UX Speaker Series, Winter 2017

Every Friday in winter quarter the department of Human Centered Design & Engineering brings industry experts to speak about current issues in user experience (UX) research and design. For the most recent UX Speaker Series see here.

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The Beautiful Science of Data Visualization

We are on the verge of an exciting new revolution, driven by cutting edge science and research. After all, seeing and understanding data is not just about creating queries, dashboards, and workbooks. We are the people who are amplifying human potential. In this session, we'll show examples of how visual and cognitive science explain what makes data visualization so deeply satisfying. Why does a collection of bars, lines, colors, and boxes become surprisingly powerful and meaningful? How does fluid interaction with data views multiply our intelligence? Three decades of research into the beautiful science of data visualization explains why history has converged at this moment, why data enthusiasts will change the world, and how you can use Tableau to do it.

About Jeff Pettiross
Jeff has been dreaming about information design and user experience since he was a kid, spending hours sketching out interface elements for games he would write on his Radio Shack TRS-80. Since then, he has spent the last 25 years designing software and information visualizations in diverse fields including, data analysis and visualization, healthcare, project management, desktop software, and engineering. As leader of the UX design team, he races to keep up with the great ideas about flow generated by the rest of Tableau.

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Ask the Right Questions: Disrupting Industries Through UX-Driven Discovery

In this presentation, Puja discusses how innovative companies are discovering hidden user problems and creating value-added solutions and services by seeking to better understand their customers. She will present a case study of applied UX during the research and design phases as a Product Manager at Avvo – the legal start-up who launched their online marketplace, Avvo Advisor, last year – as well as the trends that are inspiring her work.

About Puja Parakh
Puja Parakh is a Senior UX Designer at Avvo, an online legal marketplace startup, where she collaborates on e-commerce and user retention projects. With a background in product management and user experience, Puja works to meet market and consumer needs by determining appropriate strategies using analytics and UX best practices. Prior to joining Avvo in 2013, Puja worked at ZAAZ (now Possible), University of Washington’s Office of Research, and Microsoft. She received her Master of Science in HCDE at UW in 2011.

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Mixed Reality with the HoloLens

In this talk, James Tichenor will discuss the relationship between the physical and digital as seen in a series of projects he has made of interactive architecture. He will then apply these learnings to his work in Mixed Reality with the HoloLens where he will discuss the opportunity space for this new medium.

About James Tichenor
James Tichenor dreams of the future where our physical world is as transmutable as our digital world. He is currently an interaction designer at Microsoft working on HoloLens and Windows Holographic. His work has crossed between the physical space and digital media for years, previously founding the LAB at the Rockwell Group, an interaction design studio within an architecture office. The LAB is know for interactive spaces it made for groups such as Google and The Cosmoplitian Hotel in Las Vegas as well as its open scource IOT project James is an alumni of Ivrea and MIT.

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The UX of Digitally-Enabled Hardware Design: A Tragi-Comic Case Study and Comparison

Things get interesting when a competitor knocks off a design we spent years on.

About Jake Fleisher
Jake Fleisher is a Research Principal at Blink UX Seattle. He is also a designer and teacher.

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Heuristics for Success in Building Products or Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me A Long Time Ago

As product designers, we live in a foggy world of ambiguity and competing priorities, constantly making tradeoffs between quality, business needs, and development realities. In this environment, it's critical to have tools to pierce the ambiguity and enable clear decision making. Heuristics can come to the rescue. Heuristics can be thought of as cognitive models that act as shortcuts to decision making. By embracing and adopting heuristics, you will find it much easier to navigate the complexities and competing priorities of building products. In this talk, we’ll explore several such heuristics and how to apply them.

About Alan Marks
Alan Marks graduated from HCDE (then Technical Communication) way too long ago, and has been working in software development since then. Having worked at Microsoft for a decade, and startups for about as long, he's now focusing on consulting in product management. If he could work on anything right now, it’d be tech that enables Education, including LMS’s, OER, and other fun acronyms.

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Life After HCDE: User-Centered Design, Consulting, and Clients

You’ve graduated from HCDE and have now been assigned to your first design project for a client. What happens next? In this talk, Rohit will share his story of joining a Seattle design consultancy after finishing his master’s in HCDE, and completing a large project to transform a company’s way of doing business. He will talk about how HCDE is applied to client projects, working in agile software development, and what he wishes he paid more attention to while in school.

About Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma is a UX designer at Deloitte Digital, a design consultancy firm, where he works with clients on designing digital solutions to tricky business problems. Prior to joining Deloitte Digital in 2015, Rohit worked as a Program Manager at Microsoft for nine years, first managing a software quality initiative at Microsoft Office, and then managing advertising campaigns across Windows, Xbox, and Microsoft Online. He received his Master of Science in HCDE at UW in 2014.

