GDC Connect

Future-proof your Career with GDC Connect: A New Professional Development Program for GDC BC

As the design profession evolves, the multiple career paths in our industry present a dizzying array of options. Whether new to the design industry or part of it for some time; designers know that transition, and their ability to adapt to change, is essential to their livelihood. The circumstances in which one does their work can also change over the course of a career - some designers may move from freelance to agency, generalist to specialist, and back again. Whether you work in print, web, creative direction or UX, the GDC wants to help you develop adaptable skills for your future.

GDC Connect will pilot this spring with workshops focused on topical themes. Each session will host a small group of designers who will be privy to real-world case studies of success and failures, frank dialogue, hands-on activities, and peer-to-peer conversation. Recognizing the growing interest in UX and Interaction field, the first workshop in May 2017 will be guided by mentors working in usability, who will provide guidance on education, portfolio development and best practice tips.

Attendees should be new graduates who are seeking work or those who have been in the industry for 5-7 years, and who are looking to crossover into new roles. GDC Connect will also be seeking participation from those in our industry to provide mentorship and guidance, and develop their skills in presenting and mentoring. In order to tailor the workshop to the most pressing needs within the GDC community, those wishing to attend are invited to sign up for the mailing list and provide their input via this survey. If you fill out the survey, you will receive a special code and first priority for our workshop. You are not only can attend the workshop but also participate as a mentor or lead instructor. If you want more information, please contact Pauline Lai at

UX Workshop series:

Case Studies for UX, IA and UI - May 13th 2017 

More workshops coming soon!

Mentors List:

Todd Sieling @DenimAndSteel

Todd is an interaction designer and co-founder of Denim & Steel Interactive. For nearly twenty years he has been involved in the design and production of interactive experiences. A co-founding organizer of Vancouver Design Week and board member for BEST, his interests and influences span various modes of design, transportation and urban systems, game design, history, and ethics.

Stevie Nguyen @StevieNguyenyvr

Born in France to Vietnamese refugees, and raised on the ancestral unceded land of the Coast Salish people, Stevie Thuy Anh began their journey of finding, fostering and creating connections and making meaning between folks 8 years ago. They spent 6 years in the marketing department of a leadership development firm before becoming a designer full time in 2014. Empowered by an education from Simon Fraser University (SFU)’s School for Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) and Communications program, Stevie aims to create work that contributes to a more loving world. They find meaning in mentoring future designers studying in SIAT, facilitating with Out in Schools, and shaping positive learning experiences with IBM’s Centre for Advanced Learning (CAL). Passionate about connecting with folks, Stevie is keen to witness folks’ stories, and shape experiences that resonate through design.

David Drucker @ddrucker

David has worked in UX for over 20 years, and designed everything from desktop software to web sites, medical device prototypes, touch screen control systems and kiosks, to phones and tablet apps. His clients have included startups, like AVID and Frictionless Commerce to large companies like IBM and Fidelity Investments. He’s also written two books on computers for Prentice Hall Publishing. He also has taught at UBC, BCIT and Emily Carr University, where he created the course "Interaction Design: Principles".  He doesn't have a degree in UX, since there weren't any when he started, but he has a Bachelor’s in Music Composition from the University of Cincinnati and an M.Phil. from Cambridge University.

Krispian Emert @krispian

Krispian has over 10 years’ experience, working at all stages of the User Experience process—from strategy and conception through production and implementation. She has worked at award-winning agencies and for some of the world’s top brands, including Microsoft, The NFL, Thompson Reuters, ING, and Toyota. Keen to improve the discipline of User Experience, Krispian is the Information Architecture Instructor at VFS and speaks about UX Strategy at conferences, universities, and within Vancouver’s UX community.

Mike Cober @mikecober

Michael is a Vancouver based graphic designer focusing on integrated design and marketing strategies for tourism and action sports. Since Netscape beta Mike has been designing meaningful and purposeful UI/UX communications for clients including Arc’teryx, Rocky Mountain Bicycles, BARE wetsuits, and Mountain Equipment Co-op. A Professional Member (CGD) of the Graphic Designers of Canada, Michael serves on the national executive as VP Certification working with a small team of professionals on the development of an inclusive and comprehensive certification system that accommodates the broad variety of roles within the graphic/communication design industry in a way that is inclusive, scalable, and rigourous.

If you're interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Pauline at