Atlanta, Georgia, United States

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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Third time's a charm!  Please save the date for Atlanta's World IA Day celebration.  The event will start at 10am and end at 3pm.  More details to follow.  

If you would like to sponsor, please get in touch.

If you would like to attend our celebration, please bookmark this page and check back soon. We will be updating our content in the upcoming months. We look forward to seeing you!


General Assembly
675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
Ponce City Market, Second Floor
Program Schedule
10:00 - 10:15
Open and Welcome!
10:15 - 11:25
Lightning Talks (Information Architecture for Good)

1) Sophia V Prater /Rewired - Confessions from a Professional Side-Hustler
2) Stephi Fernald /SpedX - Teacher Resources
3) Alan Laidlaw /The Home Depot - IA and AI
4) Diane DeSeta /UX Mentors - How Much Good is Good
5) Eric Thompson /GaTech HCI - Madhousers
6) Jenn Downs/ Points of Light - Case Study

11:30 - 12:20
IA Panel: What the World Needs Now

1) Moderator - Rebecca Rusk /The Home Depot
2) Andrew Hinton /State Farm
3) Jennifer Bonnett /Advanced Technology Development Center
4) Rowdy Hope /Cricket Wireless
5) Klemens Wengert /Iconic Security

12:25 - 12:55
1:00 - 1:10
Open Mic for Job Openings
1:15 - 2:45
Mentoring Sessions

Intro Mentors in Main Room then Break Out into Groups
Mentoring & Conversations - 3 Topics: Design, Career, IA Process
Session 1: 1:25 - 2:00
Session 2: 2:05 - 2:40

2:45 - 3:00
Raffle and Wrap-up

Lots of great prizes to give away!

Speakers & Presenters
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Jennifer Bonnett

Jennifer is a recovering entrepreneur turned entrepreneurial economic development professional focused on helping entrepreneurs launch, grow and scale technology businesses in Georgia.

Jennifer serves technology entrepreneurs through her role as Director/General Manager of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia's Technology Incubator. While at ATDC, Jennifer has spearheaded the development of a recurring year-round curriculum and statewide expansion.

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J Cornelius
Nine Labs

J is a brand strategist, experience designer, and business consultant. He has been building digital products for the Web since 1996 and has been credited with creating multiple things Web designers and developers take for granted today. He is the Founder and CEO of Nine Labs, a digital experience design and strategy consultancy based in Atlanta, GA.

He speaks at conferences around the world, mentors and judges numerous events, and sits on the advisory board for multiple organizations. He has worked on projects with organizations like The City of Atlanta Mayor's Office, Coca-Cola, UPS, General Electric, and the state of Georgia. He also serves as a mentor at the Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech and as a private consultant to numerous other organizations.

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Mandy Cornwell (Mentor)
VM Ware

Mandy currently manages a multidisciplinary UX team at VMware that is focused on transforming complex enterprise software into simple consumer experiences. At VMware, the team designs solutions that allow companies to provide their employees with secure access to apps and resources from any device, anywhere.

With 15 years in the field, Mandy enjoys tackling challenging initiatives, whether it is designing something from scratch or reimagining an expansive product to ultimately build great experiences for people. She has an extensive background building and shaping UX teams, products, and experiences for organizations including Cricket Wireless (AT&T), The College Board, Kellogg's, United, Girl Scouts, Motorola, and Philips.

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Anthony Daniel

Anthony Daniel is a Senior Interaction Designer at Honeywell Aerospace, based in Atlanta Georgia. He takes inspiration from design and technology that connects people to each other and helps improve their quality of life. He aspires to understand and fill any gaps within a user's journey to build 'signature moments' worth championing.

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Karen Darko
The Home Depot

Karen is a Sr. UX Researcher/Designer with The Home Depot. Her focus throughout her career has been to alleviate the burden of users, first as an Instructional Designer and later as a Content Strategist. These interests eventually led her to Iowa State University, where she received an M.S. in Human-Computer Interaction. When she can, she enjoys learning yoga, Pilates, and (because she can't carry a tune in a bucket) learning to play the bass fiddle.

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Marusa Debrini (Mentor)

Marusa Debrini is a multi-faceted, design-thinking, results-driven, creative, CX and UX, strategy, research & design leader with nearly 20 years of broad to deep, concept-to-completion experience. Passionate about strategically leading, researching, conceptualizing, designing, and testing impactful, digital and integrated, human-centric experiences, her award-winning solutions target a spectrum of mindsets across an array of brands including: Nike, Macy's, Dickies, Sony PlayStation, Starbucks, The Home Depot, IBM, Microsoft, HP, CSC, Apple, Virgin, Wells Fargo, Wachovia, Citibank, Barclay's Global Investors, CSX, Kumon, PBS Sprout, Amgen, GSK, Hard Rock, Dickies, TRESemmé, and more.

