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Demystifying the UX Team: Who are the players?

Demystifying the UX Team: Who are the players? 

Almost every company, be it a UX/UI firm or any industry that has a UX team - all seem to have different team structures and working methods. 

UX/UI/Usability is a relatively new field, so we’re getting 5 UX Directors and Managers together from various companies to form a panel and answer UXPALA's questions and yours:

• How do you figure out where you fit in with different companies?
•  Who are the players in a UX team?
•  Why are teams different from company to company?
•  Why do some job definition, like UX Designer, differ so much from one company to another?
•  What roles and work load does each team member do
• How do you work together?
•  What’s a typical Day on a project? 
•  What environment do you work in (Agile or Waterfall)? And why?

6:30-7:00 pm — Networking 
7:00-7:30 pm — Community and Business 
7:30-7:45 pm — Intro of event and panel 
7:45-8:45 pm —10 minutes presentations per panel member 
8:45-9:00 pm —15 minute moderated Q&A 
9:00-9:30 pm — 30 minute General Q&A


Jaimi "J.J." Kercher, Director of User Experience, AppFolio 

Formally educated in commercial photography, Jaimi's passion for experience followed a series of neatly-connected dots to define her UX career.  She has worked exclusively with web and software development teams for over 8 years, serving as Director of Product and UX at Bargain Network, Senior Product Manager at, and as a consultant for several technology startups.  The last 5 years of her career have been focused on integrating user experience and research into agile development environments.

Jaimi is currently the Director of User Experience at AppFolio, a ridiculously fun company working to bring the power of well-designed SaaS products to a multitude of vertical industries.

Sean Michael Kelly, Senior Manager, User Experience, Kaiser Permanente

As well as being an instructor in the UX Certificate Program AT CSUF, Sean Michael Kelly is Senior Manager of UX at Kaiser Permanente focusing on helping patients make sense of the complicated world of health care. With over a decade of experience in UX, he enjoys making order out of chaos and making the complicated simple for users. 

Brandon Applefield, Associate Experience Lead at Huge

Brandon Applefield is an Associate Experience Lead at Huge where he develops information architecture and user interfaces, creates wireframes, and documents functionality for some of Huge's largest initiatives. He has worked with clients including Golf Channel, FX Networks, Veterinary Pet Insurance, National Geographic, Maybelline, and Vans. Brandon holds a B.A. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jay Stakelon, VP Product Design, Fullscreen

Jay is like a Swiss army knife for digital products with expertise in product management, user experience design and software development. He has over 10 years of experience designing and developing digital products. He's the VP of Product Design at Fullscreen, where he previously ran product management and now focuses on UX, interaction and visual design, prototyping and building a super-kickass multiplatform design team.

Skot Carruth, Co-founder and UX/Product Strategist, Philosophie LLC

Skot Carruth started making websites in 1995, just five years after Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. Skot started his first e-commerce business in 1997, and consulted for small businesses throughout high school and college. After a brief stint in investment banking, he came back to his digital roots to co-found philosophie. He currently heads up User Experience Strategy at philosophie, where he and his team create awesome experiences...and then make them better.


Brighter Collective — For their generous use of venue! 

CyberCoders — For the AWESOME refreshments!

O'Reilly Books — For donation of 3 books to giveaway!




Our channel. We'll be updating the Live Link on the day of the event. 

Join or login to comment.

  • Tony J.

    It was a great meetup and Brighter has a fantastic office. The question I asked about if frameworks were stifling design innovation, was answered by Sean by comparing frameworks to the ubiquitous car parts in different cards. I get the answer, but Mark Otto (twitter bootstrap) and Elliot Jay Stocks (Adobe) today are talking about the same thing on twitter:

    Jay's post about designers released today:

    Mark's response post:

    Anyway thought I would mention it because it seems like a relevant and timely discussion.


    April 7, 2014

  • Matti S

    iirc This was the other event announced: So Cal UX Camp. May[masked]

    3 · April 3, 2014

    • Tabetha

      Thanks for the post!

