Brandeis GPS Blog

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Month: October 2021

My Experience at UXPA Boston 2021

Contributed by: Lauren Haynes 

Through the Brandeis Graduate Professional Program (GPS), I had the opportunity to attend UXPA Boston 2021UXPA Boston is an annual full-day conference that brings together UX professionals from varying experiences and industries. During the conference, attendees can participate in a series of presentations, lunchtime table topics, mentoring, raffles, and “speed” networking. 

The week before the conference:

A few days before the conference, I was granted access to Hopin—the virtual event platform. Through Hopin, I was able to personalize my profile and plan my conference itinerary. In addition, I was able to read the bios of the event speakers and see other professionals attending the event. 

Day of the conference:

The day started with a welcoming address delivered by the UXPA Boston President, Bob Thomas. Following the address, the conference continued with presentations delivered by seasoned industry professionals. The presentations spanned topics including career development, strategy, design, user research, strategy, and UX in society. Several 45-minute presentations were scheduled concurrently, so attendees had the option to choose between sessions or bounce in between.

I planned out my day accordingly and chose sessions that were of interest to me. (There were so many great sessions to choose from, it was hard to decide). I ultimately attended the following presentations:

  • Design for Users Everywhere – How to Craft a Meaningful International UX
  • Stakeholder Relationships: Leading UX researching to greater success and impact
  • Give me the Quick Version! Using one-pages to communicate research findings far and wide
  • The Indispensable Principles of Designing Complex Interfaces 
  • Build for Action, not Distraction: Five practical steps you can take to build successful UI
  • Over-complicated? Over-simplified? The UX Efficient Frontier
  • Designing Meaningful Visualizations: A case study in connecting users to their data 

During lunch time, there were also “table talks” where you can discuss hot topics moving the industry. I participated in the Design for Behavior Change group where we discussed how to avoid dark UX/UI patterns. 

I had a great experience at UXPA Boston 2021 and would love the opportunity to attend again. There was content appealing to all experience levels—whether you’re looking to transition into the field to seasoned vets. The presentations were relevant and informative, and I most certainly obtained takeaways that I can apply to my current role.

Learning Experience Design

Learning experience design is the new frontier in instructional design. Designers take a holistic and learner-centered approach to designing educational experiences, one that considers learning outcomes, motivation and learning environment efficacy. 

The MS in Learning Experience Design at GPS provides students with a hands-on experience utilizing the User-Experience (UX), User Interface (UI) and Instructional Design (ID) principles and techniques needed to advance in the field. Upon degree completion, students are equipped to:

  • Design and curate learning resources that enhance learner retention and application while aligning to principles of universal design for learning and accessibility standards.
  • Create and deliver high-quality programs and interactive learning experiences in a variety of industry and educational settings.
  • Use data analytics, learner and contextual analysis and interface design assessment to evaluate learning experience and resolve educational challenges.

When we asked Dharini Parthasarathy, an MS in Learning Experience Design student, about the program, she said,

“Brandeis GPS aligned perfectly with my needs and goals. In addition, the Brandeis GPS Learning Experience Design program connects directly to my current work and future professional goals.

I’ve been able to take many courses with the same set of students, developing a sense of community. My advisor has been an amazing resource and support, working with my idea of an academic plan. The professors and courses have been extraordinary, with plenty of application- and project-oriented experiences.”

The GPS community extends beyond our online classrooms. Students have the opportunity to expand their professional circles and build meaningful connections with our faculty, program chairs, and advisory board members. In addition, our programs are designed to help students balance a graduate education with a full-time job and other professional, academic, or personal commitments.

For more information about the Learning Experience Design program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit

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