OpenRoad has been advocating for the importance of user experience in Vancouver for over a decade. Darren, Gord, and a handful of other UX practitioners originally formed the Vancouver User Experience Group in 2003, with the goal of building and nurturing a strong community of talented UX designers’. We’re thrilled to see how the community has thrived. On November 25, we co-hosted the second annual Vancouver User Experience Awards that recognized industry-leading work created right here in our own city.
Over 250 technology professionals came together to celebrate outstanding achievement in the field of user experience, across categories for students, marketing, small teams, enterprise, and non-profit. A few of the big winners were Rethink’s Uber Safe for Best UX; DesignStamp won UX for Good for their work on The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; and Henry Chu, a graduate of Vancouver Film School, won UX by Student for his app Kinform.
“Innovation happens when you focus on the problem, not the solution”
User experience can be defined as how a person feels when interfacing with a system. While feelings may seem intangible, ephemeral, and subjective, it’s been shown by the dmi institute that design-driven companies outperform the S&P 500 index by 228%.
Throughout the night, our distinguished panel of judges shared their insights into great user experiences. Lynsey Thornton, Director of Research & Content at Shopify, and guest judge for the event, highlighted that “innovation happens when you focus on the problem, not the solution”. User experience isn’t just about designing a great interface, it digs deeper into researching users’ needs and defining the right problems.
Winners demonstrated the ability to focus on user problems, from DesignStamp’s PEPFAR site that fights AIDS with well-designed data visualizations, to student Henry Chu’s Kinform app that lets families manage their healthcare together long distance. Our City is also embracing user-centric design to propel Vancouver forward in the digital age. Jessie Adcock, Chief Digital Officer at the City of Vancouver, took the stage to share The City’s mission to enhance citizen experience with social channels, technology infrastructure, and open data.
Interested in joining VanUE?
VanUE is a diverse community of professionals and students who are passionate about building better experiences and advancing their skills. With over 1,700 members, we host popular monthly meetup events, and an annual awards gala. VanUE events are open to everyone who is passionate about user experience—regardless of profession, industry, or role. Join the Vancouver User Experience Group.