• The Role of Strategy in Design Thinking
    What is the role of strategy in design thinking, and how does it play out through the life cycle of a project? The Ignite Salesforce team works closely with enterprises to understand their customers, and synthesize their needs into actionable insights. In this session we’ll look at specific case studies and see how customer research translated into strategic insights, that carried through the design process. SPEAKER Arvin Dang is a designer with the Salesforce Ignite team. Formerly with design consultancy, gravitytank, Salesforce acquired gravitytank to guide enterprise customers using a human centered approach. Together with his team of strategists, designers and researchers, the Ignite team captures customer insights, prototypes concepts, and shares these learnings across Salesforce’s largest customers. LOCATION DETAILS The Salesforce Innovation Center is located at 114 W Illinois, suite 300. If you don't see someone downstairs just dial 300 at the call box. Take the elevator to the 4th floor.

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    Salesforce Innovation Center

    114 W Illinois St Suite 300 · Chicago, il

  • A Map of Maps: Aligning Customer Experience Across the Product Lifecycle
    SUMMARY There are value proposition & business model canvases, customer journey & experience maps… these and other map-like design tools uncover and align needs and offerings, connect people and products. How do these tools relate to and interface with one another? And most importantly, how do they help us build knowledge of our customers into our products as they develop and mature? In this workshop, we’ll explore a “map of maps,” and look along the product lifecycle to see when to select from the many maps & diagrams we can choose from; see how to apply them to a given product stage to achieve fit, gain traction and pursue growth; and continually keep the customer in view so that we can design our product & service offerings in a human-centered way. Who Will Benefit This talk+workshop is especially suited for UX practitioners who want a better understanding of how various mapping tools are employed to uncover and build upon different learning and design contexts. It will also help product owners and product managers, as well as design-conscious business leaders, who want to see use cases of mapping the relationship between business value and user value. We'll cover content about the intrinsic value of mapping; the changing priorities and strategies of products throughout their lifecycle; and finally an inventory of mapping methods we can make use of as our products are nurtured and grow. 5:30 PM Doors Open 6:00 PM Workshop Begins 7:00 PM Q&A and socializing Fuzzy Math will generously provide drinks and snacks for the event. BIO Jeff serves as Creative Director at Highland Solutions in Chicago, and has designed products and services across numerous verticals for nearly 20 years. His drive to experiment, learn rapidly through dialog and be inclusive of multiple perspectives comes from founding or being part of several startups and growth oriented companies. These environments demand continuously trying new things, pivoting from what doesn't create traction, and using all available resources at hand. And a lot of hustle. He believes that even the best value props are imaginary until the voice of the customer is present, and works with clients to create models & maps that keep the customer perspective front and center. He has found that collaborative design is highly beneficial, if not critical, to product success.

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    Fuzzy Math

    811 W Evergreen Ave #305 · Chicago, IL

  • What’s Causing Your Innovation Bottleneck?
    Innovation failure is not a result of a lack of ideas or effort, but a lack of understanding of how ideas flow in large systems. There was a time when corporations had to be convinced that innovation is important. Today, every corporation has some form of innovation strategy, either outsourced or in-house. However, most innovation leaders find that lack of integration and connectedness of such projects often lead to unsuccessful outcomes. When we studied companies, across the board, we saw a disconnect between innovation efforts and overall company strategy due to inefficient operational flows and lack of buy-in from middle management. All of this leads to (sometimes severe) implementation bottlenecks for innovation projects. In this talk, Shilpi will discuss broad insights and potential solutions to consider if you are a design leader in a large organization. SPEAKER Shilpi Kumar is the founder and leader of Khoj Lab where the mission is to help organizations and innovation leaders discover new opportunities for growth and optimize operational flows to tackle implementation bottlenecks. Before founding Khoj Lab, Shilpi was part of the innovation kitchen at Herman Miller where she led global research initiatives to inform and establish a point of view on the future of the business and the future of work itself. Following which she helped GE Transportation Digital operation and strategy teams define an integrated business process for new product development. Shilpi has a professional BArch from BIT Mesra, Ranchi, India, Masters of Design from the Industrial Design Center at IIT Bombay, India, and a Masters of Design Methods from the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. HOST Thanks to the Institute of Design for hosting and providing drinks!

