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: 

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.


Practical UX Tips Virtual Conference: April 24, 2014

It is time to start planning the Toledo Region meeting room for the next Rosenfeld Media UX Tips virtual conference. Last year’s event was a big success and the feedback was “do it again” and do not change much.

About the virtual conference this year:

  • Same UX tips format, 32 tips this time instead of 31.
  • Different speakers, but still superstars: Brenda Laurel, Christina Wodtke, Dave Gray, Kim Goodwin, Leah Buley, Steve Portigal.
  • April 24th (a Thursday), about a month sooner than last year.
  • 10am to 5pm, a different speaker each hour, with a few minutes for questions and barely enough time to chat with your colleagues and take a bathroom break in between the presentations. Lunch break from 1-2pm.
  • Still virtual, of course: watching the speakers over the internet, projected on large screen(s), while we all watch in the same room. And access to the recordings afterwards.

Check out the description at to learn more about the virtual conference.

For the local logistics, again, probably not going to change much:

  • I am checking to see if BGSU at Levis Commons is available.
  • Having local companies “sponsor” by committing to buy a certain number of tickets, to make sure we will have enough attendees to buy the meeting room ticket.
  • After the companies grab their blocks of tickets, charging individuals for tickets until we are full.
  • Having coffee, lunch, snacks and drinks included. Prizes and other goodies if we can.

The expenses will be something around $1500. With 50 attendees, then that is $30 each to break even, which is the goal.

I am open to new ideas as well. Other locations, other funding models, whatever.

Contact me at instone at if you want to propose something new or different. More importantly, contact me if you are interested in “sponsoring” in some way.


Road Trip to WIAD, Ann Arbor, Feb 15

Please consider joining the Toledo Web Professionals on a road trip to Ann Arbor on Saturday, February 15th for World Information Architecture Day. Eight of us carpooled from Toledo last year and we had a great time. The trip up and back was enjoyable, hanging out together was fun, and the conference was great.

World Information Architecture Day 2014 will take place in 24 locations and we are lucky to again have one, Ann Arbor, be very close. The exact program for Ann Arbor is not set yet, but they have announced some of the talks/speakers [updated with final list of speakers and topics]:

  • Form Follows Forces by Dan Klyn & Abby Covert
  • Architecting the Information of Society by Dan Cooney
  • Undiscovered Public Knowledge & IA by James Kalbach
  • Ubiquitous computing and the in-store shopping environment by Jonathan MorganKarl Fast
  • Boundaries of Architectural Practice by Paul Dannels
  • Lightning talks by Claire Barco, Michael Beasley, Sean Marshall, Vanessa Moore, Juan Pasquier

To join us on this road trip, RSVP at the TWP meet-up event so we know who is going and can plan the car pools. Or course, you can also attend WIAD A2 on your own.

Also, be sure to register for the event. It is free but you still need to register so they know how many people to expect.

Later, we will figure out exactly where to meet, when to leave Toledo, who is driving, and when we are coming back.

WIAD is a great event. You can watch a selection of videos from the first two years: from the Ann Arbor events and others around the world.


November events

Local UX events in November around the world are often lined up with World Usability Day (2nd Thursday each year). A lot of local groups shift their monthly schedule and topic to match WUD. This year, that is November 14th.

Big event in the Toledo Region for WUD: Web usability panel at BGSU.

Within a few hours drive, there are lots of events to choose from for WUD:

The UP is too far to drive, but I noticed they are having their own all-day conference. Also a bit farther, Chicago is having a week-long series of events, which I think will be the next stage in local community events (“User experience week including World Usability Day”), similar to some “design weeks” that have cropped up. (A bit of history on the early stages of WUD.)

There are a few other things that happened/are happening this month, but just about everything is on the 14th.

Looking ahead to December: