• Managing UX, a General Overview

    St Peters Hospital - Mercy Auditorium

    Getting Started with UX can be a challenge when working on your first project. In this presentation I will discuss the impact of organizational culture and usability strategy, in hopes of helping you along the way. We'll look at the various project management approaches (agile/waterfall) and think about when and how to use the right UX methodology/principles to get the job done.

    Also, there will be some group updates which I'd love to hear from the members about. Food and Drinks will be provided, and I look forward to seeing you there! We might even have a few giveaways ;-)

  • World Usability Day Lightning Talks: How I Got Into UX

    User experience is a broad and unique professional field, and there are seemingly endless paths into it. These lightning talks will provide a handful of personal stories about how we each got into UX and how our careers have changed. Join us at Enable Labs for networking, food, and giveaways to celebrate World Usability Day and the professional diversity in our field.


    6:00 — arrive, networking

    6:30 — lightning talks followed by panel discussion

  • Strategic UX with Service Design

    Troy Innovation Garage

    Websites, mobile apps, SMS, social media, email, push notifications… modern technology ecosystems are complex, interconnected, and multi-channel. Creating an app or website in isolation without "connecting the dots" to other people, processes, and technologies can be disastrous. Service Design applies UX principles to generate business strategy insights and gives methods for mapping and optimizing these modern complexities. Expect to walk away with a basic understanding of service design techniques like journey mapping and service blueprints, as well as practical tips on how to start thinking with the end-to-end customer experience always in view.

    Luke Charde has been wrangling to make government technology more humane for over a decade. He is currently Head of Experience Design at the New York State Office of I.T. Services

  • Ready, Set, GO with Dan Romlein


    Ready, Set, GO – Taking the First Steps in a UX Design Project and Unlocking Creativity

    The daunting challenge of a blank page...er...Sketch file. For many of us, the actual “designing” phase of a project is typically fairly comfortable; it’s starting that’s messiest and most challenging. How do you avoid paralysis and get to that place where you can effectively use creativity to solve complex UX problems? Whether you’re designing a dazzling Uber-for-cupcakes consumer product or an HR insurance policy management tool, there are often pieces of the puzzle missing that it’s your job to track down and fit into the overall process. In this talk, I’ll cut through the jargon and buzzwords and dig into practical first steps toward making your next project move faster and be more successful. As part of this we’ll break into groups to test drive some techniques at our disposal to enhance the getting-started process. Expect to walk away more confident of how to go about getting the UX project ball rolling and producing your best work possible.

    Dan Romlein is a UX Designer at Apprenda.

    Pizza will be provided, and free parking is available on either side of the building!

  • A brief introduction to Enterprise (and Industrial) UX

    GE Global Research Center - Steinmetz Auditorium

    Designing experiences inside large organizations for the people who work inside large organizations is called Enterprise UX. It is hard and uniquely satisfying work.

    Examples of enterprise systems include: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Business Process Management (BPM), transactional systems involving cash or trades, expense management systems and Human Machine Interface (HMI) controls to name only a few.

    Designing these types of applications is different than designing for consumer-oriented products. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of opportunities to find out how this work is different.

    I’ll briefly describe a few projects and challenges I’ve experienced at the last few large organizations I’ve worked.

    A global investment company

    A federal agency

    A global industrial company

    I’ll touch on the following topics and what I’ve found to be different from designing for consumer audiences.

    Design is not enough

    Content vs Function


    Users and Customers

    User Adoption









    Business vs Technology

    Then I’ll try to answer the following questions:

    Is enterprise UX a good fit for my next career move?

    How do I build the right skills and portfolio to help me get an enterprise job?

    How do I find enterprise work?


    This talk is primarily oriented toward UX and Interaction designers who work for consumer oriented companies and may be curious about enterprise work.

    Recruiters and those hiring UX within large organizations can also benefit from this talk.

    If you have experience working in large organizations, please come and share your thoughts.

    Presentor: Larry Burks

    Designer of experiences and occasionally physical things. I spent 6 years working for design consulting companies and the last 11 years working inside large companies in Philadelphia, NYC, Washington DC and now Albany. I thrive on solving large thorny design problems that involve multiple stakeholders with diverse points of view. At the end of the day I strive to create useful, humane and (sometimes) enjoyable experiences for those that must use the systems I help to build.

  • Getting the Most From Your Users: A Workshop on Effective UX Research

    To create awesome user experiences, you need to gather feedback from your users. But nobody wants to waste time or money, and it can be a challenge choosing the best research or testing method. In this workshop, you will learn techniques and tools to help you quickly identify and test your most important UX research questions. Think of it as life-hacking the scientific method.

    Anyone who plays a role in product design and development! Designers, developers, project managers, content writers, marketers, researchers, you!

    • Conduct user research quickly on a tight (or no) budget
    • Formulate research questions
    • Decide who your users are, and how to find them
    • Conduct an interview like a pro
    • Collect actionable feedback beyond “I don’t like yellow” or “Make it pop.”

    You can bring a laptop, if you’d like. We’ll supply paper and markers and sticky notes because what is a workshop without sticky notes?

    Do you like swag? We’ve got swag.

    Sponsors for giveaways include Pearson, O'Reilly, A Book Apart, and Nine Pin Cider! Overit (http://overit.com) is also letting us borrow their awesome space.

    The workshop will be led by Becca Kennedy, who is closing in on a PhD in Human Factors Psychology and is the cofounder of Kennason (https://twitter.com/kennasonux), a local consulting company specializing in UX research, design, and strategy.

