May 6th: Designing a Concept for a Smartwatch

For our May meeting, Lawrence Najjar will lead us in an interactive, highly participatory exercise to design a concept for a near-future, feasible, and popular smartwatch. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a wrist mounted device, then brainstorm the user experience design of various aspects of the smartwatch, including input/output, applications, display, power, wristband, accessories, and cost. Bring your creativity and enjoy a fun evening of innovative, wearable UX design.

Speaker Bio
Lawrence Najjar is an award-winning UX designer who worked for small design consulting firms and large enterprises to make the complex simple. He analyzed user needs, wrote personas and use cases, designed annotated wireframe scenarios, and gathered user feedback to design software enterprise applications, portals, mobile apps, Web applications, and e-commerce sites. He also designed the US air traffic controller keyboard, an accessible print/copy/scan/fax machine, and a wearable computer for poultry plant quality assurance inspectors. Lawrence has advanced degrees in engineering psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Event Details
Where: Mutual Mobile, 206 East 9th Street, Suite 1400, Austin, TX 78701
When: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
6:30 PM: Chit-chat, pizza and drinks
7:00 – 8:00 PM: Interactive design exercise

Pizza and beer generously provided by Mutual Mobile.

We now have a Meetup group, so please RSVP here:

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2014 Austin UXPA board members

We’d like to make a much overdue announcement of our board members:

Candice McFarland
Lawrence Najjar
Reyda Taylor
Danielle Smith

Candice McFarland is a user experience researcher for Dell’s B2B websites globally. What does that mean? Well, she’s a combo researcher/strategist with a huge dollop of user advocacy. (Go, IT pros!) Before that, she was in Dallas working with clients like Disney, Microsoft, Michelin and Moen on fabulous methodologies like usability testing, card sorting, cognitive walkthroughs and focus groups. When she’s not stalking Tom Tullis, you can find Candice watching reality dance shows and keeping things she reads in UTest a state secret.

Lawrence Najjar is a very experienced UX designer who has worked for small design consulting firms and large enterprises to make the complex simple.  He analyzed user needs, wrote personas and use cases, designed annotated wireframes, and gathered user feedback for clients that include 1-800-FLOWERS, Federal Aviation Administration, Girl Scouts of the USA, Home Depot, Informatica, Orbitz, and Shell.  Nielsen Norman Group named his Campbell Soup Company design one of the year’s 10 best intranets.  Recently, he designed several mobile applications and a smartwatch user interface.  Passionate about user experience, he published over 75 professional papers and gave dozens of presentations at professional society meetings, industry lunches, and academic classrooms.  Lawrence has a Ph.D. in Engineering Psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Reyda Taylor is an applied cultural anthropologist. She specializes in qualitative and mixed-method research, with particular enthusiasm for in-context research strategies such as ethnography and contextual inquiry. She received a BA in Psychology from Ouachita Baptist University and a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Florida.

Danielle Smith holds a M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering with a concentration in Human Factors Engineering and Ergonomics and a Certificate in Human-Computer Interaction from Virginia Tech, and a B.A. in Psychology. Currently, she works as a UX researcher for Human Interfaces, Inc. Her experience in usability and HCI spans over 50 projects from academia, industry, and government.

Danielle has professional certification from the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics as an Associate Human Factors Professional (AHFP). In addition to the UXPA, she is a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) and the Order of the Engineer.

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April 1st: Enterprise Software that Doesn’t Suck.

Enterprise Software that Doesn’t Suck.

Why do the tools we use for everyday business- for example time sheet and expense reporting- often not meet the standards of consumer products, and how do we make them better? For this meeting we will hold a panel discussion featuring leading experts in the field.

Panel members:
Chris Sader – User Experience Engineer / Researcher at PROS
Michelle Peterson – Customer Experience Research Lead at Rackspace Hosting
Ryan West – Director, User Experience at Dell
Krishna Brown – Lead User Experience Architect at the Advisory Board Company

6:30pm – 7:00pm gathering, chit-chat, refreshments, UXPA announcements
7:00pm – 8:00pm – Panel discussion + Q&A

Where: Generously hosted by Rackspace Austin
9001 N I H 35 #150, Austin, TX 78753

Free parking is available in the main lot- please note you can park anywhere EXCEPT spots marked “Career Point College”

Please RSVP:

on facebook or send an email to austinupa [at] gmail [dot] com with “RSVP April 1″ in the title

We hope to see you there!

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Job openings at PROS

PROS: BIG data solutions for optimizing ….. Sales, Pricing, Quoting, Rebates, Revenue Management. Software for companies in the manufacturing, distribution, services and travel industries is hiring!

There are two job openings currently available. Although the location listed is Houston, these positions may be filled at the Austin office. See links for details:

User Experience (UX) Designer Req ID 5643 – Product Management

Intern – User Experience Research Req ID 7044 – Product Management

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March 4th: Amanda McGlothlin – Design & Engineering – Build Better Together

We are pleased to announce Amanda McGlothlin will be presenting a special preview of her SXSW talk at our March meeting:

Design & Engineering – Build Better Together

When building mobile products, the line between the role of a designer and engineer keeps getting blurrier. Even with this breakdown in specialization, there is still friction in getting teams with unique perspectives to work together well. There are two major issues teams face: a lack of empathy and a mismatch of tools and deliverables. This session will explore case studies on successful collaborations between design and engineering, programs you can implement to encourage empathy and candor, and tools available to help make getting designs into code faster.

About the speaker:
Amanda McGlothlin, Group Creative Director at Mutual Mobile

Amanda McGlothlin guides the design aesthetic of Mutual Mobile. An evangelist for simplicity in visual design and user experience, Amanda’s fingerprints can be seen across mobile initiatives spanning from Cisco to Audi.

Amanda guides clients through the initial planning stages to help devise their mobile strategy and to generate a roadmap for the project. Her project visions – the result of iterations of workflows based upon user research – balance business objectives with the needs of real users.

Before joining Mutual Mobile, Amanda polished her visual design and user interface knowledge working for a boutique agency, where she helped manage everything from branding to front-end development. Amanda also worked with the marketing and advertising firm T3 and operated her own photography studio. She has been recognized as a leader in mobile design, speaking at events such as SXSW in Austin and Las Vegas.

Event Details
Where: Mutual Mobile, 206 East 9th Street, Suite 1400, Austin, TX 78701
When: Tuesday, March 4th,
6:30pm chit-chat, pizza and drinks
7-8pm Presentation
RSVP on Facebook:
or email sasha[dot]wolosin[at]gmail[dot]com

Pizza and drinks generously provided by Mutual Mobile.

We hope to see you there!

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