uXperience | Design for Good Micro-Conference

Friday, February 11, 2022 12:00 pm - Saturday, February 12, 2022 6:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)
uXperience Design For Good Logo

Design is the cornerstone of technology. We can solve problems, fulfill our needs, shape our world, and change the future through design. The uXperience | Design for Good Micro-Conference will gather participants virtually to learn and discuss the connections between technology and values.

Participants will learn from interdisciplinary groups of researchers, designers, developers and thinkers about technologies and user interfaces that are potential contributors of harm to users, such as dark patterns and deceptive interfaces that leverage cognitive and behavioural biases to mislead or trick users into performing unintended and unwanted actions. By focusing on designing for good and avoiding unethical design practices and patterns, participants can apply the knowledge gained from the micro-conference speakers and panelists in interactive workshops before taking the lessons back to their everyday design practice.

Join us on February 11 and 12 for the virtual uXperience | Design for Good Micro-Conference. Registration is now closed.

Day 1: Friday, February 11

What is responsible innovation, and why is it important for students to develop responsible innovation skills? How should responsible technology and design be taught in the classroom? How will it shape students’ future working in technology and design?

For perspectives on these questions and more, the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business invites you to attend “Responsible Technology and Design: How can young professionals advocate design for good?” as part of the uXperience | Design for Good Micro-Conference. The virtual panel discussion and networking lunch-hour event will take place on Friday, February 11, from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm to explore a variety of approaches to teaching and learning about responsible innovation. Professor Leah Zhang-Kennedy will moderate a conversation between Shana MacDonald, Associate Professor in Communication Arts and president of the Film Studies Association of Canada; Matt Borland, Lecturer in Systems Design Engineering and co-founder of the Waterloo Tape Music Club; and Jennifer R. Whitson, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies and the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business.

Meet your Moderator
Leah Zhang Kennedy

Leah Zhang-Kennedy, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in interaction design and user experience research, a member of the Games Institute and the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute. She directs the Safe Interactions Lab at the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business. Zhang-Kennedy’s research aims to understand and improve people’s digital experiences, knowledge, and technology practices, with particular focuses on computer security, online privacy, and digital literacy. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Meet your panelists
Photo of Jennifer Whitson

Jennifer R. Whitson is an Associate Professor in Sociology & Legal Studies and at the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business, both at the University of Waterloo. She studies the secret life of software, mostly at the nexus of digital games and Surveillance Studies. She has been conducting ethnographic fieldwork with game developers since 2012, tracing how social and technological practices shape both developers' creative work and access to sustainable careers. Past projects include work on social influences on software development processes, digital media surveillance, and gamification. You can find her work at:  IndieInterfaces.comfirst3yearsproject.com, andjenniferwhitson.com.

Matt Borland

Matt Borland is a Lecturer in the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He has researched musical instrument design and construction during his PhD; taught his students how to build electronic musical interfaces; and co-founded the Waterloo Tape Music Club, a collaborative space for exploring new music. As a Design educator in Engineering he has focused on introducing ethics and an interdisciplinary appreciation to his students by introducing Critical Design methods and participatory approaches to holistic systems design.

Shana MacDonald

Shana MacDonald is an Associate Professor in Communication Arts at the University of Waterloo and the current President of the Film Studies Association of Canada. Her grant-funded interdisciplinary research, situated between film, media, and performance studies, examines feminist activism within social and digital media, popular culture, cinema, and contemporary art. She is a co-director of the qcollaborative (qLab), a feminist design lab dedicated to developing new forms of relationality through technologies of public performance. You can connect with her on Twitter or on Instagram.

Day 2: Saturday, February 12

 Time Title Speaker/Facilitator Description

12:00 PM

Keynote Speaker

Ethical Design: A competitive advantage

Jonathan Shariat has been working in the design field for over 10 years and currently works as an Interaction Designer and accessibility lead at Google. He co-authored the book Tragic Design published by O'Reilly, co-hosts the Design Review podcast. Connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn.

Those who need to make product decisions, like designers, must make a case for ethical design as they navigate growing the business. Ethics is often seen as choosing a less effective path in order to do the right thing. In this talk, you will learn to make the case that ethical design does just the opposite: it is a competitive advantage that will grow the business and your career to new heights.

1:00 PM Thinking Beyond Binary Gender in Software
Tiho Tadic (he/him) is a user experience designer with 16 years of professional experience, either working independently or managing small and large teams, with a focus in Human Computer Interfaces. He is what they call a UX unicorn - an expert in usability engineering, front-end development, and visual design. He got his Master's in Usability and Web Engineering, with a minor in Marketing and Psychology. He is currently the UX Director at CampBrain in Toronto, a B2B2C SaaS company; his past gigs include Philips, Sagem, BMW, and Leica. Connect with Tiho on LinkedIn.
A story of one design team that worked for 4 years to successfully break the male/female gender barrier, and enable inclusive gender, gender identity, and pronoun collection for online registrations submitted by millions of people every year. Being a B2B2C environment with over 25 years of collected data, the solution needed to be flexible enough to serve organisations ranging from conservative to progressive. Those organisations needed the ability to signal no change, small change, or complete shift in direction in how gender information is collected and used. Tiho will share the lessons learned and the time and effort needed to correct an error of non-inclusive data modelling.
1:30 PM Designing Inclusive Digital Services
Xiaopu Fung
Xiaopu Fung (pronounced "shao-poo") is a service design and delivery leader who cares deeply about diversity and inclusion. She currently leads the delivery of the virtual Service Canada centre while enabling agile, human-centred design practices in the Canadian federal government. Previously, she ran an innovation lab for the Ontario Government. She has worked in marketing, technical, and design roles in the not-for-profit, public and private sectors. Outside of work, Xiaopu volunteers on the board of her local community foundation. Connect with Xiaopu on LinkedIn.
In the private sector, businesses can identify profitable customers and tailor their offerings to select audiences. In the public sector, public servants don't have the luxury of choosing who their customers are because everyone has the right to be served. Designers in governments have the extra challenge of designing for people from all walks of life, whether they want the service or not. Xiaopu will talk about how to design inclusive digital services and share examples from working for the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada. 
2:15 PM

Responsible Design Workshop:

Offering 1

Rebecca Sherlock is a human-centered design strategist with a degree in Digital Humanities and a Masters in Digital Experience Innovation. She is currently a PhD Student at the University of Waterloo, Canada, working in Media Studies at the intersection of Critical Design and Critical Play. She is an active member of the Critical Media Lab.

Rebecca formerly served as Principal of Experience Strategy at a leading Digital Design Agency (Quarry) where she led clients like Google Cloud, Kijiji, and GE to develop thoughtful innovation strategies and create user experiences that value responsible design principles, all grounded in human insight.

Critical By Design: Fostering Responsible Innovation with Critical Design Methods

4:00 PM

Responsible Design Workshop:

Offering 2