Whitney McKedy

Founder, Vice President
Traceable Change, Inc. USA

Whitney is co-founder and Vice President of Traceable Change, a UX design and strategy consultancy in Chicago. She has built her practice around passion for stretching the boundaries of what UX can do by engaging innovation and developing custom products and approaches that answer challenging questions across a variety of industries. Pulling from her experience working with major Fortune 100 companies to startups and nonprofits, she enjoys cross-pollinating fresh and innovative ideas across these diverse sectors.

Prior to her time in UX research and design, she studied human behavior and motivations through social psychology, cognitive psychology, and anthropology.

Ever since then, she has enjoyed continuing to learn and shape the way humans interact with each other, and the many components of their environment.

18 min TED like Talk
Targeted to STANDARD – Foundation

Track 4: Broader impact & change through design

UX as a Gateway for Empathy Building

UX is the go-to for creating experiences of ease and delight, but what about when you need to go deeper? Uncovering and grappling with the emotional and psychological roadblocks to what drives ease and delight is sometimes necessary to make lasting change. During this talk I will dive into a couple projects that challenged our team at TC to take a particularly immersive approach in our methods, insights storytelling, design, and client education. One challenged us to tell the often frightening and very complicated story of trying to make it as a low-income familiy in inner-city Chicago. The other challenged us to build a bridge of empathy between manufacturing management and their tired and dissatisfied factory floor workers. In both instances, we learned that, in order to create impactful change, we would first need to go the extra mile in creating new experiential ways to immerse our clients and stakeholders into the hearts and minds of their end users. I will cover some of the techniques and methods we used to create this experience, not just for the end user, but for the people with the potential to impact them most.

Track 4: Broader impact & change through design

Three key takeaways

User needs are not always what they seem at first. Dig deeper.
UX should challenge itself to educate and immerse decision makers just as much as it challenges itself to create human designs.
By utilizing a mix of research methods, pyschoemotional insight, and
collaborative workshopping, UXers can tell the story of the human inside the user in an engaging and impactful way.

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