A panel discussion exploring what it’s like to be a user experience design practitioner in different environments.

By “environments” we primarily mean different kinds of organizations, such as:

  • For-profit corporation

  • Non-profit organization

  • Government / civil service

  • Marketing agency

  • Startup venture

  • Independent consultant / freelancer

  • Academic institution

  • and so on…

The conversation also drifted toward other comparisons as well:

  • different industries, e.g. travel vs. health care vs. retail

  • team size, e.g. “UX team of one” vs. small team vs. large department

  • organizational structure, e.g. centralized UX team vs. individuals embedded in project teams


The discussion was broadcast live on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 8:00 pm EST.


There were five panelists and one moderator.

Stephen Anderson

Stephen is a highly sought after UX speaker and design consultant. Author of Seductive Interactions (New Riders, 2011) and creator of Mental Notes.

Dallas, Texas | LinkedIn

Kara DeFrias

Kara is “the baddest of the badass innovators” (per US CTO Todd Park) with a unique mix of private and public sector experience. Appointed to the first class of White House Presidential Innovation Fellows. Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) and former journalist.

San Francisco, California | LinkedIn

Daniel Munz

Daniel is a web professional with a strong background in public administration, with nearly a decade of experience building smart digital strategies for civic causes, political campaigns and federal agencies.

Washington, D.C. | LinkedIn

Lynne Polischuik

Lynne is an independent designer and consultant. Studied Web Analytics at the University of British Columbia, later realized that it’s really all about understanding people. Clients include: Adobe, HSBC, Uptake (sold to Groupon), Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive, ADP and Happy Cog.

Vancouver, British Columbia | LinkedIn

Roger Belveal

Roger is a seasoned UX designer with experience in many industries including air travel and the financial sector. He’s also a "Tech-Expressionist sculptor” who brings his artistic vision to life with welded metal and other media.

Dallas, Texas | LinkedIn

Moderator: Ben Judy

Ben is a UX generalist who has worked as a manager, contributor, contractor, and consultant. Current employee of a Fortune 500 corporation, has also worked for a marketing agency, a family-owned medium-sized business, and a small startup venture. Loves to talk UX!

Dallas, Texas | LinkedIn


We were invited to speak at a meeting of students and alumni of the HFIDO (Human Factors in Information Design Organization) of Bentley University.

Here are links about the program and the student group: