As the founder and owner of The IMPROV EFFECT, Jessie weds her lifelong passion for and expertise in applied improv with the fast pace and demands of the corporate world. When facilitating training, she helps people become better listeners, team players, problem solvers, leaders, and communicators. Throughout her career, Jessie has worked with companies such as Microsoft, Skype, Living Social, Expedia, Fidelity Investments and Groupon. Her workshops have been successfully implemented with start-ups, as well as Fortune 500 companies. Jessie has also been speaker at conferences such as CodeMash, Madison Ruby, Conferencia Rails, UXMad, Scrum Alliance, and Agile DC. To find out more go to www.improveffect.com
If technology and music are your life, brace yourself- Moldover is about to reformat your soul. Hailed by over 1,000,000 YouTube viewers as "The Godfather of Controllerism", Moldover is a new breed of music icon. Combining the charisma of a rock star, the mad genius of a basement inventor, and the radical inclusiveness of the DIY internet generation, Moldover is "literally throwing away the rule book and reinventing the wheel" (Remix Magazine). Witness his balls-to-the-wall live show at a club, experience one of his jambox multiplayer instruments at a festival, or pick up and play the "light theremin" packaging of his debut album and understand why the next paradigm for music is a one-man-brand called Moldover.
Owner and founder of nGen Works, Carl Smith runs an unconventional distributed team that works with businesses to redefine their identities and ideals. Carl has made a name for himself in the web industry by creating a new framework for how we get things done, and by enabling us to realign our creative communities. When he’s not conducting business experiments with his nGeneers or consulting for global trendsetters, he’s busy sculpting a new face for the world of work.
A student and teacher within the user-centered design community, Andrew co-founded UX Booth in 2009 and currently serves as its Editor-in-Chief. He works with both clients as well as consultancies heading user experience initiatives.
Sullivan is a freshman at Memorial high school here in Madison. He participates in the debate team and the robotics team outside of school. During whatever free time he has, you can find him in his basement fiddling with his Raspberry Pi or his 3D printer.
Abby is a freshman at West High School. She was the captain of a group of kids that designed, provisionally patented and sold a product to a multibillion dollar company as part of a competition. She is interested in engineering, business and solving rubix cubes.
Jason has a long history of working in great kitchens, but it wasn't until he received an ice cream maker that he found his true calling. In August of 2011 he founded Calliope Ice Cream, an ice cream company based on the idea that there are a lot of things you can do with frozen dessert besides what we usually see on grocery store shelves.
Few people know MailChimp's users better than Jenn Downs, the company's first customer support specialist. A key player in creating the best email company ever, she has since helped create and shape the MailChimp Research Lab. Seeing and resolving user frustration first-hand fueled her passion for user experience and helped to hone her acclaimed "punk rock usability" style. Outside of being a web nerd Jenn is a songwriter and loves Rock and Roll!
Bermon Painter is the UX Design Lead for Cardinal Solutions. He's also heavily involved in the local tech community in Charlotte and organizes the Charlotte User Experience Designer, Charlotte Front-End Developers and Charlotte Grok groups. In his free time he works the folks at @teamsassdesign on the redesign of the Sass website. Outside of technology he enjoys languages, speaks fluent Spanish, working on Italian, plays classical piano and enjoys visiting the beaches and mountains of Ecuador with his family.
Cat Smith is a passionate New Jersey gone San Francisco based Product Designer for Prolific Interactive, COO and Editor of Stemmings, and Editor-In-Chief of VUE by Hunie. Cat loves cramming away in Photoshop creating products that both work and look awesome. When she's not in Photoshop, she enjoys talking shop with other creatives on twitter, speaking and writing about the latest in the design world.
"Big Tiger" has several years of government-sector, full life-cycle business process automation projects under his belt before joining the Ruby community via Hashrocket in 2007. Years of experience in leading a maintenance team means he has answered to angry customers and the developers, project leads, and clients responsible. A simple philosophy of building simple software that works as expected emerged from that experience. You will find him speaking at user groups, conferences, and board rooms on everything from agile development tools and techniques to deep technical dives into Ruby or other best in breed technologies.
Mike’s 17 years of work in the creative arts field has brought him to Johnson Controls where, over the last 3 years, he has built a team of User Experience specialists. Within Johnson Controls, he is currently setting creative direction for the building efficiency line of business and leading the charge establishing UX as a culture within the organization. Mike graduated in 1996 with a BFA focused in painting and lithography. He started his professional career as a self-taught graphic/web designer. In 2003 he received his usability certification at the Master Card facilities in St. Louis, MO. Mike’s leadership in the user experience community over the last decade and his passion for user-centered design helped him start a UX meet-up group called mkeUX - Milwaukee’s true UX Hugfest - in 2010. Mike is a recognized leader in the UX community and continues to push the boundaries of user experience into the future.
Russ Unger is a Senior UX Leader for GE Capital where he leads design and research projects and teams. He is co-author of the book “A Project Guide to UX Design” and is co-author of “Designing the Conversation” and he is also working on a book on guerrilla design and research methods due out well, sometime. Russ is co-founder of ChicagoCamps, which hosts low-cost, high-value technology events in the Chicago area, and he is also on the Advisory Board for the Department of Web Design and Development at Harrington College of Design.
Pamela is co-founder of Change Sciences, a user experience research and strategy firm for Fortune 500s, startups, and other smart companies. She’s logged thousands of hours in the field trying to better understand how people use technology and run hundreds of UX studies on almost every type of site you could imagine. Lately, she's been thinking a lot about how to go big picture without losing the nuanced details. She's also been stacking wood, reading Russian lit, and establishing a social media presence for her dog.
