Environments for Humans
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UX Web Summit logo

The 2nd annual online, live user experience conference

In-kind Sponsors

Environments for Humans brings together some of the Web's most notable experts in User Experience for an all-new, one-day only online conference, the UX Web Summit! Bring the experts to your desktop September 28th from 9AM to 6PM (CT).

Don't miss this great event and purchase your tickets now!

September 28, 2011 \\ 9AM to 6PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)

The Philosophy of UX 9am CT

by Whitney Hess, User Experience Design Consultant

The visual principles of harmony, unity, contrast, emphasis, variety, balance, proportion, pattern and direction (and others) are widely recognized and practiced, even when they aren't formally articulated. But creating a good design doesn't automatically mean creating a good experience.

In order for us to cultivate positive experiences for our users, we need to establish a set of guiding principles for experience design. Guiding principles are the broad philosophy or fundamental beliefs that steer an organization, team or individual's decision making, irrespective of the project goals, constraints, or resources.

In this talk, I will share a universally-applicable set of experience design principles that we should all strive to follow, and will explore how you can create and use your own guiding principles to take your site or product to the next level.

About Whitney Hess

Whitney Hess is a user experience design consultant based in New York City. She helps make stuff easy and pleasurable to use.

Whitney consults primarily with startups, most notably Boxee, House Party, NeedFeed, and RedStamp. In addition, she has collaborated with Happy Cog on projects for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Scientific American.

Prior to going independent, Whitney was on the design team at Liquidnet, an international financial software company. Previously, she was an interaction designer at Digitas and Tribal DDB, where her clients included American Express, The New York Times, Allstate, Claritin, Tropicana, and EarthLink.

Whitney received a Master?s in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and a Bachelor?s in Professional Writing and HCI, both from Carnegie Mellon University. She writes about improving the human experience on her blog, Pleasure and Pain .


A Balanced UX Workflow 10am CT

by Jason Beaird, UX Design(elop)er at MailChimp

Whether you spend your days designing dozens of client websites or refining a single web application, there never seems to be enough time for all aspects of the user experience design process.

Agencies tend to invest their time into the first half of the job then dump a final product on the client as they move on to the next gig.

Application developers on the other hand scurry to ship features then work out the usability issues after launch.

Jason will share some helpful tips, tools and methodologies to streamline any production process for a more balanced project timeline.

About Jason Beaird

Jason is the author of The Principles of Beautiful Web Design, the 2nd edition of which was published in November 2010. When he's not monkeying around with the User Experience team at MailChimp, Jason enjoys sharing his passion for the web with others. He's involved with several local tech user groups, helps organize an annual web conference and enjoys writing articles, some of which end up on his personal site, jasongraphix.com. As a student of all things web, Jason is unsatisfied by being pigeonholed as a UX designer, front-end developer or web designer and often tells random strangers that he's a designeloper.


Emotion: The New User Experience 11am CT

by Kelly Goto, Principal of gotomedia, LLC

Today's connected experiences are no longer limited to a single laptop or mobile device. High expectations and dwindling patience have pushed customer demands to a new level.

Design Ethnographer Kelly Goto shares new tools and methods to get past "known" and into the deeper, emotional side of the user experience.

Rethink your design and research approach and gain insight into the needs and desires of your customer in a truly contextual manner.

About Kelly Goto

As an evangelist for ?design ethnography,? Kelly Goto is dedicated to understanding how real people integrate products and services into their daily lives.

Goto is principal of gotomedia, LLC, a global leader in research-driven, people-friendly interface design for web, mobile and product solutions for clients including Seiko Epson Japan, Adobe, NetIQ, WebEx and CNET. Her book, Web Redesign: Workflow that Works, is a standard for user-centered design principles.

Goto is also the editor of gotomobile.com, a leading online publication on mobile user experience and was the former President of the AIGA Center for Brand Experience.


Redesign Must Die 12pm CT

by Louis Rosenfeld, Information Architecture Consultant

As a term almost devoid of meaning, "redesign" is a crutch that leads to disastrous results.

Redesigns originate in the hazy concerns and political machinations of senior leaders, coalesce around poorly defined problem statements, gain steam around hopes of "fixing everything once and for all," and conclude with Pyrrhic celebrations of what are ultimately a sad bag of cosmetic changes.

