Vancouver User Experience Awards 2016

(guest post by Ziwei Wang)

The third annual event Vancouver UX Awards was hosted by Vancouver User Experience Group on Wednesday, Nov 16th at Imperial. Professionals in the industry and students joined together, excited to see what projects the talents would bring to the table this time.

After amazing food and drinks, the gala kicked off with a presentation from Kharis O’Connell, the Head of Product at ARCHIAT, UX for the Future. He talked about his experience in designing for mixed reality, and dived into the difference between prototyping for 3d space to the known approaches of designing for 2d interfaces. While there are pages of results when people google prototyping tools, there are not many answers for prototyping for Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality; how current designers tackle this problem is through theatre acting and paper prototyping. Successful UX designers will combine this emerging model with a new type of development mentality.

(photo credits: VanUE and photographer Jef Gibbons)

The awards highlight outstanding work across several categories: Enterprise, Marketing, Non-for-profit, Products, Students, Emerging Experiences, People’s Choice, and Best UX. All solutions were evaluated and scored by the judges on how they satisfied these five criteria: Joy, Elegance, Clarity, Innovation, and Impact. Throughout the night, the panel of judges shared their insights into great user experiences. User experience isn’t just about designing a great interface: It digs deeper into researching users’ needs and defining the right problems. Winners of this year emphasized the Vancouver lifestyle and demonstrated the ability to focus on user problems, from Burnkit’s interactive touch-screen solution that created an educational and fun experience for visitors at The Port of Vancouver Discovery Centre, to student online platform IKEA STAY that gives IKEA customers the chance to test products through an immersive Airbnb stay and web experience.

The event was excellent, well-organized, encouraged young talents to join the industry. It’s great to see the importance of UX has been fully embraced in Vancouver, I look forward to attend more events like this.

 

Van UE Design Awards Gala

(guest post by Jordan Barber)

I’ve heard it said that designers should be loved, not understood. I can’t say if that’s true, but I’ll wholeheartedly admit we’re a strange breed. We obsess over form, font, color, and composition. Some of us communicate ideas through storytelling, and others spend countless hours unraveling complex systems to build better experiences.

When I entered my undergraduate design program, a professor told me that I would never see the world the same again—later another instructor called it a curse. I never knew how true these statements were until I entered the world of user experience design. In the Digital Design program at VFS we learned the tools to transform our obsessions into a problem-solving skillset by letting the problem dictate the solution; not the other way around.

For our graduate projects, we drew inspiration from our lives and the world around us. We learned to observe, hypothesize, validate, and examine our ideas while always keeping the user at the center of our designs.

Read More

2015 Vancouver User Experience Awards

Congratulations to DD alumnus Henry Chu for winning at the Vancouver User Experience Awards. Henry’s graduate project, Kinforman Android mobile and smart watch application that enables geographically separated families to share and to track their health information, won in the UX by Students category. Finalists also included DD alumni Juhi JaferiiKelsey Hemphill, and Jordan Barber. The awards gala was held this past Wednesday, and entries for the UX Awards were judged based on five criteria that included joy, elegance, simplicity, innovation and impact.

 

Working with AmazonFresh

Still from AmazonFresh Motion Graphic piece

I have been reluctant to write this article, simply because I don’t particularly like talking about “my success”. But under threat from our much loved Sholeh Atash, who reminded me the first chance she got that I owed her a story, I have been forced to set aside my quibbles and repay my debts (I still love you Sholeh :P )

I was hired by AmazonFresh as a UX (User Experience) Designer, shortly after graduating. For those who don’t know it, AmazonFresh is a Seattle-based online grocery store. When I joined the team, there was only one designer who had been doing the UX, the UI (User Interface) design, and everything in between, all by herself for over a year, and she was clearly looking to share the increasing workload. What particularly attracted me to this opportunity was that the team was small enough that I could really make a mark fairly quickly. I would have little chance to hide behind a line of more senior colleagues, and would have to hit the ground running. And that’s how I like things to be. Also, given that it was Amazon, everything had to be done today (and doesn’t that sound completely familiar and normal!). So, the time between ideation and fruition was as small as possible. I could join and have my stuff up on the website in a few weeks, live and operational!
Read More

Digital Design Talks Review : Launch Pad Lift Off

Slide from thelearnstartup.com principles

The latest edition of Digital Design Talks, titled Launch Pad, took place recently (Wed, Sept 12) at the VFS Main Theater, exploring the theme of Startups. The speakers were current Digital Design student Novita Prasetia, and Digital Design grad and co-founder of Unbounce, Carter Gilchrist. The evening was introduced and moderated by Digital Design Head of Department, Miles Nurse.

The first speaker was Novita (Vivi) Prasetia.

Novita (Vivi) Prasetia

Vivi started her engaging presentation with an anecdote about two salesmen who went to a place in Africa to investigate a new market for shoes. The first salesman reported back to his boss, “Nobody wears Shoes here — Forget it!” …. But then the second salesman reported back to his boss: “Nobody wears shoes here — What a great opportunity!”

Read More