Dr. John Whalen teaches us what it means to design for how people think. He reveals the powerful principals behind what he calls the six minds of user experience, and explains how anybody can harness them to build better products (no doctorate degree required!). He reminds us that it takes serious research to reveal the deep insights that genuinely make our products successful for the user and the business. He also encourages us to understand that no one is more qualified than anyone else in solving unique problems.
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John Whalen is the founder and Lead of Psychological Insights & Innovation at Brilliant Experience. He is an international speaker, and author of the recently published book Design for How People Think: Using Brain Science to Build Better Products (O’Reilly). John helps businesses use psychological research to strategically position their products, services, and marketing. He has a PhD in Cognitive Science and 15+ years of experience working in user research and product design with Fortune 500 companies and design agencies including Google, PayPal, Bloomberg, eBay, Cisco, Capital One, and Johns Hopkins. Little known fun filled facts: He’s camped North of the Arctic Circle on 12 feet of ice and he’s a green-eyed, left-handed Psychology PhD, making him (statistically at least) 1-in-a-million.
Becca Kennedy teaches us how to do UX research on a budget. She encourages newer designers to demonstrate their problem-solving superpowers by redesigning sub-par experiences they use regularly. She reminds us that users are human before they’re users. She also shows us how we can have anything in life we want, if we will just help others get what they want.
Becca Kennedy is a Human Factors Psychologist and a UX Researcher/Designer. After an academic career designing and evaluating healthcare training technology, she turned independent and co-founded a UX consulting company called Kennason in 2015 out of Albany, NY. Currently, Becca is the UX Designer for Agrilyst, an agriculture-tech startup based in Brooklyn. She also keeps busy with consulting projects and volunteering with organizations like AIGA Upstate New York. She was recently recognized by the Albany Business Review as a 40 Under 40 awardee. Fun Fact: She has three tattoos, and all are kind of nerdy: a symbolic nod to getting through a PhD program, a subtle Star Wars X-Wing, and a piece of the original Epcot branding in Walt Disney World.
Steve Portigal challenges us to enjoy the silence when interviewing people. He teaches us the importance of rapport-building, and offers sage advice on how to do it. He shows us how sticking with an interview even when it’s not going well can sometimes bring forth the best data. He also reveals how a little empathy can go a long way in field research.