All posts by Colin MacArthur

The UX Designer as Innovator

Hugh Beyer
  • Hugh Beyer, UX Product Manager, Cohealo, Inc.
  • Tuesday, May 9 at 6:30 PM
  • At Constant Contact, 1601 Trapelo Rd, Waltham, MA 02451

Please register. It helps us and our hosts plan.


The role of UX has always been to stand at a crossroads. UX requires translating technical capabilities into a visual and behavioral language the user can understand. Additionally, it requires translating user behavior and actions into design implications for a specific product. These tasks do not fall within the purview of the engineer or the product manager.

But the core of the UX job is not translation, it’s design: inventing new behavior and new capabilities, within the scope of a given technology and business model, to create new products. In other words, the UX job is to innovate. UX designers must speak up for innovation and design in an organization that hasn’t given them formal power and often doesn’t recognize their value.  This talk will show how UX can be the innovation engine for an organization. It will discuss the techniques and show the artifacts used to develop ideas and communicate them persuasively to the organization. It will show how to use these techniques opportunistically, guerrilla-fashion, as a UX practitioner.

Hugh will provide examples of driving innovation through UX design for cutting-edge technologies. As PM for a local startup he designed a 3D scanning solution that enabled a pivot to a new business model; he helped Cadillac do a ground-up rethink of their driver interface; at IBM he developed a new model for thinking about network protection that matches real-world security. In each situation, it was the unique perspective of the UX designer that made the difference.

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