost design and user experience think tanks in the world. He's been working in the field of usability and design since 1978 before the term 'usability' was associated with computers. Leveraging in-depth research findings based on user observation... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 5:15pm - 5:45pm EDT

5:45pm EDT

Friday May 15, 2015 5:45pm - 7:00pm EDT
**Exhibit Hall**
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