Date: November 6, 2013
Nechama Katan, Robert LaCosse, & Corey Pressman

This month, CHIFOO presents not one, but THREE speakers who will quantify their own takes on Kick-Ass for us.

Part One: “Authentically Kick-Ass” with Robert Lacosse. The concept of kick-ass is, more often than not, resting precariously upon the notion of authenticity: that which is either original or conforms to an accepted norm set forth by an original. However, is it really that simple? In actuality, the term is more loaded in nature than it would appear. Authenticity is tied, as are all sought-after commodities, to economic dynamics. We’ll discuss why some products and concepts are viewed as authentic and other, tandem, items as old-hat and what that means to us as UX professionals.

Part Two: “What Should You Measure and How Do You Present It for Impact?” with Nechama Katan. Nechama will provide a process for continuous data discovery and analysis focused on metrics and measures that matter. We will explore some tools that provide self-service analytics and show how they can be used to maintain a relevant set of measures. Finally, good data is not enough, how it is presented matters.

Part Three: “Hopeful Monsters: Punctuated Equilibrium and the Post-Book Age” with Corey Pressman. The advent of hypertext and the new art of interaction design signal the dawn of a post-book epoch. We will focus on the User Experience Design opportunities this moment affords. Innovative products and features such as content-rich apps and shared marginalia will be presented, evaluated, and discussed.

About the Speakers

“Nechama Katan helps organizations use their data to measure and drive change. Nechama blends an ability to write code and provide prototypes with an interest in driving the “business conversation.” She has focused her work on the business/engineering side while partnering with IT. She is an experienced instructor in Statistics, Operations, Data Presentation and Metrics Development. Her education includes an MSc from NYU in Mathematics and an MA from Columbia University in Statistics. Nechama has worked in both startups, as a small business owner, and for two Portland-area Fortune 100 companies.

Robert LaCosse is a User Experience Designer and Game Designer. Having grown up on the North Shore of Chicago, Robert’s youth was primarily spent indulging his affinity for various tabletop games. A veteran of many Gencons, as well as other game industry conventions, his knowledge of all things game is perhaps his most treasured intellectual aspect. Not knowing what he wanted to do with his life, he attended the University of Iowa, where he achieved distinction within his field of study (English Education), worked on the Walt Whitman Archive Project, and co-founded the campus’ Freethinkers’ Society. This first educational adventure led to a brief career as a high school English teacher, which ended in a decision to abandon the drudgery of the American public education system and pursue screen printing for several years, before restlessness drove him to relocate to the Northwest three years ago. Since then, he has graduated from the Art Institute of Portland’s Industrial Design Program and found employment among Intel’s User Experience Product Design team. In his spare time, he enjoys board games, bar crawls, event planning, and weekend camping trips.

Corey Pressman taught Anthropology for 12 years before leaving teaching to start Exprima Media, a software company dedicated to creating robust and engaging educational experiences for the web and native mobile platforms. Exprima Media is currently working with publishers such as W.W. Norton, John Wiley & Sons, and McGraw Hill to build the future of educational interactive media. Also, under Corey’s direction, Exprima Media is participating in the ‘global mobile’ revolution, developing educational mobile applications for use in less economically developed nations.