IMX 2021 are honoured to have been able to have convened experts in their field to discuss engaging topics and interact with attendees in four interesting panels.

Inclusive Design

Inclusive Design is an approach used in many sectors to try and allow everyone to experience our services and products in an equitable way. One of the ways we could do this is by celebrating diversity in how we design and take into account the different barriers faced by different communities across the globe. This panel brings together experts from Namibia, India and Brazil to discuss what inclusive design looks like for them, the charms of the communities they work with, the challenges they face in designing with and for them and how other communities can learn from the methods they have used in order to build a more inclusive world that benefits all of us. This panel was made possible due to the support received through an SIGCHI SDF grant. 

Kate Grandprey-Shores,
Player Dynamics Designer
Riot Games, USA

I work in the messy, complicated, and deeply human world of multiplayer games. My passion is at the intersection of systems, safety, and inclusion, where I develop and improve best practices for interaction design. I use policy, automation, and a wide range of design tools to help keep our games safe, to help players bring their best selves to every match, and to help create spaces where everyone is welcome.

Heike Winschiers-Theophilus,
Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia

To conduct truly inclusive design with a wider impact, we (need to) engage previously excluded populations, such as indigenous communities, children and youth at risk in design processes and innovations not only seeking solutions for the marginalized but designing technologies for the global market. Thereby new values and perspectives can be embraced. 

Kalika Bali,
Principal Researcher
Microsoft, India

Technology can empower only if it takes into account the socio-cultural context in which it is to be used.

Frederick van Amstel,
Assistant Professor
Federal University of Technology – Paraná (UTFPR), Brazil

My recent research deals with the contradiction of oppression and the possibility of designing for liberation through decolonizing and hybridizing design. 

State of Art in Gaming

Increasingly we find that the technologies used and audiences served by the media sector and the gaming sector are heading towards a confluence with interaction and personalisation playing important roles in the experiences people want. Who are games designed for and how do we incorporate inclusive design in our processes? How is advertising conducted in modern games? What is the role of machine learning in the future of game production? 

Sanjay Kairam,
Senior Research Science Manager
Twitch, USA

Sanjay is passionate about identifying ways to measure and support the safety and quality of interactions in online communities. As a Senior Research Science Manager on the Community Health team at Twitch, he leads a combination of large-scale statistical analysis, surveys, and qualitative methods to inform the design of products and programs that support Twitch’s creator-led communities. 

Danae Holmes,
UX Research Lead
Youtube, USA

Danae is passionate about building inclusive online spaces for gaming through universal design and advocating for all users through research in product development. She enjoys researching emerging technologies and has a particular interest in live stream gaming content as it introduces many new UX opportunities and challenges. 

Haiyan Zhang,
Chief of Staff
Xbox/Microsoft, USA

Haiyan is a designer, engineer and maker of things. An innovation and technology leader, Haiyan has spent the past 20 years working hands-on in software engineering, user experience, hardware R&D, service design, Cloud platforms, design thinking and blue-sky envisioning. She continues to push on the boundaries where technology can transform people’s lives for the better.

Jenny Taran,
Head of Growth
Activision (Call of Duty, Mobile), USA.

Jenny is passionate about supporting and driving growth for great products. She loves finding data insights to use in building compelling campaigns that are innovative in creative and execution. She led the launch & Go to Market for Call of Duty Mobile and currently leads all marketing and growth for Call of duty mobile, which to date is the largest mobile  launch in the world and maintains as a beloved chart topping app.  

(Live) Entertainment on Immersive Platforms

Virtual Reality (VR) has come a long way from a science-fiction concept to a privileged science-based field studied by a few researchers in laboratories to a ‘medium’ experimented on by creatives the worldover. It’s no longer necessary to have multiple slides to tell us what we mean when someone wants to talk of VR, maybe just one. Now there are many applications for VR but one of the more compelling ones is the idea of experiencing (live) events together while apart. What are the challenges involved in bringing (live) entertainment to audiences on an immersive platform?

Tara Collingwoode-Williams,
Doctoral Student
Goldsmiths University, UK

My passion includes researching and developing experiences in Social VR and Avatar Embodiment.

Alejandro Beacco,
Eventlab, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

One major challenge in VR is in bringing the content creation tools to the people, so that VR developers would be able to focus on their creativity and development goals.  Most of the experiments conducted in the EventLab involve the presence or interaction of a self-embodied avatar with one or many virtual avatars, even crowds. So one of my passions involves the design and creation of automating tools to accelerate the authoring of such scenes.  Ultimately, virtual characters and crowds should be designed or directed, but not programmed.

Robin Collings,
Lost Horizon, UK

Founder of Glastonbury Festival’s Shangrila and Head of Production at Boomtown, Robin has been producing large-scale festivals and events for 23 years. Having founded Lost Horizon using in June 2020 in response to the pandemic, the last 12 months have been a steep learning curve. I am constantly shocked and excited by the possibilities, scope and reach of the VR world! 
My focus is using real-world culture to develop virtual audiences and explore new realms in storytelling and showmanship!  

Zillah Watson,
Executive Producer/Content & Comms Consultant, UK

My passion is creating amazing immersive content designed to reach wide audiences. At the BBC I led a ground breaking trial taking VR to public libraries around the UK and the feedback was phenomenal. Putting the audience at the forefront is essential to ensure we all benefit from the experiences only immersive technology can deliver

Future of Media

The media industry is continually changing and expanding; never standing still and increasingly addressing a global market simultaneously. Audience demands are evolving and so are the types of experiences, devices and platforms on which content can be consumed. In this competitive ecosystem, what are the technical and editorial challenges involved in producing and distributing content at scale robustly? What are the measures of success and how do we innovate?

Shan Liu,
Tencent Distinguished Scientist
Tencent, USA

I’m passionate about watching movies in pixels and searching for artifacts… My research interests include audio-visual, volumetric, immersive and emerging media compression, intelligence, transport and systems.

Jill Boyce,
Intel Fellow/Chief Media Architect
Intel, USA

I’m passionate about working on video technologies that impact people’s lives. Social distancing during the Covid pandemic has made video technologies essential, including video conferencing, user generated content and video streaming. The video codec standards that I’ve helped develop are implemented in billions of products used by people every day. I’m excited about new technologies such as immersive video, that will provide more compelling ways to create and consume content.

Mayur Srinivasan,
Executive Director
Fox, USA

Experienced, hands on video engineering leader with a passion for architecting streaming video solutions, building and guiding engineering teams. I’ve been in the media streaming space for 20+ years and have a deep understanding of OTT video including transmission, encode, origin services, multi CDN delivery, streaming protocols and playback. I currently lead the video and player engineering teams that successfully delivered Super Bowl LIV in 2020 to 3.4 million users.

Stephanie J Neill,
Senior Director
Twitch, USA

Broadly speaking, I’m passionate about building community for women and other minority groups in tech and spend my time learning how to create space to include those folks. I’m a serial community founder, including standing up San Francisco’s first ProductCamp, a wildly popular usability testing meetup called UXNY, founder of Women in Product’s DC Chapter, and a frequent instructor and speaker at ProductSchool. Apart from that, I used to spend my outside-work time reading, sleeping, socializing, baking, trying to one-up my best friends with puns and witticisms, but since Jan 2019, I now spend my outside work time tending to a smaller version of myself and his many needs, wants, and whims.