As POWERSHiFTER returns to the Awards for the third year, organizing committee member JP Holecka reflects on the evolution of the UX industry.
User experience design is constantly evolving. “In 2003, UX was just a ‘nice-to-have’ for a lot of clients,” remembers JP Holecka, CEO and Founder of POWERSHiFTER. As the industry continued to change, JP saw an opportunity to help companies solve problems with user experience design and started POWERSHiFTER. Now 10 years old, the digital experience agency specializes in designing, building, and growing digital products and services sees user experience as ubiquitous.
While a lot has changed technically in the past decade, for JP and his team their work continues to be about leading with empathy, using collaboration as a tool for innovation, and living the belief that ideas can come from anywhere. These values have stood the test of time. “I love when our team can take a complex problem that others have struggled to solve, and through research, design, and testing, make simple and delightful.“ Their focus, he explains, is taking the complex and making it simple with digital tools.
When JP first attended the Vancouver User Experience Awards in 2015, he was impressed with what he saw. So much so, he joined the organizing committee the following year; bringing with him a wealth of event production experience, in addition to his UX expertise. As an organizing sponsor of the Vancouver User Experience Awards, he’s played an important role in shaping the awards and making sure they keep pace with the industry at large.
“I’m proud that we aren’t stuck in traditional thinking,” said JP. “We’re expanding and evolving as the UX industry changes.” Last year we saw the introduction of AR and VR, while this year, we’re focused on voice. “I’m really excited to have local presenter, Selma Zafar, share on that topic with the community. It will be interesting to hear how voice has impacted a company as big as Best Buy.”
While the Awards will give UX practitioners some insight into how a company like Best Buy is leveraging voice experience, it’ll also be a chance for them to connect with companies of this caliber. The event, JP explains, presents a unique opportunity for people starting their careers to interface with hiring managers and more experienced peers, but without that career fair feeling.
The work being done here in Vancouver is both interesting and impressive and the Awards he adds, create space for celebrating that. “I’m looking forward to the celebration of UX. Our industry has really matured over the years and I’m looking forward to seeing new and familiar faces at the event.”