UX Camp Winter 2024

UX Camp Winter 2024

Embark on a Journey of
User Experience Discovery
at UX Camp Winter 2024
Online on Saturday, February 10th, 2024 at 10am CDT!

Converging Echoes: Patterns of Purpose and Perception

UX Camp Winter 2024 invites attendees into a world of ‘Converging Echoes,’ a theme that celebrates the interplay of patterns, perceptions, and purpose in design. This theme reflects the multifaceted nature of UX, where diverse elements from architecture to digital sustainability resonate together, creating a harmonious symphony of design principles and practices. It’s an exploration of how seemingly disparate elements echo similar underlying patterns, whether it’s in the elegance of a flower arrangement or the intricacies of global connectivity.

Join UX enthusiasts and professionals for an enlightening single-day experience at UX Camp Winter. With community-driven presentations and thought-provoking keynotes, this event is designed for anyone eager to expand their UX knowledge.

Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned professional, the inclusive and affordable Pay-What-You-Can pricing ensures everyone has access to quality education. Build your network, explore the latest techniques, and find inspiration.

And it happens from where ever you are—we’re serving up 2 awesome keynotes that bookend up to 8 really great presentations! This is a 1-day conference that delivers great UX content at a price that lets anyone attend, from anywhere.

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 have swag! We’re partnering with Nerditees (again!) to bring you some cool UX-themed gear. 

Embrace the Harmony of “Converging Echoes”

Wrap yourself in the warmth of inspiration with our exclusive midweight hoodie in heather military green and t-shirt in sage green. Designed to celebrate the symphony of patterns, perceptions, and purpose in UX design, this hoodie and t-shirt is a canvas of creativity.

The grounds-up view reminds us that design is all around us, echoing in every leaf and branch. With ‘Converging Echoes’ emblazoned in white across your chest, you’ll embody the essence of design principles and practices coming together in perfect unison.

With every wear, you carry the symphony of design with you, embracing the harmonious blend of creativity and nature. Whether you’re in the wild outdoors or the concrete jungle, this shirt connects you to the world of UX, where every element converges to create something beautiful.

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
Tickets
$7
Early Bird Ticket

Only 20 tickets at this price!

$13.50
General Admission

Only $13.50! An outstanding bargain!

Free
Pay What You Can

Any contribution is appreciated.

Free
Need 1, Take 1

For anyone with a need. Please join!

Speakers
Jane Ruffino
Jane Ruffino
Content Designer & UX Writer
Jane is a research-driven UX content design consultant who has worked across a range of industries, including fintech, healthcare, mobility, HR tech, enterprise SaaS, travel tech, and retail, with clients across Europe, Asia, and North America. She’s been a journalist, documentary producer, and professional development educator. She is passionate about storytelling, plain language, and strong collaboration. With her one-person content studio, Character, she specializes in workshops and facilitation, but she'll also happily write the words and stories that make your software go. 
Guadalupe Aguilera
Guadalupe Aguilera
UX Designer
ZS Associates
Guadalupe commenced her professional journey in the realm of architecture, where she developed a deep appreciation for space, form, and user interaction within physical environments
Shannon Leahy
Shannon Leahy
Senior Content Design Manager
Adobe
Shannon has worked at the intersection of words, strategy, design, and people for almost 15 years. Currently, she is a senior content design manager at Adobe.
Michael Carrick
Michael Carrick
CEO & Co-Founder
XDS | Experience Design Systems
Michael Carrick CEO & Co-founder of XDS | Experience Design Systems Inc.
Austin Govella
Austin Govella
Director, User Experience
Synozur Alliance
Austin creates award-winning employee experiences that make work wonderful. Austin Govella has built products and services for some of the world’s largest organizations, including global industry leaders like ExxonMobil, Comcast, Verizon Wireless, Ashley Furniture, and The World Bank.
Cliff Seal
Cliff Seal
Principal Designer
Salesforce
Cliff is a Principal Designer at Salesforce, helping build world-class customer experience tools. For him, experience design is a strategy for creating positive change in the world for others—not in a vague sense, but a literal one.
Colin MacArthur
Colin MacArthur
Adjunct Professor of Design and Digital Government
Bocconi University
Colin MacArthur is the former Director of Digital Practice, and Head of Design Research, at the Canadian Digital Service. Now he’s an Adjunct Professor of Design and Digital Government at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. He also advises several organizations on design and research strategy. Colin was once described as a “die-hard artificial intelligence hater,” but has been teaching students to use AI to do UX reseach for several years now.
Tim Frick
Tim Frick
Founder & President
Mightybytes
Tim started Mightybytes in early 1998 to help nonprofits, social enterprises, and purpose-driven companies solve problems, amplify their impact, and drive measurable business and marketing results.
Schedule

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!

