On Display Montreal event ‘Like speed dating for designers’


A group of independent designers and user experience (UX) professionals are putting on a event targeting web students and professionals on January 21.

The free event, called On Display Montreal, will be held at Shopify‘s Montreal offices and will feature 20 professional design mentors for students to mingle with and have their portfolio reviewed.

According to event lead Elyse Viotto, a web designer at Shopify Montreal, the evening will help students strengthen their projects and build a strong, memorable portfolio. They’ll also learn how to talk about their projects and their design process.

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Elyse Viotto, co-organizer of On Display Montreal

“This is an initiative that we took to give back to the design community,” Viotto told MTLinTech. “I find that the role of product UX designer is not well known, and having an opportunity to show work and meet people who already work at tech companies makes students aware of what kind of jobs they can have when they start looking for work.

Some of the expert mentors heading to the event include designers from startups, including Breather and Transit App, professional design consultants and even a teacher at HEC. Viotto said her group of organizers reached out to those designers within the community that they admired.

It’s kinda cool because you don’t get to see these people at a lot of events, except maybe Tout le Monde UX, and they all have very different views of design. They all have years of experience and they’ll be able to provide great feedback to the students.

I find its good to have 20 people from very different areas all in the same room, so you can have a great idea of what makes the fabric of the design community in Montreal. There’s someone for everything.

-Elyse Viotto, organizer, On Display

For the organizers of On Display, it’s important to cultivate a sense of knowledge-sharing in order to elevate the expertise of the design community. People progress when they share information, said Viotto. She feels it’s a great dual-opportunity for young students to grow as designers, and for the mentors to have a potential hiring pipeline.

“All the students are coming to them. It’s like speed-dating for designers,” she said.

When Viotto graduated from Concordia University, as a young designer, she felt that little events existed for anyone who wasn’t necessarily interested in commercial business or advertising.

“I didn’t feel like I belonged with my web work. Here we’re more about the design process. So you can come and show work, and explain how you got to that solution. I think its going to be great, because once you can back up your design decisions and present your work well, it helps a lot.”

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