Agenda and Speakers

8:00am – 8:45am – Registration
8:45am – 9:00am – Opening Remarks (Wolf Performance Hall)

9:00am – 9:55am (Wolf Performance Hall)
Designing the Designer: Landing and thriving in your UX role

Kate Wilhelm head shot

Kate WilhelmManager, Product Design, D2L Corporation (Desire2Learn)

As designers, we know the importance of design, but we don’t always apply our tools to ourselves.

Drawing on her experience as a practitioner and a leader, Kate will give us a quick tour of the discipline before jumping in to help you think about the following topics:

• Finding where you fit in

• Thinking about your brand

• Making space to grow and do good work

• Becoming a practice advocate

This session will provide practical advice for both new and seasoned practitioners.


10:00am – 10:55am (Wolf Performance Hall)
The Road Taken: UX integrated with the product development life cycle

Susan Simon Daniels head shot

Susan Simon DanielsSenior User Experience Researcher, Oracle | Netsuite

Often, UX activities such as research and design are treated as deliverables that get inserted into the product development life cycle. One example occurs when the product manager has written requirements and asks for work flows to illustrate each use case. Another example occurs when developers have agreed on the technical architecture and ask for the visual treatment of how the user interface will look. Or, when the product or feature is almost ready to be released, someone remembers to ask for a usability study to make sure people can use the thing!

This presentation will outline how UX professionals can engage product stakeholders to run UX activities in parallel with the product development life cycle. Rather than disconnected activities delivered sporadically throughout the process, UX activities become an integral contribution that walks along a shared path.


10:00am – 10:55am (Stevenson & Hunt Room)
See the Forest for the Trees: The Role of a Design Strategist

Hida Behzadi headshot

Hida Behzadi, Design Strategist and Graphic Artist, London Life

In the past few years, with the popularity of the field of user experience, there have been a variety of new job titles added to the list of roles within the UX industry. As many of these titles are rather new, responsibilities within them are not fully established, explained, or relayed through their job titles.

Design Strategists surely occupy one of these newer job titles. But what is Design Strategy? How can you become a Design Strategist? What responsibilities does a Design Strategist have? Where in a digital team’s arrangement do they fit? And what value can they bring to the team and the organization? In this session, Hida will be sharing some of her learnings as a Design Strategist within a digital team.


11:00am – 11:55am (Wolf Performance Hall)
Designing the Design: How to build a design language from scratch

Jennifer Pretty headshot

Jennifer Pretti, Team Lead, User Experience, Thalmic Labs

A Design Language System (DLS) is an overarching set of design rules that create harmony across an ecosystem of products. It can help rally a product team around a shared vision and approach, which in turn can mean clarity of direction within an organization and externally to your target users.  But how do you go about actually building a DLS?  Where do you start?  How long does it take?  And what if what you’re creating a DLS for something entirely new, that doesn’t yet exist? That was the challenge we faced at Thalmic recently. The goal of this talk is to describe the process by which we defined our own DLS, the challenges we faced, and the lessons we learned along the way.


11:00am – 11:55am (Stevenson & Hunt Room)
UX Design in Video Game Art: The importance of player leading

Sarah Cole Megaro head shot

Sarah Cole-Megaro, Layout Artist, Digital Extremes

How do you communicate with your player while they’re playing your game without being overbearing? How do you manage the delicate balance between presenting a fun challenge to your player without frustrating them? How does the player know where to go?

Player leading is an important component in designing video games of all genres: how to subtly guide your player through a 3D space using a variety of visual tools and tricks. We will look at the challenges designers face and some approaches to ensure the player has the best possible experience.


12:00pm – 1:00pm – Lunch Break

1:00pm – 1:55pm (Wolf Performance Hall)
Advancing User-Centeredness, Solving Pain Points, and Driving Innovation: Lessons learned from mapping the customer experience

Emily Mahood Bowman, Senior User Experience Designer, General Motors

While the practice of user experience strategy is gaining ground, political and operational struggles crop up when trying to incorporate these new tools and techniques. Organizational legacies don’t disappear and not everyone understands the value of such efforts. To help newcomers to the strategy table identify where to focus your efforts and what battles are worth the fight, we’ll explore the lessons learned mapping the customer experience and operationalizing a consumer-centered strategic framework for a large automotive client.


1:00pm – 1:55pm (Stevenson & Hunt Room)
Designing for the Disabled Bodies We all Have

Roxana Galusca head shot

Roxana Galusca, UX Designer, Thomson Reuters

An overview of major accessibility principles, with a focus on the ethics of researching and designing for people with disabilities. Roxana will discuss major approaches in accessible design, such as universal and ability-based design, followed by some practical advice about how to achieve accessibility in UX research and design.


2:00pm – 3:15pm (Wolf Performance Hall)
Panel Discussion with Fanshawe College Spotlight Graduate
and several of the day’s earlier presenters

Andrea Classen headshot

Andrea Classen, IT Developer – Technical Lead, TD Bank (Fanshawe College Spotlight Graduate)

Andrea Classen is a graduate of the Computer Programmer Analyst program at Fanshawe College, completing the program with a 4.2 GPA, and earning the Governor General’s Academic Medal. Acknowledged for her accomplishments in mobile development and innovation after placing first in a joint programming challenge with Fanshawe College and TD Bank, Andrea was offered a position within TD on a team tasked with creating new, engaging, and innovative mobile solutions for customers and employees. Working independently and leading development teams, Andrea enjoys the creative freedom, and endless possibilities, that creating new user experiences can provide.


3:15pm – 3:30pm – Wrap-up and Prizes (Wolf Performance Hall)
3:30pm – 6:00pm – Social and Networking (Stevenson & Hunt Room)