It Really is a Series of Tubes: UX and an Archaeology of the Internet

Almost all of our networked devices rely on a series of fewer than 500 fiber optic cables at the bottom of the sea. And, like all infrastructures, they’re simultaneously mundane artifacts and wonders of human achievement. If you’ve encountered these subsea cables, it might have been as a news story about breakage, or they were represented by an abstract map of connecting lines.

What happens when we try to understand something as invisible as “data” and as sprawling as the subsea cable network—and what does that have to do with designing stuff for screens?

Join us for a talk that weaves together UX and contemporary archaeology, to expose more of the real, human (often very analog) work that goes into making digital things go, from the pixels all the way to the pipes.

You won’t get a tidy new method to try right away. You’ll get a messy-by-design picture of what it can look like to think like an archaeologist about the things all around us—using a subsea cable research project as an example—and a dose of encouragement to sit with uncertainty and chaos for a little longer than is comfortable.

Jane Ruffino

Jane is a research-driven UX content design consultant who has worked across a range of industries, including fintech, healthcare, mobility, HR tech, enterprise SaaS, travel tech, and retail, with clients across Europe, Asia, and North America. She’s been a journalist, documentary producer, and professional development educator. She is passionate about storytelling, plain language, and strong collaboration. With her one-person content studio, Character, she specializes in workshops and facilitation, but she'll also happily write the words and stories that make your software go.

Jane is also pursuing a PhD on the contemporary archaeology of the undersea fiber optic cable network, giving Character a strong foundation in infrastructure-related projects, and extremely niche information. Originally from Boston, Jane spent much of her early career in Ireland, and currently lives in the Stockholm suburbs with her partner, an epic daughter, and adorable dog, Lusse (pronounced LOOS-seh).

From Ordinary to Outstanding: Delivering Quality UX With Everyday Office Tools

Who says you need specialized software to create exceptional user experiences? Often overlooked, everyday tools like spreadsheets or word processing docs can be your gateway to better collaboration, cross-functional engagement, and even innovation.

Join us to discover how simple office tools can revolutionize your design work, making complex tasks like user journey mapping, ideation, and prototyping not only possible but remarkably effective. Cut down on learning curves, and give partners like product, tech, and legal a seat at the table. Unlock a world of creativity with the software you already have.

In this session, we will:
• Challenge preconceived notions of “design tools” and embrace the extraordinary potential of everyday software
• Illustrate how a humble spreadsheet can be a powerful ally in building out user journeys, communication strategies, and aligning cross-functional teams
• Demonstrate UX concept creation and “conversation prototyping” using decks and documents
• Provide practical templates for you to adapt for your practice
• Explore strategies to use these tools to expand your influence, impact, and even advance your career

Shannon Leahy
Shannon has worked at the intersection of words, strategy, design, and people for almost 15 years. Currently, she is a senior content design manager at Adobe.

Shannon calls Richmond, Virginia home, and organizes meetups for the local content and UX communities. When she’s not exclaiming about error messages, you can find her snuggling up for movie night with her family and two dogs. Shannon’s favorite neutral is leopard print. Her superpower is asking questions…lots of questions.

ChatGPT: UX Research Friend, Foe, or Both?

ChatGPT and other large language models (LLMs) seem like magical question answerers. So magical that they make some people wonder: why should I ask real people about my product, when I can ask ChatGPT what they think instead? Why do I need a researcher if an LLM seems to do research for me? And, if ChatGPT can do research, do we still need human UX researchers? LLMs’ vortex of questions are coming to our profession, and making some of us (me included) a tad anxious.

In this talk, I’ll show how UX researchers can see ChatGPT not as a research participant—or competitor—but as a collaborator. In particular, I’ll share:
- How LLMs actually work, and how they're more like "persona builders" than human researchers
- The real strengths of LLMs that can help you plan more creative interviews and usability tests
- The human strengths you can bring to research analysis/synthesis that LLMs can’t replicate (and probably never will)
- Two ways LLMs can inadvertently lead humans astray - and how to avoid them when you use something like ChatGPT in research

You’ll come away with concrete tactics for appropriately incorporating LLMs into your UX research process, as well as ways to explain their limitations to over-enthusiasts. And hopefully some of you, like me, will learn to worry about LLMs a little less.

