2014 User Experience Awards

The Premier Awards for Exceptional Digital Experience

Judges & Speakers

2014 Judges and Panelists

Alex Wright

Head of Research at Etsy

Alex Wright is the Head of Research at Etsy, where he leads a team of qualitative and quantitative researchers trying to deepen Etsy’s understanding of its global marketplace and drive ongoing UX improvements. Previously, he was Director of User Experience at The New York Times, VP of User Experience at Phoenix Pop, and Senior Manager of User Experience at IBM. He has also led high-profile UX projects for Yahoo!, The Long Now Foundation, The California Digital Library, and the Internet Archive, among others.

Alex is also the author of Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age, published in June 2014 by Oxford University Press.

Twitter: @alexgrantwright
Company: Etsy.com
Website: Alexwright.org
LinkedIn: Alex Wright

Greg Petroff

Chief Experience Officer and General Manager of the User Experience Center of Excellence (UX CoE) at GE Software

Greg Petroff is the Chief Experience Officer and general manager of the User Experience Center of Excellence (UX CoE) for GE Software. The UX CoE is charged with elevating the quality of digital experiences created by GE for its customers. At GE, Greg is leading efforts to define the human interface to the Industrial Internet, connecting people to machines and systems in meaningful ways.

Greg has more than 25 years of industry experience in user-interface, experience and interaction design. Prior to GE, Greg worked at SAP in a variety of design roles, including VP of product management for the design and new applications team, where he was responsible for bridging great user experience with next generation SAP technologies to market faster.

Greg is a prominent industry personality known for his ability to use design skills to solve business problems. He is an accomplished author, speaker and has been a guest lecturer at institutions such as Parsons The New School for Design and UCLA Graduate School of Architecture. He earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and his master’s in architecture from UCLA.

Twitter: @gpetroff
Company: GE.com
LinkedIn: Greg Petroff

Michal Pasternak

Former Chief Experience Officer at Huge

Michal Pasternak was until April 25 the Chief Experience Officer at Huge, where she oversaw one of the world’s largest and most talented UX teams. As CXO, Michal has driven the creation of user-friendly experiences on many of the agency’s most prominent e-commerce and media engagements. Michal joined Huge in 2004 as the company’s ninth employee and one of its very first interaction designers. Since then, she has been instrumental in growing Huge’s User Experience and Strategy practices, specializing in the development of best-in-class experiences that improve people’s lives.

In addition to running the UX team, Michal has also helped to develop Huge School, a discipline-specific, paid apprenticeship program designed to give talented individuals the skills required to be successful in a career at Huge. The school allows for Huge to give back to the community, while training the next generation of creatives, designers and technologists. Previously, Michal worked at IDEO and Applied Materials, where she designed user-centered products in the physical world. Michal earned an MS and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. She has also studied, taught and performed improv comedy for more than 15 years. Michal was named to Advertising Age’s list of “40 Under 40″ for 2014.

Twitter: @huge_michal
Company: Hugeinc.com
LinkedIn: Michal Pasternak

Janice Fraser

Head of LUXr at Pivotal Labs

Janice is one of America’s leading experts on Lean Startup, having advised many successful companies including Task Rabbit, Lyft, and Sharethrough. She frequently trains White House staff on innovation, and her workshops have been sold out around the world. Janice is a serial entrepreneur and an interaction designer. She was one of the first UX designers, was cofounder of leading UX firm Adaptive Path, and acted as the company’s first CEO. Janice is a keynote speaker at startup conferences around the world and at top universities and business schools, including Stanford, Kellogg, and Haas.

Company: LUXr.co
LinkedIn: Janice Fraser


Margaret Stewart

Director of Product Design at Facebook

Margaret Gould Stewart currently serves as Director of Product Design at Facebook. She previously served as Director of User Experience at YouTube. Prior to that, she spent two years leading Search and Consumer Products UX at Google. Over the course of her career, Margaret has led the design teams for 5 top 10 most visited websites in the world. (note: Tripod.com, Angelfire.com, Lycos.com, Google.com, YouTube.com…now leading the Ads design team for Facebook.com).

Margaret has been a leading practitioner and manager in the field of User Experience for over 15 years. After graduating from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program in 1995, Margaret consulted extensively with New York media companies such as the New York Times, Time-Warner, and Scholastic to develop many of their first forays into the web.

