Carolyn Chandler, Mira Fitness
Anna van Slee, Sideshow Collectibles

Designers are problem solvers. It can be tempting to think that the people we are solving for are predictable participants in the solution, but the sands of their context are shifting all of the time. To uncover the most common problems, designers must empathize with their users and come to know the spaces and times in which they move. In this interactive presentation, UX guru Carolyn and game designer Anna take personas and other empathy exercises to the next level.

About the Speakers

Vector Image of Carolyn ChandlerCarolyn Chandler, Associate Creative Director & User Experience at Mira Fitness
Carolyn (@chanan) has been working in the field of User Experience Design for over 16 years, as a UX consultant and practice leader. Her areas of specialty include design strategy, team workshops, interaction design, information architecture, and user research and modeling. She has co-authored A Project Guide to UX Design with Russ Unger (now in its second edition) and Adventures in Experience Design with Anna van Slee.

Carolyn is an avid teacher and mentor on UX topics through organizations such as DePaul University and The Starter League. Due to this work, Carolyn was named one of Chicago’s Tech 50 by Crain’s Magazine. She’s also directed Hackathons for Social Good with WebVisions, a conference series with organizers based in Portland. Now she leads the Experience Design efforts at Mira Fitness, which offers a wellness-focused wearable designed for women.

Carolyn is in constant search of novel experiences, strangely specific movie categories, and the perfect chocolate croissant.

Vector Image of Anna van SleeAnna van Slee, Director of New Brands at Sideshow Collectibles
Anna (@AdventuringAnna) has spent the last decade helping toy and game brands to realize their full potential across the dizzying and dynamic number of communication mediums available today: publishing, apps, video games, board games, plush, websites, entertainment… You name it; she’s done it. Her favorite projects have been with global brands such as G.I. Joe, Nerf Rebelle, Furby, Transformers and Baby Alive. She’s a production manager who is hands-on with production, particularly in writing/editing, visual design, UX/CX design, brand strategy and content creation.

Why does Anna do this? Because play makes a positive difference in the world. She put that philosophy into action a few years ago, when she co-wrote Adventures in Experience Design which teaches experience design to beginners with games and activities.

In Anna’s free time, she directs the playCHIC Fashion Show for the Chicago Toy & Game Group. ChiTAG is focused on making the world a better place through play.

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Let’s Pretend: Using Personas to Play With Problems from CHIFOO Communications on Vimeo.