Photos from Lightning Talk!

Thank you to everyone who made it down to CarMax’s beautiful downtown office for our September Lightning Talk. Once again, we are grateful to Ladies Who UX and RVA Content Strategy for being our partners in this ongoing series.

Look for the next event in December at ICF Olson!

September RVA Lightning Talk


5:30-7:30 PM

CarMx Shockoe
140 Virginia St.
Richmond, VA 23219

Free Tickets:
Eventbrite Here

Gear up for a great fall with another round of lightning talks from Richmond UX, Ladies that UX, and RVA Content Strategy. We’re bringing together pros from the Richmond design community to share their tips and techniques on how to succeed in a constantly evolving field.

Here are this month’s speakers:


Terry Peters |  Experience Director: ICF Olson

Talk: Communicating Design

Design is a complex process composed of many smaller activities: listening, analyzing, evaluating, brainstorming, synthesizing, experimenting, composing, describing, discussing, exploring, reacting, and countless others. Documenting is not one of these activities, but engaging in any of these activities yields artifacts—diagrams, notes, sketches, lists, inventories, annotations, and larger documents—that result from the act of performing the task. At the same time, each task requires inputs, and these artifacts that come from doing design are the same things that can help feed the design process. The success of the task directly relates to the quality of the inputs and may be measured on the quality of its outputs. So how does one effectively make use of these to communicate the fruits of their labors?

Bio: Talented user experience leader with 12 years of proven experience in the development and implementation of enterprise digital strategies, user-centered research and systems design with clients such as AARP, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Chik-fil-A, Johnson Controls, Scripps Networks, and The Nature Conservancy. Experienced team leader capable of mentoring cross-functional teams and fostering relationships to transform business and design needs into valuable and usable working products.



Katie-Moriarty-smKatie Moriarty | UX Research: Snag

Talk: You Don’t Have to Be a Researcher to Do User Research

We’ll discuss the value of observational research, how to do this type of research yourself, and how to apply your learnings to your day-to-day practice. Katie will use her own experiences to illustrate how accessible observational research can be.

Bio: Katie is a User Experience Researcher at Snag. Her work focuses on helping Snag’s product development teams gain a greater understanding of hourly workers and employers so they can design and build products that solve their users true pain points. Katie has experience in conducting a wide range of qualitative research methods to uncover key insights that are both meaningful and actionable to stakeholders.



Ramakrishnan Headshot3 copyAdarsh Ramakrishnan | Freelance Product Consultant

Talk: A Figma(nt) of Your Imagination — Streamlining your design flow using Figma

Explore how Figma can help you consolidate your entire design flow, letting you design, prototype, and spec in one platform.

Bio: Adarsh is a product consultant who specializes in strategy and design. As part of his consulting services, he has designed and built visual systems for digital products across multiple platforms. He is also teaches engineering design to students from non-technical majors through the VCU Da Vinci Center.




Matt-McGhan-CropMatt McGhan | Experience Designer: Singlestone

Talk: Healthy Design Systems Make Better Products

Bio: Midwest farm boy turned East Coast experience designer. Went from drawing animals, sports cards, and airplanes to designing visual experiences via VCU to non-profit to SingleStone. Lover of people and their day-to-day interactions with designed & digital things.


Twitter: @mattigan


The Space

CarMax Shockoe 


Located in the historic Lady Byrd Hat building in downtown Richmond, this innovation center is a hub for dynamic, bleeding-edge creative work.

Lightning Talks 2 Recap

Thank you to everyone who attended our 2nd Design Lightning talk last week at the 1717 Innovation Center in Shockoe Bottom. Our 4 speakers presented useful and thought-provoking material that inspired a lively Q and A session. We had a great time, learned a lot and got to meet some new people.

Some photos from the event:

We will be adding links to our speakers’ presentations here:

Adarsh Ramakrishnan – How PM and UX can play nice

Ashley Cook – User Research Coming Together

Virginia Tech hiring an Interaction Designer

University Relations is seeking an Interaction Designer to join our multidisciplinary team to craft digital experiences for our various audiences, from prospective and current students to alumni and industry partners. Projects run the gamut from websites and editorial stories to mobile applications and email marketing.

