Sarah Bloomer

Principal Consultant, Sarah Bloomer & Co.

Sarah Bloomer has worked in the field of user experience design for over 25 years, sparked by an interest in designing music educational software. In 1991, she co-founded The Hiser Group in Australia, designing countless GUIs, training hundreds of aspiring UX designers before returning to the USA in 2002.

As Director of UX at Constant Contact, Sarah transformed a team of 3 to a multi-disciplinary group of researchers, interaction designers, visual designers, writers and front end coders. Today Sarah Bloomer & Co addresses the growing demand for design research, UX strategy and UX design training. Her years of expertise in managing UX teams and helping companies set up teams has led to more time spent cross training teams, coaching new UX managers and helping teams become more effective. She has delivered courses, tutorials and workshops worldwide.

Sarah will present & conduct


Changing the UX Mindset

Day 2, Friday, 28 June 2013, 2:00 am

... or building capability maturity with your UX team through collaboration

Are you new to managing a team of user experience professionals? Are you trying to improve the acceptance and effectiveness of your user experience team? Or maybe you’ve got a mature UX practice and are wondering what’s next?

We hear the usual recommendations: find an executive sponsor, create UX champions, demonstrate your value, and apply metrics! These recommendations focus on demonstrating and convincing our colleagues about the value of UX. While each of these approaches can be effective, they rarely take UX to the next level of maturity.

Sarah believes the field of User Experience has reached the point where we need to think more deeply about how we fit, how to work within an organizational system and find more multi-dimensional roles. It’s not just about convincing, but about collaborating; it’s not just about process, but about being a change agent. Soft skills such as listening, facilitation and influence are equally important to design and research skills. She’ll summarize by explaining how the Capability Maturity Model is relevant to UX and provide ways to move your team or practice forward.

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Building a Strategic and Effective UX Team

Day 2, Friday, 28 June 2013, 6:00 am

If you lead a team, or are part of the team, that is responsible for the user experience within your organization, you’re probably facing some challenges. User Experience is recognised as a strategic skill yet your colleagues aren't sure what it means to them. You’ve been asked to create or build a team, yet you have little support. What do you do?

Bringing User Experience into your organization can be a daunting task. Whether you're a UX-Team-of-One or have a 20-person Experience Design team in place, organizations are varied in their readiness to accept User Experience Design.

There are many barriers. You may be surrounded by skeptics or find you’re unsure how to position your team and find practitioners with the right skills. The current culture doesn’t allow you to be effective. The UX team isn’t co-located with the right teams. And your organisation has no solid UX vision or strategy. Having a solid strategy, involving your team, can help you make headway even in these scenarios.

Sarah Bloomer has been helping companies set up UX teams for over 15 years. You'll learn 4 strategies to deal with resistance to your team's efforts.

In this 4 hour workshop, you'll learn:

  • The key ingredients of developing a successful UX team; people, location, methods, and goals
  • How to work within the broader culture of your organization, be it engineering-centric, sales & marketing-centric or design-centric
  • How company culture helps define your UX team, and why culture can unexpectedly undermine your success
  • How you set up your team, where it fits within the organization, and why it should be closest to those making decisions
  • Simple and effective ways to continually communicate your vision and successes through shared resources and foundation teams
  • How to align UX goals with business goals using some simple tools

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