Along the way, agencies get fat and rich, in-house teams get crushed, and users suffer.

And because redesign efforts yield so little institutional learning, the whole sad mess gets repeated every few years.

In his session, Lou Rosenfeld will argue instead for the rational and cost-effective alternative of incremental change: tuning sites over time, rather than "fixing" them all at once. Over and over again.

About Louis Rosenfeld

Lou Rosenfeld is an independent information architecture consultant, and founder and publisher of Rosenfeld Media, a publishing house focused on user experience books. He has been instrumental in helping establish the fields of information architecture and user experience, and in articulating the role and value of librarianship within those fields.


Designing Cross-channel Experiences 2pm CT

by Samantha Starmer, eCommerce Experience Manager at REI

The gap between physical and digital has blurred: we use Wiis to get in shape, computers to order a pizza, or our smartphone's GPS to find hot dates.

People want to interact with products and services when they want to and how they want to - and that's not always on the web.

The future of design is everywhere the customer touches our product or service - digital or physical. User experience practitioners must move beyond the screen to designing a holistic customer experience that is seamless across channels and devices.

In this session, Samantha will provide specific recommendations for designing successful cross-channel experiences.

Topics covered will include:

  • Key pieces of a seamless, cross-channel customer experience
  • Tools and methods for designing multiple interaction touchpoints across touchpoints and channels
  • Lessons Samantha has learned (successes and failures!) from her own cross-channel experience design efforts

About Samantha Starmer

Over the last 12 years, Samantha Starmer has worked on a wide variety of experience and information architecture projects and strategy. She started her career in the early days of Amazon.com, enjoying a year long stint in Slough to launch Amazon.co.uk, and later developed experiences for Amazon's checkout functionality and the third party selling platform.

She also honed her start-up skills at SchemaLogic, and her business strategy skills while at Microsoft.

She is currently a senior manager at REI, leading teams for experience and, interaction design, information architecture, and customer experience research and analytics.

Samantha's most recent focus has been evangelizing and creating holistic customer experiences across channels, time, and devices.

She regularly teaches at the University of Washington's Information School, where she received a Masters of Library and Information Science degree in 2005.

Samantha is active in the UX community and enjoys mentoring new UX practitioners and learning from as many different disciplines as possible. She has served on the boards of the Information Architecture Institute and Content Management Professionals, and is currently on the Oversight Committee for the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. Samantha is creating a new blog, but in the meantime, you can follow her on Twitter.


See What I Mean 3pm CT

by Kevin Cheng, Product Manager at Twitter

How do you get people to read your documentation? How do you get a point across within 10 seconds? How do you make sure your product stays true to its original vision?

Google used them. The US Postal Service used them. Adaptive Path used them. The US Navy used them. Business author and TED speaker Daniel Pink used them. It seems comics are in use everywhere lately.

Comics are a unique way to communicate, using both image and text to effectively demonstrate time, function, and emotion. Just as vividly as they convey the feats of superheroes, comics tell stories of your users and your products. Comics can provide your organization with an exciting and effective alternative to slogging through requirements documents and long reports.

In "See What I Mean", Kevin Cheng, OK/Cancel founder/cartoonist and author of the soon to be released Rosenfeld book by the same title, will discuss how and why comics are a powerful communication tool that can be utilized without any illustration training.

About Kevin Cheng

Kevin is a product manager at Twitter where he managed #NewTwitter, the redesign of Twitter.com. In addition, he?s busy finishing his book See What I Mean: How to Communicate Ideas With Comics.

Previously, he was the Director of User Experience and Director of Product Strategy for the gaming social network Raptr and the designer for Yahoo! Pipes.

He co-founded the user experience web comic OK/Cancel, and the online comic publishing network Off Panel Productions. Kevin enjoys crossing his passions in gaming, comics, design and technology.


Letting Go of the Words 4pm CT

by Ginny Redish, Author of Letting Go of the Words

A great user experience needs the right content, in the right amount, at the right time, and in the right place. How do you assure that?

Spend an hour with Ginny Redish and learn the power of thinking about content as conversation. Through many examples, see how to use your personas and their conversations to plan and write each piece of web content.

