Tools for the Trade: Don’t have Axure? Try ‘Sketch’

Axure is a great tool and you can download and use it for a set number of days however purchasing the license can be expensive for some especially those starting their career. I’ve done a bit of searching and the aside from illustrator and even powerpoint which I find strangely adequate is a product called: SKETCH

Easy to use and comprehend, sketch pretty much does everything that I need in terms of laying out visuals. You can move elements around, color code them and even integrate a template module.

  • simplicity and versatility  – 5 stars
  • price point ($99) – 4 stars (much better than axure)

Podcast from Whitney Hess virtual visit

On April 29, International Coach Whitney Hess joined us for a riveting 90 minute talk.  She covered topics such as:

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • a new definition of Experience Design Professional
  • Business Techniques
  • UX Personnel-Scaling
  • New tech (google glasses)
  • How to build a GREAT portfolio and everything else in between.THANK YOU to Whitney and everyone who attended.

Main Organizer & Facilitator: Juliana Loh

Planning & Video Conferencing Organizers: Fraser Milne & Kai Chu

Special thanks to Akshay Chauhan for his audio expertise. We are so happy to have such talented and generous people on our ‘team’.

April 10- Show ‘n Tell was … told!

Nick Steeves and Fraser Milne did a great job at presenting their projects during the April 10th’s ‘Show and Tell’. Nick presented an online campaign introducing Create your own Landing Pages to small businesses while Fraser shared Payfirma’s first payment system prototype.

Kudos to the community that came and contributed insights, suggestions, observations and feedback!

April 10 - Show and Tell

April 10 – Show and Tell

April 10 - Show and Tell

Fraser Milne: April 10 – Show and Tel


In a little while, we’ll be posting thoughts on this experience from both Nick and Fraser as well as others who felt that they benefited from this experience.

April 10 - Show and Tell

April 10 – Show and Tell

April 29 Meetup: Celebrated UX Coach Whitney Hess is joining us VIRTUALLY for a group “huddle” via GOOGLE HANGOUTS

  • Important Update: Note: This event was arranged as per requested as a private event between our group and Whitney. We like the idea of a public broadcast and will consider this for future events. Thank you!

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 6:00 PM

  • Payfirma Financial Corporation

    885 West Georgia Street - Suite 1210, Vancouver, BC
  • Price: CAD5.00/per person

    Networking will begin at 6pm with audio or video-in with Whitney at 6:30pm

    WHO IS IT FOR? Everybody in the design or management fields wondering how to collaborate effectively in this changing digital landscape.

It’s one of the events we’ve been anticipating all year. UX International Coach Whitney Hess is happy to VIRTUALLY join our group ‘huddle’ to share war stories, victories, visions of what UX is and can be, some really *really* good soft skill strategies that will get results in your company as well as some pretty cool shortcuts to help your processes. Gather your questions and come down to join us as Whitney unleashes her ‘secret sauce’! – Whitney’s experience in UX has touched upon all fields of design including large-scale group management & organizational behavior, process development, product and service design. Oh… and did I say career development? 😉

* A big thank you to Payfirma’s continued sponsorship*

If you cannot attend or do not reside in the local area and have questions, we will be on GOOGLE HANGOUTS.

UX Design Critique – Monthly Show and Tell

  • Thursday, April 10, 2014 | 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

  • Payfirma Financial Corporation

    885 West Georgia Street – Suite 1210, Vancouver, BC (edit map)

    The HSBC building across the street from the art gallery with the cool pendulum in the lobby!

  • Price: $2.00/per person


    Gain experience in presenting your work at any stage in a supportive, peer review setting. Presenters will be limited to 3-5. If you wish to present a problem to the group, please register ahead by contacting anyone from the leadership team.

    Critiquing is a skill, if you do not have any prior experience providing design critique, please read

    Optional – you may also assign to the audience personas (or other information about your users) to facilitate more accurate critiques and peer review.

    Optional – If your work is covered by nda, you may bring forms for members to sign.

    What to expect: Presenter will show work and receive feedback.

    Networking starts at 6:00pm

    Presentation and critiques begin at 6:30pm

    Session will end around 8:30pm


    The event will be held at the fabulous Payfirma offices. We are not sure what time the outside doors lock // elevators need the keycard, so try to get there before 6pm. Fraser will hang out in the lobby around 6pm to bring any late comers upstairs.


    This group is for people in all fields — IA, UX, IxD, Product Management, Development, Visual Design, Service Design — creating digital or offline products — an eclectic mix of practitioners and thinkers from a wide range of fields to share stories, provide insights, and suggest new ways of working.

    We are a super x-connected group of talented cross-overs!

    If you need visuals to help describe your problem, bring your sketchbook, print-out, or your own tablet or laptop.