Colin MacArthur
Colin MacArthur is the former Director of Digital Practice, and Head of Design Research, at the Canadian Digital Service. Now he’s an Adjunct Professor of Design and Digital Government at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. He also advises several organizations on design and research strategy. Colin was once described as a “die-hard artificial intelligence hater,” but has been teaching students to use AI to do UX reseach for several years now.

Design System Fundamentals: Building Blocks for Effective Design

Design systems are critical for creating cohesive and effective user interfaces. In this session, we’ll unpack the essential components of design systems and discuss how each contributes to a stronger and more unified digital product. Participants will receive a clear, detailed breakdown of design tokens, components, patterns, documentation, and governance processes that form the backbone of any well-structured design system.

Through practical examples and discussions, attendees will learn how to assemble and maintain these components to build a design system that is both resilient and responsive to the needs of users and developers alike. Whether you’re looking to start a design system from scratch or seeking ways to refine an existing one, this session will equip you with the knowledge and best practices to do so.

Michael Carrick
Michael Carrick CEO & Co-founder of XDS | Experience Design Systems Inc.

Michael has led groups of talented user-centric UX designers, researchers and visual designers who specialize in helping their partners create beautifully connected experiences. Michael understands how to create impactful, reusable and technology-driven tools that help designers and developers to deliver experiences at the intersection of people, business and technology needs.

Michael brings two decades of expertise designing and developing digital experiences for industry leaders in Financial, Government, Retail, Insurance and Artificial Intelligence sectors.

Frame, facilitate, finish: an introverts secrets to better design collaboration

We want to collaborate to create better designs, but how do we work with all the different personalities we might encounter on our teams, with clients, and with stakeholders? Especially, for the introverts among us, how can we facilitate better conversations and collaborations with the people we work with?

In this presentation, we will look at a straightforward framework that builds trust on teams, creates safe space for good work, and creates strong, collaborative teams that learn how to work together. Together with this framework, we’ll look at specific tactics you can keep handy to get conversations going, capture competing voices, and manage distractions and side conversations.

At the end of this presentation, you will be better able to facilitate everything from formal design workshops to informal white boarding sessions, always helping your team move towards better designed experiences.

Austin Govella
Austin creates award-winning employee experiences that make work wonderful. Austin Govella has built products and services for some of the world’s largest organizations, including global industry leaders like ExxonMobil, Comcast, Verizon Wireless, Ashley Furniture, and The World Bank. His experience includes omnichannel marketing and commerce, employee experience, and product development.

As an experienced facilitator with over 15 years of experience, Austin leverages a collaborative design approach with clients and specializes in facilitating design thinking, product management, design sprints, and Agile methodologies.

How New W3C Guidelines Could Impact UX Designers

Twenty years ago, the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) armed digital product teams with tools to improve how the web works for people with disabilities. In turn, these guidelines have influenced accessibility legislation in dozens of countries and measurably improved the web experience for the up to one billion people worldwide who identify as having some sort of physical or cognitive disability.

In late 2023, the first-ever Web Sustainability Guidelines (WSGs), produced by a W3C community group, aim to do the same for sustainability.

In this session, Tim Frick, co-chair of the W3C group and an editor of the WSG specification, will share how these 93 evidence-based guidelines can improve the social and environmental impacts of digital products and services we design and build.

The presentation will cover how UX designers can incorporate the WSGs into existing processes to:

Influence customer behavior to promote circularity and sustainability
Improve performance, efficiency, and accessibility
Reduce digital emissions, especially Scope 3
Prolong product lifespan and reduce e-waste
Align these efforts with existing sustainability reporting standards like GRI
We’ll also cover why these guidelines should exist under the umbrella of a web standards body like W3C and how that might influence future legislation, like the EU’s CSRD and California’s Climate Disclosure Regulations.

Our industry can’t effectively address big, wicked problems like climate change or social inequality without fundamentally changing how we design, develop, and manage digital products and services. This session will share some actionable takeaways on how UX designers can achieve this.

Tim Frick
Tim started Mightybytes in early 1998 to help nonprofits, social enterprises, and purpose-driven companies solve problems, amplify their impact, and drive measurable business and marketing results.

Tim is a Certified Sustainability Designer through Gaia Education, a United Nations global education partner, where he co-facilitated their course on Economic Design. The course is part of the Design for Sustainability program, which helps students learn regenerative design and inclusive economic practices.

