Our programming focuses on the benefits and principles of building your business, product, or service on UX and design thinking principles. You do not need to be a member of UXPA International to attend. If there is a cost for an event, please note we are unfortunately unable to offer discounts for UXPA International members at this time.

Typically every Third Wednesday of every month, 4-5pm – Online

UXPA KC Happy Hours can go in almost any direction. Games, skillshares, cool UX tips and tricks, and knowledge-sharing about the KC area tech community – it all depends on who shows up!

Grab a beverage, kick back and join the conversation!

Past Events

Build Your Own Ladder:
How to Shape Your Career as a Product Designer

Thursday, November 17th, 2022 – Online – 6-7:30pm CT

How do you grow and sustain a career as a Product Designer? Designers can come from many backgrounds – from college student to mid-career transitioner – and work in many contexts – from corporate, non-profit, startup, education, and freelance. Kansas City area designers share their journeys from being brand-new to the field, to becoming established UX practitioners.

Whether you’re just beginning your UX career, or trying to figure out what’s next for you, this conversation is for you!

The Art of Feedback: A Virtual UX Portfolio Review

Wednesday, October 19th, 2022 – Online – 6-8pm

What does UX feedback look like in practice? Join UXPA Kansas City for this virtual portfolio critique! Seasoned guest reviewers Dee Sadler and Gavin Johnston will join local UX designers presenting their portfolios and case studies, and demonstrating helpful techniques for giving and receiving feedback, as well as improving your UX work. If you’re looking for tips on getting hired, or just looking to learn how to do a better critique, this event is for you

Monday, July 25, 2022
5:30-7:00PM CDT

Rachel Beser Brookes, Lead Experience Design Accessibility and Research Strategist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
& Nevin Joyce, UX Researcher/Strategist at National IT Federal Reserve Bank

It takes bravery to create change in your work or personal life.

How can experience and product professionals help guide their organizations to take the leap from outdated business practices, to data-driven, user-centered decisions?

In this workshop, Rachel Beser Brookes and Nevin Joyce use a design scenario to guide participants through a few different brave methodologies, including:

  • Yes, and
  • Asking the right questions
  • 5 Why’s
  • Empathy Map
  • How might we
  • Prototype
  • 4L’s

Take away several new tools for product design conversations, and the confidence to Be Brave in your work!

Presentation Links
Be Adventurous
Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please
Rules of Improv
Be Vulnerable
Open-ended questions
Be Bold
Ted Lasso: Be Curious
5 Whys
Be Empathetic
Empathy map
Be Radical
How Might We Worksheet
Be Experimental
Design Thinking: Prototype
Be Balanced

Wednesday, June 22, 2022 12:00-1:00PM CDT Angie Brunk &  Dan Ireton, Academic Service Librarians, Kansas State University
How can we use games to better center our users and become better designers? In this workshop, Angie Brunk and Dan Ireton will walk us through some techniques they’ve developed to explore accessibility in User Experience using games. With this knowledge participants will be able to choose appropriate games for diverse groups, understand basic modifications for games, and teach other designers about accessibility through games.
Monday, May 23, 2022
12:00-1:00PM CDT
Ted Gies (Web Accessibility and UX leader for Elsevier)

The work of making your product or service accessible is never really done. To meet users of a variety of different contexts and abilities, designers should engage a mindset of continuous improvement.

In this conversation, Ted Gies (Web Accessibility and UX leader for Elsevier) will share examples of “walking the walk” on accessibility. By the end of the session, you will become familiar with how to collaborate around accessibility, utilize industry standard tools, and embed accessibility into your design practice.

Thursday, April 28, 2022
6:00PM-7:30PM CST
Kenbra Deere, Product & Experience Coach, H&R Block

Whether it’s a new product, a new feature, or a new experience, designers are called on to innovate every single day. It can sometimes feel daunting! But with the right foundations and methods, you can bring innovation within reach.

In this workshop, we’ll unpack what innovation means for your design practice, how to enable it, and how to leverage practical frameworks to achieve it, personally and professionally, alone or in teams.

Want to try out a cool Miro board for innovation from Kenbra? Explore and copy it here.

Thursday, March 24, 2022
6:00PM-7:00PM CST

20 Slides. 20 Seconds Each. Kansas City area UX Designers have lined up to share lightning quick talks about UX topics that are close to their heart. Join us to explore all the intriguing, inspiring, funky, and often-overlooked UX topics our group has come up with this month! Interested in trying out a talk yourself? Drop us a line.

