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!


More sponsors for UX Tips conference

In the past 2 weeks, we have gotten many new sponsors for the Toledo region edition of the Rosenfeld Media “32 Awesomely Practical UX Tips” conference (April 24th, BGSU at Levis Commons).

A big THANKS to all of these organizations who will help cover the cost of the program, the food, and the venue. These are in addition to the early sponsors: Beyond Gaming, Agile Oasis Technologies, Spoke, Paychex, and BGSU Computer Science.

There are a few sponsorship opportunities still available, but not many. Lunch has been paid for, for example.

Individuals can also buy tickets.


Individual tickets on sale for Toledo region UX Tips

Individual tickets for the local viewing of the Rosenfeld Media “32 Awesomely Practical UX Tips” virtual conference, April 24th, are now on sale.

What is it? We gather in a central place (BGSU at Levis Commons) to listen to top-notch speakers over the internet. We connect with others while we spend the day together. We get other work done, since it is socially acceptable to multi-task when the speaker is not in the room. We learn about user experience as a community. We go back to work the next day and help our companies/clients compete.

$30 lets you watch the talks and gives you access to the recordings. Breakfast and lunch included (assuming the sponsors who have indicated an interest chip in). You might even win a prize worth more than what you paid. A great deal!


  • 8:15am: Registration, breakfast and networking
  • 9:00am: In-person guest speaker (tentative)
  • 10:00am: Dave Gray (sketching, visualizing, and collaborating)
  • 11:00am: Christina Wodtke (game design)
  • Noon: Brenda Laurel (design research) with lunch provided during this session
  • 1:00pm: Break, continue lunch and sponsor presentations
  • 2:00pm: Kim Goodwin (leadership)
  • 3:00pm: Steve Portigal (customer insights)
  • 4:00pm: Leah Buley (methods and evangelizing)
  • 5:00pm: Prize raffle, sponsor presentations and wrap-up
  • 6:00pm: Continue hanging out at a nearby bar/restaurant

Purchase your individual tickets at Eventbrite: uxtips-toledo-2014.eventbrite.com 

Sponsors are still needed.


Thanks to the early sponsors

Thanks to the early sponsors for the Toledo region UX tips conference, slated for April 24th at BGSU at Levis Commons.

There are several more organizations who have told me they are interested, just have not committed yet. Still more opportunities!

Also, individual ticket sales start next week, in case you want to attend on your own and not as a team.


Call for sponsors: 2014 UX Tips (virtual) conference

We need sponsors so we can host another UX Tips virtual conference in the Toledo region.

  • Who: Anyone interested in user experience in the Toledo region
  • What: A conference with in-person and virtual speakers, and other activities
  • When: April 24, 2014, 8:15am – 6pm
  • Where: BGSU at Levis Commons, Perrysburg, Ohio
  • Why: Professional development for you and your employees

Sponsors help pay for the content, the venue, the food, and other expenses. In return, sponsors get recognized in all marketing materials, a steep discount on tickets, and a chance to present to the group.

Check out the Sponsorship details, including more about the program and the various things we need support for.