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This talk focuses on the integration of lightweight paper prototyping in the design and systems engineering of rover operations procedures and software technologies. The Mars 2020 mission is the next Mars rover in development at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and its the first flagship mission that has started to look at heritage rover operations with an eye towards disruption of old paradigms and procedures. Scheduled to launch in the year 2020, this new rover will be the first rover to not only characterize potential microbial elements in the ancient environment, but also collect samples on Mars for possible return to Earth. The scientists and engineers face new challenges in a familiar landscape, and have looked to design as a methodology to enhance the software tools that will drive the rover and help explore the unknown. In this talk, Erin Murphy will discuss her experience leading the effort of building user experiences for rover operations and building a culture that embraces user centered design procedures for more intuitive software tools.

About Erin M. Murphy
Erin Murphy is the Mars 2020 mission’s User Interface Design lead and Design Simulation producer who designs light weight paper prototyping tests of planning tools and also maintains the collaboration of design teams across the mission’s subsystems. Since graduating from the University of Washington School of Design, Interaction Design, she has made a career at JPL embedding design practices and thinking to help produce better tools for people.

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Coming from his experience as a musician, this talk will take a look at Josh LaMar's journey as an Artist that did Science to a Scientist who does Art. He will look at how to create new methodologies while working within constraints while showing examples how great artists also worked within constraints, and some case studies of how creative the process of doing Science really is. Artists and Scientists are all welcome.

About Josh LaMar

Josh is a Senior Research Lead for Outlook. He’s been on the Outlook team for about two years (and at Microsoft for almost 9 years) working on several different areas of research, mostly in the Communication and collaboration realms. Prior to Outlook, Josh learned about internal loan processes at WaMu up until the implosion of the financial industry in 2008. Active in the research community, Josh is a guest speaker at General, the UW HCDE program, and the Puget Sound SIGCHI. Josh has also taught a Web Usability course at South Seattle Community College. In his free time, Josh lifts weights with a Pro Bodybuilder, plays around with analog synthesizers, cooks his way through Julia Child, and watches his way through the critic’s Top 100 films.

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Toward Emotionally Intelligent Design

We know what makes most people click, but we don’t know as much about how they feel. Feeling is as important as form and function, and yet emotion isn’t always part of the design process. How do we do we move beyond solving problems to recognizing the rich emotional texture of our relationship with technology? This talk draws on the hallmarks of emotional intelligence—perceiving, understanding, communicating, and managing—to create a meaningful approach for emotional design that moves beyond delight.

About Pamela Pavliscak
Pamela Pavliscak studies our emotional, sometimes irrational, relationship with technology. Whether hosting awkward dinner parties for friends and their algorithms or collecting sketches of favorite apps or analyzing audio diaries for sentiment, Pamela's work is about revealing the unspoken truths of our digital lives. Pamela is founder and CEO of Change Sciences, a design research consultancy, and faculty at The Pratt Institute. Her forthcoming book, Designing for Happiness (O'Reilly, 2017), considers how to create rich emotional experiences that contribute to our well-being.

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It isn’t Design without Sustainability

The future requires designers to understand ecological, social, cultural, and financial sustainability in order to design successfully. It’s no longer an option or a “nice-to-have.” Even when our clients and peers don’t include sustainability criteria into project requirements, designers should work to build in these performance criteria and lessen impact regardless. We have a duty not only to our peers but, also, to our communities, our planet, and to our own values. It doesn’t take a separate degree. Just a couple books and projects and, you too, can become a sustainable designer. The principles, frameworks, tools, and strategies are well known (though we always need improved tools). They just have to be put into practice by those who care.

About Nathan Shedroff
Nathan Shedroff was the founder and chair of the ground-breaking Design MBA programs at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco, CA. This program prepares the next-generation of innovation leaders for a world that is profitable, sustainable, ethical, and truly meaningful by uniting the perspectives of systems thinking, design thinking, sustainability, and generative leadership into a holistic strategic framework.
He is a pioneer in Experience Design, Interaction Design and Information Design, is a serial entrepreneur, and researches, speaks and teaches internationally about meaning, strategic innovation, business value, and science fiction interfaces. His many books include: Experience Design 1.1, Making Meaning, Design is the Problem, Design Strategy in Action, Make It So, and the new Blindspot.
He holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School and a BS in Industrial Design from Art Center College of Design. He worked with Richard Saul Wurman at TheUnderstandingBusiness and, later, co-founded vivid studios, a decade-old pioneering company in interactive media and one of the first Web services firms on the planet. vivid’s hallmark was helping to establish and validate the field of information architecture, by training an entire generation of designers in the newly emerging Web industry.

Nathan is on the board of directors for Teague and WE’VE.