2008 Officer Elections

It’s time to elect a new round of leadership for PhillyCHI’s upcoming year. The election will begin on December 3rd on our Yahoo! Groups web page via an online poll. The election will run for a week. Below are the nominated candidates.

Nominations for Chair

Dave Cooksey
Dave Cooksey
Bio: Dave currently works as a User Experience Lead at GSI Interactive, the agency arm of GSI Commerce, Inc., a turnkey e-commerce provider based in King of Prussia, PA. He has training in both the social sciences & education and recently received a master’s degree in Information Systems from the iSchool at Drexel University. He lives in the city with his partner, Gordon.

Statement: When I ran for Chair in 2007, my main goals for the chapter were to put on great meetings, increase PhillyCHI’s reach in the community, and have some fun. This year attendance at meetings & happy hours has been strong: average meeting attendance – 38; average happy hour attendance – 15. Our meetings covered many topics and took many forms from presentations, to panels, to technique & technology demonstrations. And we’ve worked with some great organizations in the area: the UPA, the iSchool at Drexel, GSI Commerce, Digitas Health, Vanguard, Avenue A | Razorfish, G2, and Messagefirst to name a few.

If given the opportunity, I would like to continue building on this year’s momentum and make 2008 an even better year for PhillyCHI.

Nominations for Vice Chair

Dom LaCava
Bio: Dom stated his career in information systems as an intern archivist at the Hagley Museum and Library in 1993. He pursued his archival interests as the Associate Curator of the Archives of Industrial Society at the University of Pittsburgh in 1996. In 1999, after becoming interested in electronic information storage and retrieval, he enrolled in the graduate program at Drexel University’s College of Information System and Technology, while also working as a Networks Graduate Assistant. Upon graduating in 2001, Dom accepted a position at Lockheed Martin as a systems engineer designing surveillance display systems. After four years at Lockheed, he accepted a position at The Vanguard Group and is currently working as a Senior Usability Engineer in the User Experience Group.

Dom received a BA in History from Haverford College, an MA in History from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MS in Information Systems from Drexel University.

Statement: As vice chair, I aim to strengthen networking experiences among PhillyCHI members as well as with the larger user interface design community in the area.

Nominations for Secretary

Crystal Kubitsky
Crystal KubitskyBio: I am a Lead Information Architect for Comcast Interactive Media in Center City Philadelphia. I have been an active member of the Information Architecture Institute and PhillyCHI for several years. At Comcast Interactive Media, I work to improve the customer experience and the business our content portal, gaming sites, and search services. I am currently holding the Vice Chair position for PhillyCHI.

Statement: PhillyCHI has been instrumental in my education and grown as an information architect. Our meetings and networking events provide all who attend with an incredible support system of members, opportunities to further your career through education and discussion of new topics and techniques from world-class speakers and local superstars. I would value the opportunity, as an Officer, to give back to the local professional community by driving efforts to support members, their careers, and the community at large.

As Secretary, I will support the planning and communications efforts of PhillyCHI to increase our reach and continue to provide quality opportunities for education and networking. I will reach out to folks from other disciplines to help them become more aware of our community and our field so that we may be able to better bridge the gaps and create useful, usable and valuable products and services for our families and friends. I will also look to aid our Chair and Vice Chair in bringing in new speakers from other disciplines and other perspectives to help our community grow through exposure to new and different ideas and practices.

With every event I attend, I am still blown away by the people and the content. This is such an amazing field and we have an incredible community of intelligent, energetic and supportive folks from all disciplines. I love being a part of it and I look forward to seeing you all at the next event.

Thank you for taking time to read this and considering me for a position as an Officer for PhillyCHI in 2008.

Nominations for Treasurer

Dennis SchleicherDennis Schleicher
Bio: Dennis is a senior information architect at e.magination where he works with interdisciplinary teams on intranet and web presence initiatives. He has also worked at CTC, an applied R&D non-profit, at JWT with Ford and Dominos, and at Argus Associates supporting their cutting edge information architecture initiatives on user research, ethnography, and usability. He organized a number of local IA gatherings in the Detroit area and was co-chair of the IA Summit 2006. His background includes degrees and research in business and industrial anthropology.

