2017 Schedule

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Thursday, Sep 28
1:00pm — 3:00pm
85 attending

Sharpen the Saw to Max Customer Discovery - Pitfalls with Personas

Practical advice from industry experts on how to avoid the things that screw most people up in user research. Common issues such as: recruiting is hard, interviews sometimes go nowhere, it's hard to get companies to pay for more research after they've been burned, and the fact sometimes personas provided just aren’t relevant are discussed. This panel looks at these and other issues to provide designers with down-to-earth advice on how to move forward when faced with obstacles during research.

With a focus on persona creation and development, the panel will help fellow designers deal with such challenges as:

• Not enough data to build useful personas
• Personas provided aren't useful - lots of made up biographical info ("likes the color pink!") with no info relevant to the context of the problem we're solving for
• Business thinks they already know their customers and doesn't want to pay for more research
• I make good personas for my project, but then the company doesn't use them for anything else and they're largely wasted

Facilitator: Joe “Hark” Herold, Design Thinking Denver
RJ Owen: UX Designer, Denver’s Creative Mornings Host
Dr. Sarabeth Berk: Director of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative at CU Boulder
Morley McBride: More Creative by Design

RJ Owen is a UX Designer whose experiences range from consulting at design agencies to startups to giant tech corporations. He loves the way design thinking breaks traditional silos and barriers down and recognizes the need for input from everyone in the design process.

RJ is a frequent speaker at industry events and especially loves thinking about how interaction with the made world changes people. Additionally, he hosts Denver’s chapter of CreativeMornings – a breakfast club and lecture series for local creatives. At home RJ is a parent of four, a coffee snob, and one of those comic book types.

Joe “Hark” Herold is the CEO of Design Thinking Denver and Hark Leadership Development, consulting firms based on the principle that leadership and a human-centered approach to innovation can transform organizations and their processes and services. Organizations that keep people at the center of their focus not only succeed, they excel.

As a colonel in the Air Force Reserve, Hark’s final assignment was to help launch AF CyberWorx, the Air Force Cyber Innovation Center, utilizing the Design Thinking, human-centered approach to technology innovation and cadet education while leveraging—and pushing the bounds of—private-public partnerships.

Dr. Sarabeth Berk is the Director of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative at CU Boulder, a cross-campus effort to bring entrepreneurial experiences to all stakeholders and embed innovation into the culture of the university. She considers herself an innovation strategist and scout, and applies experience design to everything. Her personal research focuses on hybrid professionals, what happens at the intersections between professional identities, and how this phenomenon is transforming the workforce.

Morley McBride is the founder of More Creative by Design (MCBD), a human-centered design and strategy consultancy based in Boulder. MCBD works with organizations to drive creativity and seek innovative solutions to complex problems. Past clients include start-ups and creative agencies across the country, as well as local clients such as CU Boulder, U.S. Air Force Academy, Regis University, Denver Public Schools, Colorado Department of Education, and the Colorado Workforce Development Council.

Morley moved to Boulder from NYC where she worked for design and innovation firm, IDEO, and taught Design Thinking at NYU. Prior to joining IDEO, she helped launch NBC News’s Education Nation; served as the Education and Public Programs Manager at the Aspen Art Museum; and was a Research and Consulting Fellow at Rocky Mountain Institute. Morley earned her M.B.A. from Yale School of Management and her B.A. from Middlebury College, and is a producer for the public radio storytelling program, The Moth.

Location TBA

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