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UX Boston Conference #1!

User Experience design is an overwhelmingly massive profession. It is one which lives in overlapping areas of design, psychology, technology, and art. That is why #UXBCon features 10 brilliant local designers from all corners of the trade with talks ranging from accessibility and research to motion and branding. We're extremely excited to be able to take part in this event, and hope to see you there!

1. Unconventional User Experiences 

by Derek Cascio

A good user experience requires much more than just a good UI. It must be considered by every facet of an organization and influence both the physical and digital products they produce. Derek will share how this ethos guided his team as they developed a rather unconventional user experience with Design Museum Boston. 


Derek Cascio is the co-founder of Design Museum Boston where he currently serves on their Board of Directors. In addition to his activities with the museum, Derek is also a freelance designer and educator currently working as a faculty member in the Industrial Design department at Wentworth Institute of Technology. He is a compulsive doodler and always enjoys getting together for a cup of coffee.

LinkedIn: Derek Cascio 

2. The Other Half of the Job

by Aaron Scott

We designers are often supremely confident in our ability to design well. But if we are all such great designers, then why doesn’t every client project result in a shining exemplar of design? Part of the reason is that while we spend our days researching, developing use cases, wireframing user pathways, and polishing layouts, we can easily neglect the most critical component in publishing our work: client approval. In this talk, Aaron will review strategies for managing the design process to make sure that your best work is the work the client loves and that you are proud to have in your portfolio.


Prior to founding Leap, Aaron was an Illustrator, Graphic Designer, Videographer, Editor, and an Interactive Creative Director for both major consumer brands and startups. He has worked on brands such as Hard Rock Café, Hummer, Budweiser, Novartis, GMAC, Hammer + Sickle Vodka, Blurb, Esurance, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, and the National Cancer Institute. He holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and has been recognized by Graphis; the ReBrand100; and the Facebook Creativity Awards.

LinkedIn: Aaron Scott

3. Designing motion as part of a UX process

by Matthew Crist

Design isn't static anymore. We must think about adding motion to our designs to help users. This means that our design processes need to adapt to account for adding this motion to our final deliverables. 


Matthew Crist is a Principal at Cantina with a passion for crafting great experiences through an iterative creative process. In his career, Matthew has worked with companies like Macy's, MTV, Rue La La, McLaren, and Fidelity. Recently, he has focused on helping companies refine their ideas into useful products for their customers. 

LinkedIn: Matthew Crist

4. Facilitating healthy behavior changes

by Tom Boates

Leading an active and healthy life is a difficult thing to do. In this talk, Tom will discuss RunKeeper's approach to creating lasting and meaningful change in fitness behaviors as well as their process for doing so and some of the things they've learned along the way.


Tom Boates (Everybody!) is the VP of User Experience at RunKeeper and has been in charge of the UX for both apps and the website for the past 5 1/2 years, watching the user base grow from 50k to 30M+.  Prior to that he has worked at a handful of startups including nimbit, matchmine, and currensee.

LinkedIn: Tom Boates

5. SEO and UX: The Peanut Butter & Jelly of the Web

by Tom Shapiro

SEO and UX make the perfect ingredients for a successful website. SEO is the peanut butter to attract high volumes of website visitors at the precise time that they are seeking your types of products, services or information. UX is the jelly to ensure your website visitors have a sweet and satisfying experience and continue to have positive thoughts of your brand after they leave your site. Although the principles of SEO and UX might seem contradictory, Tom will walk you through effective methods of integrating SEO and UX for better site results. 


Tom Shapiro is the founder of Digital Marketing NOW, a strategy, marketing and design agency in Cambridge. Throughout Tom's career, he has developed digital strategies for clients ranging from startups to market leaders such as HP, AT&T, Intel, Experian and P&G. Tom's thoughts on websites, UX and marketing have been published in, MarketingProfs, Website Magazine and many others.

LinkedIn: Tom Shapiro

6. UX Research & Design as a strategic engine for Innovation 

by Carlos Cardenas

In this talk Carlos will share his vision of the role of UX research and design as a strategic engine for innovation. Technology is evolving at an accelerated pace and the opportunities to create new products and services present challenges for both established organizations and emerging entrepreneurs alike. The role of UX research and design goes beyond developing simple, beautiful and user-friendly interfaces and has become and essential component of how organizations understand and design for their future success.


As Vice President of THE MEME, Carlos has worked with UX design centers and product innovation teams for leading global organizations (e.g. Samsung Electronics, LG) providing research and strategy that have guided the development of physical/digital products on the market. 