  • Hard Hat Tour at Troy Innovation Garage

    Troy Innovation Garage

    The Troy Innovation Garage is a new space where creative entrepreneurs will work and collaborate. The Garage is still under construction, but we're going to stop by for a Hard Hat tour to get a sneak peek of what's up and coming in our community!

    Space is limited!


  • Designing for Brains: the Psychology of User Experience w/Marissa Epstein

    By now, you probably already know the importance of user research, and better understanding your users' needs and tasks. But it's also important to dig deeper, into the psychology of what motivates them, and understand how humans really behave and think. Leave off those rose-colored glasses and see how users actually perceive an experience. In reality, humans have limited memory and focus; we’re swayed by emotion more than we'd care to admit. Carefully considering every single thing in our lives would be far too overwhelming, so humans often revert to using their more primitive fight-or-flight "lizard brains" to make decisions quickly.

    Marissa, a UX Designer at Lullabot, will discuss fundamental principles of cognitive and behavioral psychology, and how they apply to creating smooth user experiences. See the mistakes even intelligent people can make, and how you should handle them. Human-proof your designs by feeding the lizard brain, and help website visitors skip complicated thinking with simple interactions.


    Marissa is a UX Designer for Lullabot (https://www.lullabot.com (https://www.lullabot.com/)), where she wears many proverbial hats. She brings a passion for well-architected websites, responsive design, and psychology fundamentals to UX problems, and also loves obsessively tackling project management details. Her work has run the gamut, from packaging big brands like Wrigley and Kraft (Macaroni & Cheese), to creating thoughtful brands and experiences for startups. Marissa currently resides in Providence, RI with her boyfriend, Will Farrell (not that one).

  • Lean, Collaborative User Research w/Dani Nordin

    Upside Collective

    Welcome back everyone for the new year! What better way to kick things off, than another awesome meetup. We have a new location with the local Drupal Meetup (https://groups.drupal.org/albany-ny/) in downtown Albany. We are going to take a page out of the WP518 (https://www.meetup.com/wordpress-wp518/) playbook this time, and stream the presentation via google hangout; as Dani is a Massachusetts native. There will be plenty of food and a great atmosphere, so hope to see you there.

    Hangout link will be announced in comments the day of event.

    The live broadcast will be available here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTLcbZAga4M)on youtube.


    Many teams insist they have no time or budget for usability testing, even if they're convinced of the benefits. But what if you could find ways to create, implement and report on usability issues quickly and collaboratively?

    In this session, UX designer and researcher Dani Nordin will outline the process she's developed at two separate companies to bring user-centered design practices into an Agile product team. You'll learn techniques to rapidly benchmark your user experience, test and report findings, and align stakeholders on critical usability issues.

    Some of the things we'll cover: Aligning with stakeholders on research goals; Collaborative test planning; Unmoderated vs. moderated testing: which one to use when? Lean usability reports; Balancing qualitative insights with quantitative measures (analytics, surveys, etc.)

    This presentation is for you if you:

    • Work in an Agile or Lean product team and want to include user-centered design, but can't "find time for research".

    • Want to learn quick ways to understand how your actual target users experience your product (not people at Starbucks!).

    • Know there are problems in your current experience, but can't get stakeholders to buy into fixing them without more data.

    About the Presenter:

    Dani Nordin is Director of Digital UX at Pegasystems, where she oversees user experience improvements for all of Pegasystems’ global web properties. She is the author of several books for O’Reilly, including Drupal for Designers (http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920024873.do), Planning and Managing Drupal Projects (http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920020264.do), and Drupal Development Tricks for Designers (http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920020301.do). She has also created two video series for O'Reilly, Learning UX Fundamentals (http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920040170.do) (2015) and Designing with Empathy (http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920043225.do) (2015).

  • Design Studio

    St Peters Hospital - Mercy Auditorium

    About Design Studio:

    The web is ever changing. Designing for the web in a user-centric way, while adhering to ever growing requirements, is even more difficult. Design Studio is a process that brings together public relations, designers, developers, and content experts. Their goal is to follow this fast paced, but structured ideation session to design a project look and feel in a collaborative and fun way. This working session is perfect for those who are responsible for developing or designing new web applications or websites, public information offices and front line content editors. The Design Studio process has many affinities with Lean and Agile approaches.

    About the Presenters:

    Courtney Jordan, Web Designer/Developer, ITS TED Cluster, is a graduate from the State University at Cobleskill in 2009 with a Bachelor in Technology in Electronic Marketing and Publishing. Courtney has a graphic design, typography, front-end designer, and developer background. After college, Courtney freelanced her skills, working to expand her knowledge within current web trends. In 2011, she began employment as a front-end designer within the Department of Labor and now presently works for the Department of Transportation. She has held many successful Design Studios for various projects such as Ride Safe NY (http://ridesafeny.com (http://ridesafeny.com/)) and the Career Center Locator ( https://labor.ny.gov/career-center-locator ).

    Jeffrey Herb, a Network Administrator turned User Experience/Interaction Designer, works for the New York State Department of Information Technology Services. For the last five years he has been stationed at the Department of Labor as part of its User Experience team. During this time he helped many application and website content editors create engaging and user-centric web sites and applications with the goal of helping the citizens of New York discover many different programs for those looking for work, obtaining statistical data, and filing for unemployment insurance. Currently he is working for the Department of Taxation and Finance as a member of the User Interface and Support team.