Tim has written four books, which have been translated into multiple languages and are used at educational institutions around the world:

• Designing for Sustainability: A Guide to Building Greener Digital Products and Services from O’Reilly Media
• Two editions of Return on Engagement: Content Strategy and Web Design Techniques for Digital Marketing from Elsevier/Focal Press
• Managing Interactive Media Projects, an academic project management guide from Cengage Learning

In addition to authoring books, Tim has written for dozens of well-known publications, blogs, and media outlets. He recently contributed to the following projects:

• The first-ever sustainability chapter of the HTTP Archive’s annual Web Almanac, a comprehensive report on the state of the web
• A chapter in the Ecomm Manager’s Sustainable Ecommerce Handbook

Tim is also a regular contributor to B the Change, the storytelling platform for the global B Corp community.

Passionate about the growing global B Corp movement, Tim has co-founded and/or led several B Corp-related networks:

• B Local Illinois
• The B Corp Marketers Network
• The B Proud Network

In 2013, Tim started a Sustainable Web Design community group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). In 2023, this group introduced the Web Sustainability Guidelines to help organizations incorporate sustainability principles into the creation and management of digital products and services.

Finally, Tim is currently a board member at the Alliance for the Great Lakes and former Board President for Climate Ride.

From Petals to Pixels: Integrating Ikebana Principles into UX Design

The art of Ikebana, Japan’s centuries-old tradition of flower arrangement, is not merely about placing flowers in a vase. It is a meticulous craft that emphasizes harmony, balance, and the evocative use of space. This presentation draws a parallel between the core principles of Ikebana and UX Design, illuminating the shared essence between these seemingly disparate realms.

Spanning architecture to UX design and culminating in the mastery of Ikebana, this unique lens offers profound intersections of design thinking. Through real-world examples and case studies, attendees will discover how the silent eloquence of Ikebana arrangements can inspire and inform digital interface designs, enhancing their elegance, intuitiveness, and user-centricity.

Explore the world where petals meet pixels, unraveling the symbiotic relationship between traditional art forms and cutting-edge digital design. Learn how the timeless wisdom of Ikebana can serve as a guiding compass in creating resonant and memorable user experiences in today’s digital age.

Guadalupe Aguilera
Guadalupe commenced her professional journey in the realm of architecture, where she developed a deep appreciation for space, form, and user interaction within physical environments. This foundational understanding of design principles and user-centric focus seamlessly transitioned her into the world of UX design. Here, she excelled in interpreting user needs into intuitive and visually compelling digital interfaces. Beyond the digital sphere, Guadalupe found a spiritual and artistic kinship in Ikebana, the ancient Japanese art of flower arrangement.

The principles of Ikebana—harmony, balance, and the evocative use of space—echo the values Guadalupe upheld in both architecture and UX design. As she advances in her Ikebana studies, the tranquil and purposeful nature of the art form begins to interlace with her digital designs. Guadalupe’s unique trajectory, spanning architecture to digital interfaces and traditional flower arranging, showcases a harmonious blend of spatial understanding, user-focused design, and organic aesthetics, making her a true multidisciplinary maestro.

Better Design Feedback Through Better Questions

Feedback and critique are indispensable tools for product designers. When used effectively, they leverage the collective power of differing viewpoints to directly improve design quality. Use them poorly, however, and you’ll not only lose out on design quality—you’ll lose out on creating the emotionally safe environment necessary for creative innovation.

Asking intentional, thoughtful questions can help you keep your empathetic curiosity whenever you’re giving or receiving feedback. Pair the questions with attentive listening, and you’ve got the recipe for a valuable feedback session.

We’ll talk about using these questions to give and receive feedback in kindness, and we’ll discuss how to process unthoughtful or unhelpful critique with self-compassion.

Cliff Seal
Cliff is a UX Architect at Salesforce, helping build world-class customer experience tools. For him, experience design is a strategy for creating positive change in the world for others—not in a vague sense, but a literal one.

Transparency, feedback, and accountability are critical components of any equitable system. Great design work treats these components as requirements for success and leverages them to better ensure human-centered outcomes.

Cliff put this perspective to work through experience design, thoughtful presentations, and lots of experimentation.

For more, keep up with Cliff at cliffseal.com or on Twitter as @cliffseal.

Tickets
$7
Early Bird Ticket

Only 20 tickets at this price!

$13.50
General Admission

Only $13.50! An outstanding bargain!

Free
Pay What You Can

Any contribution is appreciated.

Free
Need 1, Take 1

For anyone with a need. Please join!

Event Details
Sponsors
February 2024
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