LinkedIn: Carlos Cardenas

7. User Research for the Web and Applications 

by Dani Nordin

In this talk, Dani Nordin will discuss techniques and deliverables to help teams understand their site's users, organize content and visualize task flows. This includes a demonstration of a post-up workshop done for the Congregational Library, as well as exercises that help attendees understand their current design challenges.


Dani Nordin is a UX Designer specializing in helping hard-working Drupal teams organize, gather requirements for, and understand the content and users of complex projects. In addition to speaking about UX and Drupal around the country, Dani also teaches the User Experience Design course at General Assembly in Boston. Author of O'Reilly's Drupal for Designers (2012) and one of many authors of The Definitive Guide to Drupal 7 (Apress, 2011)

LinkedIn: Dani Nordin

8. How accessibility guides us to better front-end design patterns

by Jesse Beach

What would the field of web design be without grids, typography, icons, layouts and responsive page reflows? I ask myself this question all the time. In many ways, I'm agnostic to design because the visual layer in a browser is just one expression of the document. We might also express the document aurally or tactilely; a machine might index it or parse it to find fragments of information to insert into some other document. In recent history, the web has been synonymous with visual media. It's time to sift the application state information from the visual layer of hovers and highlights and classes. Instead let's invest the markup with this information so that our interfaces reflect data and application state rather than mix with it. In this talk I will describe how techniques developed to enable screen reading user agents to understand the state of an HTML document have given us the tools to let any user agent, even a visual browser, express state cleanly. The end result will be more accessible content and applications for everyone.


From UX design to front end development, Jesse's experience in the web began as a designer and has evolved into a developer. She focuses on building rock solid, beautiful, accessible and extensible tools for other front end developers on the Drupal platform. Jesse is currently part of Dries Buytaert's Spark team, a group of domain experts. The Spark team is tasked with bringing cutting edge UX patterns and functionality to Drupal Core.

LinkedIn: Jesse Beach

9. Designing Government

by Danny Chapman

In this talk, Danny will present on his experience participating in the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, the federal government's 21st Century Digital Strategy, open source design, and much more. There are tremendous opportunities for design and UX professionals to get involved improving how our democracy functions. Learn how you can lend a hand. 


Danny Chapman has been improving citizen to government interactions online for over nine years. Most recently, Danny served as a member of the inaugural class of Presidential Innovation Fellows at the White House. His work can be seen at the new, as well as for White House initiatives including and

LinkedIn: Danny Chapman

10. A storyFirst approach to Human-Centered Design

by lou suSi

When we design for experience, subtle and peculiar shifts come into play that demand a uniquely empathic way of thinking about our practice. 

We’re no longer designing for an ‘audience’ or ‘viewers’ through our previously static / mass mediated, one-way delivery of the information and designs we’re communicating. Instead, when we consider aspects of interactive engagement for our ‘users’ to experience — we need to thoughtfully dream up the actual stories we’re asking the people in our audience to actively live out. In this talk we discuss the benefits of putting story at the center of a human-centered design approach to improve the design process as well as the quality of the total human experience we’re ultimately all creating through our work.


lou suSi is an accomplished experience design professional with over 20 years in the field. He currently focuses on user experience, design education, public speaking, curation, performance art and cyberSurrealism. His most recent work as the Director of Human Awareness Research with myOwnMind, qualitatively investigates the uncanny valley embedded within our evolving human experience as we adapt and deal with the ‘progress’ of The Information Age.

LinkedIn: lou suSi

Show schedule

10:00 - 10:25: 1. Derek Cascio

10:30 - 10:55: 2. Aaron Scott

11:00 - 11:25: 3. Matthew Crist

11:25 - 11:40: break

11:40 - 12:05: 4. Tom Boates

12:10 - 12:35: 5. Tom Shapiro

12:35 - 1:35: lunch

1:35 - 2:00: 6. Carlos Cardenas 

2:05 - 2:30: 7. Dani Nordin

2:30 - 2:45: break

2:45 - 3:10: 8. Jesse Beach

3:15 - 3:40: 9. Danny Chapman 

3:45 - 4:10: 10. lou suSi

4:30+ After party @ MeadHall

Join or login to comment.

  • Danny C.

    Thanks everyone for listening! I had an amazing time meeting many of you. Keep up the good work Akshat! Slides are online here:

    1 · July 23, 2014

  • Brian A.

    Excellent conference. Parking and finding the conference was easy for the Boston area. Lots of interesting talks including a design museum in Boston, accessibility for the blind, and government usability opportunities. Looking forward to attending the next conference.

