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UX for Good tackles social issues facing New Orleans musicians

In conjunction with The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, New Orleans will be the host city for the second annual UX for Good, an event that aims to use design systematic solutions to solve some of society’s most pressing issues. (UX, for the technologically challenged, refers to User Experience.)

A partnership of The Grammys and MusiCares, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, and the Clinton Global Initiative, UX for Good brings together a group of esteemed “user experience” designers from across the country to create solutions that tackle critical social issues affecting the music community in New Orleans.  The designers will apply their user-centered methodologies and unique design perspectives to help the greater good, making use of one of New Orleans’ most valuable assets — music.

Two populations within the music community of New Orleans are in particular need of help. The first includes musicians who could be self-supporting if economic models in the music industry were aligned to help them do so. The second group, which has been particularly impacted in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, includes musicians and their families who have fallen on hard times and are in need of additional social and financial support.

“With each UX for Good event, we’re evolving directly based on what we learn from our participants, partners and, most importantly, supporting non-profits,” said Jason Ulaszek, co-founder for UX for Good and UX Director for Manifest Digital in Chicago. “When we gather in May in New Orleans, we’ll continue that evolution, working with the best UX designers in the field today, a non-profit intimately familiar with the challenges musicians face and a city rich with heritage and pride.”

The team of designers will gather in New Orleans from May 2-4. The first two days will be spent conducting research throughout the city, particularly the two target populations within the music community, and the third day will be dedicated to designing plans aimed at helping solve their problems.

In addition, as part of the three-day workshop, the designers will each lead short seminars for design students and professionals in an effort to inspire them with “user experience” philosophies and methodologies.

UX for Good is part of Now Fest New Orleans, a weeklong series of events that celebrates New Orleans and its fusion of cultures. The week’s festivities, which began April 27, will also include Launch Pad Ignition’s culminating event, Launch Fest, entertainment industry discussions by SyncUp, and an after-party held by The Recording Academy and MusiCares at 6 p.m. Friday, May 4, at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Adriana Lopez writes about the entrepreneurial community for NolaVie and Silicon Bayou News. She also showcases local start-ups through her non-profit organization GenNOLA. For more information on NolaVie, go to


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