Author Archives: moderator

Mapping the User Experience with Chris Cavallucci

In “Mapping the User Experience,” Chris Cavallucci will provide a framework for mapping concepts to create visualizations, spatial representations, or relationships which would otherwise take much effort to describe only in words.

: Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Time: 6:00PM – 8:00PM (Social time from 6:00-6:30PM)
Location: Steinberg Hall – Dietrich Hall, Room 211
University of Pennsylvania
3620 Locust Walk Philadelphia, PA 19104
Google Map:

About the Presentation

Chris will also discuss a variety of map types, including site maps, user flows, brainstorming notes, click paths, and application components. To help demonstrate the value in each type, Chris will walk us through using concept maps to:
  • Create meaningful relationships and structure, where we catalog and classify functions, pathways, behaviors, hierarchies and events;
  • Gather requirements, plan, and consolidate information for a project
  • Discover complex concepts and think visually
Lastly, Chris will demonstrate some different tools and methods he’s used to create and share these maps, as well as his experiences with them.
About Chris Cavallucci

Chris is a User Experience Architect based in the Philadelphia area. His work engages teams across multiple disciplines including engineering, product design, marketing, and business strategy. As a software quality consultant, he has worked on numerous enterprise information systems design and development projects in the financial services, pharmaceutical, RFID/logistics, and technology industries. On a full-time basis, he has worked for several entrepreneurial firms including TMX Interactive, Patron Solutions/Comcast-Spectacor, and Exclaim, a mobile phone media company. Chris helps customers enhance their experience designs and brand relevance.

In addition to holding a Masters of Information Systems degree from Drexel University and an undergraduate degree in Psychobiology from Albright College, he actively participates in PhillyCHI, IxDA, IAI, and ASQ.
About PhillyCHI
PhillyCHI is the Philadelphia region’s chapter of the ACM SIGCHI, an interdisciplinary academic and professional group interested in Human-Computer Interaction, User Experience, Usability, and other related disciplines. PhillyCHI holds monthly meetings and socials to network and discuss current topics in HCI. Learn more at

Please contact the PhillyCHI Officers at

PhillyCHI Fourth Annual Design Slam

Please join us for the Philadelphia region’s fourth annual Design Slam. Contestants will participate in a fast-paced race to create the best design solution to a “made-up” real-world problem. Awards will be given to the victors!

Date: Friday January 22nd, 2010

Time: 6:00pm to 8:30pm (We’ll have our opening announcements starting at 6pm, and the competition will start promptly at 6:30, so please come early)

Location: Messagefirst – 230 N 2nd Street, Suite 2C, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (under the Ben Franklin Bridge)

Google map:

Parking Info: (Moderately priced parking is available in a garage located directly across 2nd Street from Messagefirst)

RSVP at Eventbrite:
Space is limited and RSVP is required. Registration will be closed once the event is full. Please register now.

What’s a “design slam”?

During the meeting, participants will be teamed and introduced to a full-fledged hypothetical project, including appropriate client-side deliverables. They’ll then have an opportunity to interview key players on the client’s team. The session will conclude with proposal presentations from each of the groups to the “clients” and the assembled audience.

Then the “clients” team will choose a winner. Members of the winning team will receive a plethora of praise from your peers and an award.

What’s in it for me?

This is a chance for interested IAs, designers, usability practitioners, developers and marketing professionals to get their hands dirty working side by side with colleagues as they tackle tough business problems in a fun and sometimes crazy environment. Knowledge transfer, technique sharing, and a social atmosphere makes this session stand out from the garden-variety “Lecture-and-PowerPoint” presentation.

Please try to arrive on time. We’ll have our opening announcements starting at 6pm, and the client team will introduce the design challenge promptly at 6:30pm.

If you do not want to participate because you won’t be able to get to the meeting on time or a have severe case of social phobia, fear not! We would like to have an audience during this session to play the role of users, and help choose the winning team.

This idea is shamelessly stolen (with permission) from the IA Summit’s IA Slam.

For more information about the IA Slam, please visit:

PhillyCHI Announces 2010 Officers

Thanks for voting in the Annual PhillyCHI Officer Election. We’re pleased to announce the results for the 2010 team:

Chair: Michael Carvin
Vice Chair: Kel Smith
Secretary: Jessica Ivins
Treasurer: Dave Cooksey

Thanks to everyone who voted, and 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 2010!

PhillyCHI Elections are Open

A statement and bio for each candidate is provided below.

Cast Your Vote

To cast your vote, please visit by Saturday, November 28th.

Chair Candidate

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin, Candidate for PhillyCHI Chair

Over the course of the last 16 months, I’ve found PhillyCHI to be an amazing organization. From helping bring businesses and practitioners together through networking events, to bringing world-class national and local speakers to Philadelphia for our collective benefit, this community does the simplest of things – bringing like minds together. And since I’ve been a part of PhillyCHI, I’ve seen more and more of those like minds participating.

However, these like minds come from a variety of disciplines outside of the historic usability and information architecture disciplines. Today, we strategists and practitioners are being called on to engage in a variety of product development, industrial design, content strategy, and social experience design efforts with business, sales, marketing and IT professionals.

If given the opportunity, I look forward to helping continue the good work PhillyCHI has done over the last 5 years, advancing its position as a regional leader in human-computer interaction and its related fields, and giving back to the community that which it has given me. Thank you very much.

Michael currently works as the User Experience Lead and Project Manager at Rock River Star, a Philadelphia-based technology consulting and development organization. At Rock River Star, Michael provides usability and information architecture consulting and services towards driving the success of regional and national non-profit and for-profit organizations.

Prior to Rock River Star, Michael worked at Trellist Marketing and Technology as their Usability Engineer and Information Architect, and at Thomson Peterson’s as their Sr. Multimedia Designer.

