This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

UX Smackdown! User Testing Techniques in the Ring

#sxsw #Smackdown


Is your usability budget a little leaner than you’d like? Are you confused about the latest testing tools? Have you wondered which approach is best for your project? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, we have a session for you.

There is a growing arsenal of methods for economical, expedient UX testing, from remote online usability tests to interactive prototypes and webcam eyetracking. These strategies are often billed as more efficient, sophisticated, and even avant-garde when compared to traditional testing approaches, but how do you know what role they should play in your user research toolbox? Do they live up to the hype, or is this match-up rigged?

Get ready to step into the ring and pose your questions to the experts. Come hear the pros and cons, the old and the new, and the good, bad and REALLY ugly. Where will a line in the sand be drawn? Even cable won’t air this Smackdown – you just have to be there!


Aviva Rosenstein Sr Mgr, User Research

Aviva Rosenstein currently works with, the leading enterprise cloud-computing company, where she manages a team of user researchers and helps teams integrate UX practices with Agile development processes.

Aviva's been studying how people use interactive technologies since the earliest days of the WWW. She's worked with e-commerce companies, design agencies and web portals, contributing design insights and usability guidance for applications and websites that millions of people use every day.

John Whalen UX Lead & Founder Brilliant Experience

User Experience Design expert specializing in strategic consulting services in four areas:
- Strategy, Research and Envisioning new products and services
- User Experience Design / Rapid prototyping
- Data Visualization / Information Architecture
- Mobile

Kyle Soucy Founding Principal Usable Interface

Kyle Soucy is the founding principal of Usable Interface (, an independent consulting company specializing in product usability and user-centered design. Her clients have ranged in industries from pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer to publishing powerhouses like McGraw-Hill. She has created intuitive interfaces for a variety of different products, everything from web sites to touch screen devices.

Kyle is the Founder and Past President of the New Hampshire Chapter of the Usability Professionals’ Association (NH UPA), she has served as the Chair of PhillyCHI, the Philadelphia Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (ACM SIGCHI), and she was the local UXnet Ambassador for New Hampshire. She is very passionate about the continued growth of the usability and user experience design community.

Michael Summers Principle PayPal



Nielsen Norman Group

GSI Commerce


Rebecca Sherrill UX Lead Beaconfire Consulting

Rebecca is a User Experience lead at Beaconfire ( an Arlington, Va.-based consulting firm that helps nonprofits to design and build their web sites and online marketing programs. She works with clients to ensure that their target audiences can accomplish their goals, find what they need, and have a positive experience on the web.

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