Skip to main content

2021 UX Speaker Series

In winter quarter, the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering hosts a 10-week seminar series on User Experience (UX), where we welcome industry experts to speak about current issues and research in the field.

All talks are held Fridays between 11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. PST over zoom.

Unsure how to find a job after graduation? Are you curious how to translate your previous experiences before grad school to a UX position? How do you make your resume stand out? This talk will take insights from my recent book about how to make a career transition into UX research and apply them to the needs of a recent UX/HCD graduate.

Lauryl Zenobi is a Senior Researcher at Ad Hoc, where she uses research to improve, inform, and build government digital services. She's the author of "I Want a UX Job!" a how-to-guide to for a career change into UX research. Learn more at and

Turning the Cube
Get your Rubik’s cube ready for this one! Throughout your career, you’ll solve a tricky problem and then you’ll need a bigger challenge. Anticipating the right moment for changing things up is powerful. Let’s talk about how to make your cube-turning moves in your natural up-leveling career journey, practice the right amount, and always be designing what’s next.

Angela Nelson manages strategy and operations in Xbox Research & Design at Microsoft. She has worn many hats as tester, developer, designer, and program manager, and she has been told she has a “dream job” many times. Angela is an alum of our HCDE Master’s program.

How Design Makes The World
Do you wish more people understood good design and valued good designers? Or that your organization gave more power and influence to UX roles? Author Scott Berkun’s new book, How Design Makes The World shows the way, with inspiring new stories about the importance of design, and tactics for helping everyone appreciate good design and why it matters in their work and daily lives. He’ll share lessons from the book and offer advice on how to make design and user research more influential in your organization.

Scott Berkun is a bestselling author and popular speaker on creativity, leading projects, culture, business and many other subjects. He’s a former interaction designer and project manager who worked for many years at Microsoft and He’s the author of eight books, including The Myths of Innovation, Confessions of a Public Speaker, and The Year Without Pants. His work has appeared, in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Guardian, Wired magazine, USA Today, Fast Company, National Public Radio, CNN, NPR, MSNBC and other media. His popular blog is at and he tweets at @berkun.

UXR and Inclusive Communities
Community service and civic engagement are instrumental to fostering inclusion for those who live, work, and play in a community. In this talk, I'll share my experience with community work, how concepts and activities germane to UX Research apply to fostering inclusive communities, and thoughts on leveraging our craft to improve the lives of those in our communities Jeremy Barksdale is a Bellevue City Councilmember and a User Experience Researcher at Unity, a company in downtown Bellevue that develops a platform for building games and extended reality environments, Jeremy has worked in the tech industry for much of his career. He uses his skills to promote equity, community engagement, and improvements in the city's services.

Jeremy Barksdale served on the City's Planning Commission prior to City Council. He now serves on the Board of Directors for Leadership Eastside and Fuse Washington.
He earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science (with a concentration in HCI) and a master’s in Public Administration from Virginia Tech. Jeremy earned a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Production with a minor in Business Administration, and a master of science degree in Computer Science with a concentration in software engineering from North Carolina A&T State University.
Jeremy’s personal interests include volunteering in the community, playing musical instruments, singing, reading, hiking and biking. He lives in south Bellevue.

A Case Study on the GitHub Research System
Design Systems have become a popular method for ensuring that design work is consistent and can be easily reapplied. A new trend toward “Research Systems” seeks to do the same by making engagements with customers easier to understand and share across organizations. In this talk, GitHub’s Customer Research team discusses their work to create GitHub’s research system; the culture and the processes to support it, and the challenges that arose while developing it.

Zara Logue is a Senior Manager of Customer Research at GitHub. She has an MFA in Design from California College of the Arts and has taught courses in design and research at Pacific Northwest College of Art and the University of Oregon. She regularly shares her professional experience through lectures, most recently at Parsons School of Design, the University of Southern California, and X4 Experience Management Summit.

Jared S Bauer, PhD is a Senior Customer Researcher at GitHub and adjunct lecturer at University of Washingtons’s HCDE program. He received his doctorate from University of Washington’s Information School where his dissertation focused on context aware system design. His work at GitHub focuses on software development team collaboration and productivity.

Live your Product

Jasmine Lawrence will shares insights from her unique journey through the world of technology and entrepreneurship. She’ll teach us the importance of living the products we create and how empathy can transform the way we change the world.