Marusa has been on the ATL World IA Day leadership committee since 2015 and is a passionate and proud contributor to the Atlanta UX/IA, Tech, and Creative community at-large. Let's connect on LinkedIn!

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Jeremy DeJiacomo (Mentor)
VM Ware

Jeremy is a Visual and UX Designer with a passion for creating meaningful experiences holistically. After studying Graphic Design and Art Education at The University of Georgia, he started off as a design generalist working with small organizations and freelancers, fulfilling a wide range of design services from branding to web design. He worked his way into the UX field gaining experience as a member of multidisciplinary in-house teams at Oracle, The Coca-Cola Company and VMware. Outside of his career in UX, he is an avid illustrator, monster maker, and pseudo-renaissance man always seeking to learn new things.

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Diane DeSeta (Mentor)
UX Mentors

Diane is an award-winning User Experience Strategist with over 16 years of experience helping Fortune 500 clients define customer needs and transforming them into intuitive and delightful interactive experiences. She speaks regularly about improving online experiences and teaches classes about social media, mobile design, and User Experience strategy.

Diane has overseen and managed interdisciplinary teams through research, strategy development, concept, product definition, and design. Her entrepreneurial spirit has allowed her to play a unique and active role in helping business owners craft the strategic vision for their products. She considers herself a strategic product owner, a team player, and a skilled client partner all rolled into one.

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Jenn Downs (Mentor)
Points of Light

Jenn Downs is the Director of User Experience Design at Points of Light and adores the Web and what it can do for the world. She got her start in tech with MailChimp and is now an internationally welcomed speaker in the UX community. Jenn is a mentor for Code for America and invented the slightly awkward, yet truly helpful, Laptop Hugging Method for remote mobile testing.

Outside of being a Web nerd, Jenn dotes on her dogs Dickie and Waylon, is a songwriter, and plays bass and sings in Atlanta bands The Sunset District and The Downs. She has also started taking drum lessons and thinks that drums just might be her musical calling.

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Sarah Jayne Eiring (Mentor)

Sarah Jayne currently works with the NBA at Turner Sports on their digital properties. Prior to working with the NBA, she created solutions for clients such as Selligent, Char-Broil, Kool Smiles, GE, and Flextronics. She has designed for a variety of products and platforms including internal applications, mobile apps, and responsive Web sites. She utilizes a holistic, user-centered design process. Her team collaborates with product managers and designers on a daily basis for creative solutions.

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Jen Ellis

Jen is a Sr. UX Architect for Autotrader. There she focuses on building and evolving their design system, personalization capabilities, and improved performance measurement methods. Prior to joining Autotrader she worked at Progressive Insurance, where she launched the company's first responsive quoting application and in-app roadside assistance feature. She also designed and developed over 200 online medical education modules for physicians at the Cleveland Clinic.

Jen has put her work through 60 usability tests and released over 20 A/B tests into the market. At her first job, Jen wrote Lingo, a now retired language for educational CD-ROMs.

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Stephanie Fernald

As a user-centered designer and a team-centered facilitator, Stephanie tirelessly seeks the harmonious balance between user needs and business goals. Her art and psychology background supports her passion for creative problem solving through design and empathy.

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Matt Galla

Matt has more than 11 years of experience in technology consulting and recruiting. His expertise lies in building relationships, understanding the problems and initiatives of customers and candidates, and delivering the most appropriate solution. That solution typically is a combination of advisory services and talent. He has helped thousands of individuals navigate their careers, from those fresh out of college to C-level executives. He has a strong understanding of the local and national markets and is always happy to provide guidance to those either looking to bring talent into their organization or those in need of assistance with their career path.

Matt is a 2005 Graduate of the University of Alabama, with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Information Sciences. He focused on Advertising and Graphic Design with a minor in Psychology.

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Andrew Hinton (Mentor)
State Farm

Andrew Hinton is the author of "Understanding Context: Environment, Language, and Information Architecture." His day job is Senior Digital Experience Architect at State Farm's UX Center of Excellence in Atlanta. Andrew has worked for around 20 years with clients and employers of all shapes and sizes, including leading IA consultancy The Understanding Group. You can find links to Andrew-related things at, including his tweet-self, @inkblurt.

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Rowdy Hope
Cricket Wireless

Rowdy Hope harnesses his passion for understanding human behavior by working with top-tier companies to help guide them through difficult decisions. His work encompasses analyzing behavior-driven data to create customer-centric solutions and drive increased revenue by creating a seamless and integrated customer experience. Through his experiences with Hewlett Packard, State Farm and currently AT&T's fighter brand, Cricket Wireless, Rowdy has focused his career on pushing customer-centric practices and thought leadership, in order to truly make a difference for the business and in the life of customers.

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Alan Laidlaw
The Home Depot

Alan makes the world a better place through enterprise system design, machine learning product strategy and multimodal customer obsession.