Empathy & Engagement in the World of Design

After some supportive nudging by our co-content creator, Juliana, she suggested I share this post from my blog with you. Enjoy 🙂
Jan 23/13

Back in 2011, I attended The Design Thinking UnConference that was held in Vancouver, at the Emily Carr campus on Granville Island. I had been intrigued by the term, Design Thinking, it sounded like something that I did all the time, 24/7, yet it was a terminology that seemed vague to many. The event was a merging of multi-disciplines from various industries, coming together to talk about the methods of thinking about design. What idea or thought solidified in me that was that I was in the right line of work, and it would be more about finding the right organization who valued the more holistic and empathy concerned approach to design. Fast forward to 2012, the term Experience Strategy reaches Vancouver with a solidity. I was excited. My love for new media and tech showed more promise, as focus was put onto the ‘Virtual Experiences’ that users had. I realised then that Experience Strategy and Design Thinking was something that I was passion about, and not necessarily limited to Apparel Products and Visuals, but far more expansive and broad. I realised that I’m a sense maker (an innate need of mine), once I have a sense, then I can analyse to make addition or to simplify to provide the best possible solution. What also is important is to remember that change is constant, so this means being good at adapting as needed.

In all my years of design and developing brand, apparel products and such, both Design Thinking and Experience Strategy has been in the forefront of everything I do. I assumed this was the natural focus of all designers, but apparently not. I’ve seen the difference it makes when companies take heed from empathy thought driven designers and make changes to better the experience on all fronts. One of the companies I worked for, within 1 year of implementing lots of small tweaks and changes based on my observations, suggestions, and acting as the facilitator to integrate cooperation and collaborations, employee team grew from 5 to 17 and gross profit increased by 30%. It was my first time seeing how if a company cared to create a win-win situation, anything felt possible.  Employees and employers were more engaged, processes were simplified. Sales reps felt supported and happier as well. The company as a whole worked better as a unit, and thus the product quality got even better, products were meeting delivery deadlines better. The trickle down effect was visible. I had never felt prouder to be part of the team and a key contributor.  It’s been a long while since finding a company that embodies the value of Empathy and Engagement, from owners down to the customers. It’s time that designers get reminded of what makes us designers and damn good ones. We are the ones that create, solve, and build. We are also the ones who can set the foundations for something better. I feel it’s our duties to advocate for Experience Design and Design Thinking on all fronts, especially with key stakeholders in the company, as they are the ones who can support to make it happen on the larger scale.

Here’s a free online seminar on Design Thinking:

Here’s a great video to illustrate the importance of Empathy in Experience Strategy:

Let’s be the change for a better world, create better experiences for everyone.

March 25 | Special Edition – Wearable Devices UXDesignTherapy Meetup

Wearable Devices

We’re really excited to showcase some very special examples of wearable technology – courtesy of Fraser

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014
    6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Payfirma Financial Corporation
    885 West Georgia Street - Suite 1210, Vancouver, BC (map)
    If the elevator is locked, call or text Fraser at [masked]
    Please sign up at:
  • Price: CAD2.00/per person

    Refund policy

  • Currently the topic of much debate, wearable devices represent a new era in our relationship with technology.

    We’ve invited two speakers that have launched their own wearable products to share their insights about what to consider when designing a wearable experience.

    As mentioned at the last meetup, we are starting to collect a small fee to support upkeep of the group, website costs, and awesome events in the future (we will run it at zero profit). You will need to pay $2 via paypal in order to RSVP (this also prevents no-shows). If you do not have a paypal account, contact someone from the leadership team and we’ll work something out.

    ** Note: Still trying to determine if we will have access to our new, larger boardroom. If you are on the wait list, stay tuned as I may increase the attendance **


    • 6:00 – 6:30 Meet and Greet, snacks.

    • 6:30: “Wearables in the Health Care industry” – by Ayman Hafez, Product Specalist @ Payfirma

    • 7:00: Short Break

    • 7:05: “Design Process for the making of a Haptic Wearable Interface” – by Diane Tam Developer @ Payfirma

    • 7:35 -General QA and roundtable

Storytelling for User Experience | Crafting Stories for Better Design: by Whitney Quesenbery & Kevin Brooks

StoryTelling for User Experience PDF
In the interest of education and best practices/design advocacy, UXDesignTherapy fully supports UX-related groups in the city.  As some of us are active members of VanUE and the UX Book Club (among others), we are open to sharing knowledge and cross-promoting any and all events.
March 25: The UX Book Club Meetup will be hosting a talk on this book. If you would like to read it beforehand, you may download the PDF here: Storytelling_for_User_Experience.  If you would like to purchase the book (that is our intention), here is the info:

Storytelling for User Experience by Whitney Quesenbery & Kevin Brooks

Crafting Stories for Better Design

Published: April 2010Digital: ISBN 1-933820-03-9


Rosenfeld Media:  ( you may contact Kevin Brooks here)

Whitney Quesenbery here: @whitneyq or

If you liked the book, please let them know!