Lisa Spitz is currently an assistant professor at Lesley University and program director for Lesley’s online programs in User Experience, Graphic Design, and Web Design. Prior to Lesley, Lisa spent 15+ years in industry and freelance roles. At Vistaprint, Lisa managed the UX strategy, design and research efforts for the design customization portion of the Vistaprint online experience. At CAST she designed interactive learning environments, teaching tools, and websites for k-12 students and educators. As sole-proprietor she has acted as strategic partner or tactical resource for corporate and non-profit clients. Throughout her career, Lisa has been passionate about using the power of design to uncover meaningful insights about a customers’ end-to-end experience and spark innovative thinking around the future of a product or service. Lisa has presented on topics ranging from website accessibility, universal design, universal design for learning, empathy, visual sense making, and design thinking both locally and nationally.
Why do you want to join the UXPA Boston Board?
As a community, we’ve been successful at pitching UX within companies, now it’s time to pitch UX to our youth! Where do the next generation of UX practitioners come from? And how can we best prepare them for today’s workforce? Making the transition from 15+ years in industry to academia has provided a new take on User Experience, through the eyes of the undergraduate design student. As board member, I’d like to make connections, build awareness, and diversify the UXPA membership. Reaching out to our youngest potential constituents and forging new pathways into user experience would be a priority of mine. My own background is in Psychology and Graphic Arts (BA, Regis College) and Interaction Design (MDes, Carnegie Mellon University). While in industry, I worked in UX Research and Design roles (in-house and freelance) across both non-profit (CAST, IHCD, & Vera Institute of Justice) and corporate (Vistaprint, Fidelity, Gradifi) worlds. Now, as Assistant Professor and Program Manager for Lesley’s online programs in User Experience, Graphic Design, and Web Design, I enjoy witnessing excitement for the field from younger generations and providing concrete learning opportunities that prepare students to be successful in their careers.
Previous Volunteer Experience
In the Fall of 2018, I co-led the UXPA Boston World Usability Day event along with John Wyatt. Participants explored the City of Boston alongside individuals with disabilities to discover opportunities for improving the lived experience for individuals of all abilities. The event was attended by ~40 participants and planning has already begun for World Usability Day 2019!
Answers to Meet the Candidate questions:
What does UXPA Boston do well and what are the areas of opportunity?
UXPA Boston has become a go-to resource for career changers and industry practitioners in the product design and user experience space; providing opportunities for speaking, mentoring, networking, and learning. As a growing organization, there are inevitably opportunities for increasing board/committee participation, streamlining processes and improving communication. For instance, as someone who has planned an event for the UXPA within the last year (World Usability Day), one area I’d like to see improved is around onboarding event planners. This would include documenting timelines and best practices, making it easier to engage new volunteers and launch additional events. Additional opportunities might include: college connections, internship programs, increased member/event diversity, support for elevating UX within companies, and much more…to be determined!
UXPA Boston is an organization with over 4,000+ members. How can you provide services / satisfy 4,000 people who may have different needs?
I’m glad you asked. My answer to this question also ties in with your first question: user research. What are the needs of our 4,000+ members? Are we welcoming all individuals? Leveraging their diversity? Supporting career pathways? Providing the types of events that interest them, at the times of day that work for them? I suspect there are gaps we could be filling through flexible programming and services.
How can UXPA Boston jumpstart their careers, grow their careers? What services would be helpful for those folks? What other services are missing?
For mid-senior level individual contributors, UXPA Boston is already doing a lot to grow their careers including monthly events, job postings, and mentoring. The members that seem to struggle most are the career changers/recent graduates and directors/managers. For the career changers and recent graduates, titles are frequently changing; job descriptions vary; and most employers require a few years of experience to get hired. This makes it both confusing and difficult for young professionals to enter the field. I’d like to see a consistent set of expectations around job titles and a greater number of opportunities for individuals entering the field. For directors and managers, growing the influence of UX within organizations continues to be a struggle as does guaranteeing a “seat at the table”. I’d like to see more resources provided to UX/Design directors and managers allowing them to expand their role and have a greater impact within their organizations.