Sarah Jedrey

About Sarah Jedrey

Sarah wears lots of hats, touching everything from content marketing to front-end development. She is the main client trainer at Matrix Group. She also edits Matrix Group's YouTube series, The Matrix Minute, as well as screencasts and videos for clients. When she's not at work, she's car-singing, cooking or creating comics and illustrations. She has one attention-seeking cat named Mouth.

Event Recap: Refresh DC Speakers Offer A Good Lesson in UX and Web Design (Part 2)

Giovanni DiFeterici

Giovanni DiFeterici sets up before his talk.

On Sept. 20, Personal hosted a Refresh DC event. Gene Crawford (@genecrawford) and Giovanni DiFeterici (@giodif) spoke about UX and conceptual design.

Giovanni’s background is in fine arts; it shows, and darn it, it’s pretty great to look at.  It also informs how he approaches web design and how he presents a talk on conceptual design.  The intro took the form of artists who embodied the key points:

  • Emotional truthFrancis Bacon’s portraits were not direct physical representations of the subjects. Instead, he sought to visually represent the entire person – emotions, motivations, soul.  The portraits affect people, and it’s Bacon’s choices that help guide what that effect will be on the viewer. Everything you present as a designer will have an emotional impact on the viewer/user; either try to consciously control that impact or be controlled by it.
  • World buildingOdd Nedrum’s career struggled until he lit on the idea of making art that all referred visually and thematically to the same fictional world. His body of work became snapshots that existed in one context. Putting one’s design into a narrative, a body of work, or any other similar context makes it more powerful than a visual that is floating disconnected from any frame of reference.  Context is crucial.
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Event Recap: Refresh DC Speakers Offer A Good Lesson in UX and Web Design (Part 1)

Gene Crawford (@genecrawford) speaking for Refresh DC

Gene Crawford (@genecrawford) speaking for Refresh DC

On Sept. 20, Sarah Mills and I went to the Refresh DC event held at Personal’s office in DC. There was pizza (thanks, American University SOC!).  There were laughs (thanks Gene [@genecrawford] and Giovanni [@giodif]!).  There was a heck of a lot of brainpower in one cozy space (thanks, well, everyone!).

We came back with one custom Tarot deck, one web design book, and lots of UX and conceptual design knowledge richer. The cards and book were rewards for being curious and speaking in public – let me tell you, those cards were a real incentive! – but getting to network with people in our industry and getting other professionals’ opinions on pertinent topics were really valuable.

Being as new as I am, this gave me chances I don’t often have to network and learn.  Much of what got covered was info I’ve found while researching other things here at Matrix Group; hearing it reiterated by real live people and hearing questions from fellow audience members is really helping that information stick.

Gene Crawford, editor of unmatchedstyle and organizer of ConvergeSE (good grief, look at that parallax T. Rex!) spoke mainly about conversion points.  I, being the n00b I am, found out that that was where companies ask users to provide something like personal information or money – account registration, transactions, and the like.

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