FREDERICTON – Global design leaders from Google and Shopify will be the headline speakers at this year’s UX Atlantic Conference (UXAC), the region’s largest conference on “user experience,” the science and art of creating products and services that customers love.
Frederic Laforge, one of the conference organizers, says recruiting world-leading designers to speak at the conference, June 26-27, will elevate the conversation around user experience in the region.
“User Experience is paramount to the success of our technology sector here in the region,” says Laforge. “If we want to create world-class products, we need good engineers and good design. Our role at UX Atlantic is to promote the use of user experience design, teach and connect people together.”
Meagan Timney is a UX Research Lead at Google in Mountain View, California. She joined Google in 2016 and currently oversees key enterprise research and strategy for Stadia, a cloud gaming service operated by Google.
Laforge says designing the optimum user experience is critical for companies like Stadia.
“It’s all about entertainment,” he says. “Customers won’t put up with terrible design. If it’s a bad experience, they’ll toss it away and try something else.”
Timney, who has a PhD from Dalhousie University in Halifax, is a designer and researcher who has also worked at small agencies and Silicon Valley startups.
Ricardo Vazquez is a senior product designer on Shopify’s retail team, where he designs mobile experiences to help merchants sell products through physical spaces such as brick-and-mortar stores and pop-up shops.
“He is designing products for one of the most exciting startups Canada has seen in a while,” says Laforge. “Considered by most a ‘unicorn’ of the SaaS startups in Canada, they have revolutionized the e-commerce game right here in Canada.”
Vazquez has also done design work for companies such as Mozilla Firefox, FreshBooks, and 500px.
The conference will feature other speakers, including Jamie Gerrard, a UX strategy and training consultant, and Brian Fanning, a strategist with T4G’s Innovation Lab.
The conference, which will take place at the Crowne Plaza in Fredericton, will also consist of a variety of action-focused workshops, panel discussions with stories from the field, and networking sessions.
“We want participants to learn more about fine-tuning products to improve the user experience,” says Laforge. “A good experience saves companies money. They don’t have to spend as much time supporting customers and on-boarding new ones.”
UXAC is organized by UX Atlantic, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering Atlantic Canadians to create world-class products and services through special events and learning opportunities here in Atlantic Canada.
This conference will be UX Atlantic’s major event of the year, but the organization also plans on hosting events every quarter that feature workshops and keynote speakers. It also plans to offer opportunities for hands-on training.