2018 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.

Videos of each presentation is posted to this web page within one business day of the talk. Students may register for credit with course HCDE 521. Members of the University of Washington community are welcome to attend.

Find links to past UX Speaker Series talks in the sidebar menu.

Winter 2018 UX Speaker Series

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This talk covers a brief history of speech technology and associated design, along with definitions and brief introduction to what conversational design is and what skills are brought to bear.

About the speaker
Elyse began her career in conversation design immediately after graduating high school as a usability intern for VoiceBox Technologies where she worked throughout college. She attended University of Washington, graduating with honors in Russian Language & Literature and a minor in Linguistics, custom-crafted with VUI Design in mind. She has worked for Nuance Communications since 2013, was recently promoted to VUI Design Manager, and is in charge of new-hire training and continuing education curriculum. Over the years, she has designed conversations for speech enabled cars and mobile phones and helped architect the localization plan for over 25 languages; and has also worked with several Fortune 500 companies to design automated customer service systems

Affective computing is emerging as an important field in the design of emotional, intelligent, conversational agents that can be used in the healthcare arena, but also in everyday life. In addition, ubiquitous recording, both in the field and in the doctor's office/patient's home, has influenced how we think about wellbeing in the future. In Dr. Czerwinski's research, she uses sensing technologies to develop contextualized and precise delivery of interventions, both in terms of the content and in the timing the intervention delivery, using machine learning algorithms. In this talk, she will discuss how her team uses affective computing technologies to deliver just-in-time health interventions for improved health and for personal, behavioral reflection. For example, she will describe the Entendre project, which has implications for the design of visual feedback to encourage empathic patient-centered communication. she will also talk about ParentGuardian, a wearable sensing system that delivers just-in-time interventions to parents with ADHD children. In addition, She will present her findings from two applications that deliver interventions and skills from psychology for coping with conditions ranging from general stress and depression to serious mental illness, like the intent to commit suicide, using conversational agents that users trust. Finally, she will briefly touch on some of her designs for helping users to reflect on their daily behaviors in order to improve general well-being.

About the speaker
Dr. Mary Czerwinski is a Principal Researcher and Research Manager of the Visualization and Interaction (VIBE) Research Group. Mary's latest research focuses primarily on emotion tracking and intervention design and delivery, information worker task management and health and wellness for individuals and groups. Her research background is in visual attention and multitasking. She holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington. Mary was awarded the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award, was inducted into the CHI Academy, and became an ACM Distinguished Scientist in 2010. She also received the Distinguished Alumni award from Indiana University's Brain and Psychological Sciences department in 2014. Mary became a Fellow of the ACM in 2016. More information about Dr. Czerwinski can be found on her website.

Design is easy. We all know how to conduct research, create personas, and build wireframes. But driving change in large organizations brings its own unique challenges. From offshore development teams to legal departments we will talk about some of the common struggles you will face and steps you can take to avoid the headache and deliver the best experiences.

About the speaker
Mike DeSilva is an Interaction Design Lead at Fjord, a global design consultancy firm, where he helps fortune 500 companies bring digital products to life in an agile environment. Mike is SAFe PM/PO certified with 10+ years of hands-on experience working across all industries.

AI is coming to get us. Everyone knows that. The singularity is right around the corner, alongside with the moment we will all lose our jobs and live in unethical, unimaginable apocalypse. The good news is that until then designers and AI can have fun together. I’ll talk about the ways that designers could harness the power of AI through the different phases of the design process and how together we can create wonderful new products and services.

About the speaker
I’m a design strategist, digital product designer, and a practical dreamer that focuses on product innovation across devices, input methods and platforms. I spent the last nine years in Microsoft working in an innovation lab, on a strategy team, and now on future experiences in Office. In addition, I lecture at the HCDE department in the University of Washington, Seattle. Before Microsoft I co-founded a digital product design agency in Tel-Aviv, was the corporate art director of a startup, worked for Nokia in Helsinki, freelanced in London, and earned my Interaction Design Master degree from IDII in Italy. I’m interested in the interplay between society and technology, and the ways in which people appropriate technology in unexpected ways. I explore how existing social interactions and behaviors can be supported or transformed by technology and influence the creation of new products and services.

In the rush to Artificial General Intelligence and automating all the things, how will we stay in touch with our humanity when making the product design decisions of the future? In this talk, we'll discuss what it means in practice to take a human-centered approach to machine learning.

About the speaker
Josh Lovejoy is a Staff User Experience Designer in the Experimental Design Group at Google, where he works at the intersection of product design, ethics, and artificial intelligence. He believes that human-centered design thinking can change the world for the better; that by seeking to address the unmet needs of people—instead of just technological opportunity—we can build tools that nourish, restore, and augment human capability. Josh leads UX for the People + AI Research initiative, and most recently before that, led AI UX for the Google Clips camera, and co-founded a cross-company program dedicated to machine learning fairness. Prior to Google, he worked at Amazon and co-founded a startup.

