In October 2012, Felix Portnoy reached out to the Hampton Roads community to gauge interest in forming a group for Hampton Roads. The purpose of this group was to provide a social and educational platform for professionals in this area to engage in the field of User Experience. A month later, he held a strategic planning meeting with Chandler Turner and Candace Eshelman-Haynes and quickly moved forward with the first board meeting in January 2013. In February 2013, the founders officially launched the group with a social event. Within a few months of establishing the group, the founders began the transition to become an official chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA). We have since grown to over 80 members! Professionals and students working in design, human factors, human-computer interaction, information science, web development, informatics, simulation, instructional design, education, marketing, and other fields continue to work together to make the group a success.
Let’s take a look back at 2013!
Last year’s Board Members worked together to create engaging, rewarding, fun, and educational events: Felix Portnoy, Bianca Chesimard, Paul Sanders, Alex Proaps, Navaneeta Dorbala, Chandler Turner, Vasili Giannoutsos, and Becca Kennedy. Some of those events were even featured in a Human Factors Newsletter!
We hosted a fun “Speed Networking” event – is a fun way to break the ice with other members while getting a chance to discuss interests, research or work on a one-to-one level.
Lecture Series Kick Off
We kicked off our lecture series with talks from three local professionals.
Erling Amundson is a Digital Strategist at Symantec specializing in Experience Design and Social Media. He described ways in which we can use social media to improve UX.
Dr.Felix Portnoy is a Human Factors and Usability Engineer at IBM. In his talk, he helped us understand some of the challenges of online ads and how our attention guides our perception.
Chandler Turner is the User Experience Consultant at Creative Art and Design Studios. He described the use of Laddering Theory in discovery and its effect on content creation.
The guru of user-centered design, Don Norman, is cofounder of the Nielsen Norman Group, an IDEO fellow, Trustee of IIT’s Institute of Design (Chicago), and former Vice President of Apple. He joined us live via remote connection to answer questions about UX and design, and to discuss current challenges in the field.
Mac Smith of Google[X]
Mac Smith is a Staff User Experience Researcher at Google X – Google’s “secret underground” advanced R&D division. Mac smith joined us via remote connection to describe some of the UX methods employed at Google.
Luke. W – Mobile Experience
Luke W., one of the leaders of mobile interface design, joined us via remote connection to share his talk, “Organizing Mobile Web Experiences.”
UXPA International Conference
In July, some of our members attended the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) 2013 International Conference in Washington D.C. UXPA 2013 was sponsored and hosted by the International and the DC chapters of UXPA. Students and professionals from around the world attended the conference. This year’s conference theme, collaboration, saturated the four day conference of keynotes, tutorials, workshops, presentations, panels, and poster sessions. Our member volunteered, chaired sessions and workshops, and even presented some of their work!
A Developer’s Perspective
We invited three front end developers to explore the topics of communication and collaboration between UX design and research professionals and front end developers. Each panelist shared a short presentation and we followed up with a Q and A panel. The panel included:
Ryan Ward, System Engineer at SimIS, Inc.
Joe DeVito, Mobile UI UX Developer at Dominion Enterprises
Ricky Williams, Interactive Developer at Grow Interactive
Steve Krug (pronounced “kroog”) is best known as the author of Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, now in its second edition with over 350,000 copies in print. He joined us via remote connection to answer questions about web usability and discuss current challenges in the field.
Some of our members also hosted a Design-a-thon. It provided and opportunity for professionals and students to collaborate with with other designers, developers and user-experience enthusiasts to create wireframes and write design guidelines for a local business website!
National Ergonomics Month
October is National Human Factors and Ergonomics Month! We co-sponsored an event with the Old Dominion University (ODU) student chapter and Tidewater chapter of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES). Three panel members described their experiences in the HF/E field: Poornima Madhavan and James Bliss of ODU, and Candace Eschelman-Haynes from NATO. The panel was followed by tours of ODU human factors labs, which were led by graduate students. ODU’s student chapter hosted and sponsored food and drinks.
World Usability Day
We ended the year by co-hosting a workshop with the Metro DC chapter of UXPA for World Usability Day (WUD) in November. WUD is a day of worldwide events aiming to bring together the usability and UX communities educational purposes. Dr. Jennifer Romano Bergstrom discussed issues and best practices of Web and survey design. We also gave away UX and usability books, UXPA sketchpads, and Scott Albrecht postcards to five lucky winners.
We hope to see you at this year’s events! If there are any speakers you’d love to see or any topic areas you’d like us to cover, please contact us. Stay tuned for details! We will also announce our new Board Members soon.