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Meet Our Final Six Speakers at CanUX 2017

September 29, 2017 by Corneliux

Here are our chosen submissions from our 2017 Call for Speakers.

After a flurry of submissions (60 from 4 continents) and a particulary tough time deliberating, we decided to select 6 talks instead of the 4 we originally had space for to complete the 2017 program. While we strive to bring you the the most relevant content in UX for any particular year, CanUX was built by our regional community of practice, and it’s important for us that we showcase some of its members every year.

This year’s proposals covered a wide variety of topics (including a couple that had absolutely nothing to do with experience design :). We’d like to give mad props and a giant internet high five to everyone who submitted. We’re trying to do our best to select the sessions that we feel will complement nicely our curated program. We are also imperfect humans, and therefore the selections are just our humble attempt to find hidden gems in the sea of papers we’ve received. If you didn’t make it in this year, please submit again next year, there are quite a few other submissions that we were on the fence about.

Here are the selected presentations that will bring some interesting perspectives and unique stories to the CanUX stage this year:

RYAN RUMSEY   |   @ryanrumsey
Electronic Arts ( Austin, TX )
Selling Design Systems Before Asking for Buy-In
Design Systems

Design Systems: they’re all the rage right now, as they should be. Teams at Salesforce, GE, Airbnb, IBM, and others are sharing wonderful stories of constructing, managing, and operating Design Systems. This is not one of those stories. Instead, this talk will detail how the Experience Design team at EA sold and gained adoption of an internal Design System before asking for buy-in to build it. We call this system Joystick.
In this talk, I’ll walk through several concepts including why we needed a Design System, why getting up-front buy-in would have been very difficult, why user adoption is likely the key to success, and how 20+ internal teams at EA are using it without any direct funding to the project.
Design Leaders and individual contributors will leave the talk with an understanding of the various dimensions (and sub-dimensions) that constitute the successful delivery of a Design System and how to account for these dimensions in their workplace. The primary goal is to facilitate conversations between design leaders and designers to consider an “adoption first” strategy for a Design System.

KAT HARDISTY   |   @macskakat
Optimal Workshop ( Wellington, NZ )
Who Are We?
Research UX

Ever looked at other companies and wondered – how do they incorporate UX? Is it very different from how we do it? How does it actually work? (Let’s be honest – if you’re a researcher, chances are you’ve wondered those things!). Being from New Zealand (which is a pretty small place, after all) I was curious – how differently are things done in North America? I spoke to a bunch of UX people from down Australia/New Zealand way, and they all seemed to think things were done quite differently up in the other hemisphere. Since I’m a UX researcher, I did what came naturally – took those opinions as a hypothesis, put them to one side, and set out to find the truth. I visited UX professionals working in variety of organizations in Canada and America, talking with them about how UX is done in the company they work for. I met a whole range of people at the UXPA conference in Toronto and conducted impromptu interviews with a bunch of them about how UX is done where they are. And then I looked at it all and discovered…. well, you’ll have to wait and see, won’t you?!

CHRIS GOVIAS   |   @cgovias
Canadian Digital Service ( Ottawa, ON )
Designing for Justice: Bringing a 1,000 year old Justice System into the 21st Century

The 1,000 year old justice system of England is intricate, confusing and occasionally contradictory. Interacting with this system has typically been painful, time-consuming, and frustrating for members of the public. However, over the past four years, the Ministry of Justice UK has begun to evolve to meet the needs of the public, with digital services at the forefront of this transformation. Designing and delivering user-centric services has brought with it a host of challenges – integrating with legacy systems and modifying existing policy to name a few – but the answer in many cases has been people, not technology.

AUDREY GIROUARD   |   @audreygirouard
Carleton University ( Ottawa, ON )
Building flexible smartphones and designing for deformable UIs
Design IxD

Flexible displays are coming soon, with companies such as Samsung, Lenovo and LG showing off their prototypes. Having a thin and flexible display is an interesting new piece of technology, but how is it any different than having bigger displays? Beyond not breaking when in our back pocket, how could it improve our experiences with digital devices? At the Creative Interactions Lab at Carleton University, we think that changing the device’s form factor is an interesting new source of input for flexible devices: we could bend the corner of an ebook reader to change the page, or squeeze the phone to answer it. The tactile nature of gripping and bending a deformable device could also be useful for specialized users, such as people who are visually impaired. These new deformable devices lead to many questions: How will we interact with them? How will we design for them? In this talk, I will present research on deformable user interactions, discussing new interaction techniques and showing various applications of deformable user interfaces, including bend passwords and bend as game input.

BILLY GREGORY   |   @theBillyGregory
The Paciello Group ( Toronto, ON )
Accessibility Design

When UX doesn’t consider ALL users, shouldn’t it be known as “SOME Users’ Experience” or… #SUX? When we don’t consider all our users, we only consider some. In this fun and informative talk, Billy Gregory will examine design trends and accepted best practices that fail to incorporate the needs of all users. When designs only cater to a particular user set, they are shortsighted and not inclusive. In our race to be “sexy” and “modern” we forgot to be usable. For many users, this #SUX.

BETH FOX   |   @fireBethFox
Service Nova Scotia ( Halifax, NS )
How Not To Be a UX Checkbox
Service Design UX

Working in a large organization can be daunting… especially if you are a “team of one”. Even with all the right UX skills in your back pocket, there are other challenges you cannot solve with a killer prototype. In her talk, Beth will share a few of her own TSN turning points. She’ll share real stories and teachable moments when everything (or nothing) changed. If you’ve ever felt like UX was just a checkbox to your boss, this presentation is for you. What are the other conditions for success? How do you go from being an outlier muttering about users to someone who is able to change the mindset of a project team, or even a whole department? What other skills do you need? Who are the people you need on your side? How do you win them over? And then what?

We look forward to seeing them on stage. For more info, you can follow us on on Twitter @canuxconf

*Image credit: CanUX & Elida Arrizza


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If you are interested in joining us in creating Canada's premier UX event in 2017, download our CanUX 2017 Sponsorship Brochure.