RUX June: What we talk about when we talk about UX

What approaches and terminology do we use to talk to others about our day-to-day and long-term user experience work? How do we sell ourselves and get buy-in for our activities? Is there such a thing as too much transparency? A panel of UXers from corporate, non-profit, startup and educational worlds discusses lessons learned from communicating UX work to internal stakeholders as well as clients.


  • Penny Church is a Senior UX Analyst at Ellucian, a software company that provides products for about 2,000 colleges and universities world-wide. For the past 15 years Penny as been the primary UX practitioner in her company, establishing mentoring opportunities, conducting internal training on UX, and establishing a UCD special interest group within the company. This group's goal is to engage developers, testers and business analysts in UX topics, and spark grassroots UX movements within development teams.
  • Tom Illmensee is Director of UX at PlanG, a Richmond-based startup. He has worked with web development teams at Snagajob, Ironworks ICF, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, SunTrust, MeadWestvaco, Circuit City and the Virginia Historical Society. His 13-year career in UX includes service as practice leader, team manager, strategist, researcher, interaction designer, information architect, and web developer.
  • Kim Spencer has been designing and developing for online environments for over ten years and in the last few years took on the daunting task of teaching creatives how to code. Through the graphic design department at VCU she's honed her skills for educating students as well as clients on the importance of a solid user experience.
  • Heather Winkle comes from a background in Architecture and Industrial Design, and spent the last 18 years in Silicon Valley designing software, web, and mobile products. As a founding member of the UX teams at Netscape, Intuit, Yahoo, and eBay, and as a UX Manager at Adobe and Apple, Heather spent many of those years building UX teams and educating organizations on why and how a UX team works and benefits the bottom line.

Moderated by Erin White, Web Systems Librarian at VCU Libraries.


  • 6 pm: Meet and greet
  • 6:30 pm: Panel begins
  • 7:30 pm: Adjourn


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  • Alan

    Great meetup. Looking forward to the next one. Thanks to all the organizers and panelists.

    June 26, 2013

  • Jason R.

    Regrettably, I have prior engagements on Wed nights until the end of the summer. I hope to physically join in the festivities at that time. Have fun!! Please post links to the information received. :)

    June 25, 2013

  • Bill R.

    Sorry, going to be at the Customer Experience conference in NYC.

    June 17, 2013

  • Mark B.

    So, I finally move to Richmond...and then am out of town for the next RUX event. Argh. Would so love to be a part of this conversation. 'Til the next cocktail meet up, then.

    June 6, 2013

    • Erin W.

      We'll miss you, Mark - hope to see you in August.

      June 7, 2013

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