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2018 WIAD DC Sketch in progress

Washington, D.C. 2018

United States


North America

See photos from WIAD DC 2018

Watch WIAD DC 2018 sessions

IA for Good

We would like you to think in the direction of how might we use IA to protect human civilization from misinformation. One way to approach the topic is to consider that nowadays we struggle to make sense of the abundance of information and sources. We don’t know who to trust, so we believe what we want and can be easily manipulated. Some digital places are enabling ignorance, hate, alienation, and polarization to grow.

Event date
Sat, 24 February 2018

Venue, parking and transit

1515 North Courthouse Road
4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201-2909

Metro Directions: Take the Orange Line to the Courthouse Metro Station. When exiting the metro tunnel, take the escalators to the left. At the top of the escalators, there will be Cosi on your right. Walk past Cosi and down Clarendon Blvd one block. As you cross Courthouse Road, you will see 1515 North Courthouse Road across the street. Cross the street and enter the building at the main entrance (glass doors).

Parking: Street parking is available in the neighborhood around the Sapient office. You can also park at some nearby garages: 2200 Clarendon Boulevard (free on weekends) or 1310 North Courthouse Road


  • 9.15 AM - 10:00 AM Registration and breakfast opens
  • 10.00 AM - 10:30 AM Welcome, WIAD DC 2018 opens
  • 10.30 AM - 11:45AM Session 1
  • 11.45 AM - 12:45 AM Session 2
  • 12.45 PM - 2:00 PM Lunch Break, On your own. Lunch options handout will be provided
  • 2.00 PM - 3:45 PM Session 3
  • 3.45 PM 5:00 PM Session 4: Civic Design Panel
  • 5.00 PM - Closing Remarks, Raffle and Happy Hour at Ireland’s Four Court

Thank you to the Global and Local raffle/swag sponsors: Vitamin T, Eight Shapes, Carrie Hane, Joe Natoli, Abby Covert, Sketch, Axure, Cooper, Rosenfeld Media, UIE, Optimal Workshop

10:30 AM

Session 1

Option 1: Ren Pope & Laura Hermann: Data Fracking: An Ethical Approach to Big Data

Now more than ever, people have access to a vast array of data. This data can be used to make informed decisions and empower communities. However, this ready access to data has its costs. Collecting data may have privacy and ownership concerns, and once collected it has the possibility to be exploited or used in unethical ways. The presentation will explore the methods to ethically collect and present big data. We will focus on some of the most sensitive data… community data. Additionally we will look at ways to protect individuals and communities from the exploitation of their data.

Laura Hermann, Senior Vice President and Partner, Potomac Communications Group

Laura is a partner at Potomac Communications Group, focusing on strategic communications and stakeholder engagement. The Chicago Justice Project represents her long evolving commitment to science, technology and social justice issues. Laura has developed education programs on issues ranging from neighborhood safety, emergency preparedness and energy efficiency. She holds a master's of science from Northwestern University and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as an undergraduate at Loyola University Chicago.

Ren Pope , Chief Information Architect, Industrial Medium Software

Ren Pope is the chief IA at Industrial Medium Software based out of Washington DC. He has over 20 years of leadership and vision in the information science field. Ren has held various interesting positions both in and out of the UX career field these include speech and policy writing, modeling and simulation, and designing knowledge management systems. Ren focuses his passion for information sciences, where he designs content management systems. He has studied and strives to perfect the use of taxonomies, ontologies, concept maps as well as overall information modeling to ensure the intent of design endures in the product. Ren enjoys writing and speaking about the theory and practice of the information sciences; and in his free time, he likes running around in the out outdoors, pushing buttons and turning knobs to make music, and throwing things into barrels to age them.

Option 2: Wendy A F G Stengel: “I Hope You Never Use This”: Designing for your User’s @#*$& Experiences

Wendy A F G Stengel, UX Lead, Library of Congress

Wendy A F G Stengel is a seasoned IA/UX professional, with a background in electronic and print publishing, and a hefty portfolio of information architecture and user experience projects. She is passionate about delivering the right content at the right time, and helping users accomplish what they need, whether the reader is navigating government bureaucracies or looking for local volunteer opportunities. Wendy lives and works in Washington, DC.

Option 3: Stephanie Brown: Drawn Together: Visual Storytelling

Get your markers ready! This interactive session will challenge attendees to explore storytelling using hands-on visual facilitation methods.