    1 · July 23, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    There is little value in my slides. Better to go right to the source for WAI-ARIA details:

    2 · July 22, 2014

  • Julie T.

    I remember that bit in the conference about a Google search leading directly to customize content on the webpage for the user based on their search criteria. Does anybody have a link to how this is done?

    1 · July 22, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent event - well run and great speakers. Looking forward to the next one! Catherine

    2 · July 22, 2014

  • Carlos C.

    Great Experience participating, special thanks to Akshat and team for the organization. I am sharing my slides here:

    4 · July 22, 2014

  • Tom S.

    Many thanks for coming out for the event, everyone. Here are my slides:

    3 · July 21, 2014

  • Philip S.

    Terrific spectrum of topics and excellent speakers. Great opportunity to meet interesting UX professionals.

    3 · July 20, 2014

  • ALF

    Excellent! This was a very informative conference with a diverse pool of speakers covering a wide range of UX related topics. Great opportunity to speak with others and gain valuable information. I look forward to the November event!!

    3 · July 20, 2014

  • Bill B.

    I'll add my voice to the chorus of congratulations to Akshat & his team. This was a well-run, well-organized, truly worthwhile conference, and I look forward to the next one.

    2 · July 20, 2014

  • Bobby K.

    Loved the conference; thank you to everyone who organized the event and who spoke. I walked away with far too many new ideas - a good problem to have!

    3 · July 20, 2014

  • Lou S.

    thanks to everyone that came out to the conference yesterday — i really got a lot out of the variety of topics that were presented as well as all of the valuable interactions with so many fascinating and talented designers, developers and other ux professionals in attendance i just posted the storyFirst presentation up on SlideShare here, for anyone that's interested in viewing it or downloading it:

    i also put a SpeakerRate page up for anyone that might be interested in providing feedback, comments or other further discussion on the topic of leverage storytelling techniques as part of the experience design process

    thanks again — and enjoy the rest of the weekend and the remainder of the Summer!

    3 · July 20, 2014

  • Julie T.

    this was a great conference. I thought Akshat was great at facilitating the social stuff. The speakers were very informative and engaging. Very seldom do I come away from a conference with my head so stuffed full of ideas and things to try that I feel overwhelmed. Now to go forth and put some of them to the test!

    3 · July 19, 2014

  • Tom L.

    Thanks for a great conference! For a print designer just starting to explore UX, there was lots of valuable how-to information, as well as helpful chat time with other designers. Most importantly, there was nothing to dissuade me from continuing down the UX path!

    3 · July 19, 2014

  • Matthew C.

    4 · July 19, 2014

  • April

    Cold room!
    Great event overall! Thank you

    3 · July 19, 2014

  • Akshat

    Hi Speakers, it would be great if you could post a link to your slides in the comments. I think attendees will appreciate it. Thanks!

    July 19, 2014

  • Derek C.

    Hi all! Thanks again for coming today. I hope you found it thought provoking. I'm sorry I couldn't stay longer but please feel free to drop me a line. I can be reached here or at [masked] or or at my personal e-mail [masked]. You can also download a PDF copy of my presentation here if you'd like it>

    Thanks again and I hope to see you at a museum event soon!

    7 · July 19, 2014

  • Akshat

    Hi all, I've been getting requests to allow purchases at the door and open up spots. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of moving parts to a conference and changing things last minute creates a janky experience for everybody else involved. We miss you and we hope to see you at the next one!

    July 18, 2014

  • Philipp W.

    Looking to buy a ticket. Did I miss the boat or can I still get in?

    July 18, 2014

  • Nathaneal J.

    I know this is late and improbably, but is there any way I can buy two tickets for this workshop?

    July 16, 2014

  • Henry W.

    How late can I purchase tickets?

    1 · June 30, 2014

    • Lynn F.

      Hi there, I am coming across this a bit late but am interested in attending. Are tickets still available for purchase? Thank you.

      1 · July 15, 2014

    • Marcela M.

      Looks like you can still RSVP and pay...

      1 · July 15, 2014

  • Chris

    Darn, I can't make it. Any plans for a #2?

    1 · July 13, 2014

    • Akshat

      Yup, I'm already looking for speakers for Nov 17th! Let me know if you know someone interested.

      July 13, 2014

  • Akshat

    Hi all, a few people were asking if the sessions are being recorded. We won't be doing any video recording but if you would like to record a particular talk please ask the speaker directly.

    1 · July 9, 2014

  • Marcela M.

    what is parking situation?

    2 · June 25, 2014

    • Akshat

      Hi Marcela, you're able to park at NERD's garage for $10 all day.

      1 · June 26, 2014

84 went

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