Launching the UX Speaker Series with Jacob Berchem!

  • In a recent visit to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, Jacob Berchem, Lead Product Designer at Fetch, left a lasting impact on students and faculty alike. Organized by the Siebel Center for Design, the day-long visit comprised an insightful "OOUX Workshop" followed by an engaging "UX Speaker Series" session, marking SCD’s launch of a monthly series aimed at nurturing the next generation of UX leaders.

  • The day commenced with an intimate "OOUX Discovery Workshop" at the iSchool, where Jacob Berchem interacted with a select group of students nominated by faculty teaching UX courses. The workshop space was brimming with enthusiasm, with the twelve students delving into the philosophy of designing digital systems through Object-Oriented User Experience (OOUX).

  • The attendees, predominantly information and data science majors with diverse minors ranging from art and design to English and game studies, showcased a keen interest in user interface (UI), user experience (UX), and human-centered design (HCD). Berchem adeptly guided them through the principles of OOUX, emphasizing the importance of understanding users' mental models, object relationships, actions, and attributes.

  • Through hands-on activities like noun foraging and object consolidation, participants honed their skills in object discovery, consolidation, instancing, relationship discovery, and capability discovery. Berchem's structured approach resonated with the students, empowering them to translate research and requirements into implementable design structures.

  • Later in the evening, the Siebel Center for Design Gallery buzzed with anticipation as Jacob took the stage for the inaugural "UX Speaker Series" session. Drawing from his personal journey and professional experiences, Berchem shared invaluable insights and anecdotes, engaging the audience with his candid reflections and practical wisdom.

    Reflecting on his eclectic background in graphic design and computer science, Berchem underscored the importance of being a perpetual learner and embracing challenges with a spirit of curiosity. He recounted pivotal moments from his career, including his transformative experiences at Springs Window Fashions and Mobile 22, where he learned the art of "serious play" and the pragmatism of UX design.

    Berchem's journey epitomized resilience and adaptability, punctuated by the ethos of continuous improvement and self-discovery. As he navigated through topics ranging from portfolio building to the evolving landscape of AI in design, Berchem offered invaluable advice and encouragement to aspiring UX professionals.

  • The Q&A session provided a platform for students to glean insights into diverse facets of UX design, from the importance of user-centricity to the nuances of decision-making in project teams. Berchem's responses underscored the dynamic nature of the field and the symbiotic relationship between creativity, technology, and user empathy.

    In the closing remarks, Berchem left the audience with a profound truth: "I wish I could tell you it gets better, but it doesn't get better. You get better." His words resonated deeply, echoing the essence of growth mindset and resilience in the face of challenges.

    As SCD looks forward to launching the monthly UX Speaker Series in the upcoming Fall semester, the campus community is poised to welcome professionals from diverse backgrounds to inspire, mentor, and collaborate with the next generation of UX leaders. If professionals working in the field are interested in speaking in the UX Speaker series, they are encouraged to reach out to Emily Bear for more information and to express their interest. Through these initiatives, SCD aims to foster a culture of innovation, empowerment, and lifelong learning in the field of user experience design.