Stephanie Brown, Founder, 10x Collective

Steph has worked for 15 years in the performance improvement sector introducing graphic facilitation and collaboration design to government executives and teams from the White House to the grassroots of change. Both visual artist and facilitator, Steph supports organizations by designing experiences that optimize the power of people in conversation together. This can range from live hand-drawn murals to document collective memories, to facilitating and hosting conversation cafés to build organizational understanding, to leading design innovation sprints that transform ideas into action.

11.45 AM

Session 2

Option 1: Gina Assaf: Designing in Developing Nations

This presentation will discuss principles and best practices when designing in developing nations, informed by the presenter’s own field experience and in collaboration with other designers working on development projects, where implementers face challenges in designing digital services for segmented device access, varying data connectivity landscapes, differences in reading and digital literacy and social/political/religious constraints. The presenter will also discuss how these principles can be applied more broadly to designers working anywhere on impact-driven projects.

Gina Assaf, Lead Digital Designer for International Aid & Development, SoukTel

Combining technology, design and international development, Gina Assaf leads digital design for SoukTel Digital Solutions, a company that designs and develops solutions for the humanitarian aid sector. She has worked with the UN and USAID, and their implementers, designing solutions that provide access of information digitally to project staff and to communities with low literacy and novice technology usage. She has 15+ years of experience working in variety of sectors throughout the U.S, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, and brings a deep understanding of the various design and research methods required during all phases of the design process.

Previously, Gina served as a Product and User Experience Design Manager at Creative Associates, an Interaction Designer at San Francisco media startup Prismatic, and as a Software Engineer at financial services leader Intuit. She also has experience with software engineering and expertise in Agile methodology with a Scrum master certification.

Option 2: Jo Golden: Political Implications of Agency & Order

An interactive session exploring attendee relationships to personal and professional agency, political frames, and choices about organizing information.

Jo Golden, Service Design Lead | Design Leadership Faculty | Co-lead FJORD | MICA | OpenIDEO DC Chapter

Jo Golden combines strategy, story, sense-making, and Design Thinking methods to tackle challenging problems in business and the community. She has a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution focused on conflict and identity issues surrounding cultural and technological change. Jo also hosts the Designing Experiences podcast and co-leads the OpenIDEO DC Chapter.

Option 3: Lisa Goldberg: Good IA Everyday

We dream of working on a project that changes millions of people’s lives for the better. In reality, the UX superhero opportunity is rare. How do we practice IA for good in everyday life?

Lisa Goldberg, Associate Creative Director, Sapient Consulting

Lisa is an Associate Creative Director of Experience Design. Her goal is to make the world a more humane place and inspire UX teams to do the same. She has more than 20 years of experience working with government and nonprofit clients. Currently she leads the UX team for ELIS, the electronic immigration benefits system at the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service. She organizes and speaks at many design events in the DC area.

2.00 PM

Session 3

Option 1: Catharine Robertson & Kayenda Johnson: Card Sorting: a Tool for UX Democracy

Card sorting conducted in person has the ability not only to show the way toward a new information architecture, but also to illuminate the efficacy of human-centered design, demystify the design process and gain executive buy-in, increase adoption and satisfaction, decrease budgetary waste, and even perpetuate democratic ideals. Card sorting takes power out of the hands of the few to create information architecture by the people, of the people, and for the people.

Catharine Robertson , UX Lead, Tantus Technologies, Inc.

Catharine has spent 20+ years architecting information for organizations including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, Legg Mason, the American Psychological Association, University of Pennsylvania Health System, and many others. She is currently working to establish enterprise UX and DesignOps practices for the Centers for Clinical Standards and Quality at CMS. Catharine founded the Baltimore UX Meetup, and helped establish and currently teaches in MICA's User Experience graduate curriculum. Her kitchen shelves have a solid, research-backed information architecture.


Kayenda Johnson, Digital Services Expert, US Digital Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Before joining the US Digital Service’s team at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Kayenda was a consultant, providing both user research and user-centered design services to a variety of federal agencies such as Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service.  Kayenda is currently the leading user research efforts for the design of CMS’ Quality Payment Program website and serving as human-centered design advocate within the broader agency. Creating great user experiences using in-depth user studies and contextual inquiry, are among her personal passions. Beyond her passion for creating engaging user experiences for software applications, Kayenda also loves mentoring middle and high school girls toward strong character development and academic success.


Option 2: Andrae Rose: Diversity in Design Experience Workshop

This workshop will focus on the role that we as creators play in shaping perceptions about diversity. We are the ones who create content that helps target audiences understand our clients’ products and services. We inform the influencers. We persuade the audiences. We can also drive conversations on diversity and inclusion.

