World Usability Day 2015

Join us for World Usability Day 2015 where the theme is “Innovation.” We’ll mingle, have refreshments thanks to our co-sponsor Onward Search, and present a series of lightning talks – all in the fancy, new home of Bresslergroup.

Event Details:

Speakers

Andrew Golaszewski, Senior User Researcher, Bresslergroup

Usability & Innovation: Friends or Foes?

The relationship between usability and innovation can be a tenuous one. Innovative thinkers seek to bring brand new ideas into the world, sometimes at the risk of reinventing the wheel; usability practitioners often espouse established conventions that can prevent high-reward risks from ever being taken. This talk will examine the dynamic between these two important forces, and offer solutions to better integrate usability in the process of developing innovative products and ideas.

Andrew’s a big believer in user-centered design, which can’t be achieved without getting to know humans.

At Bresslergroup he plans, leads, and executes qualitative research efforts of all sorts – interacting and empathizing with people, then extracting insights to inform better design decisions. As he puts it, “Basically the whole reason my job exists is to make other peoples’ lives easier, safer, or more enjoyable. Hard to be mad at that.”

Andrew arrived at this pleasing place by way of studying English and Philosophy and working as a copywriter. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction from Georgia Institute of Technology. He also has experience researching and designing digital interactions for software design.

He and his wife spend their free time empathizing with their two-year-old son, Owen. Andrew also likes to play tennis, cook, and nurse his admittedly unhealthy emotional investment in Detroit’s (his hometown’s) sports teams.

Erin Abler, Lead Content Designer, OIT

Making Municipal Services Fun

The City of Philadelphia Office of Innovation & Technology (OIT), is undertaking a wide-scale redesign of phila.gov. Erin will provide an overview of the alpha.phila.gov project and highlight a few key elements of their efforts to increase usability.

Erin Abler is Lead Content Designer with the City of Philadelphia. With over a decade of experience as a writer and editor, she takes a special interest in shaping the user experience with meaningful content. She has experience in user research, information architecture, metadata modeling, and controlled vocabularies in addition to editorial content strategy. Before joining Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation & Technology, Erin worked as Senior Experience Architect at Allen & Gerritsen. She also honed her UX and content strategy chops at Razorfish Health, first as an Information Architect and later as the office’s first Senior Content Strategist. She has spoken at the Code for America Summit and SXSW Interactive, and led a team of coworkers to win the first national Civic Data Challenge in 2012. Erin holds degrees in English and Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin. She received her MLIS from the University of British Columbia.

Mike Gadsby, Partner, Chief Experience Officer, O3 World

Measuring Innovation: Setting Up Insight Systems For Labs Programs

Last year, I had the privilege of green-lighting our first labs initiative at O3. Our goals were simple: create a series of experiments that allow us to gain valuable experience with emerging technologies so that we could then add to our arsenal of services we provide our clients. By that criteria, our first few projects were highly successful. We learned some new stuff… people thought it was cool… now we can work that experience into the solutions we develop. Then it dawned on me: what did we actually learn about the experiences we created? It’s cool that we’re playing with all this new tech, but that’s really only half the battle. What about its usage? Where are the friction points? What are the real world applications of these experiments? Now, in recent weeks we’ve begun to create a feedback loop in all our experiments whereby we’ll be evaluating the experience through data and qualitative research. In this lightning talk, we’ll examine a series of studies we’ve begun through our O3 Theme Music project.

“Gadsby” (as he’s commonly referred to) is co-founder and Chief Experience Officer at O3 World. He oversees design and strategy at the company and brings over 15 years of experience advising everyone from startups to Fortune 500 brands. In addition to his role at O3, Gadsby is an Adjunct Professor at Philadelphia University where he teaches user experience design in the graduate program. He’s a Penn grad whose spent the better part of the last 20 years living in Philadelphia (a fact he is particularly proud about). Outside of work he enjoys hanging out with his wife and kids, cursing at the Phillies, and stocking his fridge with cold cases of Yuengling Lager.

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 phillychi.org or follow along on Twitter @PhillyCHI.