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 – Online – 6 – 7.30pm

Calvin Robertson is Director of Experience Design and Retail Technology at Best Buy. In this talk, he will share various scenarios throughout his career where he has applied thought leadership and strategic practices to grow diverse design teams. These teams have influenced key business decisions and built products through evidence-based research and design.

We all know and love qualitative and quantitative research don’t we? We’ve got our favorite methods, hacks, and tricks to do the work our users will love. But sometimes no one cares. Or at least it seems like it when we share our work with others in the organization they don’t care. All that research doesn’t quite land the way we thought it would and the work we did that was rooted in the research, well, it hit some roadblocks.

This cooperative session will help you navigate these challenges and create space for you to share how you’ve done so in your context.

Download PDF of this presentation

Ethnography for Design: Creating Breakthrough UX

Thursday August 5th – Online – 6-7.30pm 

Design ethnography focuses on the broad patterns of everyday life that are important and relevant specifically for the conception, design, and development of new products and services. It’s also a buzzword. This presentation discusses what ethnography is and why a holistic approach to understanding users yields breakthrough UX.

Wednesday July 14th – Online – 6-7.30pm

You can create mind-bending interfaces and award-winning designs. You understand how to get at user needs and translate them into something actionable. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll fly with the client or the organization. Whether you’re new to the workforce, managing a team of designers and researchers, or trying the establish a UX practice at a company, there are a wide range of skills practitioners need to master and business realities they have to face. This talk will focus on those skills, from managing client expectations to negotiating business requirements to securing buy-in from multiple departments.

Thursday, June 17th – Online – 6-7.30pm

The value and impact of user research is understood differently even by stakeholders at the same organization. By bringing all stakeholders along on the same journey, you can make sure your organization’s user research is more effective and more influential, resulting in better products and better experiences.

Wednesday, June 9th – Online – 6-7.30pm

Conveying the power of good UX in an organization can be difficult, but is more important than ever if companies want to stay ahead of their competition. Many organizations don’t know how it applies to ROI and innovation. Many don’t understand what user experience even is. Overcoming these challenges takes patience, planning, and an ability to make the business case for UX.

Wednesday, May 19th – Online – 6-7pm

Like peanut butter and jelly, writing and designing go hand-in-hand. How can designers work with writers to concept and deliver even better UX experiences? This talk will share best practices for collaborating, what every writer wants their design partner to know, why writers love style guides, and what to do if you don’t have access to a writer. Plus, lots and lots of questions and conversations.

Thursday, April 22nd – Online – 6-7pm

Design is becoming more important on the forefront of enterprise applications. But what is the difference between designing for enterprise vs. designing for consumer? If you are thinking about choosing a career path in one or the other, or are just interested in hearing about the differences in design, our panelists will let you in on their unique design process for each.

Thursday, March 25th – Online – 6-7pm

A UX research plan is what turns your raw curiosity into a professional, tactical, and strategic exploration of a topic. With a solid and robust research plan, you can tackle projects with confidence, meet deadlines, and please stakeholders. By determining how and when, you’ll learn, your plan will help you succeed as a UX professional in all sorts of projects. In this lecture you will learn the fundamentals as well as some advanced tips and tricks that are often overlooked when planning.

February 17th – Online – 12:30-1:30pm

New product teams often begin with customer development and finding the migraine level problem. But knowing the problem is different than feeling it. This conversation explores new empathic methods to capture the raw emotionality and depth of people’s problems. How do we become more intentional when designing around human emotion? How do we include empaths and highly sensitive people (HSP) in our team? How do we engage with HSP type customers to learn faster and more deeply?

November 7th – Online – 12:30-1:30pm

Justin is a designer, speaker and the author of the celebrated book Cultivating a Creative Culture. In this talk Justin spoke on the following, how we cannot preach outwardly about empathy for those we’re designing for if we’re not supporting each other, a “human-centered mindset” means people are at the center of everything in a business and the business’ context, and that we must design beyond the maxim, “it’s the right thing to do,” because quality of work, loyalty internally (team) and externally (users), and product innovation are all benefits of creative cultures.

October 20th, 2020

In this workshop, Michael Eckersley and Angela Anderson offer information and answer questions about managing the challenges, pressures, risks and opportunities that keep you up at night. They offer useful ideas and an adaptable framework for organizing one’s thinking around critical mid-career questions.

August 20th, 2020

In this webinar Tim Sylvester, Founder and CTO of Integrated Roadways, highlights the ways that technology can improve roadway experiences whilst unlocking new business opportunities. With a project in Colorado and another underway in Lenexa, the Integrated Roadways projects are the first of their kind. The technology developed by Integrated roadways is the pioneering edge for systematic smart infrastructure.

