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  • User Experience: What It Is, Why You Should Care and How to Become a UX Professional

User Experience: What It Is, Why You Should Care and How to Become a UX Professional

  • 20 Jun 2017
  • 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM (PDT)
  • UpTop - Century Square, 1501 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, Alki Room (Third Floor)
  • 0


  • Members of the AIGA organization.

Registration is closed

AWC presents an evening of design and research. Our panel of local user experience experts will discuss:

  • The difference between User Experience (UX) Design, User Interface (UI) Design, Product Design and User Research
  • How different disciplines within the User Experience domain work together
  • Why companies care about User Experience and why YOU need to care about it
  • How to become a UX professional and choose the path that is right for you

Join us for a special evening of networking and conversations with experts from industry-leading companies.

The Panelists

  • Crystal Chor, Amazon, Senior User Researcher
  • Lada Gorlenko, Smartsheet, Director of User Research
  • Pam Shales, King County, Design & Civic Engagement Services Owner
  • Michelle Ringgold, UpTop, User Experience Designer
Crystal Chor

Crystal Chor, a Senior User Researcher at Amazon, has spent the last two years studying the fascinating world of online fashion shopping. Previously she spent five years conducting user research on Microsoft Dynamics, where she managed and conducted research activities for all Public Sector functionality. Before then, she worked at Weyerhaeuser, where she pioneered as the first user researcher, advocating for and establishing user testing practices within development teams. Crystal also served on the AWC Board from 2008-2011.

Lada Gorlenko

Lada has spent two decades helping organizations build better user experiences. She ran customer research programs for the European Commission, British Telecom, IBM and Microsoft, and advised many companies on customer-focused innovation. Lada co-founded the IxDA, a global network of over 70,000 design professionals, and currently works as Director of User Research at Smartsheet.

Pam Shales

Pam has 15+ years of experience in the User Experience space. She’s been a manager of people, leader of cross-discipline teams, mentor of a few, an individual contributor, consultant, cheerleader/therapist/other duties as assigned while working with brands and companies of all sizes. Currently she is leading the Design and Civic Engagement group within King County, helping them bring UxD into their IT organization. She’s also a step-mom of 4 kids, a musician, and the proud caretaker of a 5 year old Golden Retriever.

Michelle Ringgold

Michelle is a User Experience Designer at UpTop, a full-service UX research, strategy, design, and development agency in Seattle. Working in the agency world has given her the opportunity to wear many hats and work with a variety of clients. She’s collaborated with teams at Amazon, Microsoft, Airbiquity, and Mattress Firm in creating new customer experiences for desktop, mobile, and car digital spaces. In addition to her 15+ years of Visual/UX Design experience, she teaches yoga and meditation.

Michelle is passionate about approaching UX by learning about the needs of the business and their users. She loves engaging with people and creating a product and/or service that benefits and delights its users.


6:00-7:00 – Networking

7:00-8:15 – Moderated panel (panelists will have questions in advance)

8:15-9:00 – Q&A and more networking

*** Light Appetizers and Beverages ***


Up Top is located in the Century Square building across from Westlake Center, at the corner of 4th Avenue and Pike Street. There is a parking garage, whose entrance is on Pike street between 3rd and 4th Avenue right after Chipotle (which is on the corner).

The conference room is on Floor 3. You can get to it from the elevators or escalators. When you exit the escalators, turn to your right and you’ll see a small corridor where the security desk is. The conference room is in the same area. If you’re coming up on the elevators, turn right when you exit and when you come around to the open lobby area, the corridor is on your left.

Driving Directions

Building Access

At 6:00 pm, the building’s front doors and elevators will lock. The escalators will continue to function until 6:30 pm. If you’re parking in the garage, there will be an intercom near the elevators you can ring for security. Tell them you’re here for the event and they’ll buzz you in. If you’re walking, there is a side door to the right of the main glass entry doors, squeezed right next to Yard House; that door also has the same intercom system.


If you have any problems getting into the building, try one of the following numbers:

● Security desk: 206-839-4185

● Lynne’s phone: 206-390-2739

● Adam’s phone: 206-923-8334

Parking Rates

The most recent parking rate information is:

● $8 for 1 hour

● $11 for 1.5 hours

● $13 for 2 hours

● $17 for 3 hours

● $19 for 4 hours

You may be able to find more affordable parking nearby.

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