UX STRAT 2013 Conference Focuses on UX Strategy

UX Strategy

Building a rationale to guide design

A column by Paul Bryan
July 22, 2013

UX strategy is a rapidly growing practice within the larger field of user experience. We can see many signs that UX strategy is gaining mindshare within the UX community.

Significantly, the first international conference to be devoted entirely to UX strategy, UX STRAT 2013, will take place in September of this year, in Atlanta. At the conference, experienced UX strategy professionals will present their approaches to guiding UX projects, products, and programs. UX leaders, strategists, researchers, and senior practitioners who attend the conference will have an opportunity to hear about and discuss the latest methods and trends in strategic digital experience planning and design.

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UX strategy is gaining traction as a new career path for experienced UX professionals. As a consequence, we’re seeing more and more job listings for UX Strategists. UXmatters publishes a regular column on the topic of UX strategy. The UX Strategy and Planning group on LinkedIn provides an active forum for discussions about strategic user experience, and more and more people are participating in the dialogue.

Reasons to Attend UX STRAT 2013

As a conference attendee, you can expect to:

  • Learn about UX strategy methods, tools, and deliverables.
  • Find out how UX leaders are using data to formulate their UX design strategies.
  • Network with experienced UX professionals who are focusing on UX strategy.
  • Hear about how companies are reinventing their cultures to center their product design efforts around their customers.
  • Find out how leading companies organize their UX practices.
  • Discover new ways to communicate UX strategy to your organization.
  • Get an advance look into the future of UX strategy.

Key Topics That UX STRAT Will Cover

The primary concern of the curators of UX STRAT 2013’s content has been to provide a foundation and a framework for the global practice of UX strategy. Some key topics that the conference will cover include the following:

  • how to prioritize feature sets and customer segments
  • how to align user experience with business strategy
  • how to communicate strategy to key partners in a business
  • how to measure an organization’s progress executing against a UX strategy
  • how to design a successful customer experience across channels

Conference Presentation Format

We have now finalized the UX STRAT 2013 program. Many of the presentations will focus primarily on case studies and methods that will help UX leaders to improve their approaches to guiding user experience planning and design.

The keynote speakers will be Nathan Shedroff, who chairs the MBA in Design Strategy program at California College of the Arts, and Aarron Walter, who is Director of User Experience at MailChimp.

Presenters represent a broad range of companies, including Microsoft, PayPal, Turner Broadcasting, eBay Europe, Intuit, Citrix, and many others. Sessions range from 30-minute presentations to shorter, 10-minute vignettes, and expert panels. Pabini Gabriel-Petit, Publisher and Editor in Chief of UXmatters and Senior Director of User Experience at Apttus, will moderate a UX STRAT expert panel.

Program Themes and Topics

We’ve organized the UX STRAT sessions into thematic blocks, with the intent of  giving attendees a comprehensive overview of the key activities within the practice of UX strategy. Here is a complete listing of the themes that the conference will cover, the presenters, and their presentations.

Establishing a Foundation for UX Strategy

  • Nathan Shedroff of California College of the Arts, “What It Means to Be Strategic”
  • Aline Baeck of eBay Europe, “How UX Methods Can Foster Innovation and Solve Business Problems”
  • Ronnie Battista of Slalom Consulting, “The 10 Commandments of UX Strategy”
  • Dan Klyn of The Understanding Group, “Determining What Good Means with Performance Continuums”
  • Pamela Pavliscak of Change Sciences, “UX Strategy Needs Numbers”

UX Strategy Methods and Processes

  • Josh Seiden of Neo, “Lean UX Strategy and Processes”
  • Klemens Wengert of Turner Broadcasting, “March Madness Is My BFF!”
  • Brad Smith of WebVisions Conference, “What Designers and Strategists Can Learn from Dick Fosbury”
  • Dan Saltzman of EffectiveUI, “Service Blueprinting for Convergent Channel Experiences”
  • Jill Hewitt of Catalyst, “The Journey to a Customer Experience Map”
  • Linda Francis of Fandango, “How to Conduct a UX/CX Audit”
  • Karen Pascoe of PayPal, “Implementing Lean UX Across PayPal: Lessons Learned”
  • Colt Whittall of Roundarch Isobar, “UX Strategy for the BlueZones Project: A Case Study”
  • Quynh Nguyen of Citrix, “Crystal Palace: An Innovation Research Case Strategy”

Aligning UX with Business Strategy

  • Leah Buley of Intuit, “The Marriage of Corporate Strategy and UX Strategy: A Case Study”
  • Tim Loo of Foolproof, “Redesigning Business Culture and Thinking Around the Customer”
  • Paul McAleer of gogo and Lis Hubert of Hubert Experience Design, “Mapping Business Value to UX Strategy: A Case Study”
  • Andrea Moed of Inflection, “The Empathy Cycle: Turning Customer Insight into Business Instinct”

Using Data to Guide UX Strategy

  • Aarron Walter of MailChimp, “Big Data and UX Strategy”
  • Rob Houser of Sage, “Using Big Data and Personalization to Drive UX Strategy: A Case Study”

UX Strategy in the Organization

  • Phillip Hunter of Microsoft, “Assessing Organizational Context and Capability for UX Strategy”
  • Susan Rice of Vistaprint, “Creating the User Experience Center of Excellence at Vistaprint”
  • Reena Merchant and Elizabeth Thapliyal of Citrix, “Creating a Design Innovation Program Within a Large Company”
  • Liam Friedland of Informatica and Jon Innes of UX Innovation, “UX Strategy and Organizational Synergy”

Half-Day Workshops

A day of half-day workshops precedes the main conference:

  • “Beyond Business Basics,” by Nathan Shedroff of California College of the Arts
  • “Lean UX: From Strategy, to Business Model, to Features, to User Interface,” by Josh Seiden of Neo
  • “Customer Journey Mapping: Illustrating the Big Picture,” by Megan Grocki of Mad*Pow
  • “How to Redesign Business Around Customer Experience,” by Tim Loo of Foolproof


If you are a UX leader, strategist, researcher, or senior professional, the UX STRAT conference committee and I would like to invite you to join us for this ground-breaking, first UX STRAT conference. It is likely to pave the way for a whole new approach to guiding user experience design. 

For more information about the conference, see the UX STRAT 2013 Web site or send an email message to [email protected].

UX STRAT Conference & Masterclass Organizer

User Experience Consultant at UX Strategy Group

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Paul BryanPaul organizes the UX STRAT conferences and workshops to help experienced UX, CX, Product, and Service Design professionals continue to grow their skills, networks, and careers. A UX strategist and researcher, he also consults with companies to help them evaluate and grow their UX Strategy capabilities. He began designing ecommerce Web sites in 1995, in Barcelona, Spain; then founded Retail UX in 2002. Paul’s consulting clients have included some of the most successful corporations in the world—such as The Home Depot, Coca-Cola, SAP, Delta Air Lines, Philips, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Cox, and GE. Paul manages the UX / CX / Product / Strategy Group on LinkedIn.  Read More

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