I've been immersed in UX research for a decade and have had the opportunity to work in a wide range of industries, on different types of digital experiences, and in many countries. I received my academic training in psycholinguistic laboratory research with infants at Northwestern University. At AnswerLab, I've planned, won, and overseen UX research engagements in finance, insurance, retail, automotive, travel, and logistics. I have a deep interest in international consumer markets, fueled by my work with clients in Europe and Latin America and the opportunities I've had to conduct both multilingual research in the U.S. and abroad. I love that research allows me to interact with people from an astonishing cross-section of cultures, personalities, and attitudes. I'm passionate about women changing the world, especially in the business of technology.
Sergio is a Chilean UX/Innovation Strategist and Front-end designer working at Continuum, co-founder of Get on Board and blogger, among other hats. He's worked in a number of Web, Mobile and tech projects for 12 years and helped shape one of the first college courses for front-end developers in Chile. Also a drummer, he's still looking for a way to drum while designing.
Golli is the Director of User Experience at GiveForward, where she gets to help people raise money online for their loved ones in need. She is co-founder of DUXX: Women of Design & UX and a design mentor and team advisor at the Starter League. She believes that a user-centered design process can solve all the world's problems. And if that doesn't work, an improviser's attitude is her go-to approach.
Hampton Catlin is the inventor of several popular programming languages: Sass, Haml, and Tritium. He is the original creator of Wikipedia Mobile (m.wikipedia.org) and is also the creator of several successful iPhone applications including Dictionary! He is also the inventor of Moovweb, where he works as VP of Technology.
Gemma Petrie helps organizations uncover new opportunities by learning about the goals and challenges faced by the people they serve. She believes research is a fundamental component of any successful design process and is a strong advocate of goal-oriented and user-focused design. Gemma earned her MLIS from the University of Illinois, organizes the Chicago UX Book Club, and co-founded chiDUXX. She is currently an User Experience Researcher at Mozilla and the UX Lead for Switchboard.
Lea Stewart believes that Design is multifaceted. It is about creating experiences. She works with companies whose mission is to grow their business through innovation, differentiation, and by meeting consumer needs. She has over a decade of working knowledge in many industries including consumer products, furniture, lighting, commercial products, medical products, packaging, and display design. She is recognized as an ambassador of great design, because her passion to be hands-on in driving challenging and complex development projects, which truly matter to users, equals her ability to lead teams and oversee process. She is a creative leader who has not “put down the pencil”. After graduating with honors and receiving a BS of Industrial Design from Philadelphia University, Lea feels grateful to have continued her career creating user-centered products and managing teams internally at a wide variety of companies. At large corporations like Newell Rubbermaid and Masco, she led the design of visionary lighting systems, high efficiency janitorial products, and rethought the business of kitchen cabinetry. She has also worked with small design consultancies like Eldon Design Associates, and private manufacturers like Kohler Company, Richard Shultz, and Michael Graves, to create everything from whimsical tabletop objects, to stunning outdoor furniture, and elegantly designed technology for your bathroom. Lea’s work has been printed in several publications, including Becoming a Product Designer and The Eco Design Handbook. She has also received many international design awards. Lea contributes to design blogs, sits on panels for design awards, and often speaks at colleges, conferences, and most recently, for regional design interest Meetup groups.
Lisa is the Chief Chocolate Officer for Roots Chocolates. She is also the 4th generation owner of a small farm in Wisconsin. Lisa opted out of conventional farming to focus on growing things on her farm that she could use in her chocolates. All of her chocolates contain honey from the farm bee hives. She finds her creative outlet in using fresh fruits from her orchard, herbs from her gardens or whatever she can forage or preserve throughout the year.
As an experience design software consultant, based out of the ThoughtWorks Chicago office, we continue to build our practice from a truly humanist perspective making users, and their experience, our central focus. Half of the battle in software, is identifying the right problem. Faced with a variety of challenges, I employ techniques like contextual inquiry, user research, user flows, user journeys and experience maps to identify the problem. In agile, I believe it is important to keep experience design involved throughout the entire process, we call this agile design. While it should be very involved from the very beginning with contextual inquiry, user research and usability tests, UX should continue to have a stake throughout the entire iteration. Due to its nature, at the forefront of ideation, experience design is infinitely evolving as a practice. A personal goal of mine is to keep up with these changes, help to enact changes I am passionate about, and spread the word in the experience design community.
Martin Atkins is the definition of entrepreneurial activity in cultural arts endeavors, his 30+ years in the music business spans across genres and borders and industries. He was a member of Public Image Ltd and Killing Joke. He founded industrial supergroup Pigface, The Damage Manual, and Murder Inc., and has contributed to Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. He is the owner of Invisible Records and Mattress Factory Recording Studios (est. 1988). He is the author of Tour:Smart, a syndicated blogger, and teaches at Madison Media Institute. Martin is a producer, drummer, documentary film maker, DJ, and father of four. Whatever the future of music is, you can pretty much bet that he’ll be in the middle of it.
Ted O'Meara is a Baltimore-based user experience and application development consultant with a heavy focus on HCI (human-computer interaction). He has worked with many top-tier enterprise, corporate clients and startups, but in his academic life, he is truly excited about creating software for those who need it the most. This passion has led him conduct academic research on mobile stroke rehabilitation, and complete several projects directed towards mobile assistive software for the disabled.
Brad is an Experience Designer, Web Developer, Entrepreneur, and Dancer originally from Buffalo, NY. Currently working as the UX Lead for Nextt, Inc., he has worked with a handful of startups and small businesses to craft enjoyable, engaging experiences. Holding a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Psychology, Brad likes to believe he as a unique perspective on the world of UX.