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Recognizing joy, elegance, clarity, innovation and impact in the interactions we create.

Congratulations to Our 2017 Winners

We are pleased to annouce the winners of the 2017 Vancouver UX Awards

We received tons of amazing work to be considered for this year’s awards. Our judging panel reviewed all finalists and evaluated them on their clarity, elegance, innovation, joy, and impact. The winners below represent some of the best UX work being done in the Lower Mainland. Thanks again to all who submitted and congratulations to the winners!

Best UX

  • Kudoz

People's Choice

  • Annette Cheung, Kosuke Futsukaichi, Elizabeth Chan
    Change the Game

UX by Students

  • Sean Leach, Chris Elawa, Robyn Goodridge
    The ACLU Crisis Center

UX for Products & Services

  • Drive Digital
    Hollyburn Properties

UX for Emerging Experiences

  • Finger Food Studios
    Sphero Arcade

UX for Good

  • Kudoz

UX for Work

  • Klue

The Influence of UX on Enterprise Transformation

Markus Grupp

Markus Grupp


Bureaucratic and political. Uninspiring and a place grow stale. Not so long ago, Enterprise UX was an after-thought for many UX designers. Today, that’s changed. UX has earned that long sought-after seat at the table — and then some — in many enterprises.

Through continuously designing great products and services, delivering real business impact (and no shortage of evangelizing), many enterprises have seen the value of UX and have made it a core competency. "Going in-house" is no longer a career-limiting move. Instead, it's an opportunity to shape end-to-end experiences and drive direct, sustained business impact.

Next up for Enterprise UX? Driving human-centred innovation, changing mindsets, fostering organizational change and beyond - all areas that require Enterprise UXers need to fundamentally evolve how they work.

Show Bio

Keynote Bio

Leading a team to create delightful experiences for customers and employees, while championing a human-centred, design-led transformation across the company: only a couple of things Markus Grupp, Director of Digital Experience, tackles at Indigo daily.

Over the past decade, Markus has held leadership roles in experience, and product and service design at Fortune 500 companies, leading design firms, and start-ups throughout Europe and Canada. Prior to starting with Indigo, he co-founded and led the in-house Service Design team at TELUS, tackling complex customer and business problems using design-based methodologies.

Markus holds a Master's degree in interaction design from the University of Westminster, London and a Bachelor's degree in Arts & Business from the University of Waterloo, Canada.

Award Categories

We've refined this year's categories to better represent the breadth of great user experience work being done across the Lower Mainland.

UX by Students

Student projects help to remind the rest of us of what’s possible. Up-and-coming practitioners are making huge contributions to innovation in this region’s UX community. This award celebrates the work done in courses, extra-curricular activities, or portfolio projects—provided the solutions were not designed for commercial purposes. To submit for this award, applicants must be registered at a B.C. post-secondary institution during the 2016-2017 academic year.

UX for Products and Services

Digital products and services play an important role in our everyday lives. We depend on them to make our lives simpler and easier to manage. Vancouver is brimming with companies whose focus is to create, refine, and hone these experiences. This award category allows us to highlight the very best in digital product and service experiences.

UX for Emerging Experiences

The future is no longer at a distance—wearables, internet of things, bots, virtual, augmented and mixed reality are already here. These devices are creating a new opportunity for user experience. This award category allow us to surface the emerging interactions and immersive experiences that our community is creating.

UX for Good

Non-profit organizations fill a unique and important space in the Lower Mainland. Great user experiences are essential to improving the way non-profits work with their partners, communities, and stakeholders. This award recognizes charities and foundations, social campaigns, professional associations, and public sector enterprises. Entrants should demonstrate how they’ve created a user experience that helps a non-profit organization achieve its goals and/or serve its members.

UX for Work

Internal processes should never get in the way of serving customers and helping employees get stuff done. This award celebrates any solution—intranets, business applications, or other systems—that provide great user experiences for people inside organizations of any size.

Best UX

This is the grand-prize category and will be a juried selection from finalists across all categories, excluding UX by Students. The winner represents some of the best in user experience design the Lower Mainland has to offer.

People's Choice

Using social media and the awards website, we will allow users to vote on the best experience from among the finalists, across all categories. Voting will open just before the awards gala.

Award Criteria

All solutions will be evaluated and scored by the judges on how they satisfy these five criteria.


Is the work delightful to use? How much care appears to be put into creating an experience people will want to use?


How cohesive and refined does the solution feel? How seamless and consistent are users’ interactions with the solution?


Some interactions are complex in nature—how does the experience support clear mastery of the task at hand, while minimizing friction?