You've probably read some things about self-driving cars. They might make life perfect. They might kill us all. They might, despite hype and promises, not really improve anyone's ability to get from here to there faster without destroying the planet. I'm here to share what I've learned in 3 years of working on Mighty AI – a platform that applies human knowledge and insight to train artificial intelligence, with a special focus in the past year on autonomous vehicles. There are still more questions than answers, but I am 1) an optimist 2) a car lover and 3) an HCDE graduate who wants to share what the future might possibly hold.

About the speaker
Matt Shobe is the Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Mighty AI. Mighty AI provides the highly accurate, domain-specific, structured human insights that companies need to apply their artificial intelligence and machine learning models, especially autonomous driving solutions. Mighty AI operates Spare5, the micro-task platform that enables people to spend their spare time productively.

Matt's technology startup, small-company experience goes back nearly 20 years, mostly in Chicago but more recently in Seattle. Matt worked with the same three other co-founders on three Chicago startups (FeedBurner – sold to Google 2007, Spyonit, and DKA) and learned the ground rules in user experience roles with Accenture and Microsoft, and then in graduate school at the University of Washington’s Human Centered Design & Engineering department. Matt is an avid distance runner, private pilot, and skier, although no such triathlon exists (yet).

Machine Learning has exploded onto the product development scene over the past 5 years. Challenges have arisen for companies building products based on ML components as agreed upon best practices do not yet exist. Similar to how standard development models have changed over time from a waterfall model to an agile one, the model for development of ML based products is quickly changing. We will explore some of the customer-focused techniques and design patterns that can be used by teams building ML products to increase the likelihood of product success.

About the speaker
Charles Dorner is a Washington native who started from a Math & Computer Science background and has ended up finding himself in love with the creation of beautiful customer experiences. He has spent the past 5 years as a Design Technologist and Inventor at Amazon with 78 patents pending and 25 issued, including the predecessor concept to the Echo Look. He is an evangelist at heart, working to influence teams to make strategic experience-based decisions. He loves finding technical solutions to enable these new customer experiences. His current focus is developing tools to empower designs throughout the product process and integrating customer experience based thought processes into all aspects of the business.

Just about every company claims to be customer focused—but what does that really mean? It turns out that there are specific and definable aspects of customer focus that can be measured at good, better, and best levels. This talk describes the Customer Experience Capability Framework, a systematic approach to demystifying customer focus, getting past buzzwords, and how to define an actionable plan for improvement.

About the speakers

Jeanine Spence
Jeanine works with companies of all sizes to imagine innovative solutions that deliver customer value. Having worked on both the engineering and design sides, she draws together the vision and the plan to deliver unique experiences. She believes in the power of listening closely to people to understand their challenges and ambitions and accepts that not everything needs a technology solution. But when technology is needed, then that is when it gets really interesting. She shares this passion in her industry talks and workshops ranging across inclusive design, design thinking, scenario planning, ideation and iteration, and strategic prototyping.

Jeanine is the lead author of the Customer Experience Capability Model, a strategic framework teams use to examine their current skills against exemplary examples and define a transformation roadmap. Jeanine received her bachelors in Philosophy from Reed College and her Masters of Industrial Design from Rhode Island School of Design. Keeping up with the youth, she is involved with Destination Imagination and teaching design thinking at local schools.

Kent Sullivan
Kent believes strongly that integrating insights extracted from diverse data sources (design research, market research, telemetry, social networking, etc.) greatly increases the chances of those insights being breakthrough in nature. Kent has spent years fostering deep collaboration among team members and recognizes how hard it is to achieve this in a high-pressure corporate environment.

During his long tenure at Microsoft, it was Kent’s pleasure to work on a wide variety of products, especially Windows 95, where he led the exploratory user research that produced the Start Menu and Task Bar, as well as the iterative research that helped nail down the details. Kent spent ten years teaching and mentoring UX professionals inside of Microsoft. He then built and ran the user research team for Power BI. Since leaving Microsoft, Kent has been helping teams and organizations become more customer-focused.

Technology companies and society as a whole are currently grappling with what it means to “do” AI in an ethical way. Mission-driven companies have an advantage in answering this question: our organizational mandates can provide us with concrete standards and actionable guidance on what kinds of AI-driven functionality to develop, how it should (and should not) be designed, and most importantly why it matters.

In this talk, Dr. Morgan will describe how researchers and designers at Wikimedia draw on the organization's mission and values to prioritize their AI work, inform their design process, and evaluate the impact of what they build for Wikipedia and the global Wikimedia movement.

About the speaker
Dr. Jonathan T. Morgan is a Senior Design Researcher at the Wikimedia Foundation. He works at the intersection of sociotechnical systems, peer production, and user experience. He holds a PhD in Human Centered Design & Engineering from the University of Washington. He teaches DATA 512: Human centered data science for the UW Data Science Master’s program.