Statement: I have had a great time at the different PhillyCHI meetings and events giving me wonderful opportunities for professional development and personal friendships. It has given me so much, I wanted to give something back and do all I can to help support this great organization. I believe I can make a positive contribution to PhillyCHI through my professionalism and efforts to achieve excellence and progress. I have always liked and want to be involved in local professional groups. I like to help and grow communities in anyway I can. I really like meeting people and learning more about CHI topics. So what better way to be locally involved than PhillyCHI?

PhillyCHI – iSchool Panel: "The Role of Failure in Design"

Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Time: 6 – 8PM
Refreshments will be served from 6 – 6:30PM
Location: Bossone Center, Drexel University
31st & Market Streets Philadelphia, PA 19103
Map: http://www.drexel.edu/em/directions/map_uc.pdf
RSVP: phillyCHI@gmail.com

“In the case of a real design problem, even our conviction that there is such a thing as fit to be achieved is curiously flimsy and insubstantial. We are searching for some kind of harmony between two intangibles: a form which we have not yet designed, and a context which we cannot properly describe. The only reason that we have for thinking that there must be some kind of fit to be achieved between them is that we can detect incongruities, or negative instances of it. The incongruities in an ensemble are the primary data of experience.”

– Christopher Alexander, the originator of the concept of design patterns. ‘Notes on the Synthesis of Form’ (1964)

“Success and failure in design are intertwined. Though a focus on failure can lead to success, too great a reliance on successful precedents can lead to failure. Success is not simply the absence of failure; it also masks potential modes of failure. Emulating success may be efficacious in the short term, but such behavior invariably and surprisingly leads to failure itself.”

– Henry Petroski. ‘Success through Failure: The Paradox of Design’ (2006)

Please join PhillyCHI and the iSchool at Drexel University for a panel discussion on the different perspectives of how failure can inform design. The iSchool has gathered a panel of researchers and practitioners to discuss in theoretical and practical terms what and how we can learn from failure in the design process. The panel will begin with a brief introduction of the topic by the moderator, Dr. Michael Atwood. Panelists will then present brief statements relating their background and experience on the topic. The remainder of the session will be a moderated discussion among the panelists and the audience.


Michael Atwood, PhD
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs/Research, The iSchool at Drexel University

Dr. Atwood’s major teaching interests include human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work, and artificial intelligence. His research focuses on human-computer interaction, supporting communication and collaboration among groups involved in system design activities, and on organizational memory. His professional experience includes research and development of interactive systems and expert systems, software engineering process improvement, software project management, and software product development.


Liza Potts, PhD
Director of Human Factors, Electronic Ink

As Director of Human Factors, a leadership role at Electronic Ink, Liza Potts heads up the team of cognitive psychologists, anthropologists, quantitative analysts, and user experience architects who are dedicated to bringing the understanding of target audiences to new levels. At Liza’s direction, leading-edge research is conducted at Electronic Ink’s Usability Lab at company headquarters, or on-site with the company’s Mobile Usability Lab. The lab’s technology includes state-of-the-art eye tracking equipment that pinpoints visual response to discover key findings that drive the functionality of custom applications for Electronic Ink’s clients.

Tom Hewett, PhD
Professor of Psychology and Professor of Computer Science, Drexel University

Tom’s teaching includes the Psychology of Human Computer Interaction Design and the Psychology of Problem Solving and Creativity. Tom is a published software author and has written on the use of computers in teaching. His current research focuses on understanding the computing support needs of expert knowledge workers.

Mathieu Turpault
Senior Designer, Bresslergroup

Mathieu has more than eleven years of experience in the field of industrial design and has won numerous awards including IDEAs, ID magazine and AM awards. Mathieu is currently client manager and lead industrial designer in addition to his role as production manager for Bresslergroup, an award winning product development consultancy, with a 35 year history of design excellence and long term client relationships.


The iSchool at Drexel University – empowering society by uniting people, technology, and knowledge through innovative education and research

Founded in 1892, the iSchool at Drexel, College of Information Science and Technology educates students in information science and technology at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels and features Drexel University’s Cooperative Education program. The College is a founding member of the iSchools Caucus of 19 prominent schools dedicated to teaching and learning about information use and management.

