Josie Scott, Michigan UX Community Founding Mother

“It turns out that my interest and passion is in the piece of the pie where we are looking at users and understanding what they do and what they need.” – Josie Scott, History of IA Panel, World IA Day Ann Arbor, 2012.

We lost one of our community’s founders on Christmas Day when Josie Scott passed away after a long battle with cancer

Josie’s professional journey.

If you look at Josie’s LinkedIn page, you will see her career as a usability practitioner and user research leader at some of the most prominent companies in Michigan. She was at Borders in 2000, Compuware in 2005, TechSmith in 2010, and GE Capital/Synchrony Financial at the end of her career.

But she was also active in our professional community (locally and nationally). She was a super hero on the Usability in Civic Life project. She wrote articles for UXPA Magazine and reported on UXPA conferences

Sarah Swierenga remembers Josie as a passionate advocate, a fierce fighter for justice, a good friend, and trusted colleague. Sarah met her around 2005 when they worked on the U(X)PA Usability and Voting project together. They took a memorable road trip to Erie, PA, to give usability/accessibility training to state election poll workers. While it was Sarah’s first voting project, Josie was a pro, of course! She truly is missed.

Josie explaining “user control and freedom” in the context of hospital gowns.

Locally, she shared her mobile usability testing adventures in 2013. She talked about innovation at Michigan World Usability Day in 2015. She advocated for plain language and taught usability basics. She did countless other presentations and workshops for her Michigan UX colleagues.

She got very personal during her heuristic evaluation of being a cancer patient.

During the World Information Architecture Day panel in 2012, Josie reflected on our local community (starting at the 34 minute mark). “People were very, very, generous with what they knew and what they shared and I personally learned so much from everyone.”

She casually adds “I may have made a small contribution or two in my time.” Yes, Josie, you made much more than a small contribution to the UX community in Michigan! You are one of our “Founding Mothers.”

Josie’s family invites you to visit her memorial page, read stories about Josie, and contribute your own.

Josie proudly wearing her Detroit UX t-shirt in 2017.

December Newsletter

This morning, the December 2020 email newsletter went out.

It features the announcement of the Community Holiday Party, December 17, 6-8pm, on Wonder (a fun, new way to gather online). Free, but registration on Eventbrite is required.

Other events in December are also listed in the newsletter.

Finally, it includes information on how to propose projects for UMSI classes.

If you are not already subscribed to the newsletter, sign up.

Projects for UMSI UX classes

  • Do you have a tool that needs an evaluation to ensure it meets the needs of your users? 
  • Does your dynamic website need a user experience assessment? 
  • Is there an information problem you’re trying to solve but are unsure of a potential solution? 
  • Do you have an idea for a product that would meet the needs of an aging population or people with disabilities that you need help researching and designing?

If so, the University of Michigan School of Information (UMSI) is seeking companies and organizations from all industries to propose semester-long projects for students to work on that can address the challenge.

Your organization (business, non-profit, government agency, etc.) can propose a project for a team of students to work on. Organizations interested in hosting a student project should visit the UMSI Client Guide for additional information and key client requirements.

Courses seeking clients

About the courseClient expectations & receivables
SI 622: Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation

Masters students work with clients to evaluate how well the user experience of their existing product or service meets the needs of its users. This FAQ document answers frequently asked questions from clients about the course and links to sample deliverables from a previous semester. Methods used include: interaction map, user interviews, competitive analysis, survey, heuristic evaluation, user testing.
Clients will give feedback on and receive deliverables for each of these assignments.

Clients are expected to meet weekly with students, connect students with users for user interviews (5 people), survey (50 people), and user testing (5 people).

Clients receive a series of reports and analyses, plus a final video presentation.
SI 682: Advanced User Research in the Field

Masters students will conduct advanced user research methods for information challenges that are early in the product life cycle.
Meet with students, provide feedback, and must provide access to users.

Receive a polished report or presentation of findings.

SI 699: UX Research and Design Mastery Course

Masters students in their final semester will research and design a tool or product, with a focus on accessibility for disabled, and/or aging populations.

Meet with students, provide feedback, and must provide access to users.

Receive a report of research and design.

Other Winter UX Courses and Programs:

Course/Program About the Course/Program

SI 699: Mastery Course Agile Development

Master’s-level graduate students work with clients to identify potential project areas then employ user-centered Agile methodologies to conduct research and develop products, applications, or services.

Design Clinic
Interdisciplinary teams of bachelor’s and master’s students, matched with a professional mentor, collaborate on semester-long projects, acting as consultants by managing projects, scoping deliverables, executing outcomes, and creating a plan for sustainable implementation.

Courses for 2021:

Course/Program About the Course/Program

SI 487: User Experience Final Project

Advanced undergraduate students work through the user experience (UX) process to provide user research and design solutions to clients. Methods used will include user requirements analysis, user research, prototyping, specification gathering, documentation and user experience evaluation.

Explore more student project opportunities here:

To propose a project, complete the form at or email

To learn more about client opportunities with the School of Information, visit

November 2020 News

Another monthly newsletter went out to our mailing list subscribers this morning.


Get the whole story in the November 2020 Michigan UXPA newsletter.

Update (11/5): After the email newsletter came out, we noticed three November webinars by UXPA International. These are free and open to anyone: you do not have to be a UXPA International member to join.

  • November 6. Writing for the Web: The Six Step LUCID Writing Approach that Gets Your Message Across
  • November 11. Managing Researcher Risk, Well-Being, and Emotional Safety in the Field
  • November 13. How Artifacts Afford: The Power and Politics of Everyday Things (UXPA Book Club)

More details on the UXPA International upcoming webinar page, with links to Zoom to register.

We also discovered another Sundberg-Ferar Virtual Design Conversation, November 19, 12-4pm, on furniture, AI & User Experience and life-saving textile innovation. Free, via Zoom.

August 2020 News

A recap of the email newsletter that went out Wednesday 8/12:

See the August newsletter for the whole story.