Registration for Design Systems event is open!

You can now get a ticket to our September 9th event “Planning & Cultivating Design Systems. Register at Eventbrite.

  • Admission is $5 and includes dinner (sponsored by Vitamin T).
  • CCS students are free but need to register ahead of time.

Sponsorships are available for $200. Your organization gets recognized for supporting the community. You can display information, like job openings or service offerings, at the event. Sponsors also get up to 10 free tickets: after paying at Eventbrite, we will contact you to get your list of attendees.

Register at Eventbrite

Listen to case studies that will explain:

  • The parts that make up a design system
  • How the parts assemble to create a unified design language
  • Critical strategies for both stakeholder approval and team adoption

Learn more about the program

Register for World Usability Day events on Nov 8th

Join Michigan UXPA, and the rest of the world, on Thursday, November 8, for World Usability Day. This year’s global theme is “Design for Good or Evil.”

We have partnered with Michigan State University (MSU) Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting (UARC) and AIGA Detroit for two special World Usability Day events in service of our Michigan community.

Morning: Michigan State University, East Lansing

IMG_5373MSU UARC has hosted a conference all 14 years of World Usability Day’s existence! They have another fantastic line up of presentations:

  • Planning for Usability, Peter Morville, Semantic Studios
  • Designing our Future(s), Erik Dahl, Erik Dahl Design Company
  • Understanding the User Experience Behind the New WCAG 2.1 Requirements, Shawn Henry, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative
  • Designing an Accessible Personal Health Record, Jason Withrow, Washtenaw Community College
  • How to Talk to Engineers about Usability, Dawn Opel, Michigan State University

The conference runs from 8:30am to Noon in the MSU Union, with an optional tour of MSU UARC from 1:15-3pm in the Kellogg Center.

Check out the MSU event web page as additional information becomes available.

Registration is now open. Cost is $25: a bargain for a conference that has become a pillar of our community.

Evening: College for Creative Studies, Detroit

aigadetroit-wud-bannerAIGA Detroit is hosting its first World Usability Day event in the evening, at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Doors open at 6:30pm.

At “Ethics of UX Design”, you will learn ethical principles that apply to user experience design, hear examples from everyday practice, and get some practical tips on how to design user interfaces that follow ethical principles. The speakers will be:

  • Michael Beasley, UX Designer, Amazon
  • Jack Nank, Digital Producer, Threespot
  • Amy Michelle DeBaets, PhD, Assistant Professor, OUWB School of Medicine (Oakland University)

Learn more at AIGA Detroit’s event page.

Registration at Eventbrite is available. Tickets are $10 plus a service fee. Also a great deal for an evening of discussion about such an important topic.

We hope to see you in East Lansing or Detroit (or both) on November 8th to celebrate World Usability Day with Michigan UXPA.

Walk & Tour Recap

We had a great Detroit Month of Design event on September 6th: our sold-out Architecture Walk & Experience Design Tour!

Introductions in the cafe. Photo by Olga Stella, Design Core Detroit.

Fifty people started out meeting each other and having a great lunch at the Detroit Opera House’s Cadillac Cafe.

Discussion on stage about how production design and performance affect user (audience) experiences.

One group toured the opera house, learning about theater design & architecture, acting, directing, costumes, makeup, and more. A few examples of the topics covered:

  • How a theater building itself contributes to the user experience of a show
  • How the type of stage affects set design, directing, and acting
  • How a director anticipates and solves problems on behalf of the audience
  • Accessibility issues related to lighting and sound
  • The “best seat in the house”: it depends
  • How the rehearsal process parallels the UX development process

Dan Brinker, Technical Director of the DOH, and Larry Rusinsky led the discussion. Larry posted pictures and comments on Facebook.

Dan Klyn starts the architecture walk outside the Opera House.

Dan Klyn led the architecture walk around parts of downtown Detroit. Discussion examples:

  • Boundaries, contributing to certainty or ambiguity
  • Pace layers, the uneven application of governance
  • Spatial primitives, geometric shapes and light
  • Good fit, emerging form in response to new forces
  • Channels, connectivity between touchpoints

Dan has shared pictures of the key stops on the walk and his discussion guides.

Thanks to many individuals and organizations who helped make this happen! Dan Klyn & Larry Rusinsky, Michigan Opera Theater, Dexterity UX & The Understanding Group, and Design Core Detroit.


Save the Date & Call for Sponsors: Walk & Tour

Architecture Walk & Experience Design Tour Banner

Save the Date for our Architecture Walk & Experience Design Tour on September 6 in downtown Detroit!

The half-day workshop helps participants learn from more than a century of design inventions (in the form of buildings and urban planning) and event design (such as theatrical performances) in downtown Detroit. 

See our Architecture Walk & Experience Design Tour page for more about the program. Individual tickets go on sale starting on August 1st.

Your organization can get involved by sponsoring!

  • Be our one-and-only “Event sponsor” for the highest level of visibility and support
  • “Lunch sponsors” get to interact with attendees during the beginning of the event
  • Support just the Opera House Experience Design Tour or Architectural Walk, if those are your favorite parts of the program

Select sponsorship packages and pay with a credit card at our Eventbrite page.

Why Sponsor?

