Thoughts on product design and user experience

Event: The 7-Minute Soapbox on User Experience Design

Written by bbb on May 22, 2007

For the past two months, I’ve been working with Navid Sadikali from Agfa here in Waterloo to kick-start a community of people interested in user experience and product design. So far so good: our first two events have seen just over 40 people come out of the woodwork to get involved. We’re wrapping up this spring’s series with a final event on June 14, called:

The 7-Minute Soapbox

Come to Waterloo region’s next User Experience Design (UXD) gathering and step onto the soapbox! At this fast-paced event, we’re giving seven people a chance to share their ideas about product design — for seven minutes each. Of course, if you prefer simply to take it all in, you’re welcome to participate as an audience member.

June 14, 2007
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Main Dining Area in the Accelerator Centre
295 Hagey Blvd.
Waterloo, Ontario

GOAL: To connect people in this community who are interested in providing business value through the design of a product’s user experience. This event will showcase a variety of local voices in preparation for a monthly series kicking off in Fall 2007, most likely as a new Communitech peer-to-peer group.

FORMAT: Speakers may use PowerPoint, show off some multimedia, demonstrate something online, or just shoot from the hip. Simply make sure it’s 7 minutes and no longer. After each soapbox talk, we’ll have up to three minutes of discussion or Q&A, if desired.

TOPICS: Anything goes, as long as it’s related to product design or user experience. Present some of your work; talk about a design problem you’re facing; rant about a device you don’t like; effuse about your favorite product; share some results from a usability test; question the value of market research in product development; relate an experience with redesigning a product. Heck, you could even perform a song about Web 2.0, if you’re so inclined!

If you’d like to present, remember that only 7 slots are available for the soapbox. They will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis, so RSVP soon.

If you’d like to attend this free event, no registration is required. Hope to see you on the 14th!

Posted Under: Events


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12 responses to “Event: The 7-Minute Soapbox on User Experience Design”

  1. Anonymous says:

    blah blah blah…user design…why is it the computer age is so far behind everyone else…only in geek ville do you see programmers designing applications…cars have care designers, buildings have architects…

  2. Anonymous says:

    p.s. just because a programmer says he is a UX designer does not mean he is…think of the skills a good UX designer needs and you will be amazed at the GAP in what is needed versus what is on offer…I guess you could say I am tired of hearing this UX thing because it is so old and frankly there are not many people out there that can do the job…they may be able to talk the talk but cant walk the walk…

  3. I can understand your frustration on this, Anonymous. One of our goals in running this event (or more accurately in forming an ongoing group next Fall) is to support people who understand the value of UX but perhaps haven’t had the chance to develop their skills. By bringing together these folks with experienced UX professionals who CAN walk the walk, the whole community benefits.

  4. Ray Rupinski says:

    Would love to connect with others involved in UX/IxD in an agile environment. Any chance that those presenting last night might share their materials?

  5. @Ray: Yes, material from last night’s soapbox sessions will be made available online. I’ll post summaries here on Chopsticker, along with slides and perhaps even video — so check back in a few days.

  6. FYI that a few of our soapbox sessions touched on UX and Agile development. If you’re interested in this topic, be sure to check out Desiree Sy’s new article titled Adapting Usability Investigations for Agile User-Centered Design.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Roy, I presented on agile UX. I am an agile coach and quite new to UX/IxD. However, I did have a great experience working with Bob Barlow-Busch on an agile UX project and came away thinking that agility can open doors for better UX by infusing it into the development process. My presentation presented some ideas on how UX designers can help realize this on agile teams. If you like I can email my presentation if you want to email me

  8. Declan Whelan says:

    PS. I posted that last comment and forgot to fill in my name (UX issue with the blog :)?

  9. Declan Whelan says:

    Anonymous, I am a software developer and having worked with UX professionals am woefully aware of my lack of design skills. I applaud Bob for hosting these sessions because I think the UX community has the responsibility to keep pushing UX forward. What really turned it for me (besides working with Bob) was the iPod which came out just at the same time as I was leading a time in overhauling an old DOS-based UI Window app (ugh). I think the business world is starting to understand the value of good design – you only need to point to Apple and iTunes/iPod to make that point (no doubt you UX’ers out there have better examples). Finally, agile teams understand quality and business value. So if good UX design can be positioned around this then you will have an agile team behind you. But you will need to work with them and appreciate the value that they bring and they in turn will appreciate the value that you bring. So, I think there has never been a better time than now for UX to make itself heard – and we will all thank you for it.

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