      1 · April 3, 2014

  • Barbara T.

    This was so worthwhile! I met some outstanding UX professionals, enjoyed the food and drink, and admired the panelists and appreciated their wisdom. The venue was inspiring and uplifting, and worked very well. Kudos to Dr. Blaine Behringer of Brighter Collective for designing a beautiful and functional space that supports humans in creating UX and all that goes with it in developing, launching and supporting products. Marcella and UXPA team--thank you for all the hard work and diligence in making this event a success. High Fives to all sponsors (Yes I will Tweet!)

    2 · April 3, 2014

    • Marcella M.

      Thank you so much for attending Barbara! It was our pleasure!

      2 · April 3, 2014

  • Matti S

    As I mentioned, we are currently organizing the 2nd Big Data Camp LA for Sat June 14, 2014 at Direct TV. We are currently gathering sponsors and hope to make it a no charge event for those interested in attending. Also, we are putting together some good regular talks associated with Big Data via several local meetups. If you are interested, even if you are new to the topic, or know someone who is please join us.

    3 · April 3, 2014

  • Mario N.

    Great event!

    1 · April 3, 2014

  • Michele R. H.

    Good panel (loved J.J. Kercher and Jay Stakelon) and great organization. Thanks Marcella!

    1 · April 3, 2014

  • Max X.

    Great meeting everyone yesterday! Looking forward to seeing you all again at the next event!

    2 · April 3, 2014

  • Richard T.

    Great space and fascinating topic and speakers!

    2 · April 3, 2014

  • Marcella M.

    You guys rocked!

    2 · April 3, 2014

  • Ruohai Wang (.

    If I can rate 10 stars, I definitely will do that! Thanks for everyone who made it! Great experience! :)

    April 3, 2014

  • Paul L.

    Great panel of speakers! Each with a unique perspective on UX teams. Very inspiring.

    1 · April 3, 2014

  • Tabetha

    Really great perspectives on various ux team/company cultures and roles.

    2 · April 2, 2014

  • Joseph Karr O.

    Regret we can't fit the excellent @Cybercoders tacos in the stream. Not enough bandwidth.

    5 · April 2, 2014

  • Stephen B.

    Bummed I can't make it in person. Thank you for live streaming the event!

    2 · April 2, 2014

  • Calley N.

    Is it cool if I bring a friend or is it pretty full? I don't see the option to add a +1 to my RSVP.

    1 · April 1, 2014

    • Michelle C.

      Hi Calley, you can absolutely bring a friend. Thanks for asking and we'll see you there!

      April 1, 2014

  • polina l.

    Cant make it. Is there a link to where it will be streamed?

    March 26, 2014

    • polina l.

      Hi Silvie, when will the video be up?

      March 31, 2014

    • Marcella M.

      Polina - We'll be live-streaming the event and the video will be saved to our channel immediately after.

      March 31, 2014

  • Tiffany Y.

    Any way we can view the event on YouTube after it's over?

    March 27, 2014

    • Marcella M.

      Hi Tiffany,
      Yes. It will be on our channel permanently.

      March 27, 2014

  • Zoe D.

    So disappointed to miss this meet up! Look forward to hearing how it goes.

    March 17, 2014

    • Marcella M.

      Hi Zoe, we'll be live streaming and recording it!

      1 · March 26, 2014

  • Simon C.

    Hi! Who are the panel members?

    March 23, 2014

    • Marcella M.

      Announcing now. Will update more tomorrow.

      March 24, 2014

  • Matt

    Hi. I'm wondering if a location had been picked for this event? As the location still says TBD. I'm really looking forward to it.

    March 16, 2014

    • Marcella M.

      Hi Matt — Checking and hopefully booking the location tomorrow. We're also going to change the date which I'll confirm tomorrow!

      1 · March 16, 2014

    • Matt

      Thank you Marcella.

      March 17, 2014

  • Jorge R.

    Hi I am involved in various aspects of real estate and it.

    March 4, 2014

205 went

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