UXRCollective presents

June 3-5, 2020

Toronto, Canada

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Level up your research practice.

The UXR Collective is bringing together people from across the globe who are committed to championing their users, surfacing better insights, and bettering the tech ecosystem.

Be part of a global UX Research community.

"Not only was the conference extremely well organized, but the diversity of the speakers made the talks richer and more thought-provoking. Overall, it was one of the best conferences I've ever attended."

- Joseph Kim, User Experience Researcher, Google

"This conference is going to be of ever-increasing importance to our field; it’s the premier event for design research and our team got a lot of value out of the event last year."

- Jared Forney, UX Researcher, Okta

"I am so happy that I attended. This is the best conference I have ever attended. I have come away with lots of inspiration and concrete ideas to up-level the impact of user research at my company. I can't stop talking about how fantastic it was."

- Wako Takayama, Director of User Experience Research, Clover Network

Relive the 2019 #UXRConf

Relive #UXRConf 2019 and watch our past speakers take the stage.


Past Speakers


Jing Jing Tan

Senior UX Researcher



Ovetta Sampson

Creative Director



Ariel Sim

Director of Design Anthropology

MaRS Discovery District


Vivianne Castillo

Senior Design Researcher



Kristina Rostorotsky

Senior Product Designer

Loblaw Digital


Monal Chokshi

Head of UX Research



Nanako Era

Experience Researcher



Michael Massimi

Staff Researcher



Noam Segal

Director of User Research


See more Speakers

The 2020 program

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Build your skills with our hands-on Workshops from brilliant UX researchers like Vivianne Castillo. More Workshops to be announced in the coming weeks!

UX Professionals often feel burdened with the responsibility to protect, elevate and advocate for the humanity and needs of people who engage with the experiences they help design. They often work the closest with the complexity, messiness, and beauty of what it means to be human. And yet, this responsibility often causes professionals - without the language or frameworks to articulate why it's happening - to experience moments of anxiety, burnout, low motivation, apathy, fatigue, and other difficult challenges.

The ability to recognize and rise above the personal risks of this profession are a couple of the most critical skills rarely being taught, leading to an unsustainable career and potential harm to both the professional and others. Vivianne Castillo, a UX Researcher with a background in counseling & psychology, would like to change this and has crafted a unique workshop to teach these skills.

During this workshop, attendees will cover a range of topics, case studies, and techniques related to the unique challenges of self-care and self-awareness. Including:

  • the personal risks of becoming a UX Professional;
  • what to do when you find yourself experiencing compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma and the impact it can have on you, your work, and others;
  • the role of fear, power, and privilege in design and ethics;
  • why the pursuit of being emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually is connected to our professional responsibility of being ethical;
  • and more.

If you want to become a more holistically-grounded, self-aware, and empathic UX Professional who is able to practically apply new ways of working and thinking to both your professional and personal life, this workshop is for you.

Vivianne Castillo


Vivianne Castillo is User Experience Researcher with 7+ years of psychology and research experience spanning multiple contexts, cultures, and industries. Vivianne is also an international speaker whose work and opinions related to diversity & inclusion, ethics and the role of shame in UX have been written about in Slate and Fortune.

Prior to becoming a UX Researcher, Vivianne worked primarily in the arenas of human services and counseling, where she tackled issues like shame, empathy, vulnerability and compassion; she credits her previous experiences as a human services professional, multi-cultural upbringing, and her love for cognitive behavioral psychology as major influences on her approach to research and innovation. Vivianne currently works within the Office of Innovation at Salesforce where she leverages research to help C-suite executives across various industries and Fortune 500 companies strategically convey what is really meaningful to their internal and external customers and understand the human aspect of their business problems.

In many organizations, research is seen as a checkbox in the development cycle, rather than an ongoing process of building knowledge and understanding of your customers. This leads to researchers themselves being a bottleneck for many teams and frustration on both sides.

Some organizations have taken a different approach - choosing to view research as an activity and a practice that many teams and roles engage in, allowing researchers themselves to be “player-coaches” on their teams - alternating between providing guidance and being in the field. This workshop will help attendees understand what the role of a researcher is in these kinds of situations and how to build programs and processes that empower partner teams to take part in (and own) research activities themselves.

Through a number of case studies and activities, we will cover:

  • How to identify where you and your team provide unique value to your organization
  • Which partner teams are best set up to own research activities (and how to help them)
  • How investing in the right training and enablement will scale your research efforts AND strengthen the research culture at your organization
  • What a healthy relationship between research and non-research teams looks like when it comes to using data, informing decisions, and building product roadmaps

This workshop is ideal for experienced researchers and research leaders who are interested and capable of bringing change to their organization’s research practices and want a better understanding of how this can be done.