Apply here:


Lots of people hiring designers right now.



Creativity Through Adversity

Jerry Hoak of The Martin Agency – “Creativity Through Adversity”


Jerry Hoak, Executive Creative Director, Managing Director at The Martin Agency

Adversity is a given for us all. At some point in our lives, we all will encounter a period of pain that tests our resolve and endurance. Those of us who thrive as creative thinkers are often able to create meaning from these challenging times and find inspiration in the struggle. Come hear how Jerry Hoak has used his abilities as a creative thinker to find strength and growth in the most trying of times.

Jerry Hoak joined The Martin Agency in 2017 after spending more than a decade in New York working at Droga5, Taxi and Ogilvy. Recently named EDC, Managing Director at Martin, he has been helping lead the agency to become even faster, more collaborative and diverse. He believes the best advertising respects an audience’s time by delivering entertainment, utility and purpose. His proudest advertising moment came in 2015 when the podcast Freakonomics featured his Prudential campaign in an episode titled “How to Make a Smart Ad.” It was not a paid endorsement. Despite winning the Mega Millions Jackpot in 2017, he continues to work in advertising. That’s not true. He is married with two cats and a dog named Glitter, and he is a board member of the Make-A-Wish foundation of Greater Virginia. That is true.



Thu, May 24, 2018
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM EDT
Add to Calendar


$10 – $25
Get your ticket Here!


VCUArts Depot
814 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220
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Lightning Talk this Wednesday



Richmond UX, Ladies that UX, RVA Content Strategy, and UXPA are joining forces to launch a new event series for and by the Richmond design community.

At each event, four designers will spend the evening sharing their know-how, lessons learned, and best tips and tricks on a variety of topics. You’ll be armed with new tools and techniques that you can immediately put into practice.

Here’s what’s on deck for our inaugural round of lightning talks!


Kevin Tuskey
Experience Design Lead – SingleStone
Design Thinking Crash Course

Shannon Leahy
UX Content Designer – Capital One
Topic: 4 Ways to Get Started with Content Testing Today

Jenn Atkins

Product Designer – Snag
Topic: Opportunity Trees: How to grow and care for them

Margaret Karles
Experience Designer – Freelance
Topic: What is a Concept?

About the 1717 Innovation Center:

Imagined as an all-in-one experience design lab, conference venue and event space, the 1717 Innovation Center is a collaborative workspace for multi-disciplinary experts, community organizations and entrepreneurs to share ideas, learn from each other and discover new ways to achieve their individual and collective mission(s).

Call for Lightning Talk Submissions!

Do you have a tactical tool or technique you use and can’t live without on a daily basis? Do you think it’s something every designer should know about, embrace, and use every day?

If so we’d love to hear from you for our ongoing series of Lightning Talks . For these events, we are looking for 4 designers to come in and each give a short 12-15 minute talk about something they’re passionate about.

The next Lightning Talk is August 1st in Richmond VA. We still have spots available!

For your submission, we’ll need the following info…
– A working title (doesn’t have to be final) for your talk.
– A brief overview (let’s say a paragraph) laying out what you would cover and why you think it matters.
– An example of how the audience could immediately apply what they’ve learned in their day-to-day job/life or immediately into their craft/practice.

If you’re interested email your submission to

Connecting Strategy and Design Panel


A panel discussing how design and strategy can influence and benefit each other. The panelists include:

  • Jess Bowman (Lamb)- Design Strategy @ Capital One
  • Tom Illmensee – Co-Founder Orbital Music Park
  • Rob Huddleston- Director of Experience Design • Snagajob Innovation Lab

Moderated by Andrew LeVasseur – Experience Design Chair | VCU Brandcenter


Thu, March 15, 2018
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM EDT
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4851 Lake Brook Drive
Glen Allen, VA 23060
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$5 for Students
$7 Early Bird (Before March 12)
$10 After



Refunds up to 1 day before event

Richmond Design Survey

Here’s your opportunity to tell us what you think. RUX is conducting a (short) survey to find out how we can best serve the RVA design community:


Here are the results of the survey: RUX 2018 Survey (1)