What’s new, different, or exciting about this work? How does it stack up to current conventions and patterns we use today?


What results can be attributed to the user experience of the solution? What measurable ways has it impacted business and people?


Gordon Ross

Jury Chair

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Gordon has been a strong advocate for user experience and participatory design in Vancouver for over 20 years during his tenure as VP and Partner at OpenRoad. He is a founder and organizer of VanUE and was MC for the Vancouver UX Awards in 2015. As jury chair, Gord will facilitate the judging panel as it evaluates submissions across award categories

Irene Guglielmi

Strategic Design and Business Transformation

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Irene is the Director of Strategic Design and Business Transformation, leading the BC Provincial Government’s corporate Service Design Team. She has worked for the BC Public Service since 2006 in a variety of roles focused on strategic communication, stakeholder engagement, and transforming government's approach to service delivery.

Irene has an extensive background in partnership development and corporate operations, including technology development and implementation and cross sector engagement and issues management. In addition to her work in public service, she has volunteered for over 10 years in the non-profit sector working with local organizations in both staff and Board roles. Her passions include working with government agencies to solve problems relating to how they deliver services to people, working directly with citizens to understand their needs, and redesigning and implementing services based on those needs.

Irene has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Education from Framingham State College, MA, where she researched the impacts of home schooling on academic achievement and social development. She has also recently completed the Dialogue and Civic Engagement program at Simon Fraser University.

Anne Forkutza

Experience Director

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Anne Forkutza started her career in user experience and digital strategy at the age of 18. Over the years she has utilized her skills to help deliver award-winning campaigns for big brands such as Electronic Arts, Nike, the Canadian Tourism Commission, Loblaws, and Starbucks. She also has years of experience combining business strategy with innovative product design while in various leadership positions at iQmetrix, a leading retail solutions company.

Anne is currently the Experience Director at Cova, where she leads the creative vision and branding, all while collectively striving to elevate the dispensary experience and move the industry forward in a positive direction.

She holds a Degree in Computer Sciences from Simon Fraser University and is also a regular mentor at Vancouver Film School’s Digital Design program.

Russell Taylor

SFU SIAT Faculty Member

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Russell Taylor is a Faculty Member in the School of Interactive Arts + Technology at Simon Fraser University, and previously has taught Design at Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design, Kwantlen University College, and the Technical University of British Columbia, and has been a full-time faculty member at SFU since 2002. He is the Director of two international SFU field schools, italiaDesign ( since 2003 and dutchDesign (, since 2011, and has been a leader in SIAT’s Internationalization efforts since 2002, founding two formal university exchanges with Malmo University, Sweden and the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. His teaching practice is focused in the domains of Experience Design, User Experience Design, Brand + Identity Design, Visual Design, and Spatial Design. He is also the founder and director of SIAT’s annual Design conference, “Touchpoint”, (, since 2012. In 2013 he was awarded the first "SIAT Outstanding Faculty Award" on the occasion of SIAT's 10th Anniversary for his "passion for design, for contributions to the development of the school and its culture, engaging students and ongoing involvement within the SIAT alumni community", as well as SFU's highest honour for teaching, the prestigious SFU "Excellence in Teaching Award".

Sheila Mackenzie

Partner and Research Practice Lead

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As Partner and Research Practice Lead at Niiu Digital, Sheila Mackenzie is driven by a sincere sense of curiosity for understanding the interaction between humans and technology. She empowers organizations to create impactful products with strategic research-driven insights for innovative, human-centered design.

Sheila has built expertise through 17 years of interaction design and user research for local and global organizations, including Vancity, HSBC, Nokia and Samsung and most recently as an entrepreneur building a thriving research and design consulting business at Niiu Digital.

Todd Sieling

Co-Founding Partner of Denim & Steel Interactive

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Before UX was a common word, Todd had started his career in technical writing where he documented interfaces he saw as needlessly complex and overly technical. He gave up on trying to explain those interfaces, and sweet-talked his way into design and product management where he could help shape the digital products to fit how people naturally think, work, and feel. For the past six years he’s worked as a co-founding partner in Denim & Steel Interactive, a design and build studio committed to making digital experiences comfortable and productive for clients and their audiences. Inspired by thinkers like Ursula Franklin, Brenda Laurel, and Jaron Lanier, Todd approaches UX design as a craft that is, at its heart, about working responsibly and taking care of other people.

