Catalyst Group, New York
Ray is a Senior User Experience Consultant at Catalyst Group with a passion for understanding the core feelings, goals, and motivations of the people who interact with the things he designs. He’s a visual thinker, strategist, and sensemaker with a passion for helping people “get it.”
Ray’s education and career have included studies in architecture and a degree in philosophy from Penn State University, two years as an environmental activist and community organizer for Greenpeace, and more than fifteen years In technology and design.
From his start in computer repair and networking, to designing custom software services and solutions, to his current focus on experience strategy and design, Ray’s driving motivation is facilitating authentic relationships and experiences — between himself and his clients and peers, and between his clients and their customers — via the interfaces, products, and services he designs.
Sketching Across the Design Process
Half Day Workshop
Everyone is talking about sketching and how important it is. There are dozens of processes and techniques out there instructing us on how to sketch better. This workshop, however, is not process or technique-specific, but rather an accessible framework for understanding sketching to help communication, understanding, and problem solving, specifically during the design process.
I propose that every kind of sketching activity falls into one of three categories, and in this workshop we will cover these three modalities; thinking, talking, and showing.
For each type of sketching we will cover:
- Who it helps
- What it is
- When it can help
- Why you don't need to "know how to draw" to use it
- How to be prepared to use it
You don’t even need to know how to “draw” to learn and apply the methods we’ll be covering. After attending this session you will be more comfortable with and better prepared to recognize opportunities where sketching can be used to increase communication and understanding with clients, stakeholders, coworkers, and all by yourself, as you work through problems, create, and share your solutions.
Staying Lean and Agile with a Dispersed Team
Invited Talk (30min)
Working within a lean/agile framework is becoming the preferred method to create products people need, use, and love. The idea is that small cross-functional teams, validating assumptions, building, and testing in a rapid iterative manner reduces waste, increases clarity, and focuses efforts throughout the entire process on creating a valuable product people will actually use.
However, in order for these processes to work at their best it is often assumed that the team will be working together, fully dedicated and in the same place all the time. Team co-location creates the magic of shared understanding, team-wide ownership, new perspectives, and facilitates information osmosis. But the reality is that we can't always work in the same place, at the same time. Sometimes we're separated by rooms or companies, even languages and continents.
This talk will outline the intended benefits of dedicated, cross-functional teams working in the same place at the same time and then identify strategies to accomplish those same goals -- even when there's an ocean between teammates.