Los Angeles, California, United States

Downtown Los Angeles from the 10 Westbound, as we were passing south of downtown. Credit: Weston Thompson

Thank you, Los Angeles! WIAD16 is over, but you can watch most of it on YouTube. Note: Jahmeilah Roberson's case studies from Riot Games had to be edited out for proprietary reasons.

World IA Day Los Angeles was held on Saturday February 20th 2016 at the Art Center College of Design, South Campus in Pasadena, California. 


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Art Center College of Design, South Campus,
950 S. Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105


The venue is a  short walk south from the Fillmore Station of Metro Gold Line, and we have access to free parking in 3 lots at Art Center's south campus:

There are three open parking lots, two lots to the north and one lot to the south. The north lot closest to 950 S. Raymond will be closest to the event.
There are three open parking lots, two lots to the north and one lot to the south. The north lot closest to 950 S. Raymond will be closest to the event.


9:00 AM  Registration, morning snacks, and sponsor booths

  • Morning snacks and beverages is sponsored by Fjord, one of our Gold sponsors

10:00  Welcome

10:15-11:15  Art Center College of Design Panel: Maggie Hendrie, JD Buckley, Jenny Rodenhouse, and Todd Masilko

  • Maggie Hendrie, chair of the interaction design program at Art Center, will  faciliate a panel featuring three faculty members from the department.

11:15-12:00  Hunter Ochs, Capital Group, Making Sense of Users: Audience Model 

  • In specialized industries such as financial services, audiences can be complex and unfamiliar to the design team. How do we understand them? Are personas always the answer? Hunter Ochs will share insights by taking us through the process for designing a mutual fund evaluation tool.

12:00-1:30 Lunch and sponsor booths

  • Lunch from Jalisco's Mobile Taco Grill is sponsored by Fandango, one of our Platinum sponsors.

1:30-2:30  ADP Panel: Erik Hanson, Burcu Bakioglu, and Roel Punzalan

  • Three user experience specialists from ADP’s new Innovation Center in Pasadena will be sharing their expertise on how to stay creative in a large enterprise organization, followed by panel discussion and Q&A. Featuring Erik Hanson, UX Manager; Burcu Bakloglu, Senior UX Researcher; and Roel Punzalan, Lead UX Designer.

2:30-3:15  Jod Kaftan and Chris Chandler, Fearless Futures: Why the IA's Journey Must Be a Hero's Journey

3:15-3:45  Afternoon break is sponsored by Perficient, one of our Gold sponsors.

3:45-4:30  Jahmeilah Roberson, Riot Games

  • Jahmeilah Roberson, an Experience Designer at Riot Games, will discuss the design decisions made for an immersive, online event where players' interactions permanently affected their later experiences with the system.

4:30-5:15 - Nate Bolt, From Food Stamps to Facebook: How Design Research Impacts Our World

  • Interaction design has a fascinating relationship with qualitative research. Everyone from the government to startups to tech giants now have teams of user researchers attempting to understand the way individuals, groups, and communities use their interfaces. We'll go over eight examples of current UX/design research patterns and the impact on products we use and the world around us. Examples will include the california state food assistance program; military radar interfaces, Facebook's approximately 100 UX researchers and what they do; and a few others that might surprise ya.

5:15 - Closing remarks

5:45 - Lights out



Burcu Bakioglu received her PhD in Comparative Media at Indiana University, Bloomington (IN) in 2009 and completed Postdoctoral research on emerging media technologies at Lawrence University (WI). Her academic work focuses on transmedia storytelling and online communities in virtual worlds, online games, and social media platforms. For over ten years, she conducted participatory observation and ethnographic research in virtual worlds like Second Life, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, and EVE Online as well as other types of online games and message boards. In addition to her academic work, she has worked as a consultant and researcher for various technology, gaming, and marketing companies. Currently, she is a Senior User Experience Researcher at the Innovation Lab of ADP in Pasadena (CA) where she conducts research to help design the next generation of human resources applications

Chris Chandler is a long-time leader in the Los Angeles UX community. He has been active with the IA Summit for years, and he ran the country’s first IA finishing school in North Hollywood and Glendale.  He recently joined Philosophie as Design Practice Lead. Prior to that, he was Senior Director of Product Experience at Fandango and User Experience Director at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online. Chris studied anthropology and has a master’s degree in urban planning from UCLA.

Erik Hanson has spent the last 13 years fighting the design fight to make websites, applications, and products suck a whole lot less. Not quite equal parts designer, developer, and researcher, Erik loves the sometimes messy act of designing. He understands that looking holistically at business requirements, customer needs, interactions, and visuals creates innumerable and challenging questions. Erik enjoys unfolding those questions, looking for  - and finding solutions. He’s of the opinion that nothing feels better than getting all that right. He also swears more that he should. Seriously.

Hunter Ochs is a user experience lead for the digital team at American Funds, part of Capital Group. He has 22 years of digital media industry experience. Previous work includes web experiences for Disneyland and DirecTV, mobile work for Shazam, as well as interactive TV applications for Time Warner Cable. He has taught interactive and audiovisual media at California Institute of the Arts, Pasadena Art Center and Chapman University. Hunter holds a bachelor’s degree from the combined audio and vision program of University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf and Robert Schumann School of Music and Media (Germany); and he attended California Institute of the Arts for postgraduate studies. Hunter is based in Los Angeles.