She subsequently joined Tripod, Inc, the pioneering homepage building site and online community, in 1995 as its first Creative Director. Tripod was acquired by Lycos, Inc in 1998. Margaret served as General Manager of Tripod.com and Angelfire.com, and then as Senior Director of Network Design and Integration for the Lycos Network. In 2005, she joined Wachovia as its Web Usability Manager. She relocated to California in early 2007 to join Google, and in early 2009 moved to YouTube to lead their user experience team.

Margaret has served on the jury for the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards, and is a frequent speaker about design, user experience, creative management, and the changing landscape of media at a variety of industry events such as the TED Conference, CHI, and Adaptive Path’s Managing Experience Conference. She serves on the Board of Directors of Architecture for Humanity, and on the Strategic Board for the California College of the Arts’ Interaction Design Program. She lives in Palo Alto with her husband, three children, and various and sundry pets.

Twitter: @mags
Blog: http://www.fountly.com
Photos: http://flickr.com/photos/margaretgouldstewart/

Brian Kralyevich

Vice President of User Experience Design at Amazon

Brian Kralyevich is Vice President of User Experience Design at Amazon overseeing design for the Kindle Digital Products group based in Seattle, Washington.

Brian Kralyevich is an industry veteran with more than eighteen years of experience in design, architecture, new media and user experience design for award winning software and services. Prior to joining Amazon, Brian was Executive Creative Director for XBOX where he directed interdisciplinary design teams dedicated to delivering end-to-end consumer experiences across game consoles, Kinect, PC, mobile and web. Brian was head of user experience design at Nokia Design based in London and was responsible for the leading the team that drove the design and delivery of the Nokia N9. Brian also directed Zune’s User Experience Design for Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division. Before joining Microsoft in 2003, Brian founded Scenic Creative in San Francisco where he led interactive projects with brands like XBOX, MSN and Puma. As Chief Creative Officer for Mediatruck, Inc., he defined creative solutions for the company’s clients and its proprietary design products. Earlier in his career, Brian served as Creative Director for Rare Medium’s Broadband and Convergence Group, Science and Fiction. Brian also served as Design Director for Circumstance Design, where he led award winning projects such as James Cameron’s Titanic Explorer, Fox’s Sports and King of the Hill. Brian has a Master degree in Architecture from The University of Texas where he studied and practiced architecture while developing an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving that is fundamental toBrian’s design innovations at Amazon.

Brian’s designs have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Cnet.com, Communication Arts, Secrets of Successful Web Sites by David Siegel, Design Matters (SFMOMA Architecture + Design Forum) and have received awards from New Media magazine, INVISION New Media and One Show Interactive. Brian has overseen design on projects for XBOX, Nokia, Zune, Media Center, MSN, Macromedia, Nieman Marcus, Puma, FOX, Intel, ZDTV, Sony and Ericson.

Company: Amazon.com
LinkedIn: Brian Kralyevich

Turi McKinley

Participatory Design Director at Frog

Turi focuses on developing participatory design and creative collaboration processes and skills within Frog and for Frog clients. She partners closely with companies seeking to develop new skillsets and creative collaboration capabilities to identify strategies and projects where skills can be built through a learn-by-doing approach. Her clients include GE, Honeywell, ETS, Humana, Mars Drinks, UNICEF, Colgate and MTV.

Turi’s background is in interaction design, design research, and experience strategy. She holds an MFA in Design and Technology from the Parsons School of Design.

She has lived, researched, and worked extensively in the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Nepal, Korea, and China. Her academic background is in Anthropology with emphasis on symbolic anthropology and ethnography. Outside of the office, she blows glass and travels the world.

Company: Frogdesign.com
LinkedIn: Turi McKinley

Cliff Kuang

Senior Editor at WIRED

Cliff Kuang is an articles editor at WIRED, where he oversees its design coverage and helps lead its new-product initiatives. Before that, he was the design editor at Fast Company, and founding editor of it’s spin-off site, Co.Design. Under Kuang’s direction, Co.Design became one of the most trafficked design sites in the world and won a National Magazine Award. Previously, he has been an editor at I.D. and The Economist. During his career, he has edited over 5,000 design articles, and written on myriad design topics, ranging from experience design to the 9/11 Museum. With Robert Fabricant, he is now writing a book about user experience design, to be published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

Company: wired.com
LinkedIn: Cliff Kuang

Opening Remarks


Rafe Needleman

Editorial Director, Yahoo! Tech

Rafe has over 25 years of experience covering new technology products and companies. He is currently the Editorial Director at Yahoo Tech. In the past, Rafe was Director of Developer Relations at Evernote where he lead the team at Evernote which runs hackathons, workshops, outreach, and other activities to support the Evernote platform and API. In addition, he was also Editor-at-large at CNET, Columinst at Business 2.0, and much more.

