Bios

Erik Dahl

Erik Dahl Design Company

Erik Dahl is a freelance UX/product consultant living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His background in anthropology, semiotics, HCI and IA help him make sense of complex situations and create meaningful interactions for his clients and their customers. Erik’s work has covered websites, applications, products, wearables, environments, and services. Erik is the former global president of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) and in 2010 co-founded the MidwestUX conference. In Erik’s free time he enjoys running ultramarathons, and getting lost on the wooded trails of the Midwest.

Shawn Henry

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative; Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Shawn Henry leads worldwide education and outreach promoting web accessibility for people with disabilities at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Before joining the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), she developed and implemented strategies to optimize user interface design for usability and accessibility with Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, education providers, and research centers. Shawn focuses her personal passion for accessibility on bringing together the needs of individuals and the goals of organizations in designing human-computer interfaces. Her book, Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design, offers an approach for developing products that are more usable for everyone.

Peter Morville

President, Semantic Studios

Peter is a pioneer of information architecture and user experience. He is best known for being an author of the "polar bear book" on information architecture. His latest book Planning for Everything is about the design of paths and goals. Peter has been helping people to plan since 1994. Clients include AT&T, eBay, Harvard, IBM, the Library of Congress, Microsoft, the National Cancer Institute, and Vodafone. Peter lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife, two daughters, and a dog named Knowsy.

Dawn Opel

Assistant Professor; Experience Architecture Program and Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures; Michigan State University

Dawn Opel is Assistant Professor of Digital Media and User Experience in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures in the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University. A community-engaged action researcher, Dawn partners with legal, healthcare, and nonprofit organizations to improve the coordination of care across sectors. Her research is funded by the Sparrow/MSU Center for Innovation and Research, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Community Living, and the Humanities Without Walls initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Recent published work has appeared in Computers and Composition: An International Journal, Technical Communication, and Communication Design Quarterly.

Jason Withrow

Web Design & Development Full-Time Faculty, Washtenaw Community College

Jason is a highly experienced UX practitioner, business analyst, web developer, project manager, and educator. He has over 19 years of experience in the industry, in positions ranging from information architect to senior business analyst to project manager/team lead. Jason is also a faculty member in the Web Design & Development program at Washtenaw Community College (WCC) and has taught graduate-level user experience courses at the University of Michigan. His undergraduate courses cover a wide variety of topics, ranging from user experience and accessibility to web marketing and analytics. He has also facilitated workshops and training sessions for a variety of companies and organizations.