Talk UX is an annual international design & technology conference led by women

Boston Massachusetts, October 18 & 19, 2018

Boston Massachusetts,
October 18 & 19, 2018

Joseph B. Martin Conference Center
at Harvard Medical School ​

Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School ​


Talk UX is an annual, international design and technology conference led by women. It’s a platform to promote the contribution of women in UX, celebrating the exciting and innovative work women are doing within the industry, while remaining informal, supportive and encouraging.

The conference will examine the different areas comprising user experience, from research to data schema, and show the breadth of knowledge of women in UX and their impact on the field.

Talk UX is run by Ladies that UX, a global organization that has created an international community of inspiring, supportive women in design and tech. With chapters in over 55 cities, Ladies that UX is leading a global movement that empowers women to achieve their full potential.
We’re in Boston! Boston is a hub for design and tech. We’re easy to get to with our own international airport just a 15 min drive away, and there are plenty of fantastic accommodations nearby. You’ll get a chance to see the historic Fenway area in peak autumn New England weather!
We want women to feel empowered to speak at conferences, so we’ve put together an all-women lineup of speakers, each one with incredible stories to tell. Our conference is open to everyone. Come celebrate the accomplishments of women in UX.


Day 1

Thursday, October 18

8:00 – 9:00

Breakfast & Registration

9:00 – 12:00


12:00 – 1:00


1:00 – 5:30


6:30 – 8:30

Networking Reception

Day 2

Friday, October 19

7:30 – 8:00


8:00 – 12:00


12:00 – 1:00




Elena Ontiveros

Content Strategy Manager, Airbnb

Chatter Bots: Content Strategy for the Conversational Interface

Messaging apps are changing how, when, and where people talk to their favorite businesses. With technology that automates transactions, customer service, and conversations like never before, how do you create a user experience that also feels human? This session will talk through:
  • Strategies for balancing business goals with user experience
  • Best practices for developing the strategy and content for your conversations
  • Ways to adapt your voice and tone to this new communication channel
  • Tips for setting expectations with humans who think your bot can do everything
  • Approaches for those interactions that don’t go as planned
Read more

Lola Oyelayo

Digital Product Strategist

Wicked Digital Problems

A wicked problem is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognise. These problems are wicked because they resist solution, they adapt and change form, and they can’t be separated from their context.
“You can’t know what you don’t know about what you need to know. So it’s still your fault.” – Modern UX Designer’s conundrum.

As the Lean movement treads its certain path through the digital world, killing two-dimensional artefacts, trouncing on requirements specifications and making us all empowered and Agile, we might be sleepwalking into a bunch of very wicked problems.

You may not recognise wicked problems when they come up, but like a bad smell, they haunt you for a long time. Within the trifecta of money, time and capability, live any number of decisions needed to conceptualise, design and build large scale digital products and services.

The need to balance these with getting something ‘shipped’ means we inherently make choices that have a significant impact on the challenges we face later down the line. This talk explores some of these wicked digital problems and how they affect teams, as well as presenting some perspectives to help mitigate their impact when they come up.

Read more

Lara Tacito

Senior Manager of Product Design, HubSpot

People Over Pixels: Building an Evergreen Design System

Design systems are all the rage these days. Everyone seems to be coming out with shiny new redesigns. But figuring out the right corner radius for your buttons and putting together a stunning color palette are the easy parts. How do you build a design system that makes life easier for both your customers and your team? And how do you build a process that keeps your design system from getting dusty? That’s where the real work is. Lara will talk a little about that journey and share some key lessons along the way.


Amy Deschenes

Senior UX Consultant, Harvard Library

Beyond WCAG: Making Websites Usable for People with Disabilities

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) matter, but usability matters more. It is a helpful first step to use automated web accessibility tools, like WAVE and SiteImprove, to test for compliance with WCAG, but to truly understand if your website is accessible, you need to include people with disabilities in user research.

At Harvard we’ve built a participant pool of native assistive technology users who can be hired by staff to test digital products for accessibility. In our user testing we’ve learned about issues that an automated accessibility testing tool would have missed and have been able to improve our website experiences for all users, no matter how they access the web.