Jasmine Lawrence is a Product Manager at X, the moonshot factory. She has held a number of positions creating consumer-focused products for companies like Facebook, Softbank Robotics America, and Microsoft. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Georgia Tech and her Masters in Human-Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington. Jasmine is also the Founder of EDEN BodyWorks. Devastated by the harsh chemical products, 11-year-old Jasmine sought to develop affordable products that were all-natural and really worked. After more than 16 years in business, her products are now available at retailers nationwide including Target, CVS, Walmart, HEB, and Sally Beauty just to name a few.

How youth-centered design was used to develop CyberRwanda

Caroline Wong is a designer who is passionate about healthcare and youth-centered education. She has been working at the intersection of user experience design, design research, and data since 2010. At YLabs, she has led design for multi-country projects including CyberRwanda, FAYA, and Beyond Bias, and her favorite part of the process is co-designing products and services with youth. She has a M.S. in IT Product Design from University of Southern Denmark, and B.S. in Statistics from University of British Columbia. She is also a UX Design instructor at UC Berkeley Extension. In her free time, Caroline is secretly obsessed about harvesting wild mushrooms and experimenting with movements through fusion partner dance and other improvisational movement arts.

The Inclusive Algorithm
Words have extraordinary power to harm as well as to heal. As the world continues to awaken to that power, it becomes ever more critical to learn how to wield that power responsibly, and to teach our machines to model the best of what we can offer one another. With this talk, we'll explore how a community approach to design can illuminate what we most want to model.

Deborah Harrison is one of the original architects of the personality for Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana, and was responsible for crafting the core principles that defined Cortana's approach to conversation. She now leads a team of writers at Microsoft dedicated to developing intelligence-driven products by authoring creatively, training the algorithms to pursue inclusive communication, and creating guidance to help the industry design and build responsibly and ethically.

How do We make it Mean?
Human Centred Design, User Centred Design, and User Experience Design more generally often fail to sufficiently account for themselves as constituting a discourse, one that enforces a certain way of bringing the world into being. As designers operating in these disciplines we need to start examining our methods, practices and outputs through the lens of discourse. That means paying attention to the types of knowledge embodied in our processes, and the kinds of actions they encourage or discourage.

Dr. John Fass is a designer, researcher and teacher, and is the Course Leader MA User Experience Design at London College of Communication. John has a background in photography, shooting architecture globally for editorial and advertising. He worked as an interaction and interface designer for twenty years for clients including The Wikipedia Foundation, Universal Music, Exxon, Global eHealth Foundation and a range of Silicon Valley start-ups including Scanadu, TED and Index. John’s work as an interaction designer covers diverse fields such as healthcare, engineering and music, but consistently emphasises narrative legibility and clarity of purpose. A guiding principle is the ethical and moral responsibilities of designers of digital technologies and careful consideration of how they intersect with human behaviour. John's research interests include the nature of digital experiences and how they may be externalised in physical forms, urban rights and open technologies, interface ethics, and data activism. He has presented research at conferences internationally including: CHI, NordiCHI, DIS, INCITI Recife, and sits on the Program Committee for Research Through Design.
As a teacher, John also lectures at the Royal College of Art on the Information Experience Design MA. He holds a PhD in Communication Design from the RCA, a BA (Hons) in Photography Film, Video and Animation from West Surrey College of Art and Design and an MRes with Distinction in Information Environments from LCC.

Public As Programmer: Participatory Design & ML Ethics

Christine Meinders is a social AI research designer. Her research focuses on emerging technologies as well as theoretical and speculative approaches to the design of AI. She uses critical prototyping to develop collaborative, inclusive, and community-centered AI tools and examines social bias as a result of human intervention in the design of AI. Meinders is the founder of Feminist.AI and the socio-tech tool poieto (patent pending). She teaches AI, Culture, & Creativity at the California Institute of the Arts and the California College of the Arts. Meinders’ research in both clinical and social psychology supports her critical consulting practice in AI ethics and education.
Meinders has spoken about her work internationally for academic and industry audiences. She has given talks or led workshops at venues including The Critical Media Lab at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW in Basel, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Stanford University, ArtCenter College of Design, California Institute of the Arts, SXSW, Mozilla XRStudio, PARC, and USNC for UN Women. She also maintains a related curatorial practice and has organized talks and exhibitions at Supplyframe DesignLab, Noisebridge, Queerious Labs, and the Bendix Building in downtown Los Angeles. Meinders holds an MFA in Media Design Practices from the ArtCenter College of Design and an MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University.