Keynote-Speaker for the conference: Karen Holtzblatt; Founder & CEO, InContextResearch Scientist, University of Maryland

Karen Holtzblatt is known in the UX world for introducing InContext’s unique customer-centered design approach, Contextual Design. She knows what it takes to be successful in the world of technology as a consultant, and has proven her skills in persuading technology and business geeks to see how their products and services impact the way people work. Karen has pioneered transformative ideas and design approaches throughout her career, most recently seen in her Cool Project exploring users’ experiences of cool products and the rapidly changing role of technology in people’s lives. Her new book coming out in 2016 will update her original classic Contextual Design book to include the new techniques needed to help make your products cool.

Portrait Karen Holtzblatt

Most recently Karen has turned her attention to the challenges women face in technology companies. The Women in Tech Project focuses on understanding why women leave their tech jobs mid-career.  The framework developed with a combination of qualitative and quantitative research helps explain what works for women in the daily life of being a technology professional. Additional research is now being conducted to expand job types, shorten the survey, and validate it as an assessment tool to take the temperature of teams and companies. See an overview: www.incontextdesign.com/womenintech/

This research was begun in 2014 as part of giving a course on women in technology at Stanford. It continues as part of  Karen’s position as Research Scientist at University of Maryland and as a grass roots movement soliciting volunteers from the community to become part of understanding what is impacting their lives.

For the conference, Karen will present an overview of the framework and the results of the research.

Further information about the conference program will follow.