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Lauren Langley (Mentor)

Lauren is Senior Product Designer with SalesLoft, where she leads the Product Design and User Experience team. She specializes in design vision and strategy, information architecture, visual design, and prototyping. Her work experience spans digital media disciplines including interaction design and front-end web development, user experience, user interface design, illustration, and graphic design.

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Danny Muller (Mentor)

Danny works during the day as the Senior UX Architect at Moxie and during the evening at SCAD Atlanta as an adjunct professor in the Interactive Design and Game Development program. He has been the lead UX architect on projects for Verizon Wireless, Georgia Pacific, Coca-Cola, Cartoon Network, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and a range of other clients during his 11 years at Moxie. He enjoys mentoring young people entering the fields of UX and Advertising.

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Daryl Ohrt (Mentor)

Daryl has over 17 years of experience in Human Factors Research, Information Architecture and User Experience design. Daryl's work has included B2B transactional sites, Internet auctions, healthcare portals, corporate digital branding, business-to-business extranets, mobile commerce, and E-commerce.

Daryl has helped clients such as Michelin, IHG, Fiserv, Ford, FedEx, Amway, Lowe's, Home Depot, UPS, AT&T, and Cigna while working at SapientNitro, Razorfish, McKesson, Xcelerate, NASA, and GE.

Daryl has master's degree in Experimental Cognitive Psychology from the University of Oklahoma, where he focused on mathematical models of human memory and the impact of digital technology on situation awareness.

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Astrid Paris (Mentor)

With a breadth of professional experience (B2C and B2B SaaS, startups, consulting, agencies, and E-commerce), Astrid has seen the spectrum of design processes, teams, and tools. Astrid is a UX Lead whose professional passion is helping teams create shared understanding of business and user needs through flexible and efficient processes, experimentation, and iterative design. An advocate for continuous improvement, she believes that individuals and teams should always be learning. Astrid is always down to talk shop and share her career experiences to help others find their right place at the right time.

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Sophia V Prater (Mentor)

Sophia is the founder of Rewired, a UX studio based in Atlanta, GA. Rewired consults to clients that are innovating in education, health, and the Atlanta community. She is often traveling across the United States or around the world, teaching her object-oriented UX methodologies.

Sophia has led UX efforts for clients such as AT&T, Athena Healthcare, The Atlanta History Center, Axure Prototyping, Coca-Cola, Ultimate Software, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Australian Tax Office. She also designed's responsive election night experience in 2012-and again in 2016.

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Rebecca Rusk
the Home Depot, Bex UX

Rebecca Rusk is User Experience Manager in The Home Depot Enterprise UX group. Her team helps bring the right product at the right price to the right shelf. She is a results-oriented leader, recognized with the Avant Garde Award for Leadership and Innovation by Women in Cable. Her passion is to make it easy for people to help people. Rebecca is Co-Chair of ATL World IA Day and is on the board of Atlanta's IxDA organization.

Rebecca's talents span more than 20 years. Her experience includes senior leadership roles at: Bex UX, Turner Broadcasting, Starz Entertainment, and TCI/AT&T Broadband. Rebecca is a UX mentor, usability expert, and design thinker. She has received several patents and national Emmy nominations. She loves connected devices, interactive storytelling, and hiking in Wyoming.

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Jenny Sun (Mentor)

Jenny Sun started Journey Into UX to help people confidently forge their own path into User Experience. As a teacher and coach, she has guided dozens of aspiring UX designers to develop impactful careers. Jenny has taught UX 101 classes and given talks at Ladies That UX, amUX, Women in Technology, UX STRAT, and Talk UX. She also leads the User Experience practice at Field.

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Tim Van Meter (Mentor)
Sapient Razorfish

Tim has been working on researching, designing, and implementing engaging, cross-channel experiences for his clients since 2005. He is passionate about delivering the best work possible, regardless of project scope, client budget, or subject matter. He has had the pleasure of working with a wide range of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, and startups. When not designing experiences for clients, you can find Tim in his garden, his woodshop, his kitchen, or (most likely) playing with his one-year old son.

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Klemens Wengert (Mentor)
Iconic Security

Klemens Wengert is an EMMY Award Winning design professional with more than 16 years of experience in helping companies achieve their strategic goals by creating extraordinary user experiences. His past projects include iOS and Android applications for entertainment, sports, hospitality, online promotions, large scale website redesigns, e-commerce, Productivity tools, casual gaming, and social media marketing integration.

Klemens volunteers his time with UX mentors and is an Advisor for the HCI program at Georgia Tech.

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Jaime Young

Jamie has been working in the UX field for over 5 years, leading projects for clients like Verizon, AT&T, The Coca-Cola Company and Krispy Kreme. Currently he is the UX Lead at Sagepath but started life as a lowly intern for a small agency called Engauge. In the years since, both as an internal employee and at other agencies, he has strived to simplify the complex while combating varying degrees of resistance. If Jamie were an inanimate object, he would be a socket wrench.

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