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PhillyCHI Call for 2013 Officers and Volunteers

It’s that time of year again! PhillyCHI election time and call for volunteers. Being an officer of PhillyCHI is rewarding as it allows you the opportunity to foster the UX community in Philadelphia while increasing your visibility to the community at large.

As is the custom every year, all four Officer positions are open for nominations. If you are interested or know someone who would do a great job and may want to get involved, we want to hear from you. Help us keep up our great momentum. Nominate yourself or someone you know.

Voting Requirements

The election form will be posted to our membership channels, which include our Yahoo! group and our LinkedIn group. To vote in the election, you must be a PhillyCHI member and have access to these groups. If you’re not currently a member but you would like to vote in our upcoming election, you can join by filling out our brief membership form: (There is currently no fee or charge for PhillyCHI membership.)

Positions Available

You are welcome to run for any of the four officer positions.


  • The principal officer responsible for leading and setting the direction of PhillyCHI.
  • Manages activities in accordance with the policies and procedures of the ACM and its by-laws.
  • Presides at all meetings of the Chapter

Vice Chair

  • Presides at meetings in the absence of the Chair
  • Assists the Chair in management of the Chapter
  • Performs other duties that may be assigned by the Chair


  • Maintains records of Chapters activities and communications.
  • Responsible for all print and electronic communication of Chapter meetings and announcements.
  • Assists in coordination of meetings and events at direction of Chair or Vice Chair.
  • Manages and maintains PhillyCHI website, LinkedIn group, email list, members list, etc.
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Chair or Vice Chair


  • Prepares and submits the annual report to the ACM.
  • Collects all dues, sponsorship fees, pays bills and maintains Chapter’s overall financial records.
  • Completes and submit the Annual Financial Report to ACM Headquarters
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Chair or Vice Chair

Note: To hold an officer position, you must be an ACM SIGCHI member and an ACM member; however, membership is not needed until the start of the 2013 term. All new officers will have the full support of retiring officers throughout the upcoming year,

Election Process

To nominate yourself or someone you know, email us the following information to with the subject line “Nomination” by Monday, December 3rd, 2012:

Reason for nomination:
Recommended by:

From Tuesday, December 4, 2012 through Monday, December 10, 2012, we will open up the elections for voting. The nominees’ statements will be posted to for public review, and we will post a message to our Yahoo!, LinkedIn and email lists with instructions on how to vote.

On Thursday, December 13th, 2012, during the PhillyCHI Holiday Social at Buffalo Billiards (2nd and Chestnut), we will announce the new slate of Officers for 2013.


If you can’t run for office, there are plenty of ways to volunteer or sponsor PhillyCHI. Reach out to any of the Officers at any time if you’re available to volunteer or offer sponsorship.

We look forward to 2013 and your help in keeping our great momentum!

Many thanks from your 2012 PhillyCHI Officers,

Dave Cooksey, Matt Thomas, Jacqueline Caddle, Matt Ventre

Winter Social & Book Swap – Wednesday, Dec. 7th

Come celebrate and look back at the year with PhillyCHI at our winter social. You’ll have a chance to get into the giving spirit by bringing a UX book you’d like to swap for a new read. We’re doing a book swap this year and you could even walk out with two new reads for the hopefully less cold and less snowy winter ahead.

Here’s how it’ll work –

  1. Bring a UX/HCI-related book(s) you’re ready to pass on to add to the swap pile
  2. You’ll be entered once into a drawing to select one of ten Morgan Kaufmann books
  3. For each book you bring to swap, you can take one from the swap pile

Even if you don’t have any books to swap, come down to close out and toast the end of the 2011 year of events around the city and enjoy the evening with other PhillyCHI members. We’ll have the second floor at Time in Center City.

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
1315 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Hope to see you there!

Video on-demand: User Experience Research. Is there an Academic – Practitioner Divide? Mike Carvin and Mike Zarro

PhillyCHI  June 2011

Speakers: Mike Carvin and Mike Zarro

User Experience Research – Is there an Academic – Practitioner Divide?

Rather than draw a distinction between academic and practitioner research, Michael Zarro and Michael Carvin will present a view of research based on its contribution to fundamental understanding and considerations of use. Research in the fields of usability/user experience and the social sciences can be more alike than not with motivation and presentation being a primary difference.

In addition to discussing the similarities and differences of academic and practitioner research, they will look at academic research specifically and the role it can play in improving day-to-day projects for UX practitioners. They will share tips on finding the appropriate research papers and articles, understanding their contents and examples of how projects have directly benefited from such research.

About our Speakers

Michael Zarro is a doctoral candidate in Information Studies at Drexel University. Research interests include digital libraries, healthcare informatics, search, and social media. He holds an MS in Library and Information Science from Drexel and a BA from The George Washington University. Previous experience includes time spent as a Project Lead / Developer at The University of Pennsylvania, Web Applications Developer at Bryn Mawr College, and Information Architect in industry.

Michael Carvin is a Principal Experience Designer at Red Privet, with more than 16 years of experience in evidence-based design, usability testing, analysis, and information architecture. He seeks to engage, enable and empower everyday people through simple and enriching online experiences. Previous experience includes Trellist Marketing & Technology, where he helped businesses ranging from startups to Fortune 1000 companies realize their business goals through improved user experiences, and at Thomson Peterson’s, an industry leader in college search and selection publications.

Video-on-demand: The User Experience of User Experience. Dave Cooksey

PhillyCHI  February 2011

Speaker: Dave Cooksey

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.

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

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!