Adrian Liem

Digital Communications Manager at UBC

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Adrian leads the Digital Communications team within the central Communications and Marketing office at the University of British Columbia. Getting his start as a technology coach, and moving through roles in design, development, information architecture, and analytics, Adrian has worn nearly every hat in the digital design and development process over the last 13 years and has gained extensive experience in helping cross-disciplinary digital teams identify, understand and implement industry best practices that can be applied within large, complex organizational environments.

With degrees in psychology and education along with being a Certified Scrum Master, he has a keen interest in the intersection where people, process, and technology meet.

Tiffany Cheng

UX Designer at Finger Food Studios

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Tiffany recently graduated from Simon Fraser University’s Interactive Arts and Technology program with a distinction in Design. You may also recognize her as last year’s winner in the UX by Students category and People’s Choice! In her position at Finger Food Studios, she has taken part as the lead designer for multiple projects, including a newly released program called “Sphero Arcade,” a Swift Playground book that has been featured at the 2017 WWDC Conference.

Before embarking on a career in UX, Tiffany spent a year teaching English as a Foreign Language to elementary school students in South Korea, and ended her time abroad by leading a lecture on creativity in the classroom at the Teach and Learn in Korea (TaLK) National Orientation. When not geeking out over playful, minimalist design, she can be found doting on her unappreciative cat, whom she may have an unhealthy obsession with.


Finger Food Studios


Finger Food is a world-class technology company that designs and develops immersive Mobile, MR/AR/VR, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud and Entertainment products. We work with iOS, Android, Microsoft HoloLens, Tango, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Unity, and Unreal Engine.



Domain7 is a people-centric digital service studio serving the globe from Vancouver, BC. We co-design and build experiences to help create a more empathetic and connected world.

Niiu Digital


Niiu Digital Inc. is a user experience design company specializing in product strategy, user research and design.

RED Academy


RED Academy is a design and tech school offering courses in web and application development, user experience and user interface design, and digital marketing. They aim to provide both the technical and soft skills needed in a rapidly growing digital economy.

TELUS Digital


Collaborating from offices in Vancouver and Toronto, TELUS Digital applies a lean, user validated, mobile-first approach to building innovative digital products for TELUS customers.



Samsung's Vancouver R&D centre develops enterprise security solutions and provides global tech support for a diverse set of B2B customers.



As the world's leading cloud-based practice management solution, we're helping our customers grow their legal practices —with ease. Clio lets lawyers run their law firm from any device, anywhere.



At Metalab, we help the world’s top companies build amazing apps, products, and services. For over a decade, we've helped everyone from tiny web startups to Fortune 500 companies build products that are simple, beautiful, and easy to use. You probably didn't know it at the time, but odds are you've used a product that we helped build.



Noravera is a digital video production company based in Vancouver, BC. We engage in meaningful storytelling with a business sensibility. We infuse strategy and cohesive narratives to drive imaginative and thoughtful stories by way of video.



At Microsoft our mission and values are to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.

VR/AR Association


The VR/AR Association (VRARA) is the international organization designed to foster collaboration between innovative companies and people in the VR & AR ecosystem. The Vancouver chapter is leading the growth of Vancouver into a global hub for VR/AR.

Modern Advisor


ModernAdvisor is one of Canada’s leading online financial advisors. The company uses smart technology to bring Canadians intelligent investing at a fraction of the cost of a traditional advisor.



Invoke partners with the big thinkers behind startups and established brands to create new revenue and digital service opportunities. For us, every day is a chance to solve problems in new ways and unearth big-impact ideas.

Number 41


Number 41 is a user experience and service design firm committed to innovating through our work. We’re proud to deliver customer experiences that have a real and positive impact.

Drive Digital


Drive Digital is a creative digital agency that specializes in building engaging, intuitive web platforms through collaborative relationships with businesses across North America.

Blueprint UX


Blueprint UX is a team of senior UX consultants offering services in user experience strategy, research, design, testing and mentorship. We help our clients understand their customers, simplify complex business problems, and make digital products and services easier for everyone to use.



We’re iamota—we think, create and code remarkable digital experiences.

Denim & Steel Interactive


Denim & Steel Interactive provide strategy, design, and development services that launch new ideas and connect organizations of all kinds with their audiences. From arts and culture to IoT to community activations, our work has the singular goal of creating interactive experiences with heart.

Engine Digital


Engine Digital is an insights-driven, digital agency, focused on helping our clients invent their future. We are a team of strategists, creatives, and technologists, driven by a passion for building digital brands and immersive experiences that span web, mobile, and social channels.

Saul Good Gift Co.


Saul Good Gift Co. helps companies build relationships meaningfully with the finest local artisan gift baskets. Radiating Happiness Since TwentyOSix.