UC User Experience Usability Workshop 2022

UCUX Usibility Workshop

The University of California User Experience (UCUX) Usability Workshop is an annual event held for members of the UC community from its respective locations. It focuses on user experience (UX) research and design, which help make digital services easier to use. The workshop is run by staff UX practitioners, known as the “UCUX community of practice.” During the workshop, information technology (IT) project teams are matched with colleagues to review each project’s usability from a UX standpoint. The workshops raise the profile of UX in the UC system, increase the skill levels of IT staff, and, ultimately, improve the usability of digital services across the system. 

Over 100 people from 8 locations attended the UC UX Workshop
(UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz, UC Office of the President and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) 

Last summer, over 100 people from 8 locations (UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz, UC Office of the President and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) attended the fourth annual UCUX Usability Workshop. The workshop represented the culmination of weeks of preparation on the part of multi-disciplinary staff teams and the UCUX, with about 300 members focused on user experience. The annual workshop was created out of a need to support and teach usability practices in the higher education industry, where dedicated user experience designers and researchers are limited.

During the workshop, projects from each location were matched with a volunteer UX team who became familiar with the project and created a specific usability review for the project. The UX teams consisted of seasoned UX practitioners and staff who wanted to expand their skills by learning usability practices. Attendees had the opportunity to hear how each team approached their assessment, with encouragement for inter-team dialogue. Interaction within and between teams on the chat was warm and lively.

2022 Workshop presentations included:

  • UX Workshop Series at UCLA
  • Quick Tools for Accessibility Assessment
  • Usability Assessment: UCLA’s Online Teaching and Learning website
  • Usability Assessment: UC Berkeley’s Environmental Health & Safety website
  • Usability Assessment: UCLA’s Archive of Healing website

This past workshop gathering represented the inaugural year for UCLA’s assessments. UCLA’s UX teams participated in a series of classes to learn about core usability skills: stakeholder interviews, usability testing and presenting design work. The classes, sponsored by BruinTech’s Human Centered Design Subcommittee, were facilitated by a team of UX coaches with weekly office hours and collaboration via the team Slack channel. 

Anna Ahearn, Kristin Ashton, Alicia Goff, Scott Gruber
UX Coaches for UCLA’s Usability Workshop Series meet to discuss strategy (left to right):
Anna Ahearn, Kristin Ashton, Alicia Goff, Scott Gruber

The team is planning 2023 with continued progress as the workshops increase the profile of UX throughout the UC system, build community among diverse IT roles, create awareness of other campus’ goals, increase skill levels among IT staff and ultimately enhance the ease-of-use of digital services across the UC. 


Stack of books
Books for workshop participants

Upcoming workshop

We hope you can join: UCLABruinTech Forward: #ux and Immersive Media at #UCLA Extension on Wed 1/25 from 12-1. uctechucla.zoom.us

Written by the UCUX Steering Committee

(Authors, pictured left to right)
  • Anna Ahearn, UCLA: Lead UX Designer, IT Services
  • Kristin Ashton, UC Davis: UX Research and Design
  • Mary Watkins, UC Santa Cruz: UX Manager
  • Phyllis Treige, UC Santa Cruz: Chief Experience Officer
  • Rachel Hollowgrass, UC Berkeley: UX Lead, Berkeley IT

The following is a partial list of past UCUX activity since they were founded in 2019:

2022-06-08: Usability Workshop 2022
2022-04-13: FigmaFest
2022-02-09: UCUX Show & Tell
2021-12-08: UCUX Show & Tell
2021-10-13: UCUX Meet Up
2021-08-11 (UC Tech 2021): Design Systems: Baking In Accessibility
2021-05-27 (BruinTech 2021): Overview of User Experience
2021-05-05: Usability Workshop 2021
2020-08-12 (UC Tech 2020): Living Design Systems
2020-08-11 (UC Tech 2020): UX Birds of a Feather: Lightning Talks
2020-06-10: Usability Workshop 2020
2019-03-25: Usability Workshop 2019