Jahmeilah Roberson has been an experience designer at Riot Games for more than 3 years designing eCommerce experiences for League of Legends players on the web and in the game client.  Prior to her time at Riot she designed stock trading and sales tracking tools at an investment advisory firm, and worked as a UX Researcher on Google Checkout and Yahoo! Commerce products. Jahmeilah holds a B.S. in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine, and a M.S. in Human Computer Interaction from Georgia Institute of Technology. She has completed all but her dissertation in the doctoral program in Informatics at UC Irvine, where she studied technology and social inclusion amongst the homeless in Los Angeles County. 

JD Buckley has spent over 17 years helping companies make products that don’t piss off their users . She’s also tried to advocate for teams to work together and use lots of different research methods to come up with unique design solutions that actually solve real user problems. JD has worked at all kinds of different companies (even some cool Think Tanks and emerging technology stuff) and is currently Principal UX Researcher at ADP’s Pasadena Innovation lab. She’s also a crazy multi-tasker and is an Adjunct Instructor at Art Center College of Design.

Jenny Rodenhouse is a multimedia designer, whose work explores the merging of interface and landscape. Appropriating test sites, places of technological experimentation, as a design medium for research, collaboration, and education, she creates physical and virtual testing grounds that offer a view from which to question, contest, and reframe technology. Through creative practice and consulting, she collaborates with companies, computer scientists, architects, and artists. Jenny has worked as a user experience designer and strategist for Windows Phone Advanced Development, Xbox, and Microsoft Research FUSE Labs. She studied Industrial and Interaction Design at Syracuse University and received her MFA in Media Design Practices from Art Center College of Design, where she was a Post-Graduate Research Fellow and IxD Teaching Fellow. Jenny currently lives in Los Angeles California and teaches in the Interaction Design Department at Art Center College of Design.

Jod Kaftan has more than 15 years of extensive experience in interactive media at both agencies and start-ups. With a strong conviction that well-designed experiences have the user in mind at their core, Jod has always pushed forward strategically-tuned experiences that strike a balance between aspiration and pragmatism. Starting his career as Content Strategist and Journalist has given Jod a sound foundation for compelling storytelling and research in the high-velocity landscape of digital media. His extensive agency experience as a UX practitioner and strategist at shops such as Razorfish and Schematic has exposed him to a large spectrum of business models and design problems, from CPG and Entertainment to Non-Profits and Foundations.  As an executive, Jod led the experience & strategy group at A Hundred Years, and has just joined Fjord as Group Design Director. Currently, Jod teaches Experience Design at both UCLA and General Assembly and lives in Mar Vista, California with his wife and son.

Nate Bolt is the founder of Ethnio, and was formerly a design research manager at Facebook and Instagram. Before that, he was the CEO of Bolt | Peters, which was  acquired by Facebook in 2012. He was an adjunct professor at the SVA Interaction Design graduate program and mentored for the CCA Design Strategy MBA degree. He co-authored a book called Remote Research, and co-founded the 1197 conference on mobile photography.

Roel Punzalan studied product design at Art Center College of Design. He started his career as an industrial designer at both consultancy and corporate environments designing consumer products. Roel designed water feature equipment at WET for three years. He moved into the UX field as a Lead, then Senior, designer for navigation products and mobile applications for Magellan GPS (5 years). Most recently, Roel joined ADP as a Principal Designer for online enterprise software.

Todd Masilko has over 15 years experience as an Interaction Designer and Strategic Design consultant including positions as Creative Director at Disney Mobile, Designer at Walt Disney Imagineering R&D, and consultant for a wide range of clients. His projects have included UI design for streaming music and video services, Mobile Application Design, UI/UX design for games and online services designed for families. His current and past clients include: Disney, FUEL Industries, Mattel, DreamWorks Animation and IKEA. Todd graduated with a  B.S. Product Design from Art Center College of Design in 1996.

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If you are interested in sponsoring the event, please email us at LosAngelesWIAD@gmail.com.


Photo credit: Elizabeth Morgan and Weston Thompson

Local sponsors

Location organiser

Profile picture for user Weston Thompson
Weston Thompson
  • MLS from University of Michigan
  • Member of IA Institute since it was called AIfIA
  • Co-founder of LA-UX Meetup and primary planner for the first couple years
  • Past gigs include Disney and Capital Group
  • Current gig is ADP

World IA Day Los Angeles 2016 Planning Crew

Core Team

  • Alex Carcieri
  • Grace Lau
  • Kate Murray
  • Rebecca Kemp
  • Weston Thompson

Extended Team

  • Carlos Salazar
  • Janette Shew
  • Jeffrey Tang
  • Julian Gautier
  • Karen Campa
  • Kathy Mirescu
  • Katie Briggs
  • Ryan Bell
  • Susan Oslin
  • Sean Dillingham
  • Paul Brent