UX Fest was Monday, June 4, 2018
A warm thank-you to our speakers and everyone who attended

“It's much more than creating, it’s about understanding your problem so well that the solution is obvious.”
—Garrett Kroll

UX Fest is an inspirational platform that brings UX practitioners, product leaders, and strategists together to connect with the people who are building great products and teams and creating a culture of design in their organizations.

This year's event celebrated the people, products, and experiences that are changing the way we work, live, and play.

2018 Recap

  • Paul Wylie Olympic Medalist, Keynote Speaker, Performance Coach Paul Wylie

    “Pathetic to Podium, 35 Days to Transform a Broken Performer (and Other Tales of Bouncing Back)”

    Paul’s riveting personal story reaches a wide range of audiences with a winsome message of resilience, hope, humor and health. Beginning with his legendary 35-Day turnaround before the Olympics, his narrative underlines the key factors behind transformative Olympic performances that turned him from Dark Horse to Silver Medalist. A Survivor of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, he also eloquently describes re-focusing on life’s greater purposes after being revived by two workout buddies performing CPR on him in 2015.

    Speaker slidesView Paul's Presentation on SlideShare

  • Sarah Bernard COO at Crisis Text Line Sarah Bernard

    “5 Principles to Help Design Thrive”

    When many of us first started out in product, the primary role of design was “just” visual. As product leaders, we sometimes had to fight to grow the design team. Over the years, the role of design has significantly expanded into a more scientific one that’s focused on the entire user experience. The value of design within the product team has evolved and expanded to the point where design is now one of the most competitive and difficult roles to hire for in Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston. And differences exist in how each coast approaches design.

    This talk will discuss the evolution of the role of design within the product team over the years and how the approach to design differs from one market to another.

    Speaker slidesView Sarah's Presentation on SlideShare

  • Gilbert Lee Chief Product Officer at Pluralsight Gilbert Lee

    “Building a Problem Understanding Framework to Deliver Higher Quality Solutions”

    As Chief Product Officer of the world’s fastest growing technology learning platform, Gil knows that his primary job is to provide a “problem understanding framework” to his 25 product teams. He believes teams perform best when given problems to solve, rather than being handed solutions to execute. In this talk he will show how any company, using the company’s mission as a starting point, can build a problem framework to deliver higher quality solutions.

    Speaker slidesView Gilbert's Presentation on SlideShare

  • Ben Rabner Head of Experiential Marketing at Adobe Ben Rabner

    “Your Irrational, Emotional, Complicated Human Nature Is The Most Valuable Tool In Creating Truly Remarkable Experiences”

    Human neurobiology and behaviors are way more advanced and complicated than the consumer technology we obsess over. With so much research and evidence to draw from, we now have more understanding of this biological technology than ever before. To deliver outstanding user experiences, you need to be part anthropologist, part scientist, part artist and part tech expert. This cross functional intersection is where Ben lives in his role at Adobe. In this thoughtful and unusual talk, Ben will lift the veil on how Adobe has quietly been creating memorable experiences that draw on our most primal human nature.

    Speaker slidesView Ben's Presentation on SlideShare

  • Perry Hewitt Senior Advisor, Engagement Strategy at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Perry Hewitt

    “5 Ways to Tackle a HIPPO”

    So, my CEO sat next to this guy on a plane... and he had a technology we *definitely* should put in our product. It’s 3D image rendering. Or a chatbot. Or a timeline feature. Those of you working in and for enterprise organizations can relate to this challenge. What are the ways large organizations can develop and defend a culture of product leadership? And how can you, as experience designers, elevate and translate the importance and impact of your work to the C-Suite? This talk will explain how you can use creative, data-driven, and organizational behavior approaches to ensure the best experience wins.

    Speaker slidesView Perry's Presentation on SlideShare

  • Andrew Forsthoefel Author, Speaker, and Peace Activist Andrew Foresthofel

    “Walking to Listen”

    In 2011, at 23 years old, I walked out my mom’s back door near Philadelphia with a backpack, an audio recorder, and a sign that read “Walking to Listen.” I had just graduated from college, and I had so many questions: Who am I—as a young man, as Andrew? Who are we—as diverse human beings, as America? Why do we seem to hate each other so much? How can we learn to live with one another in peace, and even in love? I resolved to walk every step of the way, on the highways, seeing everyone as my teacher. Nearly one year after I began, 4,000 miles from my mother’s house, I made it to the Pacific Ocean outside San Francisco.