We seek out sponsorships with organizations that explore design from a variety of perspectives – whether interaction, experience, event, spacial, or other!  This special event enables your company to directly network and collaborate with professionals from both the user experience and interaction design fields as well as people who design built environments and/or in-person events.  

All sponsorships come with tickets, available before individuals can register. You can provide tickets to your employees, invite clients to join you at the event, or award them publicly to deserving individuals.

Available Sponsorships

Lunch Sponsorship ($500)

  • 2 tickets, for either the opera house tour or architectural walk
  • A table at lunch where attendees can visit you
  • Opportunity to address the group at lunch to tell them about your organization, job openings, services, etc.

Opera Tour Sponsorship ($300)

  • 2 tickets to the tour
  • Recognition during the tour and invited to contribute to the discussion during and after the tour

Architectural Walk Sponsorship ($300)

  • 2 tickets to the walk
  • Recognition during the walk and invited to contribute to the discussion during and after the walk

Event Sponsor ($1000) – only 1 available

  • 5 tickets, either the tour or walk
  • A table at lunch where attendees can visit you
  • Opportunity to address the group at lunch to tell them about your organization, job openings, services, etc.
  • Recognition on the tour and/or walk and invited to contribute to the subsequent discussion

All sponsorship levels include being featured on the event web page, thanked via social media, and logo placement at the event.

You can register as a sponsor at Eventbrite if you want to pay with a credit card.

You can also pay via PayPal or check. Contact us at for more information.


Register for July 9 event

Enjoy an evening of industry case studies about innovation using human-centered design! The program will feature 3 case studies about local applications in healthcare, military, and automotive.

  1. Augmented Reality Design in Healthcare by Christina York, CEO and Founder, SpellBound
  2. Human-Centered Design of Tactical Vehicles by Dave Hullinger, Human Factors Engineer, United States Army Research Laboratory
  3. Data Analytics Design for the Transportation System of Tomorrow by Nisreen Salka, Lead Product Designer, Emerging Analytics, Ford Motor Company
  • WHAT: User Experience Innovation in Healthcare, Military, and Automotive Applications
  • WHEN: July 9, 2018, 6-8pm
  • WHERE: The Velocity Collaboration Center at the Macomb-Oakland University Incubator, 6633 Eighteen Mile Road, Sterling Heights, MI 48314
  • HOW MUCH: $5 to attend. Free for UXPA International members and Oakland University faculty, staff & students.

Register at Eventbrite


  • 6:00pm Doors open, check in, socialize, have pizza, salad, and soft drinks provided by our hosts, Mac-OU Inc
  • 6:30pm: Welcoming, introductions, and other announcements
  • 6:45pm: Case study presentations, Q&A
  • 7:45pm: Closing and community announcements
  • 8:00pm: End of event

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Augmented Reality Design in Healthcare

Christina York, CEO and Founder, SpellBound

Christina will share the story of SpellBound, a therapeutic tool that helps children cope and engage with medical treatment using immersive augmented reality technology. She will also share parts of her journey from a UX manager to a (female) CEO of a tech startup.

Christina York is an entrepreneur, experimenter, team builder, and technology visionary. She was the UX Manager at ITHAKA for 10 years before starting SpellBound. She creates magical 3D experiences that are used by child life specialists and therapists to distract, engage, and entertain pediatric patients. She is a Midwest Female Founder for Change.

Register at Eventbrite

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Human-Centered Design of Tactical Vehicles

Dave Hullinger, Human Factors Engineer, United States Army Research Laboratory

We worked with users to evaluate a concept for a new model of tank. We will share some of our challenges that were unique to military applications, but also some that will be familair to UX professionals in other contexts. Examples: following established standards, getting access to end users, and consulting on specifications managed by a vendor.

Dave Hullinger got his start as a mechanical engineer in the automotive industry. He joined the Army Research Laboratory in 2010.

Register at Eventbrite

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Data Analytics Design for the Transportation System of Tomorrow

Nisreen Salka, Lead Product Designer, Emerging Analytics, Ford Motor Company

As autonomous and connected vehicles join the streets, Ford Motor Company leverages the data they generate to help city officials prepare for this new world of transportation. In collaboration with the City of Tomorrow Challenge, we built a product team that paired data scientists and software developers. We reinvented the agile process and revitalized our approach to user experience research and design for our unique context.

Nisreen Salka recently completed her Masters in human-computer interaction from the University of Michigan School of Information. As the lead product designer for the Emerging Analytics department at Ford Motor Company, she collaborates with end users to design applications that leverage mobility data. Earlier this year, she presented at Ann Arbor World Information Architecture Day 2018 on dark patterns.

Register at Eventbrite

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About our hosts, Mac-OU Inc

The Macomb-Oakland University Incubator (Mac-OU Inc) was constructed to support economic development in SE Michigan by accelerating high-tech business, cultivating academic innovation and encouraging R&D in the region. Mac-OU Inc is directly affiliated with and supported by Oakland University, which provides collaborative access to its faculty, students and physical assets to assist entrepreneurs in many facets of their business formation and development. Mac-OU Inc is also a state of Michigan-designated SmartZone, which allows it to leverage a wide range of state resources to further attract, build, fund and deploy new businesses in and around Macomb County.

Register at Eventbrite