World Usability Day 2015: Innovation in Civic Design

  • 12 Nov 2015
  • 6:00 PM - 8:45 PM
  • LMHQ, 150 Broadway, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10038


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Innovation can mean different things to different people, but most agree that it includes inventions and changes in products and services that improve a situation or solve a problem in a new way. Applying innovation in the civic space can improve the experience of people across a diverse array of backgrounds and needs, allowing them to do what they need to do in the public sphere, from changing their address with the DMV to registering to vote. 

Join Bloomberg, NYC UXPA, and IxDA NYC for World Usability Day 2015 on Thursday, November 12 at LMHQ. Whitney Quesenbery and Mollie Ruskin will be joining to share their work in civic design.

Whitney Quesenbery

Democracy is a Design Problem

There’s something new in civic design: innovation and input from user research. From California (where a new law was inspired by UX research into how voters get information) to Pennsylvania (which insisted that the work to redesign the voter registration form include usability testing), they way we think about designing for elections is changing. We start with a UX practitioners’ approach to usability testing, plain language, and design. Then we adapt our techniques to the challenge of designing better elections and working in a field that blends extreme service design with bureaucratic constraints. For lasting change, we help local government officials add to their skills so elections are more usable and accessible for everyone. The goal: make every interaction between government and citizens easy, effective, and pleasant.

Whitney combines a fascination with people and an obsession to communicate clearly with her goal of bringing user research insights to designing products where people matter.

She’s also passionate about civic design. As co-director of the non-profit, non-partisan Center for Civic Design with Dana Chisnell, she works with election officials to improve the usability and design of elections. They publish the popular Field Guides to Ensuring Voter Intent. Her interest in UX, accessibility and civic design came together when she served as UPA’s representative on the Access Board’s advisory committee, drafting updates for the U.S. “Section 508″ accessibility regulations.

Her books— A Web for Everyone (with Sarah Horton, Rosenfeld Media), Storytelling for User Experience (with Kevin Brooks, Rosenfeld Media) and Global UX (with Daniel Szuc)—help practitioners keep users in mind throughout the creative process.

Mollie Ruskin

Design for the American People: Putting humans at the heart of public services

There’s something new in civic design: innovation From re-imagining a better immigration process to creating UI standards for use across thousands of government websites, designers are playing an increasingly key role in tackling some of our major public sector challenges. To succeed as designers within large government bureaucracies, we need passion, skill, a deep understanding of our context and an unfettered dedication to creating the best possible experience for our users - the American people. Mollie will share stories from her design teams inside of the government working to build beautiful human-centered public services. We'll hear about the role of UX and the process for delivering great government products, as well as learn about opportunities for you to get involved in these efforts to bring innovation and design into our 21st century government.

Mollie is a founding member of the U.S. Digital Service, where she works to improve the government's ability to deliver beautiful, human and intuitive technology and services. For the past ten years, Mollie has worked at the intersection of design and social justice, beginning as an advocate and community organizer before turning to a career in design.

In 2013, Mollie served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, where she led an human-centered design project to improve Veterans’ experiences with VA services. At the US Digital Service, she has worked on projects ranging from immigration to social security benefits, always bringing the needs of the people to the forefront of how services are designed. Most recently, Mollie led the effort to create the U.S. Web Design Standards to create a federal government web design system.

Sponsored by


The UX team is part of the larger Bloomberg culture undefined and that’s a good thing. Palpable without being overwhelming, the ethos here is about energy and ideas, teamwork, performance. Our global headquarters in New York City reflects this decidedly un-corporate culture with a stylish, open and dynamic workspace undefined an inspiring user experience of its own.

Learn more about Bloomberg UX



150 Broadway, 20th floor
Between Courtland St & Liberty St

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$0   Annual Members

  General Public

$25   Event Admission ($10)
  + Annual Membership ($15)

$15   IxDA of NYC Member Special
  Ticket ($0) + Annual Membership($15)
  See IxDA emails for registration code.

  No need to sign up for membership prior to registering.
   Membership and ticket will be processed in one step.

$5   Students

Free with admission: snacks, refreshments, networking opportunities, intelligent discussions, not-so-intelligent discussions, enlightenment, and inspiration.

NO WALK-INS. Please register in advance!


Thursday, November 12

6:00-6:50   Networking & Refreshments
6:55-7:00   Opening Announcements
7:00-7:45   Presentations
7:45-8:15   Q&A
8:15-8:45   More Networking & Refreshments


All registration activities are handled by our volunteers. Please be advised that on the day of the event, we will do our best to manage transfers and late requests, but our primary focus will be on day-of-event logistics.

Regular registration closes at 10pm ET the day before the event -or- whenever seating capacity is reached, whichever occurs first.

Tickets are transferable up to 11AM the day of the event by sending a request to Transferees will please bring the transferer's registration confirmation in printed or digital form as backup. Transfer requests received after 11AM may not be received or processed.

If the event sells out early, a Wait List may be set up and managed by us on a discretionary basis. We will do our best to keep Wait-Listers informed about the status of available seating, but Wait Listers who haven't heard anything by noon the day of the event can assume there has been no change in status.

Attendees are asked to use our website to sign up for our events. NYC UXPA cannot register attendees in response to email requests.

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