PhillyCHI | CreativeConnects Joint Happy Hour

* Note: this PhillyCHI social event is one day earlier than the standing third Thursday of the month. *

Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Time: 5:30PM – 8PM
Place: Alfa Bar
1709 Walnut Street, Philadelphia 19103
Map: http://tinyurl.com/29dtv5
No RSVP Required.

For our November social event, PhillyCHI will join the CreativeConnects Happy Hour at Alfa Bar from 5:30PM to 8PM.

CreativeConnects is a free monthly social event, hosted by The BOSS Group for creative, marketing, communications, advertising and web professionals. Come network with colleagues, meet new people, keep up with industry news and get leads on jobs and business opportunities. Light appetizers and one free drink will be provided courtesy of The BOSS Group.

About the BOSS Group
The BOSS Group is, literally, where talent and opportunity meet. It’s where creative, marketing and web professionals come to find jobs and assignments, resources and industry connections, and where clients find the talent that will help them succeed.

We’re committed to meeting the employment needs of employers and individuals with equal success. Our unparalleled creative staffing expertise and close partnerships with our talent and clients alike offer a true competitive advantage.

The BOSS Group is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise and a 2007 and 2006 Best Place To Work.

Thanks, Dennis!

PhillyCHI would like to thank Dennis Schleicher for donning his fedora and leading us all on a journey to discover the priceless treasures of anthropological inquiry. Attendees of last week’s meeting learned what techniques and approaches can be used to inform design by example (the Ford vehicle owners’ site) as well as industry trends (EPIC2007).

We’re currently working on getting a recording of the meeting together. Hopefully, that will arrive sooner, rather than later.

Thanks again, Dennis!

PhillyCHI October Meeting – Dennis Schleicher & the Raiders of the Lost Glove Box: How Anthropology and Web Design Go Together

Please join us for a very interesting discussion of anthropology and design at this month’s PhillyCHI meeting.

Date: Tuesday, October 30th
Time: 6:00PM – 8:00PM
* Refreshments & socializing from 6:00PM – 6:30PM *
Location: Wu & Chen Auditorium, Levine Hall, University of Pennsylvania
Address: 3330 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Map: http://tinyurl.com/34g86c
Please RSVP: phillyCHI@gmail.com

About the Presentation

In this presentation, Dennis will share some of his adventures using anthropological tools to inform design including some fascinating insights uncovered from raiding people’s glove boxes, which directly drove the experience design of the Ford vehicles owners’ website. The presentation will help attendees begin to look at Web Design through an anthropological lens, shedding new light on old design problems.

Dennis will also discuss some of the cutting edge ideas and methodologies recently presented at the EPIC2007, the premier international event for practitioners of ethnographic work in industry (not academic). In addition, he will speculate as to what might be some near-term trends we all should take note of.

About the Presenter

Mr. Schleicher is a Senior Information Architect at E.magination.com in Baltimore Maryland. He has a background in business and industrial anthropology and has been working awhile in the field of information technology and culture. He later moved into Information Architecture and found, to his surprise, that many anthropological tools and skills were very useful to IA and Web design.

Learn about Dennis at: http://www.dennisschleicher.com.

About Our Sponsor


Messagefirst is Philadelphia-based design research consulting firm. We work with companies to help them increase revenues, decrease costs, and ultimately improve the user experience of their products or services. Our goal-oriented data-driven design process improves performance and creates compelling experiences that solve business problems in a beautiful way. And unlike other consulting firms, we don’t just redesign products and service – we actually work with your team to plan and implement the design solution.

To learn more about Messagefirst, please visit: http://www.messagefirst.com.

Thank You for a Great Meeting

All of us at PhillyCHI would like to thank Dr. Kathryn Summers, Dr. Jean Fox, Michael Summers, and Nick Boswell for coming up from Baltimore | D.C. to present at our September meeting. The presentation and discussion were both engaging and educational and went far beyond a typical introduction.

For folks who would like a copy of the handout from the meeting, it can be viewed at: http://www.summersconsulting.net/sc/SUMMERS-FOX_eyetracking_tutorial_handout3.pdf.

Thanks again to Kathryn, Jean, Michael, and Nick for all their time and effort. We really appreciate it.