A Recap of GGD PHL #3 (Fall/Winter 2011, Hosted by Digitas Health)

9 Nov


Usually people go to the Wanamaker building to go to Macy’s or to hear the world-famous organ around holiday time. On the evening of November 3, 22 lady geeks and 4 gentlemen geeks arrived to pass by the already-erected Christmas trees and holiday sales to ascend the elevators to the office of Digitas Health, a brand management company and host of this month’s Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia and Web Start Women co-organized event.

Digitas Health provided a savory spread of Mexican food catered by 12th Street Catering with beverages courtesy of their free vending machine. Girl Geeks mingled and ate, enjoying the ambiance of the unique Digitas’ offices. The offices feature an open design with bright splashes of color, funky chandelier-style and track lighting, with an architecture that resonates of something we might see from Tim Burton’s cheerful side.

With full bellies, the group settled down for the night’s events. The Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia co-organizer, Tristin Hightower, welcomed the group with a game of “Around the World” where everyone had an opportunity to introduce themselves and share how they like to geek out. The group, over 75% first-time Girl Geek attendees, varied from roles such as Graphic Designers to WordPressistas to Linux admins to Fitness designers.

For the main event, Tristin introduced the night’s speaker, Jessica Ivins, a Senior Experience Designer at Happy Cog. Jessica’s passion for providing smooth, useful, enjoyable experiences for end-users shines through her presentation, ‘Shrink It & Pink It: Designing Experiences for Women’. And by ‘end-users’ she’s referring to use of anything, from visitors to a website to the user of a chair to hospital employees using scrubs.

Do you know how many women shop online as opposed to men? Do you know how to recognize when marketers are talking to women, men or demonstrating gender-neutrality and why? Chock full of poignant statistics and demonstrative examples, Jessica makes the argument to restructure how we design for women. Jessica wrapped up the talk with a Q&A discussion.

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Tristin invited Erica Nardello of Digitas Health to talk briefly about the company. Erica expressed Digitas Health’s commitment to the community and respect for what the Girl Geeks group is all about.

The evening was closed with Catherine (Cat) Farman and Sarah Galbraith from the Girl Geek Dinner Social Committee talking about the upcoming November and December events (details posted online soon), Tracy Levesque from YIKES speaking on behalf of Web Start Women on their upcoming WordPress classes for women, and Tristin thanking everyone for attending.

Be sure to get your tickets early for future Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia events as this one sold out in under 9 hours. Also, keep an eye out for Jessica Ivin’s next appearance to be a part of this topical and formative conversation.

Photos of the event, courtesy of Kit Farman Photography, can be found on Flickr and Facebook.

Recap written by Girl Geek Dinners Philadelphia member, Meg Widholm.
Meg has been in IT for over 13 years. From developing websites, to managing an IT team, to providing Helpdesk support, she can’t eat enough computers. Her dentist told her that she’d better stop, so she has started a locally-sourced vending machine business, Snack Like a Local, with snacks such as brownies by Better Together Baking, Uncle Henry’s pretzels and Joe’s Chips. She will transition to the vending world allowing her to play with tech in her free time. She is currently working on building her first Android app.

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