The Research Triangle Park

Exploring User eXperience Design and Zero User-Interface/Speech Recognition

Fidelity Investments | New Millennium Way | Durham, NC 27709 Apr 18 4:30 pm - Apr 18 6:30 pm

The customer experience has gone through tremendous transformation across many mediums in the last ten years. As designers and creatives shift their thinking to less tangible ways to engage, so must they shift the skill sets they utilize to be effective. Given the many attributes of UXD’s evolution, we have assembled a balanced panel -- with practitioners who can touch on many facets of the field, including: design craft, augmented reality, team models, AI, trust, transparency and Zero UI. Join us for an engaging chat on the present and future of UXD and zero UI, as we dig deep on this and other relevant topics in this exciting realm.


4:30 - Doors Open, Brief Networking 

4:45 - Keynote - Jonell Lay, VP, UX Design Leadership - Fidelity Investments

4:55 - Panel Discussion with Audience Participation

5:45 - Networking Session, Meet the Speakers 

Keynote Bio

Jonell Lay is a Vice President for Fidelity UXD whose daily job is to marshal the combined talents nearly 70 UX professionals to create great digital experiences for Fidelity’s clients and customers. Jonell knows that without trust, great teamwork, radical candor, and a robust social context, great UX doesn’t happen.  She helps her team collaborate with business partners and product owners to ensure that customer experiences are clear, balanced, and forward-thinking. Though she has spent most of the past 15 years as a designer, IA, director, and executive at Fidelity, Jonell was born to a farming family in rural Minnesota.  So, she knows firsthand that the hard work of a team achieves not only better outcomes, but a richer harvest—and a stronger community. For her work at Fidelity, Jonell has been the recipient of two Excellence in Action awards and the coveted President’s Circle award.


Michael Etgen, Product Manager – LexisNexis

Michael is a Product Manager for LexisNexis, taking on that role about a year ago, after nearly 17 successful years in UX and Research, mostly at IBM. He led several projects utilizing IBM's Design Thinking before bringing that methodology to LexisNexis in 2015. In his current role, he continues to drive design thinking practices, in combination with lean startup principles, into cutting edge technology projects at LexisNexis' Raleigh campus. Michael is passionate about the opportunity related to UXD/ZeroUI of people being able to more directly execute on their intentions with advanced systems without having to learn arcane UIs or system command languages.  That is, the friction between the intention one has as a user and the ability of systems to respond to that intention is being reduced every day (e.g., "Hey Salesforce, who was the top salesperson for the Eastern US over the past 3 months").  See this for an example here.

Kenya Oduor, Managing Partner - Lean Geeks

As Managing Partner of Lean Geeks, LLC, Kenya partners with organizations, helping them to improve their user-centered research, solution definion and design abilities. She enjoys helping organizations define the set of Design Thinking practices that make sense for their organization, including team collaboration, improved problem/opportunity definition, innovation, and user validation early and often. Kenya has over 17 years of experience as a user experience practitioner and leader in the software solution space.  Kenya is also an Affiliate Professor in the Dept of Computer Science at NC State University. 

Shanthan Kesharaju, Squad Leader, Bot Mechanics - Fidelity Investments

Shanthan builds the next generation of user experiences, powered by Artificial Intelligence, with an obsession to delight customers.

Jason Toth, Experience Design Director - Viget

Jason has worked as a designer for more than 15 years, building a range of professional experiences and training that include architecture, graphic design, and user experience design. He currently works for Viget as their Experience Design Director where he helps brands and organizations craft digital stories, experiences, and products with a unique and purposeful vision.

Steve Kim, Design Director - IBM Blockchain

Steve is an innovative Design leader with background in design, engineering and business. With 18+ years of experience, he currently manages and inspires World-Wide team of Designers for IBM Blockchain, working across Development, Offering Management, Blockchain Garages, Marketing, Sales and other organizations to provide insightful and powerful user experiences. Helping individuals to companies embrace Blockchain as a change agent for more collaboration and trust across industries is his passion to pursue. In addition to his Design responsibilities, Steve has also managed and directed engineering teams involving component portfolio development, support, and data integration initiatives. Steve also managed and directed engineering teams involving component portfolio development, support, and data integration initiatives. He also has extensive experience with community building and launched the first Design Studio in Research Triangle Park, NC at IBM.

Jason Cooper, Chief Digital Officer and Jason McGuigan, Chief Creative Officer - Horizon Productions

Jason Cooper and Jason McGuigan are the Chief Digital Officer and Chief Creative Officer at Horizon Productions, which has over 36 years of creative production experience that they're now translating into Virtual and Augmented Reality products. Jason and Jason lead a talented team that has focused on the non-gaming applications of VR/AR – research, education, training, marketing, filmmaking, and event installations – for a wide array of clientele including IBM, Lenovo, SAS, AT&T, IQVIA (Quintiles), Cree, Scotts, NCFC, UNC, KFBS and Duke. They have also established many key partnerships throughout the industry, including Google VR’s exclusive Jump program. This partnership allows their team to create stereoscopic 3D 360° videos with one of the few GoPro Odyssey cameras on the East Coast and they received first Yi Halo in the world outside of Google initiatives.

Beer, wine, and food will be served after the talks.

Please note this event is being held at Fidelity Investments. Please use the Google location and the map below to guide you in. Please also note that all attendees will have to be registered to gain entry into the building.