Chicago, Illinois, United States

CareerBuilder 200 North La Salle in Chicago Illinois

Saturday February 18th, 2017

We are almost finished planning our celebration! While some details are still in flux, we feel enough is finalized to invite you to attend.

If you would like to attend our celebration, please register. We will be updating our content in the upcoming months. We look forward to seeing you!

For more information, please get in touch at:


200 N LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60601
7th Floor, BBB Conference Room
Program Schedule
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Doors open and registration
10:30:00 AM - 11:20:00 AM
Speaker 1: Carmen McDonald. "0 Results: Architecting an Information Strategy for Improving Product Search"

The title "0 Results" challenges our point of view of the eComm search experience and user expectations when performing on-site searches. The presentation looks beyond common optimization techniques and suggests employing an information strategy for improving product search. As information architects, by reframing our thinking around product search, we influence the structure of information and how it is interpreted by users.

11:35:00 AM - 12:20:00 PM
Speaker 2: Tomoko Ichikawa. "Bumpy-Flat-Bumpy: Changing the Shape of Information to Represent the World"

Our physical, tangible, multi-sensory environment is being reduced into narrow, numerical data. These datasets are increasingly available and, with readily available software, easily visualized. Data visualizations based on the highly filtered information of our surroundings omit the nuances and qualitative aspects of our everyday world.

This talk will share the work of Design students at IIT Institute of Design who explored how publicly available datasets could be visually represented in 2D and—more interestingly—in 3D as tangible artifacts. This project resulted in the exploration of location-based data expressed in various structures, from bumpy (3D), to flat (2D), then back to bumpy (3D).

A challenge for data visualizers is how to breathe life back into a dataset that has been quantified and filtered when it’s intention is to often represent a reality that is much more rich and nuanced. How can new forms of data representation and visual language—beyond conventional data visualizations—fill the gap between reality and numbers through the use of physical, material properties?

A big thanks goes to Zach Pino for co-instructing this class.

12:20:00 PM - 1:50:00 PM
1:50:00 PM - 2:40:00 PM
Speaker 3: Mike Carpenter. "Sprints for Architects: Finding Better Ways to Work"

Part therapy, part theory, this session will discuss some common problems IAs face as part of larger teams.

As creative work has become more iterative, some of us have been left out of agile processes. By examining how we work, we just might uncover a better way. Design and product get to experiment, why can't the rest of us?

2:55:00 PM - 3:40:00 PM
Speaker 4: Ara Berberian. "Merchandising in the Age of Invisible UI."

Many consumers appreciate meaningful, personalized merchandising on today’s e- commerce sites. But what happens when Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant becomes your new intermediary to shopping bliss? As digital personal assistants become increasingly popular, design moves further away from visual interactive patterns and calls-to-action. This begs the question: How do we market through invisible UI? In this session, we’ll discuss how marketers might overcome these challenges, and how this paradigm to radio will change our tactics altogether.

Key learnings:

  • How to design for unobtrusive, non-creepy experiences (or, at least, attempt to)
  • Information architecture needs to sell products via AI
  • Leveraging exposure to IBM/Watson
  • Can marketing in the age of radio teach us something?
3:55:00 PM - 4:40:00 PM
Speaker 5: Jessica DuVerneay. "Information Architecture: The Strategic Structure of Great UX"

This practical talk begins by illustrating the relationship between strategy, IA, and UX. Then, it outlines the importance of information architecture as a crucial step between strategy and UX - and what to expect if any one of these key steps is overlooked. The presentation will conclude with actionable tips on advocating for IA to ensure great UX.

4:50:00 PM - 6:00:00 PM
Meet and greet/happy hour
Speakers & Presenters
Carmen McDonald
Carmen McDonald
Sr. Product Designer (UX), Search & Product Data Excellence

Carmen McDonald, known as “Carm”, has had a love affair with all things design as early as she could remember. Formally trained in Architecture, she transitioned into Web & Graphic Design and as her career progressed, she found herself immersed in information architecture and later user experience design. She is currently Sr. Product Designer (UX) on the Search & Product Data Excellence team at CDW and also teaches UX Design courses part-time at General Assembly.

Carm holds a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and an M.S. in Information Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, she is also a member of both IAI and IxDA Chicago. Throughout her career, she has continuously mentored and taught media studies and design at both the high school and graduate level. An advocate for bridging the gap in education equality and STEM, she volunteers her free time to organizations such as iMentor and BlackGirlsCode. Active in Chicago's tech community, she is co-founder of the recently launched DesignTech, an organization that connects professional black women in the field of design technology and rallies for inclusion and diversity in tech. Whenever possible, Carm enjoys reading and mobile gaming apps.

Tomoko Ichikawa
Tomoko Ichikawa
Sr. Lecturer of Design
IIT Institute of Design

Tomoko Ichikawa is a visual communication designer and educator, currently a Sr. Lecturer of Design at IIT Institute of Design in Chicago. With 20+ years experience in communication simplification and information design, Tomoko’s focus has been on creating visuals that clearly reflect the content structure to effectively communicate.

Her experience spans as a practitioner in design and innovation consultancies as well as an educator at the graduate level. Tomoko has been translating and converting signs all of her life, between three languages (Japanese, English, and Spanish) and between multiple modes of representation (verbal/textual to visual). After receiving her B.A. in interpersonal and intercultural communication at International Christian University in Tokyo, she pursued her interest in the visual world that led her to IIT Institute of Design where she received her M.S. degree. Her interest has focused on the syntax and semantic aspects of the visual language, using appropriate sign systems to match information structure to visual structure. In particular, diagrams and, more recently, the emerging field of computer-generated data visualizations are her area of exploration. She investigates the intersection of visual communication, complexity, and understanding.

Mike Carpenter
Mike Carpenter
Adjust Creative

Mike is a founding Partner at Adjust Creative. He's responsible for making sense of ridiculous creative ideas and bringing them back to reality. His all-time favorite piece of feedback is "Make the logo BIGGER."

Ara Berberian
Ara Berberian
Director of Experience Architecture
VSA Partners

Ara has deep experience providing transformative experiences that solve complex challenges and delight users, particularly in the emerging fields of service design, retail innovation, and content marketing. His work can be seen at a diverse set of brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, ADT, Chrysler, Hyatt, IBM, MasterCard, Michael Kors, NY Life and Unilever. Ara received his BA in Finance from Michigan State University and his MS in Human-Computer Interaction from DePaul University. He also studied Japanese arts and design in Japan through the Osaka University of Foreign Studies.

Jessica DuVerneay
Jessica DuVerneay
Manager, Strategy Team
One North Interactive

Jessica likes to help people and organizations find answers to their questions while fostering a sense of empowerment. Turning strategy into logical, useful, human-centered structure is her favorite thing to do. She has 10 years’ experience in the IA/UX field. She lead the first ever World IA Day (WIAD) as executive director in 2012 and co-chaired the 2015 IA Summit. Currently, Jessica is Manager of the Strategy Team at One North Interactive in Chicago, and previously held positions at The Understanding Group and

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