Behzod Sirjani


Behzod Sirjani studies how people work and work together. He is currently the Head of Operations for Research and Analytics at Slack, where he supports a team of people who help make work simpler, more pleasant, and more productive for Slack employees. Behzod also cares deeply about sharing and teaching the practice of research, both through and outside of his work at Slack.

Prior to Slack, Behzod spent 4 years at Facebook working on business tools, video products, and hardware, where he also co-created and led a mentorship program for junior researchers. Behzod has experience conducting and teaching about research in consumer and enterprise settings in North America, Europe, and Asia.

When you do research, it’s essential to know that you’re speaking to the right people. Even more so when you're doing qualitative research. As qualitative research sample sizes are generally small, the people taking part in your study can make or break the quality of your research outcomes.

Finding the right people to take part in research is a skill, for some people, it’s their bread and butter. More and more, research teams are building in-house recruitment teams of one or more to do participant recruitment for them, and researchers are generally expected to be able to recruit their own participants, too. Despite the importance of good participant recruitment, it’s still a little talked about space and it can be difficult to know what industry-standard and best practices are.

This workshop is ideal for anyone wanting to develop their research recruitment skills and learn more about the ins-and-outs of recruiting quality participants using a humane and ethical approach.

In this one-day workshop, we’ll cover:

  • The steps involved in the end-to-end recruitment process
  • Where and how to find the right participants
  • How to write an effective screener
  • Best practices around informed consent
  • What kind of thank you gifts/ incentives to offer
  • Useful recruitment tools and vendors
  • How to set up and manage your own research panel (and if you need one at all)
  • Tips, war stories and success stories from someone who’s been there and done it

Sarit Geertjes


Sarit Geertjes has years of experience recruiting research participants at global tech companies. She is currently designing research recruitment services and processes on the Research Ops team at Atlassian. Before Atlassian, Sarit worked as a Participant Recruitment Coordinator at Google, where she learned the ins and outs of the role which led her to a new-found passion in this space.

Prior to finding Research Ops, Sarit has worked in Human Resources, Customer Service, and has a Masters in Social Psychology. Turns out that this was the perfect combination to prepare her for a career in Research Operations!

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Whether you’re looking to break into UXR or you’re a senior practitioner, there’s a Track to help you level up your practice. Our one-day Tracks consist of curated talks based on specific themes relevant to the Track you choose.

Research Foundations

Looking to grow your research toolkit or break into the field of UX Research? If so, then this is the track for you. This track will focus on fundamental UX Research methodologies, the basics of the role and what you'll want to know to succeed.

UXR Team of One

Let's face it, most companies don't have more than one or two researchers, and there is an endless amount of research to be done. How do you be effective? How do you implement the value of your research? This track will focus on how to have the greatest impact when you're working as a sole researcher.

UXR Frontiers

The use of UX Research methods are growing rapidly in fields like AR/VR, voice-user interfaces, healthcare, and even exercise equipment. Come and learn about the unique challenges and triumphs of UX Research outside the realm of mobile and web app development.

The Science Behind UXR

Curious about what's happening in a participant’s brain when we do research? Learn what the fundamental sciences behind UX Research - cognitive science, anthropology, psychology - can teach us to improve our research practices.

Leadership in Research

Leaders of research teams have unique challenges and responsibilities. This track is a forum to share tips, tricks, and learnings from managing and leading research organizations so we can all grow happier and more effective research teams.

Thursday, June 4, 2020
#UXRConf Social

Get to know the UXR Collective team, the #UXRConf 2020 speakers and sponsors, and your fellow attendees at our #UXRConf Social. A ticket to the #UXRConf Social is included with the purchase of any Workshop or joint Track and Main Stage ticket.

Friday, June 5, 2020
Main Stage

Main Stage is the place for a full-day of inspiring talks by best-in-class UXRs. They’ll be sharing their stories, their insights, and their ideas all on the Main Stage at Roy Thomson Hall.

Partner with us

At the UXR Collective, we believe in partnering with our sponsors, not just throwing a logo on a banner. If you are an advocate for UX Research and want to work with us, we’d love to partner with you to bring your brand to life at #UXRConf 2020.

Get in touch by filling out our Sponsorship Interest Form.

Past sponsors include great companies like: