Author Archives: Keith Instone

Upcoming UX Events

Happy New Year (belatedly)! Now that it is February and spring is around the corner, various user experience events are popping up. From today’s email newsletter.

Saturday 2/18 is World Information Architecture Day and several of us are planning to drive to Ann Arbor together for a day of talks about careers, data, innovation, design rules, and more. Register for a FREE ticket and RSVP with the Toledo Web Professionals to be a part of the caravan from Toledo (meeting at the Sylvania Kroger at 7:30am).

Some of you may be interested in doing UX work on Lake Erie innovation projects. Check out ErieHack: first Toledo information session is Wednesday 2/15! Toledo’s hackathon is in March, $100k in prizes awarded in May.

Online, the Experience Design/Agile UX group has been doing regular Google Hangouts for each chapter in the “Lean UX” book. You can still join them for the last two chapters on 2/19 and 3/1.

There is a Design Thinking workshop in Columbus on 2/20. On Tuesday 2/28, Detroit UX is hosting a meetup about voice user interfaces at Grand Circus in downtown Detroit.

Ignite UX Michigan is another event that we regularly carpool to Ann Arbor to enjoy. March 14th is the next evening of 5-minute talks in a nightclub setting. Save the date! Tech Toledo is helping organize it.

March 20th is the next big UX event in the region: an Unconference at Hanson (rescheduled from November). Bring your interesting UX topics or nagging UX challenges to the unconference to discuss with colleagues in small groups.

The next Rosenfeld Media virtual conference will be April 25th. I plan to host another local conference in conjunction with it, but have not started looking into venues, hosts or sponsors. Ideas welcome! The theme this time:

  • Wearables, VR, self-driving cars, the Internet of Things: every invention needs an intuitive, humane user experience to make them work. Easier said than done, right?
  • Let’s tackle rapid change by learning together. Our next virtual conference (tentatively called “To Be Designed: What’s Next for UX”) aims to help you succeed at designing what’s next in your world.

You can give input to the global program by completing a survey (before 2/22) to suggest topics and speakers.

Finally, looking ahead to the fall, the Midwest UX conference is returning to Ohio. After stops in Louisville & Pittsburgh, it is back to a few hours drive from Toledo: Cincinnati, October 12-14, 2017. MWUX is a top-notch UX conference! High-quality conferences like this are more common on the coasts, but MWUX is better, in my opinion, because of the midwest vibe to the program and the whole conference.

Save the dates and start planning your trip. Buy your ticket now, since it will likely sell out. Speaker submission is open until 4/16. Contact me if your company wants to sponsor.

UX Unconference, Nov 22

Last week’s email newsletter was about the UX Unconference on November 22.

A reminder to sign up and participate!

  • Tuesday, Nov 22, 6:30pm at Hanson.
  • Free to attend, with free food provided by Hanson.
  • You bring your favorite topics to the event, specific ones are chosen by the group at the beginning of the event, and then you pick which small group discussions you want to participate in.
  • Think of topics you want to learn about, or choose something that you want to share (such as a work product from a current project).




Logistics for URFE attendees

The 5th User Experience Toledo Region conference  (“User Research for Everyone”) is Tuesday, October 11th. If you have not registered yet:

If you have already purchased a ticket, below are some details you need to be aware of. This information is being emailed to everyone who has registered.

Getting there

King Road entranceThe conference will be at the brand new King Road Branch Library, 3900 King Road, Toledo, OH 43617. The library is near Sylvania Southview High School, at the corner of King Road and Sylvania Avenue, across from Kroger.

The library opens at 9am, so please try to arrive around then. Parking is free. If you get there a little early, you can wait at tables outside the library entrance.

There is a LOT of construction at the highway exits near the library (I-475/US-23 and Central Avenue) so give yourself extra time to get there in the morning. Some ramps will be closed!

  • If you are traveling from the north, such as US-23 from Ann Arbor, take Exit 13 for Central Avenue. Go west on Central past Meijer and then north on King Road.
  • If you are coming in from the east, such as I-475 west from downtown Toledo, you can also take Exit 13 for Central Avenue. You could also get off at the Talmadge Road exit and go west on Sylvania Avenue.
  • If you are coming from the south (such as Maumee, Perrysburg or Bowling Green), THE I-475/US-23 EXIT FOR CENTRAL AVENUE WILL BE CLOSED. I recommend you avoid the highway and get to the library on surface streets. Options include: Reynolds (US-20), Holland-Sylvania, McCord, or King Road (via Angola).

Food and drinks


  • Introductions will start around 9:30am and the first speaker is at 10am.
  • The general schedule for the day is a 45 minute remote speaker, then a 15 minute break, repeated 7 times.
  • We will start lunch whenever the food arrives: there is no “lunch break” in the program.
  • Toledo Matters Podcast will be there in the morning, doing some interviews. You will be encouraged to tour the library during breaks.
  • The last talk is scheduled to end at 4:45, so we will be done by 5pm.


