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 from around the Detroit area. We wrapped up the day with a special keynote presentation from Dana Chisnell.


The Gem Theater
333 Madison Avenue, Detroit, MI
The Gem Theather is located next to the Detroit Athletic Club, across the street from Music Hall and 36th District Courthouse and within walking distance of Greektown Casino, Comerica Park and Ford Field.


  • 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


  • 11:00 AM

    From Operating Room to Sports Bar: Field Studies in the Lab

    Even when it’s not possible to conduct field research, we can gain many of its benefits by emulating field settings in the lab.

    TecEd’s Stephanie Rosenbaum will share how the TecEd team discovered that these simulated environments worked in both early design research and task-based studies for a specific FDA-approval goal, making them a viable alternative when you can't get to the field.
    Stephanie’s journey will address the challenges of creating a realistic lab environment, how she adjusted methodology, and the results. Find out why Stephanie was surprised and delighted by how thoroughly participants engaged with simulated environments.

    Stephanie will share:

    • How to identify suitable projects for simulated field research
    • Methodology for early design research
    • Methodology for task-based pre-launch studies
    • Tips and techniques for successfully simulating field research
    • What not to expect from this method

    About Stephanie Rosenbaum

    Stephanie Rosenbaum is CEO of the pioneering user experience firm TecEd, headquartered in Ann Arbor with offices in California and New York. An early missionary for field research, Stephanie has studied executives in Fortune 100 companies, radiation therapists in hospitals, and Ford owners in a small trailer with five large dogs. She regularly shares her ever-expanding methodology toolkit with fellow practitioners at UXPA, SIGCHI, IUE, and now UX Thursday.

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  • 11:30 AM

    Designing With Data for Humans

    Designers and UX professionals have the opportunity and skills to shape data so it’s understandable, manageable and positively affects lives.

    Ivo Gasparotto has worked on a team at GE Capital to create an intuitive application for users to manage and manipulate massive amounts of business and operations-related data. The team produced a user-centered application that allows access to data and surfaces unique insights into their business. Ivo will share what he’s learned about using design to make data more meaningful for people in the ways they do business and connect with the world.

    Leave Ivo’s session with:

    • A process of understanding data as a design medium or material
    • Methods of working with cross-functional teams to prototype and sketch interactive data visualizations
    • Ways to shape data and information design to be understandable and relevant to people

    About Ivo Gasparotto

    Ivo is a Designer and UX Lead at GE Capital where he heads up a design group and joins forces with cross-functional teams to tackle large scale applications. He’s designed middle school science books, retail environments and worked with clients including the US Postal Service and Baxter International. He is a bedroom DJ, a Sunday painter, and a collector of Jazz records.

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  • 12:00 PM

    When Testing Professionals Are Involved in User-Centered Design Research

    Our opinions as designers, developers, and analysts aren’t enough, and might even get in the way of a project’s success. User feedback based on user-centered design (UCD) methods is where the true value lives.

    Amy Montgomery will share what the State of Michigan found when their testing professionals were knowledgeable about UCD methods. She’ll take you through the state’s UX story and structure. Attend Amy’s session to learn from her team’s insights and challenges.

    You’ll leave understanding of:

    • How is the State of MI’s UX/QA Shared Service is structured and what is and isn’t working well.
    • UCD methods and why trying them is important even if you don’t have the perfect setup.
    • Why bring in testing professionals into the UX fold could benefit everyone.

    About Amy Montgomery

    Amy Montgomery has been hooked on Usability Testing and other UCD methods from the get go. She’s on the State of Michigan’s DTMB UX/QA Shared Service team where she executes User Experience work and manual software testing — she believes they’re a power couple worth talking about. Amy holds a BA in Computer Information Systems from Western Michigan University.  

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  • 12:30 PM


  • 1:30 PM

    Ducks and Decorated Sheds

    Making good decisions as individuals is hard. Making good decisions as a group can be painful.  

    Last year at UXT, Dan shared a simple tool to determine what “good” means for a project. This year, he’ll talk about bridging the gap between business goals and structural design approaches to fosters those goals.

    Leave Dan’s session with:

    • Three ways to think about the range of possibilities between business intent and structural form (looking at the work of Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Walt Disney)
    • Two ways of diagnosing sub-optimal alignments between structural design approach and business intent (from live on-the-web examples)
    • One way to approach the design of structural form (from a case study)

    About Dan Klyn

    Dan Klyn is co-founder of The Understanding Group (TUG) and teaches information architecture at the University of Michigan School of Information. He does IA work for clients, including Herman Miller and JSTOR. His research focus is also his hero: Richard Saul Wurman.

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  • 2:00 PM

    Confronting the Egos in the Room

    When stakeholders care enough to take a seat at the table, we should care enough to listen. But advocating for users must be a priority, and that can mean confronting the egos in the room.

    Lauren Colton discusses project fails, lessons learned, and user-centered successes. Learn how Gravity Works Design & Development has adapted—after working with divas, dragons, and drama queens—to deliver what the users, and the clients, need.

    Lauren will discuss:

    • Why opening up dialogue is essential to understanding project goals and constraints
    • How different communication styles and personality types can change everything
    • What you can do to cultivate empathy

    About Lauren Colton

    At Gravity Works Design & Development, Lauren uses words to help people take control of their technology. She has constructed sitemaps, built wireframes, edited encyclopedias, written web copy, and trained stakeholders to maintain their web presence. Lauren recently collaborated on Professional Mobile Application Development (Wrox Press), writing about mobile design and content.

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  • 2:30 PM

    Visual Literacy: Expanding How We Practice UX

    Visual literacy, traditionally applied to educational settings, has become important for users to make sense of digital media. Keith Instone will share the how and why behind his research and the ways he applies what he’s learning about visual literacy to UX. You'll hear how this exploration has making him a better UX practitioner.

    Keith hopes to inspire UX practitioners to embark on their own discipline-crashing journeys to help strengthen the future value of UX.

    Leave Keith’s session with:

    • A process for expanding your UX expertise by “crashing” other disciplines
    • Examples from visual literacy that apply to UX
    • An invitation to participate in the next virtual literacy conference

    About Keith Instone

    Keith Instone is an independent Strategic User Experience Consultant in Toledo. Alongside his visual literacy focus, he’s working to close the scientific research and practice gap in UX, putting an end to human trafficking in the Toledo area, applying experience planning techniques to economic development, and growing UX in his community.

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  • 3:00 PM


  • 3:15 PM

    Closing Keynote: Fooled by Best Practice

    When people in UX talk about using “best practices” or doing “best practice design,” what are we talking about? Best practices for whom? “Best practice” is a de facto standard we often aspire to, but it doesn’t always work. This talk is about how a smug team, all up in their best practice design, learned where best practice falls apart: at the edges.

    About Dana Chisnell

    Dana Chisnell is an elections geek and UX research nerd (her words) who has trained thousands of people, including election officials to test the designs. But what she really loves is giving design literacy to the world. She’s the lead on a project to develop a series of Field Guides To Ensuring Voter Intent. The Field Guides, originally funded by a Kickstarter project, are designed to be quick, easy, and accessible help for local election officials to do the best possible design. She has won two MacArthur grants to expand the Field Guides series. She’s what you might call a “seasoned professional” who, with Jeff Rubin, wrote Handbook of Usability Testing, Second Edition.

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  • 4:15 PM

    After Party