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    Institute of Design

    565 W Adams St · Chicago, IL

  • Supporting the Internal UX Team – The Consultant’s Perspective
    As consultants, we often partner up with our clients internal UX teams. As with any internal business unit, we see similar obstacles apply to these teams, with an added layer of challenges based on the organization's UX maturity. During this presentation, we will share stories from the consultant perspective on how we can use our external position to help the internal UX team's success, growth, and advocacy of UX across their organization. This is an event to unite UX professionals and allies across the consultant/in-house worlds for a fruitful evening of knowledge sharing and friendly collaboration. 6:00 PM – Doors open 6:30 PM – Presentation begins SPEAKERS Whitney McKedy, Co-founder, Experience Design at Traceable Change As co-founder of Traceable Change, Whitney has built a practice around a passion for stretching the boundaries of UX by engaging innovation and developing custom products and approaches that answer difficult and challenging business questions across a variety of industries. Prior to her time practicing UX research and design, she studied human behavior and motivations through social psychology, cognitive psychology, and anthropology. Ever since then, she has enjoyed continuing to learn and shape the way humans interact with the many components of their environment. Steve Shay, ECD, User Experience Design at iCrossing As national UX Lead for iCrossing, Steve Shay is responsible for developing and leading the agency’s UX research and design practice. His goal is to create experience strategies and frameworks solutions that lead clients and project teams out of chaos and into highly-performing design solutions that are backed by measurable, data-driven insights. Steve is passionate about co-creation and loves collaborating with users and clients alike to run research and design workshops that help solve the most important business and experience problems across the customer journey. HOSTS Traceable Change and iCrossing Chicago will provide happy hour beverages (beer, wine, water) and light refreshments. Please check in on the first floor and take the elevator up to the 3rd floor We recommend taking public transportation as street parking is limited. EVENT PARTNER UX Love events gather the Chicago UX community in a fun environment to meet, mingle, and learn from each other so we can make new connections and get better at our work at the same time. Each event focuses on various aspects of User Experience as a craft and career, highlighting the issues and opportunities that UX professionals and students encounter as our industry evolves, and sharing best practices for doing great work every day.

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    312 N Carpenter St 3rd Floor · Chicago, il

  • Letting Go: Bringing Others into the Design Process
    As designers, we care about trying to bring things into the world that positively impact people’s lives. In trying to achieve our goals, sometimes we hold on tight to a lot of ideas about the way that we do things, the tools that we use, and how we work together. But what if getting what we want had more to do with letting go of what is familiar in order to bring others into the design process? We’ll explore how embracing the idea of letting go – and what specifically we should try letting go of – will actually help us be more effective within our organizations. SPEAKER Ryan Page serves as the VP, Product Design for Cars.com. In his role, Ryan leads a team of talented and multi-disciplinary product designers across the organization. Together with partners across the company, the team aims to elevate and transform the experience of shopping for a car to be transparent, convenient, and inspiring. Prior to joining Cars.com, Ryan served as Head of Design, Card Partnerships for Capital One, where he worked to help improve customers' relationship with money. Ryan's experience spans early-stage startups, digitally-focused agencies, and in-house teams, with a proven track record of results. He's passionate about designing and delivering end-to-end experiences that create value for people and businesses, and believes that making design more broadly accessible and understood is critical in making that happen. HOSTING Solstice is a leading Innovation and Emerging Tech Consulting firm. Solstice helps Fortune 500 companies seize new opportunities through groundbreaking digital solutions.

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    111 North Canal Street, Suite 700 · Chicago, il

  • With Great Power: Design Ethics + User Experience
    From dark patterns and data breaches to social media hatemongering and live-streamed terror, the digital experiences and interactions we help create as designers are increasingly hijacked and used in wicked ways we never intended—or could even imagine. But as designers, are we really absolved from responsibility? Are we truly innocent in these outcomes? Building on their research and POV work at the intersection of activism and technology and compassionate design, Stewart and García will present evidence from today’s headlines (and history) as a case for establishing a new design dogma and greater demand for self-reflection, resolve and responsibility by designers. SPEAKERS Theresa Stewart is a Designer and Cultural Consultant who has been crafting meaningful experience in a range of industries, including consumer electronics, retail, and healthcare. In addition to design, she is passionate about diversity and inclusion and has been a fierce advocate for creating spaces for designers of color in the industry. The focus of her company, colored, is to help design organizations create more inclusive environments for black and brown designers by identify gaps in their inclusion efforts and creating solutions, including policy, recruitment, and retention strategies. Additionally, she serves as the Design Ethics Chair for AIGA Chicago, a new position created based on her recommendation. Antonio García is AIGA Chicago’s VP of Diversity & Inclusion and Group Experience Director at Rightpoint. Prior to joining Rightpoint’s design leadership team, he helped launch Northern Lab, Northern Trust’s internal innovation accelerator. Before that he led gravitytank’s interaction design discipline and social innovation practice. Prior to working in innovation, Antonio was strategic director of Firebelly Design. Antonio teaches Visual Storytelling and Communication Design at Northwestern University’s Segal Design Institute and previously taught Customer Discovery as part of University of Chicago’s Polsky Center Entrepreneurship Essentials. A frequent contributor to community conversations on the topics of diversity, culture and creativity, Antonio believes design’s sole function is to cause change. HOSTING Rightpoint is an independent customer experience agency with technology at our core. We create seamless digital experiences driven by insight, strategy, technology and design to evolve the way our clients do business.

