August 23, 2022, Virtual Meeting: You Do You – A Discussion on How Our Values & Beliefs About UX Have Guided Our Careers

You Do You A Discussion on How Our Values & Beliefs About UX Have Guided Our Careers

Your relationship with your employer isn’t all that different from your other relationships including family, partner, or…even your car. In all of those circumstances, the relationship is driven by alignment on a core set of beliefs and values and the expectations we have for ourselves and others around us. It then stands to reason that relationships fail because of a misalignment of those beliefs, values, and expectations. And your relationship with your employer isn’t all that different.

This panel discussion focuses on panelists’ core beliefs about the UX profession and how those beliefs have helped form their careers. In addition, panelists will discuss their personal core values and how they align those values with their beliefs about the user experience. We won’t have all the answers, but hope to share personal experiences and stories to help provide examples of our own struggles and discoveries and where we’ve stood our ground and also adapted for better outcomes.

We will help attendees to learn how to identify:


  • Models to think critically about the industry of user experience
  • How to identify your personal values, goals, and strengths
  • Ways to align your beliefs and expectations related to user experience and your personal values
  • Examples of different organizational models for user research spanning industries, company size, etc

Panel Moderator: Piet Kruithof

Piet Kruithof

Principal User Researcher, Truist


Piet is an award-winning user research professional with deep domain experience in enterprise applications spanning SaaS, cloud management, automation, and open source. He’s currently a Principal User Researcher with Truist.

Piet occasionally speaks publicly and has presented at the OpenStack Summit, UX Y’all, UXPA, HFES, and All Things Open conferences. He is a certified user experience professional (CUXP), scrum product owner (CSPO), and has a product management level III certification from the Pragmatic Institute. He is also a former director with the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics.

More importantly, he’s adopted three geriatric Great Danes named Izzy, Taz, and Pixie – which equals about 350 lbs of drooling couch potatoes.  

Panelist: Christy Harper

Christy Harper

Manager & Founding Partner, End to End User Research


Christy is the owner and managing partner of the consulting group End to End User Research which conducts UX research,and  provides facility rentals and participant recruiting services. Prior to that, Christy spent 17 years with HP, where she led a team of employees, doing research on product design and development throughout the lifecycle.

She has a Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake where she is a  Distinguished Alumni and Chairperson of  the Industry Advisory Board for the Applied Human Factors program. She speaks on panels, webinars, and podcasts on topics such as Mentoring, Ethnography, Careers in UX research, User Centered Design, and Women in Business.

When not working, Christy enjoys watercolor painting, swimming and cuddling with her Maltipoo named Carly Simon.  

Panelist: Dan Schantz

Dan Schantz

Director/SVP of User Research, Truist


Dan is the Director/SVP of User Research for Truist Bank and manages a team of twenty-two researchers with backgrounds in human factors, psychology, and statistics.

He loves storytelling with memes, making usable data visualizations, and fixing the little things that make the biggest differences in the products he works on. He’s an experienced Human Factors Engineer and UX Researcher with a history working in both global and regional companies and supporting both hardware and software.

Dan has a Master’s of Science in Human Factors (Psychology – Perception & Cognition) from North Carolina State University.  

Panelist: Gretchen McNeely

Gretchen McNeely

Design Director, Fjord (Accenture)


Gretchen is a design director at Fjord (Accenture) with 17 years of experience in physical and industrial design, environmental/service design, and digital content. Her areas of expertise include ethnography, information architecture, opportunity identification, product pilots, contextual inquiry, proof-of-concept testing, and branded content strategy.

Prior to her position at Fjord, Gretchen worked with companies including Pillar Technology, Speck Design, and Ziba Design. She holds an AB in German from Dartmouth College (Fulbright Scholar) and an MS in Information from the University of Michigan. Gretchen serves as a Triangle LTUX chapter organizer and works part-time as a professional stand-up comic, event host, and wedding officiant.  

Panelist: Melissa Meingast

Melissa Meingast

Master Technologist, Hewlett Packard Enterprise


Melissa is a Master Technologist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, responsible for managing the UX and HF Research Program for the Experience Design Group. In this role she has led hundreds of user centered design research programs, many of which currently focus on HPE’s aaS transformation. Her areas of expertise include usability testing, A/B testing, contextual inquiry, card sorting, structured and unstructured interviews, ethnography, and a variety of other user centered design research methodologies.

She has a master’s degree in Human Factors Psychology from Rice University, and regularly serves on the executive committee of her local HFES chapter.

She lives with a lavender blood red lava corn snake named Cornelius, Snow the gecko, Flash the snapping turtle, a tabby cat, 2 tweens, and 1 slightly cantankerous Welshman.  

Panelist: Ross Teague

Ross Teague

Director of User Experience Design, Diebold Nixdorf


Ross has a history of building and leading UX research and design teams in numerous domains that are empowered and motivated to deliver the highest quality work. He has always been a relentless evangelist inside and outside of the organization for the impact data driven design has on connecting the user experience to the business bottom line.

He has long been an advocate for the measuring of user experiences, usability, and satisfaction (subjectively and objectively) and has seen how it leads to the building of products and solutions that resonate with users, improve efficiency, safety, and satisfaction.

Ross has a Ph.D. in Human Factors and Applied Cognitive Psychology from George Mason University.  


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