UX Camp Winter 2021

UX Camp Winter 2021 is a 1-day mini-conference that delivers great UX content at a price that lets anyone attend, from where you are.

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

Interested in getting on a virtual stage? Submit your presentation idea!

We continue to provide a stage with inclusive continuing education that is great for our community. Don’t miss out–join us and expand your User Experience horizons–and don’t worry: we record the sessions so you can revisit them later.

And we’ve got swag! We’ve partnered with Nerditees (again) to bring you some cool UX-themed gear. 

Each swag item purchased adds to our pool of “Need 1, Take 1” passes that are available to anyone who has a need–no questions asked.

Event Details
Casey Hald
Casey Hald
Senior Frontend Developer
Casey Hald has been doing web design & user experience since 2008. He has worked mostly on enterprise software—developing rapid prototypes and conducting usability sessions to determine usability for designs.
Maria Pereda
Maria Pereda
Director of Product Design
Maria leads design at Clio, helping increase access to justice while improving the lives of lawyers. Previously, she’s led teams at Roadmunk, Schoology, Critical Mass and GE.
Meena Kothandaraman
Meena Kothandaraman
Experience Strategist
With 30 years of experience, Meena has consulted to emphasize the strategic value and positioning of qualitative research in the design of product, space and service.
Carolyn Chandler
Carolyn Chandler
Director of User Experience
Eight Bit Studios
Carolyn Chandler has been working in the field of User Experience Design for over 20 years, after finding it due to a driving interest in psychology and anthropology. As Director of UX at Eight Bit Studios, her areas of specialty include design strategy and leadership, interaction design, and user research and modeling.
Margot Bloomstein
Margot Bloomstein
Brand & Content Strategy Consultant
Appropriate, Inc.
Margot Bloomstein is a speaker, strategic adviser, and the principal of Appropriate, Inc., a brand and content strategy consultancy. For two decades, she’s helped organizations improve communication through brand-driven content strategy.
Ian Fenn
Ian Fenn
Senior Product Designer
Ian Fenn is a Senior Product Designer at tails.com. Since 2014, he has been advising other designers on how to represent their value effectively to potential clients and employers. He is the author of Lobster Book, the definitive guide to UX Portfolio design, and creator of the popular UX Portfolio Essentials course.
Jeff Eaton
Jeff Eaton
Jeff Eaton helps large organizations understand, model, and manage their content. For 25 years, he's tackled digital publishing, web development, and content strategy problems for organizations large and small.
Barkha Sharma
Barkha Sharma
User Experience Designer
To The New
Barkha is an experience designer at TO THE NEW, a digital transformation services company in Delhi, India. Academically, she holds a bachelors in computer science engineering and is pursuing masters in psychology.
Amanda Weller
Amanda Weller
Senior UX Director
Amanda has over 10 years of experience designing and executing custom projects that deliver creative, insightful solutions to complex problems to create intuitive, innovative, useful, fun experiences for people around the world.
Megan Machamer
Megan Machamer
Research Director
UX research specialist and ethnographer with 10 years of social science research experience in both professional and academic contexts.
Diana Sonis
Diana Sonis
Founding Partner
CX By Design
Diana is a passionate believer in holistic, 360 strategy and design, with extensive expertise in UX Design, CX Design, Service Design, and the Design Thinking methodology.
Lis Hubert
Lis Hubert
Founding Partner
CX By Design
Lis is an acclaimed design and strategy thought leader, writer, and speaker with extensive expertise in Digital Strategy, Customer Experience, Information Architecture, and Design Thinking.
Billy Carlson
Billy Carlson
Design Advocate & Educator
Billy Carlson Billy Carlson is a design educator at Balsamiq, where he helps new and non-designers learn best practices for all phases of user interface and digital product design.
Nikki Espartinez
Nikki Espartinez
Product Designer & UX Strategist
Nikki Espartinez is a designer of digital experiences and products. The core themes of her work are User Experience, Design Operations and Design Evangelism. Nikki is very passionate about all three of them.
Lindsey Gates-Markel
Lindsey Gates-Markel
Senior Content Strategist
Lindsey leads content strategy at Pixo, working with teams of clients, designers, and developers to explore the space between what exists and what is possible. She loves dumb questions and metadata.
Jatin Gupta
Jatin Gupta
Product Designer
Jatin is a product designer at T-Mobile currently designing the T-Mobile for Business self-service platform. He is passionate about problem-solving in the digital space while keeping sustainability and ethics in mind.

We'll open the doors a little early and let folks in. Sometimes, we have surprises, sometimes, we play music, sometimes it's a little quiet. Get there a little early to be ready for kick-off!

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

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

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

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

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

15 minuted break.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You did your research, you found the problem. You came up with great concepts and design. But you get to user testing, and all your users can talk about is the content: they don’t get it.

In these days of tight budgets and lean teams, you’re expected to wear many hats. So, in the absence of a content professional, how can you tighten up that content so clients can absorb it?

We’ll go over what content design is, how to incorporate it into every stage of the double diamond process, and mainly some concrete tips to make your UX writing a little better.

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

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

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

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

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

In this session, you’ll learn:

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

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

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

Event Details
March 2024