[EVENT] Recap: Chicago IxDA November Event - Social to Mobile

15 Nov 2008 - 12:48pm
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Chicago IxDA4

Here's a recap of this week's IxDA Chicago event, "Social to Mobile!" We had
a great turnout and a lively conversation, facilitated by Mike Wood of
Motorola. In particular, discussions centered around the design challenges
of having 4 different groups with vested interest in the mobile application

- The designers and manufacturers of the hardware and model-specific
applications (such as calendars)
- The creators of the operating system, who generally wants to develop
something once and apply it across multiple phone models
- The service provider (AT&T, Verizon, etc)
- The developers of key sites and applications that want to be presented
in the mobile interface, such as Facebook - and the resulting design
challenges of moving a rich, broad web interface into a small interface used
in a mobile context - balancing fidelity to the brand against efficiency of
the UI

"Thank you" to Motorola, in particular to Mike Wood and Joi Roberts, for
hosting the event and providing food and drinks for the evening! In respect
of Motorola's policies around confidentiality, we will not be posting a
webstream of the event. If you were unable to join and would like to explore
the topic further, please join us at the next Chicago event - an IxDA happy
hour on December 10th - for more lively discussions with fellow interaction

Please see below for a job posting and several upcoming events. See you
there - or in December!


User Experience Research Manager - Cars.com
Tracking Code

Help us learn about our users! Cars.com, a top-tier online destination for
automobile shoppers and sellers, seeks an experienced and passionate User
Experience Research Manager to continue to grow our user research practice.

The User Experience Research Manager will collaborate closely with other
user experience managers, product managers, marketing managers, editors,
designers and front-end developers to design and conduct user research
studies throughout the product cycle. The User Experience Research Manager
will also be responsible for managing our in-house usability testing lab,
including lab equipment, software, policies and procedures.

This position will offer broad exposure across Cars.com and excellent
advancement opportunities. In this role you will:

* Continue to improve our research process for testing product changes and
gathering user feedback throughout the product development lifecycle.
* Advise and guide project teams in planning user research activities that
inform and support product development; help teams determine best research
methodology to use to meet business objectives.
* Coordinate and execute all phases of usability testing performed in our
in-house lab, including developing screeners, consent forms, test plans and
interview guides and moderating usability lab sessions and managing lab
* Manage test recruiting, partnering with vendors to recruit external test
candidates and navigating the business to recruit internal users when
necessary. * Provide post-research analysis and top-line reports; make
recommendations to project teams based on research findings.
* Manage and administer site-wide feedback surveys; provide survey analysis
and reports; make recommendations to key stakeholders.
* Collaborate with our Marketing team on large-scale user research
* Help product teams plan and execute external user-research and usability
tests with research vendors as needed.
* Manage in-house usability lab, including hardware and software assets used
for testing.
* Make user-testing budget recommendations.
* Be an advocate for user research early and often in the process.
Required Skills
* Experience planning and conducting different kinds of research, including
heuristic evaluations, card sorts, mental models, persona development, paper
prototypes, focus group moderation and usability tests.
* Patience for long term research initiatives but the flexibility to do
just-in-time guerilla-style research as well.
* Must be highly organized and be able to juggle and lead multiple
user-testing initiatives in varying stages simultaneously.
* Willingness to 'get your hands dirty' managing all steps of the usability
testing process.
* Excellent written and oral communication skills; strong
relationship-building skills
* Experience presenting research findings and recommendations to all levels
of stakeholders, including executive management.
Required Experience
* Bachelor's or Master's degree in Human Factors, Cognitive or Experimental
Psychology, Cognitive Science, Anthropology, Information design or related
field (or equivalent professional experience) required.

* At least five years experience conducting and leading user research,
applying a variety of research methodologies including usability testing, in
a corporate or consulting environment. Direct experience managing an
in-house testing lab and basic A/V knowledge a plus.
Job Location
Chicago, IL, US.
Position Type

Cars.com Contact: Carrie Sawyer - csawyer at cars.com


*User Experience and Design - What's Microsoft Up To?
**Chris Bernard, User Experience Evangelist at Microsoft
*(Presentation, Discussion and Networking Event)

Microsoft isn't a typically common company Web developers and designers
think of when it comes to user experience, design and inspiration. But with
the advent of the Ribbon in Office 2007, user experience focused platforms
such at Silverlight, Windows Presentation Foundations and Surface and with
recent introductions of new professional design tools Microsoft is quickly
becoming a part of design conversation in major design communities, design
education, design in the enterprise and in its work with some of the biggest
and most influential design organizations in the world, including the likes
of Adaptive Path, Frog Design and Schematic. Join Chris as he talks about
how recent trends in design are shaping both Microsoft and design practice
and get an introduction and overview of Microsoft's next general design
tools and platforms and how they fit into an existing practice.

When: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 from 5:30 to 8:00 (presentation begins at
Where: 500 W. Madison, 12th floor conference room, Chicago, IL 60661 (take
escalator to the 3rd floor and show ID at concierge desk)
Cost: FREE!
RSVP: Please email
jwunderlich at aquent.com<http://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&view=js&name=js&ver=LMLtlgTYR0Q&am=X_MwtcT3ECEJFpSxaw>with
names, titles, emails of attendees. You may also register at
you'll then be able to receive notification of our future


PhizzPop Design Challenge - Chicago

Chicago Cultural Center
Tickets (free): http://tinyurl.com/5cnsng

The PhizzPop Tour will stop in seven cities across the U.S. This is a design
competition combined with a social gathering for top web professionals,
brands, designers and developers. Watch the hottest agencies compete in an
interactive design challenge in front of a panel of judges and YOU, the live
audience. Join us to watch the top agency talent as they show us their
Expression Studio and Silverlight skills.

Competing teams in Chicago come from:

Manifest Digital <http://www.manifestdigital.com/>

Quilogy <http://www.quilogy.com/>

Roundarch <http://www.roundarch.com/>

Tanagram <http://www.tanagrampartners.com/>


Thinkering with Hardware - interaction design workshop
Hosted by the IIT Institute of Design
January 17th 2009 | 350 N LaSalle St, Chicago

Fees: $625, includes meals and hardware prototyping kit

This full-day workshop will help interaction designers learn to "thinker"
through tinkering with physical computing artifacts. The idea is to bring
together talented individuals from the realm of interaction design,
introduce them to new concepts/artifacts in the realm of physical computing,
and allow them to put the two together. Most importantly, it will be an
opportunity for interaction designers to get their hands dirty with
electronics, soldering, and wiring, and learn how to interface hardware
artifacts with virtual interactions. Each participant will receive a
customized interactive hardware kit to work with and take home.

9:00am-5:00pm, Saturday, January 17, 2009 The first half of the workshop
will bring designers and programmers in teams which work together to solve
short problems linking physical computing platforms, programming
environments, and traditional interaction software such as Flash. Once the
basic concepts of physical computing are covered, participants will work
together to come up with the design of an interactive system based on the
resources available at the workshop. Teams will then split once again into
separate units that tackle independent aspects of the installation with the
end goal of bringing these individual units into a cohesive whole. A
possible outcome of the workshop (for example) could be an interactive game
at the scale of a room which employs both physical sensory objects and
virtual environments. The workshop will conclude with a demonstration and
exhibition of the workshop installation at a public reception hosted by the
Institute of Design.

Faculty: Anijo Mathew
Anijo Mathew is an Assistant Professor an the Institute of Design (ID) at
Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago.Anijo Mathew's research
interests include interactive (computer mediated) spaces,
immersive/responsive environments, environmental behavior, and HCI in the
design process.

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