UX for Good’s spirit of innovation captured in Adler School video

Posted on Aug 2, 2011

As UX for Good founders Jeff Leitner and Jason Ulaszek prepared our first annual challenge, they carefully considered what physical environment might best stimulate the creativity of the user experience designers who were coming from around the world.

“We needed an amazing place to have this event,” said Trung Le, principal at Cannon Design, a UX for Good sponsor.

Fortunately, there was a space available with which Le was thoroughly familiar: the Chicago campus of the Adler School of Professional Psychology, for which he served as lead designer. Le and others explain how the designers took advantage of this beautiful location in a recent video produced by the school.

“It was exciting to hear all day about how much people love our campus, love our organization, and appreciate the vision of what we’re trying to make in the world,” said Ray Crossman, the school’s president.

Adler not only hosted the event, but participated as well. During UX for Good, teams of user experience designers teamed up with non-profit leaders and other creative types to develop innovative solutions to social problems.

Crossman sat in with the group tackling the mental health challenge, sharing his institution’s experiences as they attempt to break through the therapist-client model of psychology and help whole communities.

As several of the designers explain in the video, they first did a “deep dive” into the world of community mental health, speaking with Crossman about everything from the basis of his school’s philosophy to details of the curriculum. They then developed several useful suggestions for how to get psychology off of the couch and out in the streets.

“It was great to see the user experience process put toward a social problem,” said Sarah Beckley, a senior content strategist with Manifest Digital who helped chronicle the event. Manifest was also a UX for Good sponsor.

In the video, Leitner commented that the Adler School’s mission is really very similar to the organization he he founded with Manifest’s Ulaszek.

“It is a place that seems dedicated to a fusion of professionalism — which UX designers certainly have — and a greater obligation to do good, which is what we’re trying to infuse UX with,” Leitner said.