Past Events

Speaker Series

AMA in the PM: User Experience in the New Economy

June 2, 2021 |
9 minute read

User experience is essential for a company to survive in a digital world as industries evolve to meet changing demands brought on from the pandemic.

You encounter hundreds of websites a day and some do it better than others—the examples are endless—but websites can turn a prospect into a customer or turn a customer away straight to competitors. The pandemic only fast tracked the importance of user experience and usability, but do you know where to start?

Our expert panelists will talk about one of the hottest topics on everyone’s mind, user experience. Since COVID-19, an organization’s website has become even more important as a source of information for prospects and clients. Ensuring that your visitor has a positive experience that’s driving retention and engagement is crucial. 

Join us to learn about how user experience has changed the way websites are designed, talk about best practices, and what you can do to drive a deeper level of engagement with visitors on your site. This AMA in the PM: User Experience in the New Economy panel will feature the following industry subject matter experts:

  • Aline Lin, CEO & Creative Director, Astriata – Aline has worked with clients such as the Smithsonian Institution, National Library of Medicine, and Johns Hopkins, and she’s picked up plenty of bling along the way. Notably, she’s been recognized by industry leaders like Communication Arts and Fast Company. At the helm of Link Studio, she directed, designed, and coordinated projects for more than two decades. Aline views everything through a unique lens: she has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master’s in medical and biological illustration. Combined with her design experience, she views every design project from a user’s eyes. Aline loves bringing all different aspects of design together–from brand strategy, identity systems, print design, digital marketing, and website design to usability testing on our proprietary platform, UserHappy™.
  • Joseph Carter-Brown, Global UX Manager, Stanley Black & Decker – With over 20 years in the profession, Joe is a fiercely passionate designer, open collaborator, and thoughtful leader focused on community and organizational transformation. He enjoys doing the hard work (and hard thinking) needed to produce outcomes that matter for people. Certified in design thinking and skilled in an array of design disciplines, Joseph is proficient in data research, web development, communication facilitation, and user experience. He designs anything, with empathy and creative strategy playing a role in everything. Over the past decade, Joe has been at the forefront of helping numerous organizations leverage design as a strategic conduit of innovation. Employing service and human-centered design practices, his work has developed ethical and inclusive solutions to the mutual benefit of organizations and their representative communities. Currently, Joe serves as Global UX Manager for Stanley Black & Decker leading a team of user experience designers, researchers, and strategists. With an emphasis on collaboration, Joe has helped reshape the way internal teams work together to bring about a streamlined user-centered design and development process.
  • Mack McGee, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield – Mack McGee is the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the region’s largest not-for-profit healthcare company. He is responsible for leading CareFirst’s marketing functions, including communications, branding, advertising, public and media relations, and customer experience and insights.  Mack has nearly 20 years of industry experience helping businesses define their voice and value, bridging the gap between brand, customer experience, sales and marketing to drive new and meaningful growth for organizations.
  • Katie Thomas, Account Director, Punchh Inc. Katie Thomas is an Account Director at Punchh. She loves pairing data and marketing to create meaningful relationships between brands and their customers. Prior to Punchh, she held a few roles at an ESP, one of which included running the operations of their agency. Back in the day when working at a local Baltimore agency, she also dabbled in web design and information architecture.

Guests will not only benefit from the panelists’ personal marketing stories, but also a series of tactical and strategic best-in-class user experience tips and insights.

Key Takeaways: 

  • How organizations are dealing with and embracing user experience
  • A deeper understanding of who owns UX and the shift to marketing’s ownership
  • Why ethics in UX can’t be overlooked
  • The ever-evolving role of content and user experience
  • How to set your organization up for user experience success

Virtual Event Details
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 | 5:00 – 6:30 pm
You will receive an email 24 hours before the event with the Zoom meeting link and ID needed to join.

Ticket sales will end two hours prior to the event’s start time. Non-members rate will increase 24 hours before the event.

