Design is More Than Lipstick on a Pig

  • Traci Lepore, Principal User Experience Designer, Oracle
  • Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 6:30pm
  • At IBM Research Cambridge, 1 Rogers Street, Cambridge, MA



When done well, Design is a fusion of art, science, and technology that builds on visual theories, psychology, sociology, and marketing. This is especially true for User Experience Design. To successfully create and communicate that fusion we need a deeper understanding of the multiple disciplines that actually impact our work and process in order to articulate the reasoning behind our visions and communicate the importance and clarity of the whole Design.

In my other life, theater, a piece of work is called a production. Quite fitting, as there are multiple design aspects from the stage and set design, to costumes, to technical design and lighting design that have to come together to create the experience. And there isn’t one deliverable, but there is one central aspect of the design and that is the script. The script provides the cues for the set, the lighting, the sound, and the costumes. They all have their own means of communication but still work with that core structure.

So why don’t we consider a UX Design a production? There are just as many aspects that must come together to complete the work. I want to explore how we can communicate the “Production of User Experience Design” with its core functional design, its technical design, its visual design, and its strategic design as a whole cohesive view.  If we can learn how to do this successfully, we can show how UX Design is so much more than lipstick on a pig.


With almost fifteen years of experience as an interaction designer and user researcher, with a focus on user-centered design methods, Traci has experienced a broad range of work practices. At Oracle, Traci is responsible for helping to define the customer experience for a new Cloud Commerce Product. While working as a consultant for almost ten years, she worked on both enterprise and consumer projects across a variety of industries and domains. Through her UXmatters column, Dramatic Impact, Traci hopes to infuse aspects of theatrical theory and practice into her design practice and bring a more empathetic and user-centered focus to her work. Traci holds an M.A. in Theater Education from Emerson and a B.S. in Communications Media from Fitchburg State College.

Evening Schedule

6:30 – 7:00 Networking over pizza and beverages
7:00 – 8:30 Meeting
8:30 – 9:00 CHI Dessert and more networking!

Monthly Sponsors

Thank you to our generous sponsors. Interested in sponsoring BostonCHI? Let us know!

IBM Research Cambridge is hosting us and providing pizza.

Vitamin T is sponsoring dessert.

Getting to the event

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IBM Research Cambridge
1 Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA