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Thoughts on "The User Experience of User Experience"

From Michael Carvin, President of PhillyCHI

You’re working with a new client, independently or part of a team, and both sides are just getting to know each other. At some point, someone on the client team asks about you and what you do, and what you’re doing for the project. They might acknowledge that you’re the usability/IA/IxD/UX expert, but once things get rolling, all of a sudden you’re being challenged on everything from research insights to the smallest design element.

Sound familiar?

How does this happen? It’s not that what we’re saying is wrong, per se, but there are four major issues:
1) If the client does understand what you bring to the table, they have to pay for it.
2) Your teammates may not understand what’s in it for them, except…
3) it probably means they have to do more work because of
4) some know-it-all who’s going to come in and mess with everything.

And even if you get past those issues, it’s not unusual for us to be the experts nobody wants to consult. The researchers who can’t figure out what our bosses and co-workers need. And the cost of collaborating on a superior user or customer experience leaves our co-workers wishing they’d never had a UX professional on their team.

Dave’s bringing a great talk to us next Thursday night. He’s going to help us understand the people on the other side of the room. In the office down the hall. On the other end of the conference line. The people who we work with to provide the best experiences possible, and the people who pay to make it happen. And he’s going to share how we can turn some of our most common challenges, like being seen as documentation-heavy service providers, into positions of influence with our clients.

I can’t wait for this talk. To be honest, I still sometimes lose sight of how I can better care for and feed my co-workers and my clients. For me to be a better professional, I need this.

The User Experience of User Experience

Thursday, February 24th 2011
6:00PM – 8:00PM (Social time and announcements from 6:00-6:45PM)
Hosted at The William Way Community Center
1315 Spruce Street Philadelphia, PA 19107
Get Directions

Register on Eventbrite

The User Experience of User Experience with Dave Cooksey

PhillyCHI is pleased to welcome David Cooksey as he presents ‘The User Experience of User Experience’ at the William Way Community Center.

The User Experience of User Experience
Thursday, February 24th 2011
6:00PM – 8:00PM (Social time and announcements from 6:00-6:45PM)
Hosted at The William Way Community Center
1315 Spruce Street Philadelphia, PA 19107
Get Directions

Register on Eventbrite

The User Experience of User Experience

Have you ever labored on a design only to see it not implemented or changed so drastically that it’s not really the design you crafted anymore? Have you ever felt confined to discrete portions of the design projects, completely left out of decision making?

If so, you’re not alone.

As designers of experiences, we spend our time thinking about users. We research them and their environments. We forge strategies centered on their needs and desires. And we create designs with their tasks and goals in mind. And that’s how it should be.

But what about finding better ways to work with clients and colleagues? Have you ever wondered what the quality of experience is like for them in working with you to create those experiences?

In this presentation we will discuss the attitudes and approaches that enable an active role in engaging clients and colleagues. Approaches that will not only make their experience in working with us better, but ultimately ensure better products and services for the user.

We will also discuss:
– the privileged role of documentation and the virtues of leaving wireframes behind
– the double-edged sword of expertise
– the benefits of being perceived as an advisor and not simply as a service provider
– and tips and hacks for designing with clients and not just for clients

This presentation and discussion is for anyone who would like their user experience work to have more influence with their clients and colleagues. It will also be a good time for folks needing a little inspiration for their design practices. Examples and explanations from consulting services and design thinking will be given freely.

About Our Speaker
Dave Cooksey is Founder and Principal at saturdave, a user experience / information architecture consultancy based in the City of Brotherly Love specializing in site strategy, information architecture, user research, and taxonomy design.
Dave is a proud member of PhillyCHI, the Philadelphia region’s chapter of the ACM’s interest group on Human-Computer Interaction (SIG-CHI) and the Information Architecture Institute (IAI).
Contact Dave at or follow him on Twitter @saturdave.

5th Annual PhillyCHI Design Slam

We are excited to announce PhillyCHI’s 5th annual Design Slam!