Rafe has interviewed over a thousand startup CEOs and analyzed their businesses and products. He wrote and distributed a daily column online before blogging was a thing. In addition, he had always been fascinated by the directions entrepreneurial thinking and technology products are taking.

Rafe has worked as a product reviewer, a magazine and Web site editor, a news writer, a podcaster, and a video interviewer. His specialities include writing, analyzing products, working on camera, and hosting live events. Rafe received his BA from Reed College in Psychology.

Twitter: @Rafe
Company: Yahoo! Tech
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/rafeneedleman

Moderator & Host

Beverly May

Executive Director of the UX Awards, Principal of Oxford Tech + UX

Beverly has over 17 years’ experience in tech, product development and user experience. She is the founder of Oxford Tech + UX, a boutique user experience and product strategy agency in NY and San Francisco that focuses on data-driven UX approaches. She is also the acting President of NYC-CHI, NYC’s largest and longest-running UX group, and the founder and Executive Director of the User Experience Awards.

Beverly’s experience spans management, strategy, UX, design, development, and content. After starting as a music promoter, music journalist and graphic designer, Beverly helped found one of Canada’s first digital agencies and helped grow Canada’s first startup incubator. Since then, she has helped launch hundreds of digital products and services at digital agencies R/GA, iDeutsch, BBDO and Euro; educational software company Wireless Generation/ Amplify; Rodale digital media; and at the United Nations before starting Oxford Tech + UX in 2008. Oxford Tech + UX has aided many of NYC’s top media companies, including Turner, Hearst and Consumer Reports, with a particular focus on CMSes, video, personalization and health tracking. Her passion is to evangelize the impact of great UX.

Beverly has an Executive MBA from the University of Oxford, a technology Master’s in software systems from New York University, and a BA in English from University of Toronto. She is a triple UK- Canadian- US citizen.

Twitter: @OxfordTech, @UXAwards
Company: oxfordtech.us
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/beverlymay

Guest Speakers

Todd Lefelt small

Todd Lefelt

Managing Director of User Experience, Huge

Todd Lefelt is Managing Director of User Experience at Huge in Los Angeles. Since joining Huge in 2006, Todd has been instrumental in building the agency’s user experience team and helping to define the philosophy and process applied to user-centric design. In 2010, Todd joined Huge’s Los Angeles office, where he has played a key role in the development of the company’s West Coast presence. Todd has directed interactive design and research for some of Huge’s largest engagements and has worked with clients including Clear Channel, National Geographic, NBC Universal, Samsung, Toyota and Warner Music Group. With nearly two decades of industry experience, Todd held senior positions at a number of other companies prior to joining Huge, including Time Inc. Interactive, Ecos Technologies, Pathways Flandrau Science Center, Wave Technologies, Kozmo.com, R/GA and Ultra 16. Todd received a BFA from the University of Michigan and an MA from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University. He currently lives in Silver Lake with his wife Holly, son Ira, and cat Pippa.

Company: hugeinc.com
LinkedIn: Todd Lefelt


Janaki Kumar

Head of Strategic Design Services, America at SAP Labs

Janaki Kumar is the Head of Strategic Design Services, America in SAP’s Design and Co-Innovation Center. She leads a team of designers who work directly with customers to transform their user experience. She has over a decade of experience building, coaching, and leading high performance teams to deliver design-led innovation.

She is the co-author of the book, Gamification at Work – Designing Engaging Business Software. Janaki has a Masters in Information Systems from Boston University. She has authored 20 intellectual property patent applications of innovative user experiences.

Company: sap.com
LinkedIn: Janaki Kumar


Andrew Crow

Head of Design, Uber

Andrew is the Head of Design at Uber where he and his team are creating the future of local transportation and delivery.

Prior to Uber, Andrew was the Global Director, Brand & Design for GE and collaborated with GE’s businesses to set and execute on a vision for great brand experiences. Leading both the Design and Brand Councils, Andrew worked directly with product leaders blending brand and design to affect positive outcomes for customers.

He leans on 25 years of experience in visual, interaction, and product design and has a deep perspective on creating meaningful product experiences for people. Andrew has led design and brand teams on projects for both enterprise clients and startups; he is passionate about designing products and services that delight people and exceed business expectations.

Prior to GE, Andrew was VP of Mobile and Experience at Razorfish, and a Lead Experience Designer for Adaptive Path.

He likes to poke things with sticks.

Company: uber.com
LinkedIn: Andrew Crow

Twitter: @andrewcrow


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