It’s often said that words can illustrate things pretty clearly when used in the right context. Based on the title of this event, it was just the right type of title to attract like minded people in the tech field. Directed toward the design audience, its approach was highly shaped in the form of an experience.

Hosted in the research and ideation lab of Arity (owned by AllState Insurance) in the historic Merchandise Mart – Bldg 1871, the setting would put a smile on any designers face. Coordinated by the UXChicago meet up team, this month’s event straddled the line where design meets development – shifting themes from pixels to process. With ample seating, catered food and creative tools at our disposal, the evening was ripe for learning.

After enjoying the food and company with some of Chicago’s best and brightest, Emily Ryou (Arity employee) and Jenny Wagner (former Product Manager) shared presentational slides of the development structure, technology and the value of API construction. They shared insights into the thought process that goes into API development while correlating it to current UX Methods that professional designers use. The open presentation then begin to shift into a workshop format which made use of common supplies, open dialog and the cooperation of the participants. Challenged with a basic task to create an API for a simple coffee shop, our collaboration skills were put to the test. Mimicking the likes of a designer’s discovery session to explore various solutions, tons of exploration guided the project.

As the evening progressed and ideas becoming the oxygen of the room, we explored framework elements, decoupled GET calls and illustrated the granularity of Response Body results. All of this seemed to make distinct connections for many of the designers in attendance that had never developed an application. Several developers in attendance shared their current approach to code structure which allowed for a wealth of knowledge sharing, spanning novice to expert levels. With a full turnout, the event was a success and helped demystify things for the curious. The best take away had everything to do with a bit of advice to those who may fear attending an event that may not be in their domain:

Always be open to learning about new things even if you have a fear to do so. You never know when you may stumble upon a moment of enlightenment that may change your world.

Until next time.
Design with Life in Mind.

Huge thanks to the UX Meetup team for arranging a great turnout.

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Anticio Duke

Anticio Duke is a serial entrepreneur, inventor and product designer based in Chicago, IL. Known as Duke, he transitioned from a successful product engineering background to digital product software design. Bringing a wealth of knowledge to the digital space, he serves as a product design strategist for agencies and Fortune 100/500 companies; bridging the gap between consumer hardware and digital products. Currently, he leads as Chief Product Strategist at WDI Studios, an innovative creative agency focused on product delivery and education for mobile application design, gamification and voice user interfaces.

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