[EVENT] Recap: Chicago January Event

21 Jan 2009 - 6:46pm
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Chicago IxDA4

Last week we had a nice full event and some exciting announcements about new
UX-related events in the works. Here's a recap!

THE TOPIC: *Campaign learnings of America for make benefit glorious movement
of progress*

Zack Exley and Josh Hendler of ThoughtWorks provided an introduction to the
topic, along with some of the context of the Obama campaign's overall
communication strategies. They highlighted the differences between Howard
Dean's campaign in 2004 - in which small, mainly self-motivated groups used
community-building tools to organize themselves - to Barack Obama's campaign
in 2008, in which a framework for large scale community collaboration was
put in place, providing a platform for groups to organize and extend their
volunteer base.

Then Billy Belchev and Paul Baker of Webitects described the methods they
used to understand how campaign processes worked, from recruiting volunteers
to sending them out to door-knock in neighborhoods. This presentation
concentrated on how volunteers were being recruited, and volunteer events
were organized.

They conducted field design research in a variety of swing states, observing
the use of several campaign tools. Billy and Paul watched volunteers adapt
the tools available in order to make use of their strengths and work around
their weaknesses. The information they gathered helped them identify areas
of opportunity around data consolidation and usability, for use in designing
better campaign tools in the future.

A presentation note: Billy and Paul used mental models to present a "gap
analysis" - representing the different steps of volunteer organization, and
organizing their presentation of the results. For those who want to learn
more on mental models, check out Indi Young's book "Mental Models: Aligning
Design Strategy with Human Behavior."


Since the Interaction09 conference is next month (and February is so short)
we've decided to move the next large event to March. That March event will
be a recap of the conference provided by some of the attendees from Chicago.
We also hope to have some highlights to show by then, such as photos or

For February's event, we'd like to have an open meeting for those interested
in joining the IxDA planning committee. Planning committee members have an
active role in developing the local IxDA chapter - membership involves
attending a planning meeting once every three months, coordinating the
occasional meeting (helping find people interested in providing a topic or
venue), and actively discussing how we can make the Chicago IxDA a vibrant
professional network. It's a fun way to network with your peers - and looks
great on a resume! If you're interested in finding out more, please send an
email directly to this address and let us know. We'll be getting together
mid-February after work hours.

At the event we also announced two exciting programs starting up:

Gabby Hon is starting a UX Book Club in Chicago. The first meeting is
February 26th at Fado, discussing "The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It
for Life" by Twyla Tharp. Here's the link to find out more:

Rob Strickler announced the UX Mentorship program. Whether you're a mentor,
a learner, or both, sign up for one-on-one sessions or group meetings here:




This is a 3 month, possibly longer, contract job, onsite in Chicago

As one of the designers on the User Experience team for this major
corporation with a very well-known brand, you will help define the online
shopper's user experience, including visual concepts and ideation,
presentation to stakeholders, and execution of the designs.


-- You must be into social networking, Web 2.0 and be able to critically
evaluate these experiences in terms of brand and the future of the Web.
-- High degree of creativity, interaction design and problem solving ability

-- Uncanny drive to design the best user experience in the world
-- Strong background in distributed content management and mashup approaches

-- Ability to design widgets
-- Ability to communicate one's ideas through their visual design
-- Proven track record and a passion for designing compelling, award-winning
user interfaces
-- A great portfolio of work / samples of interaction design work is a must
-- Expertise in visual design using tools like Photoshop, Illustrator is
-- Prototyping skills using tools like Flash, Flex, Dreamweaver

A formal education in Interaction Design, Product Design, Industrial Design,
HCI, Architecture, or related field from NID / IDC or equivalent is

If interested, please send resume/salary info to Judi Wunderlich at
jwunderlich at aquent.com

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