Virtual Event Schedule
5:00 – 6:00 pm | Presentation and Q&A
6:00 – 6:30 pm | Networking

Meet the Panel

Aline Lin
CEO & Creative Director, Astriata

Aline Lin is the CEO and Creative Director of Astriata, a creative website design and development agency. Established in 2001, Astriata is woman- and minority-owned. Aline has built her company on the standard of delivering design that is purposeful, informed, and guides the user experience.

For the past five years, Astriata has focused on the association/nonprofit market. From small, start-up companies to nonprofits and large associations, the company’s focus on the user experience has allowed clients to realize significant and measurable increases in metrics such as donations, membership, and other methods of engagement. 

Aline has directed, designed and coordinated projects for more than 22 years. With her background in psychology, visual communication, design, and usability, she offers a multi-faceted approach to projects, applying best practices from scientific, behavioral, and design perspectives. Aline holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Johns Hopkins University, and a Master of Arts degree in medical and biological illustration from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She has provided clients with comprehensive design solutions that include branding strategy, identity systems, print design, website design and usability testing.

Aline’s design work has received numerous awards, and has been recognized by institutions including Communication Arts, which helps set the industry standard for good design. She is a member of the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, which is an organization of professionals representing visual arts.

Joseph Carter-Brown
Global UX Manager, Stanley Black & Decker

With over 20 years in the profession, Joseph Carter-Brown is a fiercely passionate designer, open collaborator, and thoughtful leader focused on community and organizational transformation. He enjoys doing the hard work (and hard thinking) needed to produce outcomes that matter for people. Certified in design thinking and skilled in an array of design disciplines, Joseph is proficient in data research, web development, communication facilitation, and user experience. He designs anything, with empathy and creative strategy playing a role in everything.

Over the past decade, Joe has been at the forefront of helping numerous organizations leverage design as a strategic conduit of innovation. Employing service and human-centered design practices, his work has developed ethical and inclusive solutions to the mutual benefit of organizations and their representative communities.

Currently, Joe serves as Global UX Manager for Stanley Black & Decker leading a team of user experience designers, researchers, and strategists. With an emphasis on collaboration, Joe has helped reshape the way internal teams work together to bring about a streamlined user-centered design and development process.

Mack McGee
Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

Mack McGee is the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the region’s largest not-for-profit healthcare company. He is responsible for leading CareFirst’s marketing functions, including communications, branding, advertising, public and media relations, and customer experience and insights.

Mack has nearly 20 years of industry experience helping businesses define their voice and value, bridging the gap between brand, customer experience, sales and marketing to drive new and meaningful growth for organizations.

Prior to joining CareFirst, Mack served as Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for management consulting and accounting firm SC&H Group. In his role, he was responsible for revamping the firm’s brand strategy, website and online presence, customer relationship management platform. Before joining SC&H Group, Mack was the Executive Vice President and Principal for an award-winning, Baltimore-based creative agency. He was instrumental in the agency’s growth, driving internal leadership development and overseeing the client experience for companies in varying industries, ranging in size from middle-market to enterprise.

Mack is passionate about serving the community, a commitment CareFirst shares through its not-for-profit mission. For more than a decade, he coached Special Olympics teams in Maryland. Today, he serves on the Board of Directors, helping Special Olympics of Maryland develop corporate partnerships, raise funds and drive awareness. Mack is also the Vice-Chair of the Maryland Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Since 2008, he has chaired the foundation’s “Passion for Food and Wine” and “Feastival” events, helping to raise more than $2.5 million for the organization to date.

Mack earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Maryland College Park.


Meet the Moderator

Katie Thomas
Account Director, Punchh Inc.

Katie Thomas is an Account Director at Punchh. She loves pairing data and marketing to create meaningful relationships between brands and their customers. Prior to Punchh, she held a few roles at an ESP, one of which included running the operations of their agency. Back in the day when working at a local Baltimore agency, she also dabbled in web design and information architecture.

She now spends her time advising global brands on their loyalty and digital marketing efforts, including Auntie Anne’s, Jamba, and Moe’s. With her creative background (BA in Graphic Design) and technical professional experience, it gives Katie the unique blend of skills to be a creative problem solver. Katie is always curious and asking why to learn more, and passionate about process and execution.

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