Andrae Rose Art Director, Sapient Consulting

Andrae Rose is an award-winning graphic and web designer with 10 years of diverse experience across the public and private sector, creating digital solutions that drive client success. His creative contributions draw upon his varied expertise from UX design and information architecture, to concept creation and design execution, to project management and relationship building. He has created branding, marketing, and promotional collateral for leading firms and a range of clients including the UNGC, NIH/NCI, Groff Creative, MasterCard, MyEyeDr., National Geographic, Pew Research Center, the IMF, and the World Bank. Andrae received a BFA in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Washington and an MA in Digital Communication from Johns Hopkins University.  

3.45 PM

Session 4

Civic Design Panel

Hear from a panel of 5 experts representing federal agencies, global initiatives, and underrepresented communities discuss how to make every interaction between government and citizens easy, effective, and pleasant. Moderated by WIAD Global Team Member, Whitney Quesenbery.


  • Whitney Quesenbery
  • Courtney Eimerman-Wallace
  • Andrew Lovett-Barron
  • Suzanne Chapman
  • Marcy Jacobs
  • Christine Armstrong


Whitney Quesenbery, Co-Director, Center for Civic Design

Whitney combines a fascination with people and an obsession to communicate clearly with her goal of bringing user research insights to designing products where people matter." She's written three books on the subject - Storytelling for User Experience and A Web for Everyone (Rosenfeld Media) and Global UX (MKP/Elsevier) - to help practitioners keep users in mind throughout the creative process. She has worked with organizations like the National Cancer Institute, eBay, IEEE, Amtrak, and The Open University helping them develop usable and accessible web sites and applications.

She's also passionate about improving the way government communicates with citizens. She is the co-director of the Center for Civic Design, which works with election officials on usability and design of ballots, voter guides, and other election materials. She and Dana Chisnell teach the first course on Election Design for the University of Minnesota Certificate in Election Administration.

Courtney Eimerman-Wallace, Director of Technology, Color Of Change

Courtney Eimerman-Wallace is the Director of Technology at Color Of Change. She prides herself on being a Technical User Experience(UX) leader who’s dedicated to using technology to improve access and create opportunities for underrepresented communities. Before coming to Color Of Change, she was a UX Engineering Lead at the United States Digital Service team at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where she lead a multi-disciplined UX engineering team in product development efforts, with a focus on brand consistency, and diversity and inclusion through accessibility. Prior to the U.S. Digital Service, Courtney spent several years in civic tech, building applications that help people reach voters and get people involved in the political process. Campaigns and Elections Magazine named Courtney a “2015 Rising Star”, which only fueled her flame for public service.

Andrew Lovett-Barron, Designer, New America

Andrew Lovett-Barron is a design leader and current holds a fellowship with the New America public interest tech program. He was the first product designer on the US Digital Service (USDS) team at the Department of Defense (DOD) under President Obama, and was a Principal Designer and Product Manager at IDEO working with clients like Planned Parenthood, CISCO, Ford Smart Mobility, and IKEA. He founded Pedal Pedal Club in DC and Relay Studio in Toronto.

Suzanne Chapman, UX Lead for the Digital Service, United States Digital Service

Suzanne Chapman is a User Experience Lead at the United States Digital Service team at the Department of Veterans Affairs where she oversees user research, content, and design for over 25 products. Suzanne is a UX Generalist who loves all aspects of UX but is especially passionate about UX strategy, inclusive design, and untangling any kind of mess/bringing order to chaos. Prior to working in government, Suzanne spent 10 years in higher education improving large access systems and proselytizing about all things UX.

Marcy Jacobs, Executive Director, United States Digital Service

Marcy is a user advocate, researcher and strategist currently leading the U. S. Digital Service team at the Department of Veterans Affairs, improving access to benefits and services for Veterans. As a proven leader, Marcy focuses on user needs and business value to align resources, build empathy and create simple and intuitive digital experiences. At the USDS, Marcy lead the Design Practice and lead work at the Department of Justice and IRS and supported efforts at State, DoD and CMS.

Christine Armstrong, Creative Manager and Lead Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton

Christine is an award-winning Creative Manager with over 20 years of multimedia design experience including user interface and user experience design, brand and design strategy, as well as advertising campaigns. She has worked with the government and high-profile corporations, as well as start-ups and non-profit organizations. Christine leads the design team at the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Digital Communications Division to support the design and graphics for web sites, social media engagement, and other materials for HHS’ offices and staff divisions, as well as priority topics and White House initiatives, including the reimagining of She is passionate about working with clients to elevate and transcend their overall brand and user experience.