    This talk explores my transcontinental listening walk: stories and insights from the road on coming of age, courage and fear, and the art of radical connection; audio recordings of my interviews; photographs. Throughout the talk, I invite the audience to consider the practice of listening. What is deep listening? How is it an integral part of the way forward, as we seek to understand and heal our multifarious national divides, and the schisms in our own minds and hearts? Why don’t we listen? Why must we?

    Speaker bookCheck Out Andrew's Book "Walking to Listen" on Amazon.com

  • David Cancel CEO, Drift.com David Cancel

    “Cancel on the Couch: You Have to be Crazy to Run a Product Company”

    Fresh Tilled Soil CEO Richard Banfield will put Dave in the therapist's chair and pry open the mind of this fascinating serial entrepreneur. It promises to be messy, scary and loads of fun.

    Speaker podcastCheck Out David's Podcast

  • Julia Austin Senior Lecturer, Advisor, Board Member at Harvard Business School Julia Austin

    “Gathering User Feedback is Forever”

    The learnings product teams gather from direct user feedback and testing prototypes is often underrated and too often discarded once they begin developing at scale. In reality, the need to talk to users - different users in different contexts - lasts beyond the initial phase. Forgetting to talk to your target audience can lead to building products and experiences that fail to delight, or worse, building the wrong thing altogether. Product teams must continue to test as they develop and continue to validate as they evolve. Julia will describe real-world case studies of what can go wrong when feedback ends once development begins.

    Feedback is forever.

    Speaker slidesView Julia's Presentation on SlideShare

  • Martin Eriksson Co-Founder, Curator, Editor, and Chairman of the Board at Mind the Product Martin Eriksson

    “Building Better Products By Building Better Teams”

    In order to build products people love in today’s fast-moving world we need to be experts on everything from design to engineering to machine learning. Since no one person can have all that information it’s critical that we stop worrying about titles and build cross-functional teams who combine all this knowledge and experience with the autonomy to execute. In this talk Martin will show the benefits of thinking cross-functionally and how to set up teams for success this way - whether you’re a leader or a team member.

    Speaker slidesView Martin's Presentation on SlideShare

  • Janae Sharp Founder and CEO at The Sharp Index Janae Sharp

    “Physician Suicide and Clinician Engagement Tools”

    The more highly engaged Physicians and Clinicians are the key to good patient outcomes. However, the more engaged physicians are the more vulnerable to stress physicians are. Highly engaged Physicians and Clinicians without support and coping tools are at a higher risk of death by suicide. Clinician engagement tools specific to their engagement profile improve patient and clinician outcomes. Janae lost her husband to suicide after the birth of their third child and before the beginning of his residency in Pathology. This session will describe Clinician engagement tools that were developed to address behavioral health.

    Speaker slidesView Janae's Presentation on SlideShare

  • Adaora Asala Product Lead, Enterprise User Applications at Cogito Corp. Adaora Asala

    “Designing Inclusive Organizations”

    Exploring the role product and design plays in helping organizations advance efforts to build and shape inclusive cultures where talent can thrive.

    Speaker slidesView Adaora's Presentation on SlideShare

  • Radhika Dutt Co-Founder at Radical Product Radhika Dutt

    “Radical Product: The global movement that’s building vision-driven products”

    Building vision-driven products means having a clear vision, a compelling product strategy to achieve that vision, and translating the vision and strategy into an execution plan. While this is easily said, it is incredibly hard to do. What is a “good” vision? What does product strategy really mean? What is Enlightenment? Wait, that a different talk.

    Radical Product is a movement that provides a methodology for strategic product thinking, in a similar way that Lean and Agile provided a methodology for feedback-driven execution. We’ll use the free and open-source Radical Product toolkit to talk about how you can create a powerful, far-reaching vision for your product, make smarter decisions, and build products with purpose.

    Speaker slidesView Radhika's Presentation on SlideShare

  • David Delmar Founder at Resilient Coders David Delmar

    “The Only Questions That Matter When Talking About Job Creation”

    Much ink has been spilled debating whether the arrival of Amazon and its 2,000 tech jobs is “good” or “bad” for Boston. The answer to that question depends on two and a half questions that haven’t been adequately explored.

    Speaker slidesView David's Presentation on SlideShare

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