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Cultivating UX: ACBJ

  • Jan 27, 2014 · 6:30 PM
  • Myjive (at NC Music Factory)

Most of us by now are aware that every business has a slightly different interpretation of UX and often drastically different implementations of user-centered product design. While this can be confusing to newcomers, it’s absolutely necessary for UX to be flexible to respond to each company’s unique business requirements. 

For the past three years, American City Business Journals has been building a UX team to support its online editorial and revenue operations. Like many local UX departments, the ACBJ team is working hard to define its role within an established enterprise. We'd like to provide some transparency into our team and our company so other young UX groups can learn from our successes and challenges. 

We'll talk broadly about team management, pushing for process change, setting vision, and building credibility within our organization. More specifically, we'll dig into several projects that have helped us prove our value to the company: 1) Designing a CMS for 40+ newsrooms (Hint: It ain't Wordpress); 2) Taking ownership of front-end development; 3) Turning a one-star iOS app into a 4.5 star app; 4) Promoting a more usable and readable article page.

The cast of characters will include: 

Will Hortman - Director of User Experience (@willhortman)
Joshua Mauldin - Mobile Platform Manager (@joshuamauldin)
Ryan Berg - UX Designer, NYC Office (@ryanberg)
Michael Farnham - Front End Developer (@farnhizzle)
Amy Henty - UX Designer (@theamylynn)
NEW! Bryan Markham - Front End Developer  (@B_Markham) 

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  • Gerald P.

    Great time. Learned a lot. Keep up the good work.

    1 · January 28, 2014

    • Will H.

      Thanks, Gerald!

      January 28, 2014

  • Michael B.

    It was a very interesting talk. Especially for someone like me that doesn’t do UX by trade but has an interest in it. It’s nice to see into the makeup of a local UX team. I also love their iterative mindset and hope they’re successful in spreading it around ACBJ and Charlotte.

    1 · January 28, 2014

    • Will H.

      Really appreciate your support, Michael! Please keep in touch.

      January 28, 2014

  • Dustin E.

    Thanks for the talk, it was good to get out of the cave. It was good meeting all the new people. Can't wait for the next one.

    1 · January 28, 2014

  • Maria F.

    Thanks again to everyone who came out last night. Several of you came up to me asking about available jobs and since there were roughly 10-12 of you that had openings at your company, I'd encourage you to post those here on the Meetup site.

    A few that I did manage to be aware of:

    UX Designer - ACBJ (

    Account Manager - Myjive (

    Email Marketing Producer - ACBJ ([masked])

    Information Architect - TIAA-CREF ([masked])

    Product Designer - Skookum Digital Works (

    1 · January 28, 2014

  • Tiffany C.

    Really enjoyed my first UX meet up last night!! Remember, if you are looking for new opportunities there are definitely plenty available!! Reach out to me at (704) 944-8787. Until next time... stay warm!

    1 · January 28, 2014

  • Mike F.

    Hey Geremy. We will be talking more in depth on our strategy during the Meetup. But, currently we are building our own "bootstrap" and responsive systems for our specific needs. On the front end we're using HTML5, Less, Media Queries and some device detection via JS. We look forward to talking more about it Monday.

    January 22, 2014

  • Will H.

    Hi, Nicolai! ACBJ has its own internal development shop, so the UX and Dev teams worked together to create custom CMS software that exactly fit our business needs and editorial workflow. We'll share more details on Monday.

    1 · January 22, 2014

  • Will H.

    Looking forward to seeing everyone! In case you haven't heard, we're hiring:

    January 15, 2014

Our Sponsors

  • Ettain Group

    IT/UX/Tech Staffing. They Provide tasty food and occasional giveaways.

  • Myjive

    Myjive provides the group with a great meetup space @ NC Music Factory

  • Cardinal Solutions

    Product design and development in uptown Charlotte.

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