In this session, see how to:

  • convey meaning with few words
  • increase search engine optimization while taking turns as a good conversation does
  • write in layers by thinking "bite, snack, meal"
  • use research results to convince your team that plain language helps high-literacy visitors as much or more than low-literacy visitors
  • and much more.

About Ginny Redish

Janice (Ginny) Redish helps clients and colleagues with content strategy, writing for the web, plain language, and other aspects of UX.

Ginny's latest book, Letting Go of the Words ? Writing Web Content that Works, gets raves from Amazon reviewers and blog writers.

Ginny is also co-author of two of the classic books on usability techniques and has been called the "mother of usability" (UPA Voice, June 2005).

She is a dynamic speaker, sought after for workshops and conferences. Ginny has keynoted conferences in 8 countries and has trained thousands of UX colleagues, writers, designers, developers, and subject matter specialists on 4 continents.

Visit Ginny's web site and download two chapters of Letting Go: www.redish.net


A Content Strategy Roadmap 5pm CT

by Kristina Halvorson, CEO and Founder of Brain Traffic

It's inherently impossible to design a good UX for bad content.

But with no authority, resources, and/or time, can we as UX designers really make a difference in content quality?

Kristina Halvorson will share how content strategy can provide UX projects of all sizes with an effective framework to help teams plan, create, deliver, and care for content over time.

About Kristina Halvorson

Kristina Halvorson is the CEO and Founder of Brain Traffic, http://www.braintraffic.com/, a content strategy consultancy. She is the author of Content Strategy for the Web, a book that?s being called ?the most important thing to happen to user experience design in years? (Peter Morville, Ambient Findability, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web).

Kristina is widely recognized as the industry?s leading advocate for content strategy. In 2009, she curated the first Content Strategy Consortium to facilitate a national dialogue about this emerging discipline. In 2010, she delivered the keynote address at the world?s first Content Strategy Summit in Paris, France. Kristina has also been a featured speaker at Web 2.0 Expo, SXSW Interactive, An Event Apart, UX Week, User Interface Conference, Voices That Matter, IA Summit, Future of Web Apps, Future of Web Design, and the Online Marketing Summit.

When she?s not running around talking about content strategy, Kristina can be found chasing after her two children in St. Paul, Minnesota.


speakers from:

many fine organizations and companies

About the UX Web Summit

A great user experience (UX) can mean the difference between merely having a web presence and truly engaging your visitors so they'll gladly come back over and over again. Practical techniques to create the best UX are hard to come by, though.

Join some of the Web's most experienced UX professionals as they share experiences culled from working on sites big and small. Learn from the pros how to tackle user experience difficulties head-on with proven methods in use by some of the most popular sites on the Web.

Why attend the online conference?
  • Attending a conference online means no travel hassle!
  • Bring the experts live to your desktop!
  • Time spent on the road is better spent instead in the office or with family, friends!
  • Sessions are developed to dive deeper into the material!
  • Ask questions directly to the speakers!
  • Can't make it the day of the conference? Watch the recordings whenever you want!
Testimonials from
This conference was a load of fun. I loved the instant feedback from the speakers and the atmosphere.

John-David Dalton
Web Application Developer
& Web Performance Summit Attendee

I love these online conferences. It's convenient and you can still learn a lot from the comfort of your home or at work.

Candi Ligutan
5by5.tv Producer

An absolutely fantastic event. Well done—will definitely be back for more!

Russ Weakley
Chair of Web Standards Group
& CSS Summit Attendee

Satisfaction Guaranteed 100%

Buy Tickets


Once you are registered, you will receive a follow-up email to confirm your reservation. Later on, as the event draws near, you will receive a more detailed message, with the full schedule and other helpful information to help you take full advantage of your conference-going experience and plan your day.

On the day of the conference, you will receive an email invitation about 45 minutes before everything starts. Click on the enclosed link to sign in and enter the virtual meeting space. Once you are signed in, you'll be able to see and hear the presentations as they happen, ask questions as needed and chat with the other attendees if you like!

Technical Specifications: to attend The Summit, you will need a modern web browser (Firefox 1.5, IE 6 & Safari 2 or newer, for example) and a recent version of the Adobe Flash Player. Follow this link to run our system diagnostic (opens in a new window). It will let you know right away which plug-ins, if any, you will need to update before the event.

Still have questions? Drop us a line or contact us at e4h@heatvision.com if there's anything else you'd like to know.