Hosted by Bresslergroup at the Marketplace Design Center, Lower Level
2400 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
(one block from 30th Street Station)
Get Directions

Register on Eventbrite

Each year, attendees participate as either design teams or “research participants” in a fast-paced race to create the best design solution to a truly real-world problem. Awards will be given to the victors, but everyone gets punch and pie!

This year’s event is special. Not only is it the 5th anniversary of the Slam, but it’s also the first time we’re partnering with a sister organization, the Industrial Design Society of America. That’s right – this year we’re doing a hybrid CHI/Industrial Design challenge, facilitated by Rob Tannen, Bresslergroup’s Director of Research.  The project for the Slam this year will include the design and integration of product and user interface design.

What is the Design Slam? The design slam is an annual collaborative event, where a design challenge is presented, and teams have an hour to collaborate on a solution.  Teams then present their solution to the group, and bragging rights go to the winners.  In the tradition of the past Design Slams, we invite observers to watch as the teams collaborate, and last year’s winners are the judges for this year.

HUGE thanks to our partners for this event!

BresslergroupBresslergroup is an award-winning product design and development firm. We provide a full range of services including human factors research, user interface and industrial design, engineering and production sourcing. We work across consumer, commercial and medical categories, with expertise in integrated design processes.

Based in Philadelphia since 1970, Bresslergroup has developed products for clients including Black & Decker, Kodak, and Siemens, has won more than 80 major design awards and has authored more than 125 patents.

Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is the world’s oldest, largest, member-driven society for product design, industrial design, interaction design, human factors, ergonomics, design research, design management, universal design and related design fields.

IDSA organizes the renowned International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) competition annually; hosts the International Design Conference and five regional conferences each year; and publishes Innovation, a quarterly on design, and designBytes, a weekly e-newsletter highlighting the latest headlines in the design world.

IDSA recently created the Human Interaction Section (HIX) a community for the disciplines that converge to collaborate and deliver engaging experiences for both traditional physical products and digital products and services.

PhillyCHI Announces 2011 Officers

Thanks to everyone who voted in the annual PhillyCHI officer election. We’re pleased to announce the results for the 2011 team:

Chair: Michael Carvin
Vice Chair: David Farkas
Secretary: Kelani Nichole
Treasurer: Matt Gregg

We’d like to extend a special thanks to everyone who ran for an officer position. We’re always looking for new people to get involved and bring fresh ideas to the table.

Have a safe and happy holiday season. We hope to see you in 2011!

PhillyCHI Winter Social – Tuesday 12/7/2010

It’s hard to believe, but another year has passed. 2010 was a great year for PhillyCHI. In the past 12 months, we’ve held numerous events, meetings, and socials, all of which were well-attended. Please join us at our annual winter social in celebration of another amazing year. Meet the new officers for 2011 and join us for winter merriment and drinks.

PhillyCHI will provide appetizers and one free drink ticket per person (gratuity for drinks is not included, so please remember to tip your bartender). Please arrive as early as possible to ensure that you receive a drink ticket.

National Mechanics will be hosting a karaoke event (unrelated to PhillyCHI) after the social. Feel free to stick around for some singing and/or listening.

Date: Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
Time: 6:00PM – 8:00PM
Location: National Mechanics
Address: 22 S. 3rd Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
Map & Directions:
(To help us plan, please register)

November Social: Tue 11/23 at Sassafras Cafe

Join us on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 for our next happy hour at Sassafras Cafe in Old City. There will be live Jazz from 7:00pm-9:00pm, courtesy of one of our members, Brady Ajay, who will be performing in a Jazz duo. Tell the bartender you’re with PhillyCHI to receive 20% off of drinks.

Date: Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
Time: 6:00pm-9:00pm (Live music from 7:00pm-9:00pm)
Location: Sassafras Cafe
Address: 48 South 2nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19106-2810
Phone: (215) 925-2317
Google Map:
RSVP: (Nice, but not necessary)