Vice Chair Candidate

Kel Smith

Kel Smith, Candidate for PhillyCHI Vice Chair

There is no question in my mind that Philadelphia has become one of the critical hubs of UX-related expertise, spanning a range of contexts from visual design to mobile development to library science. As evidence of this claim, consider that just about every member of PhillyCHI resides no more than one layer removed from at least one notable industry figure. PhillyCHI itself continues to serve as the principal conduit to superlative thought leadership in the field of digital-human interaction, and our reach continues to grow across usability disciplines. The year 2009 brought a number of key successes: fantastic presentations of increasing variety, several joint collaborations with other CHI/UPA groups, and dozens of new faces in attendance at every event. The intention of my Vice Chair post, then, would be to bring further continuity in supporting the excellent work being executed on behalf of the local UX community. PhillyCHI is dedicated to the professional and social cultivation of its members — a group of people whose talent and altruism remain unparalleled in any other market.

Kel Smith’s 12 years of digital experience includes leading the 2007 redesign of (resulting in 137% growth to 10.4 million users), contributing key opinion leadership to the Georgetown University School of Law and designing scientific applications for GlaxoSmithKline’s R&D division. Kel is a nationally recognized advocate for barrier-free technology whose publications have been cited by the Pentagon Library, Kent State’s Knowledge Management Program and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Kel presented on the topic of virtual environments at the CSUN 2009 Los Angeles Conference for Persons with Disabilities and the TechShare RNIB Conference in London, and he is a confirmed speaker for IxDA10 in Savannah for 2010. Kel is a member of the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) and the Information Architecture Institute (IAI), and he currently serves as Vice Chair of the Philadelphia chapter of ACM/SIG-CHI for computer-human interaction. Kel earned his BFA in photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art and studied cognitive science as part of the MS program at Philadelphia University. He lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with his wife, Chris.

Secretary Candidates

Jessica Ivins

Jessica Ivins, Candidate for PhillyCHI Secretary

I’ve always been interested in professional development opportunities and networking. I also enjoy planning events in general, whether they happen to be simple team lunches during work hours or family reunions. I especially enjoy contributing to UX community events in the greater Philadelphia area.

I was honored to be a part of PhillyCHI this year as the organization’s Treasurer. I would like to take on the role of Secretary for the upcoming year.

I am a User Experience Architect currently employed with G2 Interactive, an interactive advertising agency located in Hatboro, PA. Shortly after graduating from The College of New Jersey in 2004, I began my career as a front end Web developer at (now owned by Navteq). At I learned the basic principles of user-centered design by assisting with usability testing, information architecture, etc. I then moved onto a development position with Perficient, a small software consulting company located in Exton, PA. While at Perficient, I advocated for user-centered design and gradually took on more UX work. I then moved onto an Associate UXA position with G2 Interactive. In April of 2008 I was promoted to the UXA position, where my responsibilities include everything from user research and usability testing to interaction design and information architecture.

Michael Stancato

Michael Stancato, Candidate for PhillyCHI Secretary

Would like to connect with the community of User Experience Designers to understand their methodologies, challenges and opportunities.

Graduated from Tyler School of Art with a BFA in Graphic Design. 10 years experience in motion graphics for film and TV. In the past three years I have expanded my skills progressing from interaction design further into User Experience Design. Currently working as Creative Director and User Experience Designer for my company Motionista.

Treasurer Candidate

Dave Cooksey

Dave Cooksey, Candidate for PhillyCHI Treasurer

PhillyCHI has really grown in membership and activities over the past 3 years. I would like to continue contributing to the organization over the next year by acting as Treasurer. In the role of Treasurer, I would seek to expand fundraising opportunities, administer the membership process, author PhillyCHI’s annual report, and support the other officers in scheduling and holding events and socials. Thank you.

Dave Cooksey is Founder and Principal at saturdave, a user experience consultancy specializing in informing design through user research, crafting and validating taxonomies, and delivering strategic information architecture services. He has worked in the e-commerce and pharmaceutical industries and provided strategy and architecture for experiences ranging from transactional websites to social networking sites. Dave has been Chair of PhillyCHI for the past 3 years.

Cast Your Vote

To cast your vote, please visit by Saturday, November 28th.

Video-on-demand: World Usability Day 2009 Tanya Seaman

PhillyCHI  November 2009

World Usability day

Speaker 2
-Tanya Seaman, PhillyCarShare

PhillyCarShare’s Quest to Make Sustainability Easy and Convenient

Tanya will discuss her experience starting and running the nonprofit car-sharing organization PhillyCarShare – from the standpoint of a driven business professional who is deeply interested in environmental sustainability. She will explore the evolution of the service’s online reservation systems and back-office applications, as well as the challenges and milestones she experienced in creating a convenient, affordable, and sustainable service.

About Tanya Seaman

Tanya co-founded the award-winning nonprofit car-sharing organization PhillyCarShare. She served as its original executive director and was instrumental in the organization’s expansion and tremendous growth. Aided by significant government funding received from 2006 to 2008, PhillyCarShare became the fastest-growing and largest regional car-sharing organization in the world, with over 50,000 enrollments by mid-2008.

Since leaving PhillyCarShare in 2008, Tanya has consulted for government entities as well as car-share clients in their start-up and growth phases. She has provided executive-level consulting to GRID magazine, which covers topics about sustainable living in Philadelphia. She’s also collaborated with Metavera Inc., the principal provider of car-sharing systems in North America.

Tanya holds a Master in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor degree in Design from the University of California at Davis. In recognition of her assertive leadership, technological prowess, and unequivocal commitment to PhillyCarShare, the Philadelphia Business Journal has recognized Tanya as one of Philadelphia’s outstanding “40 Under 40?.