July 8th, 2020

In this workshop, Michael Eckersley—founder of HumanCentered—will help you figure out how your own set of talents, skills, gaps, sensibilities and lessons learned can exploit all the options presented to you and help you build your core stock as a designer. 

July 13th, 2020

This lecture introduces Professor Rosenberg’s new book titled UX MAGIC, which explores how designers can more effectively transform product requirements into rich experiences. You’ll learn how to maximize the efficacy of your design so that it uses the smallest number of screens and minimum number of flow steps.

June 26th, 2020

What films or fiction inform the design work you do, and why might that matter? Dr. Aaron Long’s presentation will offer you a chance to take stock of the fiction inputs to your work and consider the ways that popular narratives about “the future”—which are designed things themselves—are contributing to design work, for better or for worse.

May 26th, 2020

Accessibility in design is important because everyone should have equal access to use the vast educational, community, job, and entertainment opportunities available through the internet. Expand your knowledge of accessibility design and best practices with Andrew Patterson—software developer for Emfluence—in this hour long seminar and Q&A.


A Design Sprint Workshop

April 24, 2020 – Crema

A 90 minute workshop from Justin Mertes of Crema in Kansas City centered on understanding Design Sprints, structuring conversation, and equipping to better leading teams in problem solving. Due to COVID-19 this event may move to an online platform. If you’ve already registered, hang tight and we’ll get in touch with you before the event.

Designing for Unhappy Paths

Jan 21, 2020 – Cerner

Accounting for unhappy paths in the beginning of the design process will create a more robust experience and build loyalty with your users. In this talk, Lauren Bock—Senior UX Designer with Cerner—will provide methods of integrating this thinking into implementation. She will cover best practices for alerts, errors, and other communication strategies using elements such as language and tone, color, timing, context, recovery, escape, and more.

Implementing a Scorecard System to Increase User-Centric Maturity

November 12, 2019 – Dimensional Innovations

Most user-centric maturity models point to incremental stages of maturity within an organization, but few describe methods/tactics to increase it. In this session, you’ll discover a scorecard system to help assess user experience research and measurement efforts of each product team by using a rating scale across three user-centric elements.

Intro to Future Casting

October 22, 2019 – Valorem Reply

As change accelerates in the world around us, so does uncertainty. Using a futurecasting sprint, we can draw on the skills of futures thinking, emotional design and diegetic prototyping to explore imaginary new worlds we can design for. Jon’s talk will stretch your ideas of design thinking, widening our understanding of the possible and promoting more informed decision-making through a future lens.

Wayfinding Design & User Centered Strategy

September 24, 2019 – Populous

Have you ever wondered what goes into designing navigation signage for large entertainment venues? Join UXPA-KC and Populous’ Senior Designer Jonathan Mugmon for an inside look at the intersection of psychology, place, information and navigation for some of the worlds most complex built places. Jonathan uses the UX design process as a framework for analyzing customer needs and experiences in the built environment.

Bree Walter on UXPA International

August 28, 2019 – H&R Block

Join UXPA-KC and Bree Walter from H&R Block for a recap of the 2019 UXPA International Conference in Scotsdale, AZ. Bree will share news from the International stage, plus recaps of key speakers.

Accessibility (and what I learned from a trip to get Thai food)

June 4, 2019 – Valorem Reply

Creating accessible solutions is not only required, but it is the right thing to do. Together we can increase UI consistency and help ALL of our users. This talk is relevant for UX and roles to understand better accessibility needs and how to create a better experience for every user.

Panel Discussion at H&R Block

April 2, 2019 – H&R Block

Learn about effective team collaboration in the middle of change and growth, network with professionals at H&R Block and find new insights to help you thrive in your teams.

Brainsteering Workshop

March 5, 2019 – VMLY&R

Join UXPA Kansas City on March 5th for a Brainsteering workshop led by Andy Clark, Executive Director, Experience Design at VMLY&R. Andy will guide us through a Brainsteering session that eliminates the counterproductive elements of brainstorming, and amplifies your team’s creative collaboration to produce better ideas faster.

Running Enterprise Design Sprints

January 7, 2019 – C2FO

Design sprints – they’ve been a buzz-worthy topic for the last few years, but it seems like there are still a lot of questions around how to practically run them in the enterprise setting. Scott Johnson, a UX professional with years of experience who currently works at Cerner, will speak about running design sprints in an enterprise setting.

Looking for other past events?