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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Green

Recap: 2024 Claremont Colleges UX Mixer

by Sam Light

Last week, Claremont Graduate University’s Applied Cognitive Psychology: User Experience Masters program hosted the first annual UX Mixer, and boy did it mix! Over 50 attendees– students, alumni, and faculty of the 7 Claremont Colleges–came together to talk all things user experience. There was also food. Lots of food. 

After folks were sufficiently fed, program director Dani Green introduced the first of 7 Lighting Talks. These short presentations offered students the opportunity to share work they’ve done in user experience research, human-centered design, and product strategy. 


Tappy is a wellness iOS app that integrates visual, audio, and haptic experiences. This startup stumbled into success after the app gained visibility on TikTok. CGU’s Games and Interactive Technology (GIT) Lab connected Tappy with Veeksha Balasa and Sam Light who conducted mixed-methods research, offering data-driven insights and strategic next steps. 


Through years of rigorous product development and with an academic background in cognitive science, Serena Lin designed Uplift to bridge generational and cultural gaps, connecting users from all walks of life. This game guides users to and through important conversations, leveraging evidence-based gameplay to capture stories and solidify memories. 

Wellness Game Testing

What started as a simple feature analysis of five wellness games (including Tappy!) turned into a full-fledged competitive evaluation of the top two apps, Finch and Kinder World. Partnering with both apps and a local middle school, Kelsey Villacorte and her team of six conducted a field study to test the efficacy of these apps and delivered key findings at shareouts to stakeholders.

Educational Apps Team

Through a lit review, provisionary persona, and feature analysis, Ruby Wang and Rosy Darla evaluated five educational apps that offer mathematics instruction. Using a feature-need analysis, they identified Khan Academy as the best app, offering extensive functionality and diverse content for a competitive price. 


Again through CGU’s GIT Lab, Jeffery Phonn and his team partnered with ShareHouse, a Japanese short-term vacation rental company, to evaluate users’ experience and offer design recommendations. Team member Serena Lao shared her research process — scheduling, conducting, and analyzing in-depth interviews — on this cross-functional, international team. 

Signet CX Internship

Last summer, Lexi Watkins worked at Signet Jewelers as a Senior CX Research and Strategy Intern. Her team conducted research across initial discovery and prototyping phases, to maximize in-store attachment rates for extended service agreements. Lexi’s academic background in cognitive psychology and excellent qualitative research skills were invaluable, as she identified and surfaced previously unrecognized insights. 

Reimagining Museums 

With an academic background in anthropology and a passion for storytelling, Skylar Masuda’s thesis explores failures of current museum design and the recent initiative to return stolen artifacts. Using this opportunity for positive change, she offers a reimagined museum-goer experience more accessible and engaging than ever before. 

After an hour of Lighting Talks, we kicked off the structured networking session with a raffle! Over $300 worth of UX-related prizes were given away. Attendees then made their way to one of six networking stations where they talked about topics like portfolio design, research practices, artificial intelligence, and job hunting. 

I know, you’re bummed you missed the UX Mixer. I would be too! It was an evening of friends, fun, and food. What’s not to love? Lucky for you, the mixer isn't going anywhere. We’ll be back next April with even more friends, food, and fun, and you’re invited. See you then :)

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