When you ensure that your website is accessible, it becomes more usable for everyone. In this talk you’ll learn about the types of accessibility issues that are not easily uncovered by automated accessibility testing tools. We’ll also review best practices for moderating usability tests with assistive technology users as well as logistical planning tips for recruiting people with disabilities for user research studies.

Read more

Sarah Gibbons

Chief Designer, Nielsen Norman Group

Service Blueprinting: Use service design to create processes that are core to your digital experience and everything that supports it

Services rarely get the same attention as products. Even in the world of computer provided services, our resources (time, budget, man-power) are spent on customer-facing outputs, while overlooking the experience of the employees and/or service providers.

Services create intangible value through exchanges between people and either other people or props, where the “props” can be software, objects, collateral, or other carriers of a user experience. Service design is the design of those exchanges.

In this course, you’ll bridge the gap between customers and service providers through service blueprinting. Learn how to create an experience that is useful and desirable to the customer, while efficient and effective to the provider.

Read more

Meena Kothandaraman & Zarla Ludin

Experience Strategists & Co-Founders of twig+fish Research Practice

A Strategic Framework Everyone Can Use: NCREDIBLE Research

You’re ready to embark on a research study. Your team has the chance to investigate people’s behaviors, and you find yourself receiving questions from all directions. The questions sometimes feel haphazard, opportunistic, and as though everyone has been waiting for a moment to get in front of users. You know it is important to promote research within the organization, and you know there are factors to consider when running research, but somehow there is a communication gap between stakeholder asks, and what research can do. Balancing constraints such as time, budget, access to people and more becomes hard to manage.

Sound familiar?

In this workshop, Meena Kothandaraman and Zarla Ludin from twig+fish research practice will share a framework that establishes research transparency. This workshop will reveal a demonstrable approach for permeable success of research as a strategic practice within an organization. Sharing the research mindset and responsibility, and roadmapping questions to strategic organizational processes are just some of the benefits attendees can immediately apply.

The framework is a visual tool that exposes details required to construct credible study designs.

The framework:

  • Organizes unknowns
    Brings awareness to assumptions
  • Publicizes knowledge gaps
    Reveals organizational research habits and patterns
  • Visualizes a research road map
  • Positions research studies across time and budget

Attendees will walk out of the workshop knowing a simple and operational framework they can use right away!

Read more

Laura Granka

Director of UX, Google


Conference Only

$ 450
  • 1 full day of conference talks

Full Conference

+ Workshop
$ 550
  • Full day of conference talks
  • Half day workshop
Early Bird


  • 1 full day of conference talks
  • Email us at from your university email, and we'll send you a discount code!

Why Talk UX?

Gain Insight

Enhance your skills by learning from UX leaders on a wide range of topics. Leave equipped with the tools to confidently bring about change in your organization.


Build Connections

Meet passionate fellow-UX practitioners from around the world. Join a vibrant community, expand your reach, and further your career.

Get Inspired

Celebrate the exciting work of incredible women in our industry. Hear stories of growth and success from accomplished UX professionals as they share their expertise.


Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston MA 02115


The Verb Hotel

  • 15 min walk
  • 5 min drive


Boston Marriott Copley Place

  • 30 min walk
  • 10 min drive

Sheraton Boston Hotel

  • 30 min walk
  • 10 min drive

Team & Volunteers

Talk UX is a women-led conference. Learn about all of the women volunteering to bring this conference to Boston. Interested in volunteering? Drop us a line at

Lara Cavezza

Senior Product Designer, ezCater


Olga Perfilieva

Product Designer, ezCater

Katie Langerman

UI Engineer, CarGurus


Carolyn Swanhall

Account Manager, McGraw-Hill Education


Kelsey Knight

Brand Designer, ezCater


Hannah Schindler

UX Designer, FrontStream


YiYi Liu

Senior Design Researcher, ezCater


Christene Fair

UX Designer


Liz Cormack

Senior UX Designer, Sonos


Jenn Buch

Graphic Designer, 903 Creative

2018 Ladies that UX | Code of Conduct | Sponsorships

Ladies that UX is not affiliated with Harvard University, nor is Ladies that UX, Boston a Harvard University program or activity

Close Menu