  • Bring your laptop and charger so you can multi-task during the day: check email, get some work done, etc.
  • We have reserved a conference room where you can go to take a phone call or work with fewer distractions, if needed.

See you on Tuesday!


Call for Sponsors: User Research, Oct 11

We need sponsors to help us put on the 5th User Experience Toledo Region conference featuring Rosenfeld Media virtual speakers.

The date of the conference is October 11th, 2016 and the topic is User Research for Everyone.

See the Conference page for additional information.

To make this User Experience Toledo Region conference happen, we need sponsors! Sponsors help pay for the content, food, and other expenses. In return, sponsors get:

  • Recognized in all marketing materials and thanked by the community.
  • The chance to buy tickets for employees, clients, members or guests, at a 50% discount.
  • Part of the announcements at the conference, so attendees can find you easily to talk about job opportunities, your services, and other things one-on-one during the event.

As usual, normal sponsorship is only $100. We want to make it easy for companies to show their support.

In the past, a few companies have wanted to donate more, so we have added a premier sponsorship level of $500 for this year. A premier sponsor gets to address the crowd at the conference (if they want), get 5 free tickets, and a discount code for more tickets.

Contact Keith Instone (instone at user-experience dot org) if you are interested in being a sponsor so we can work out the details. Payments will be make to Tech Toledo, LLC by check, PayPal, or credit card. Sponsorships can also be paid via Eventbrite (with a credit card): you can pay for the sponsorship now and get tickets later, or wait and pay for both at the same time later.

Also, we welcome many forms of community supporters: groups who promote the conference to their members and get something back in return. Contact Keith so we can work out a win-win.

Oct 11: Next UXTR conference

Save the date – October 11 – for the next User Experience Toledo Region conference featuring remote speakers from Rosenfeld Media.

The theme is “User Research for Everyone”. Learn more about the program at

As usual, we will purchase a “group ticket”, book an interesting venue, and provide food, all to create a local professional development experience you will enjoy. We will have a call for sponsors soon and start selling tickets in September. Full details will be posted on the conference page.

If you have not attended one of these before, check out the concept and examples from earlier in 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.

Morville Week is Here!

intertwingled-coverThe week of Peter Morville’s talk at NWSPUG has finally arrived! After starting our planning process in February, it is exciting to have his talk about the Architecture of Understanding within sight: this Wednesday, June 15th, at the Auditorium at One SeaGate.

  • 10:00am: Show up early and visit the Toledo Design Center (see below)
  • 10:30am: Check in upstairs and network in the art gallery outside the auditorium (bring a copy of your Eventbrite receipt to speed up check-in)
  • 11:00am: Introductions and Peter’s talk
  • 11:45am (roughly): Q&A, book raffle, etc.
  • Noon: Lunch, downstairs in the food court: Small group discussions over lunch, eat outside along the river, visit TDC, etc. (Bring your Eventbrite recepit to speed up getting lunch)
  • 1:00pm: Head back to work

There are a few spots left: register if you want to attend.

Twitter Continue reading

Peter Morville interview

In order to prepare a little for Peter Morville’s talk in Toledo on June 15th, I thought it would be interesting to check in with him on a few things. Here are a few questions for Peter and his answers. If you have not registered for his talk & lunch on 6/15, there are still some seats left. Free!

— Keith

What has been the reaction to your Architecture of Understanding talks in other cities? Which trips have been the most memorable and why? Continue reading

Peter Morville, June 15th

Peter Morville is speaking in Toledo during lunch on Wednesday, June 15th! NWSPUG and Tech Toledo are the organizers and it is open to the public. The event will take place at the Auditorium at One SeaGate (Fifth Third Center) in downtown Toledo. Free lunch, stimulating talk about the Architecture of Understanding, and a chance to hang out with some of the region’s most interesting people. Register at Eventbrite.

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Wait, who is Peter Morville?

Continue reading

Late April update

Last week, I sent out a mid-month email newsletter for people interested in user experience. Usually, I only do 1 per month, but there is lots going on.

Some of the hi-lites:

  • The 2nd Design Briefs went well! Track #ToledoDesignBriefs on Twitter for a partial summary.
  • Darren Kall’s talk “User Insights for the Whole Team” was well-attended and informative. It was also an interesting “smash up” of groups (students & professionals, for example). I heard from several people who they would like to have Darren make more visits from Dayton. He is willing.
  • The next big event for people interested in user experience is Peter Morville’s “The Architecture of Understanding” on June 15th. This is BIG! We just changed to a new venue, the Auditorium at One SeaGate in downtown Toledo. We can accommodate more people now. It is over lunch, so it may take extra planning to get away from work for 2 hours. Register! The event is FREE and lunch will be provided: a great deal. I will be sharing more news about Peter, the talk, and who you may want to invite to join us.

See the April 21 email newsletter for even more that is going on.