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    29 North Upper Wacker Drive · Chicago, IL

  • Prototyping Business Opportunities
    Companies are increasingly launching to learn. Companies such as GE are increasingly prototyping products in order to test them in the marketplace. AirBNB and Uber completely changed their business models after they launched based on consumer reception. This model of beta testing, popularized by companies like Microsoft and Google, is becoming the new norm in consumer products and services. Nicholas Paredes will discuss how your company or your startup can learn from these organizations, and bring products to market more rapidly and constructively. — Nicholas Paredes is an experience designer and entrepreneur. He has led design sprints for BMW, led Lean design teams for Grainger, and brought award winning mobile experiences to market for Walgreens. Nicholas has also worked on projects for companies and startups across e-commerce, financial, insurance, and connected products sectors. He is currently Director of Experience Design at Vokal and works on an on-demand beauty startup.


    350 N ORLEANS STREET, SUITE 1350 · Chicago, il

  • Introduction to Customer Experience Mapping
    What we'll do: “As competition and buyer empowerment compounds, customer experience itself is proving to be the only truly durable competitive advantage.” - Gartner Research Customer Experience Mapping is a key practice for businesses to be able to truly understand what customers care about and how they make them feel. The insights gained from this activity are critical to enable your organization to deliver exceptional in-person and digital experiences and succeed in the age of the customer. Learn how these collaborative, creative activities can produce valuable Customer Experience Maps that will fuel your team's insight and innovation. You’ll learn: -How leading companies use customer experience as a critical competitive advantage -The building blocks of Customer Experience Mapping activities -How to introduce Customer Experience Mapping to your own organization *Highland Solutions will graciously be hosting this event, and will provide light refreshments.* 5:30pm Doors Open 6:00pm Workshop Begins 7:30pm Questions & Networking Important to know: Only registered attendees will be permitted to Highland's office. Attendees should report to the front desk at the Chicago Board of Trade building and will need to show ID to enter. When registering on Meetup, please share your name as it is listed on your ID. Registration will end one day prior to the event. What to bring: Your inquisitive minds!

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    Highland Solutions

    141 W Jackson Blvd #2200 · Chicago

  • Develop Like a Designer: The Art of APIs
    We all know the value of rapid prototyping in the product development process and it's a standard part of designing visual interfaces. Imagine bringing your team the same value when designing back end services. Ever wonder how Facebook's login works across multiple apps? APIs are the highways that businesses use to share data with each other—it’s what almost all digital products use to connect with you, whether you're searching for a hotel in Paris or posting your latest photos from Lyon. APIs are technical tools and text-based interfaces that still need the same approach as a visual UI. In this workshop, you’ll learn what APIs are and the basic grammar that governs them. We’ll tear down the boundaries between developers and UX through hands-on activities. At the end of the workshop, you’ll have researched and designed a simple, usable API without having coded a single line. No technical knowledge necessary. Just because it's a technical tool doesn't mean it should be hard to use. APIs are becoming more and more ubiquitous. Knowing how to apply design thinking to APIs will help save your team precious time and ultimately get your product to market faster. Emily Ryou, Senior UX Researcher at Allstate/Arity and Jenny Wanger, former Product Manager at Arity will present.

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    222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza Suite 875 · Chicago, IL

  • Designing for the Connected Vehicle
    Learn how the BMW Technology Office has introduced a Lean UX/Agile strategy to a large distributed team in order to deliver an experience that connects drivers to their vehicles across multiple touchpoints and devices. See how rapid/iterative design can be incorporated into traditional automotive design practices in order to optimize expectations of features and functionalities to deliver premium products to customers in 27 countries. Jason Maxham (Senior Product Designer) and Ketan Patel (Senior Manager Product Marketing) will be presenting. WeWork is graciously hosting our Meetup again this month providing space and drinks. Vokal has been kind enough to provide food for the event. — WeWork (https://www.wework.com/buildings/river-north--chicago--IL) provides small businesses, startups, freelancers, large enterprises, and everyone in between with the workspace, community, and services they need to make a life, not just a living. Vokal (https://www.vokal.io) transforms businesses with impactful digital experiences.

    WeWork River North

    111 W Illinois St. · Chicago, IL