What we're about

Join us for monthly, online book discussions and the opportunity to interact with individuals looking to share their passion for and knowledge of human-centered design and related topics.

Each month, we will choose a book or article to read and discuss. Attendees are strongly encouraged to read, or at least make an effort to read, the month's material to participate in discussion. We are also open to discussion suggestions and presentations by members related to their own UX research, writing, and professional expertise.

The UX Book Club is organized by Sharon Bautista (https://www.meetup.com/UXChicago/members/36174882/), Shane Sweeney (https://www.meetup.com/UXChicago/members/35089542/), Joseph Tajaran (https://www.meetup.com/UXChicago/members/259018916/profile/), and Clarissa Peterson (https://www.meetup.com/UXChicago/members/2074094/profile/?returnPage=1).

You can find more information about what we're reading by following our Medium blog (https://medium.com/ux-book-club-of-chicago).


How are books selected?
The organizers select the books based on suggestions from members. You can find a list of past books here (https://www.meetup.com/UXChicago/messages/boards/thread/30996942).

Do I need to read the book to attend?
We encourage members to read the book, though it isn't required. Please come with a few thoughts on the topic and an interest in engaging with fellow members of the UX community. Your organizers will have a few questions prepared to kick things off, but please don't expect us to lecture about the content. The UX Book Club is intended to be a collaborative and discussion-based group. Please be sure to do your part and bring up topics, questions, and responses that will help further the conversation.

Why do we charge for RSVPs?
As our numbers have grown, so have the number of no-shows at each of our events. We understand how busy life can get, but we need to be fair to our generous hosts when we have in-person meetings and give them an accurate head-count for refreshments and security. We charge a small fee for event RSVPs in an effort to encourage greater attendance accuracy. The fee also goes toward the annual fee that Meetup.com charges the organizers to host our group on their platform. Please note that we will not provide refunds. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions.

What will we do with the money?
We put RSVP money back into the group. Sharon (https://www.meetup.com/UXChicago/members/36174882/) covers the costs associated with running the group, which include $180/year to organize through Meetup, about $170/year for video conferencing, and supplies like name tags, sharpies, and other small materials for in-person meetings.

What if I can't afford the RSVP cost?
Please contact us! The RSVP fee is not meant to prohibit members from participating. Please contact Sharon (https://www.meetup.com/UXChicago/members/36174882/) through Meetup.com to confidentially request a sponsor for an upcoming event if you do not have the financial means to pay the fee or if accessing a book we are reading creates hardship.

How do you decide where to hold events?
For the time being, we are meeting online only due to COVID-19. When in-person meetings are possible, we are always looking for event spaces. You can find a list of the awesome businesses that have hosted us previously here (https://www.meetup.com/UXChicago/messages/boards/thread/31605402/0/#94553832). If you are interested in hosting us, please contact Sharon (https://www.meetup.com/UXChicago/members/36174882/) through Meetup.com. We prefer to use space that one or more of our members has a professional connection to.

Do events have refreshments?
We don't provide refreshments for online meetings, but we are happy for you to bring your own! For in-person meetings, refreshments will vary each month. We do not require that our hosts provide food or beverages - honestly we are more than happy to have access to free space for our events. When businesses do decide to provide refreshments, the selection has varied widely - water & soda all the way up to microbrews and sandwiches. It's always a good idea to have a bite to eat before you join us if you expect you will be hungry during the event.

Additional questions?
Feel free to read through our forum section (https://www.meetup.com/UXChicago/messages/boards/) or contact one of the organizers (https://www.meetup.com/UXChicago/members/?op=leaders).

Upcoming events (3)

Anthro-Vision: A New Way to See in Business and Life by Gillian Tett

Join us online on Tuesday, September 21 to discuss Gillian Tett's recent book, Anthro-Vision: A New Way to See in Business and Life. About the book, from the publisher:

"In an age when the business world is dominated by technology and data analysis, award-winning financial journalist and anthropology PhD Gillian Tett presents a radically different strategy for success: businesses can revolutionize their understanding of behavior by studying consumers, markets, and organizations through an anthropological lens.

Amid severe digital disruption, economic upheaval, and political flux, how can we make sense of the world? Leaders today typically look for answers in economic models, Big Data, or artificial intelligence platforms. Gillian Tett points to anthropology—the study of human culture. Anthropologists train to get inside the minds of other people, helping them not only to understand other cultures but also to appraise their own environment with fresh perspective as an insider-outsider, gaining lateral vision.

Today, anthropologists are more likely to study Amazon warehouses than remote Amazon tribes; they have done research into institutions and companies such as General Motors, Nestlé, Intel, and more, shedding light on practical questions such as how internet users really define themselves; why corporate projects fail; why bank traders miscalculate losses; how companies sell products like pet food and pensions; why pandemic policies succeed (or not). Anthropology makes the familiar seem unfamiliar and vice versa, giving us badly needed three-dimensional perspective in a world where many executives are plagued by tunnel vision, especially in fields like finance and technology. Lively, lucid, and practical, Anthro-Vision offers a revolutionary new way for understanding the behavior of organizations, individuals, and markets in today’s ever-evolving world."

More information on the publisher's website: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Anthro-Vision/Gillian-Tett/9781982140960

The Politics and Ethics of Representation in Qualitative Research

Join us online on Tuesday, October 12 to discuss The Critical Methodologies Collective's recent book, The Politics and Ethics of Representation in Qualitative Research. About the book, from the publisher:

This book offers insights on politics and ethics of representation that are relevant to researchers concerned with struggles for justice. It takes moments of discomfort in the qualitative research process as important sites of knowledge for exploring representational practices in critical research.

The Politics and Ethics of Representation in Qualitative Research draws on experiences from research processes in nine PhD projects. In some chapters, ethical and political dilemmas related to representational practices are analyzed as experienced in fieldwork. In others, the focus is on the production of representation at the stage of writing. The book deals with questions such as: What does it mean to write about the lives of others? How are ethics and politics of representation intertwined, and how are they distinct? How are politics of representation linked to a practice of solidarity in research? What are the im/possibilities of hope and care in research?

Drawing on grounded empirical research, the book offers input to students, PhDs, researchers, practitioners, activists and others dealing with methodological dilemmas from a critical perspective. Instead of ignoring discomforts, or describing them as solved, we stay with them, showing how such a reflective process provides new, ongoing insights.

The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9780429299674, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

More information on the publisher's website: https://www.routledge.com/The-Politics-and-Ethics-of-Representation-in-Qualitative-Research-Addressing/Collective/p/book/9780367281038#sup

Demystifying Public Speaking by Lara Hogan

Online event


Join us on Monday, November 8 over Zoom to discuss Lara Hogan's Demystifying Public Speaking.

About the book, from the publisher:
"Don’t think public speaking is for you? It is—whether you’re bracing for a conference talk or a team meeting. Lara Hogan helps you identify your fears and effectively face them, so you can make your way to the stage (big or small). Get clear, practical advice through every step, from choosing a topic and creating a presentation, to gathering and distilling feedback, to event-day prep. You’ll feel confident and equipped to step into the spotlight."

More information and the option to read the book for free, on the publisher's website: https://abookapart.com/products/demystifying-public-speaking

Past events (101)

The Promise of Access by Daniel Greene

Online event


Photos (89)

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