November news

World Usability Day road trip, Visual literacy conference

The Toledo Web Professionals are organizing a road trip to Detroit for World Usability Day on November 13th. World Usability Day includes hundreds of local events around the world: the theme this year is engaging user experiences.

For the road trip, we leave at 5pm, listen to two talks in downtown Detroit (one about potty training and one on engaging city residents), and enjoy the company of UX colleagues on the way up and back.

RSVP at the TWP meetup event to be a part of the carpool and then get your $5 ticket at the Detroit UX meetup.

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August Newsletter

I started using MailChimp and created my first “official” email newsletter. Below are the details from the first newsletter, sent on August 3rd. If you did not get this one and want to get the next one, you can sign up for the newsletter on the right of most pages on this site.

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Rosenfeld Media mini-conferences

Rosenfeld Media will be announcing another “virtual conference” soon: great speakers presenting great UX content, live over the internet.

In the past, they have stressed individual participation (watch it from the comfort of your home for about $150) and allowed companies to host something internal for their employees (for about $500, companies can set aside a conference room so several people can participate).

This time, RM will also be marketing this as an opportunity for local communities (such as Meetup groups) to partner with one or more sponsors to make it a public mini-conference.


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Midwest UX 2014 Sessions

A list of sessions for the Midwest UX 2014 conference, October 23-25, Indianapolis, has been published. More details and the full program are coming, but this may be enough information to convince you that you should register. I will organize a carpool so we can travel together from the Toledo region: that adds to the conference experience.

Check out the speakers page on the conference site. I have extracted some of the content here if that is easier for you, but my content will become out of date quickly (and I will not update it).

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Upcoming UX events

Looking for some UX education, networking or inspiration later this year? The Toledo Web Professionals have one meeting planned and one in the works.

The big event in the midwest will be Midwest UX 2014 in Indianapolis, October 23-25. I will be arranging some sort of road trip so we can carpool. The conference will be great: traveling together will make the trip even better.

If I hear about anything else, I will let you know.


The Art of Video Games

From June to September, the Toledo Museum of Art will have an exhibit and programming that should be of interest to user experience professionals (and many others).

The Art of Video Games is about the interplay of graphics, technology and storytelling, and thus, it is about user experience. It covers 20 gaming systems from 1997 to 2005, including Commodore 64, Nintendo, Sega, Xbox, DOS & Windows. The exhibit is made up of still images, videos, interviews, consoles on display, and games to play.TAOVG-ArTMAttersCover2

It aims to show that video games are more than code and graphics; interaction design and storytelling also contribute to video game experiences. Over time, elements of video game experiences have bled into other forms of entertainment and non-game digital experiences. Even if you do not work on video games, I think you will be inspired and informed by the exhibit, helping you plan, design, and code user experiences in other contexts.

The exhibition started at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2012, then went on the road. It was in Phoenix at this time last year and arrives in Toledo from Yonkers in a few weeks. Learn some more about the exhibit: watch videos on YouTube, scan #TAoVG (general exhibit hashtag) & #GameOnTMA (local exhibit/program hashtag), buy the book, read the history, check out the local media kit.

The museum has more than just this exhibit to attend! There are parties, talks, movies, and panels about the video game industry.

  • Chris Melissinos, the curator of the exhibit, will be giving a presentation and doing a book signing on Friday, June 20th at 7pm to help kick off the exhibit at TMA.
  • Exhibit opening party, June 21, 8pm to midnight, sponsored by UXTR supporter Hanson Inc.
  • Thursday evening film showings of WarGames (July 24) and The Last Starfighter (August 21), with perhaps another one to be announced.
  • Friday evening panels “Life of a Pro Gamer” (July 18) and “Where are video games headed?” (August 15).
  • Added 7/26: AIGA Toledo is having a Cocktails & Creatives in conjunction with the exhibit on August 1st.

Check out Toledo Tech Events tag TAOVG for more information on each of these events, and an updated list as more are announced.

There are even more things going on, loosely related to the exhibition, not listed at Toledo Tech Events. If you have kids age 10 or under, there are Family Center activities planned related to the video game theme. The Community Gallery has an exhibit on Computer Generated Art which opens on May 16th.

See you there!


PS. If you are talking with a colleague and want to point them to more information, use “gameon dot toledomuseum dot org“.

UX Tips Recap

It is 5pm: how was the Toledo Region UX Tips conference so far? Here are some follow-up bits of information and next steps.

Attendees: Please fill out the follow-up survey to let me know how the conference went.

Everyone (attendees and others in the Toledo region): Please take a bit longer to tell me about your UX needs and view of some of the ideas. This will help us plan future UX community activities.

Some things to stay in touch and remain engaged with the emerging UX community in the region:

Upcoming events to save the date for and start planning to attend:

I expect more opportunities to pop up as well. Fill out the survey to help us plan more UX stuff!


Getting ready for Thursday

Thanks to everyone who has registered to attend the Toledo Region UX Tips Conference, both individually and as part of a company sponsorship. Here is a checklist of things to do to get ready for the all-day event on Thursday, April 24th.

BGSU at Levis Commons rainbow

1. Make sure you know how to get there. You know how to get to to Levis Commons, right? We are meeting in the BGSU building.

The address is 1655 N. Wilkinson Way, Perrysburg, Ohio, 43551.

2. Arrive at 9am and have breakfast with us.

All Crumbs Bakery

The Flying Joe

Plan to be there at 9am so that you can check in, have some breakfast and coffee, and network with the other attendees.

We will have bagels from All Crumbs Bakery, coffee from The Flying Joe, and juice.

3. Bring your laptop, tablet, and/or smartphone. I will be projecting the speakers from my computer onto 2 screens for everyone to watch the slides, but you are encouraged to bring your own technology so you can get work done, check email, use Facebook, etc. Wi-fi accounts will be provided. If work involves talking on the phone, then we ask you to go into the lobby.

When the speaker is really engaging, you may want to focus on them, but following along on Twitter is also educational. We will have a handout to help you get the most of out the conference with online tools.

JBs Sarnie Shoppe

4. Let me know if you have any special needs for lunch. JB’s Sarnie Shoppe is catering lunch and we will have a variety of sandwiches and salads. Lunch should arrive around noon, during one of the talks. You can get your food then or wait until the 1pm break.

If you have a special diet, I would be glad to order something specific for you. Let me know.


5. Check out the Rosenfeld Media book series. I will have a copy of each book for you to glance over during the conference. You may want to buy paper or digital copies afterwards. There will be a few copies given away as prizes at the end of the day.

6. See who else is attending, at the bottom of the Eventbrite page. You can let more people know you are coming by RSVPing at the Seed event on Facebook and the Toledo Web Professionals event on Meetup.

Contact someone you know who should join us! Individual registrations end at 5pm on Tuesday.

7. Plan to stay until 6pm, or later. The last speaker is slated to be done at 5pm, but we will raffle off prizes, have some sponsor presentations, and talk about what UX events are planned the rest of the year. We can go out for drinks at Levis Commons after 6pm. Some of you will need to leave at 5pm, and that is OK.

8. Finally, review the conference description to remind yourself what else is happening, what the speakers will talk about, and who the wonderful sponsors are.

Contact me with questions. See you on Thursday!