Jared Spool kicked off the day discussing the Kano Model, which helps gauge your users’ expectation. He was followed by six compelling case studies from real UXers in the Toronto area. We wrapped up the day with a special keynote presentation from accessibility expert Derek Featherstone.


Metro Central YMCA
20 Grosvenor Street, Toronto, ON


  • 9:00 AM

    Registration & Continental Breakfast

  • 9:45 AM

    Building a Winning UX Strategy Using the Kano Model

    The ultimate goal for user experience is that users enjoy using your product or service. Many companies use satisfaction as a metric for measuring their success. But satisfaction is really just the lack of frustration. You should be focused on what you can do to delight your users.

    In this session, Jared presents the Kano Model which helps you gauge your users’ expectations. When you approach delight from a perspective of pleasure, flow, and meaning, you can then determine which features meet these objectives.

    About Jared Spool

    Jared Spool took UX to a new level in 1988 when he launched UIE. And by, "to a new level," we mean "validated UX as a vital component of our work, then spent the next 25 years conducting research and writing tirelessly to keep validating it."

    Jared often can be found onstage, where he captivates crowds with stunning data that reveal how UX can affect a company’s bottom line. He's helped thousands of companies worldwide to increase their profits, identify interaction failures, and integrate UX research and design into their product development cycles.

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  • 10:45 AM

    Morning Break

  • 11:00 AM

    Keyhole Impact for User Experience and Beyond

    All product teams have good intentions, but some products still end up failing users. So what can we do about it?

    Ilona will introduce the keyhole metaphor and its war stories. She’ll show us how to communicate to senior management the pitfalls of making assumptions, taking short cuts, and proceeding ‘as planned,’ without applying better insights to maximize the user experience.

    Ilona will discuss:

    • Why products fail when we forget our users

    • What tools will prepare you to deliver exceptional experiences

    • How we can explain, predict, and address design challenges

    About Ilona Posner

    Ilona Posner has a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Toronto and has been working in UX for over 25 years—before it was “a thing.” As a User Experience Consultant, she works across different industries and has been teaching UX since 2000 at various places including the University of Toronto, OCAD University, and the Media Lab at the Canadian Film Centre. She also develops and delivers custom UX training courses.

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  • 11:30 AM

    Design, Test, Learn, Repeat: Learning as You Go in Agile UX

    Agile UX allows teams to test and refine designs to create better user experiences. But if you don’t watch how people use your product as you design and build, you lose one of the biggest advantages of agile, which is to iterate on your design acceptance criteria.

    Desirée Sy shares the power of learning as you go, fixing, and making changes to effectively design for real-world use cases.

    Desirée will discuss:

    • How goals, discipline and trust are vital

    • How formative usability testing is useful in agile UX

    • How to make tradeoffs in order to get fixes done

    About Desirée Sy

    Desirée Sy is a user experience consultant and agile UX coach from Toronto, Canada, with over 20 years in UX crafting useful and enjoyable user experiences. She’s passionate about adapting rapid formative usability testing and qualitative research for agile. You can find her most notable writing in the May 2007 issue of the Journal of Usability Studies.

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  • 12:00 PM

    Lessons from Labyrinth: Designing in the World of Enterprise

    Designing in an enterprise is like a maze. Getting from idea to execution is often a crooked path full of obstacles. But having the right tools can help designers look past the deliverable and focus on the larger context.

    Kimberley Peter shares how to navigate through complex situations and adapt to change.

    Kimberley will discuss:

    • How visual tools help guide methods within larger cross-functional teams

    • How to look for possibilities rather than immediate solutions

    • Why taking a step back gives us perspective

    About Kimberly Peter

    Kimberley Peter is an Experience Strategy and Design Lead at IBM. She has a background in visual design, biomedical communications, and interaction design. In recent years, she has focused on creating teams who value collaboration and learning. Kimberley’s currently working towards a Master of Design at OCAD University.

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  • 12:30 PM


  • 1:30 PM

    Designing for Disruptive Innovation

    Sometimes we get so focused on winning the small victories of the present—like sign-off on UX or design support—that we fail to plan for a project’s bigger challenges.

    Robert Barlow-Busch journeyed with a team who faced the possibility of failure after ignoring something big: the future.

    Robert will share how:

    • Having higher-ups support design and research can impact a project

    • Bringing colleagues along for a design journey will turn them into evangelists

    • Destroying a team’s assumptions might be a designer’s most important contribution

    About Robert Barlow-Busch

    Robert Barlow-Busch has spent over 20 years as an interaction designer with one foot in the marketing world. He’s now leading the charge in both worlds as Chief Experience Officer of MetaMarketplace. He’s busy building Ontario’s design community as co-chair of the Fluxible conference.

    You can find Robert’s ideas in books like User-Centered Design Stories and The Persona Lifecycle.

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  • 2:00 PM

    The Answers are in the Research

    Projects can be unpredictable. And when they don’t follow that decided path—well, that can taste of failure. But letting go of fixed outcomes and trusting what emerges might be what takes a project from disheartening to delightful.

    Matt Nish-Lapidus and his team were hired to design and build a website. But during the discovery phase of the project, a very different need emerged. The team let the research lead them to an unexpected outcome that filled a need no one predicted.

    Matt will discuss:

    • Why research—and trusting what it uncovers—is necessary

    • Why strategic principles and goals are important

    • How using established principles and goals to guide decisions can help

    About Matt Nish-Lapidas

    Matt Nish-Lapidus holds a degree in new media art from Ryerson University, and has a rich background as a practicing musician and designer. He currently leads a team at Normative in Toronto, Canada where he focuses on design practice development in a 21st century studio. He’s also the Vice President of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA), a global organization dedicated to the advancement of interaction design practice.

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  • 2:30 PM

    Designing for the Customer Experience

    Design is one small piece of the user experience. Marketing, pricing strategy, customer relations—all have an impact on a user’s journey. Having a working knowledge in those disciplines helps us to see beyond the task at hand and solve for the bigger picture: the customer experience.

    Andrea Ong Pietkiewicz challenges us to step out of our comfort zones as UX practitioners and to sign-up for a lifetime of learning new disciplines, like ethnography and industry dynamics.

    Andrea will discuss:

    • How everyone has an impact on the customer experience

    • Why the value of conducting usability testing with real people is so important

    • How to walk away from what you can’t influence

    About Andrea Ong Pietkiewicz

    Andrea Ong Pietkiewicz’s UX journey began in traditional marketing and advertising. She takes a holistic approach to UX design, crossing media boundaries and affecting every brand touchpoint. Andrea is a Senior Interaction Designer at TELUS where she looks for that sweet spot between business goals and customer needs.

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  • 3:00 PM

    Afternoon Break

  • 3:15 PM

    Designing for Context, Not the Device

    Designers often think “context” is the device someone uses to interact with websites and apps. But context goes far beyond the device. Time, proximity, and state of mind are just a few contextual clues we can use to make our designs more responsive to peoples’ needs.

    Derek Featherstone challenges us to think beyond the device and begin designing for context.

    Derek will discuss how:

    • Priority charts help determine the space needed for a website’s content

    • Context maps uncover opportunities to improve designs

    About Derek Featherstone

    Derek Featherstone is a Digital Accessibility Specialist and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience. As an international speaker, Derek shares his authority on accessibility and web design. He leads the team at  Simply Accessible where he works hard to make the web a better place through easy-to-use designs.

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  • 4:15 PM

    Unwind and meet your peers at our networking social

    First drink is on us at The Artful Dodger!