Man wearing virtual reality (VR) goggles.
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Mar 3, 2017 | Updated May 18, 2021

BlinkThink: VR, Chatbots, and the UX of Emerging Tech

Join us at Blink UX on Thursday, March 30 in the Seattle Waterfront area for BlinkThink.

Thursday, March 30
5:30pm - 8pm

VR, Chatbots, and the UX of Emerging Tech

Join us at Blink UX on Thursday, March 30 in the Seattle Waterfront area for BlinkThink. There will be two interesting presentations and an artist’s reception, along with the opportunity to demo the HoloLens by Microsoft. We’ll feature the innovative art of Margaret Leonard and presentations from Blink co-founder and CXO, Kelly Franznick, and John Howard of Loook. These presentations will focus on the UX of chatbots and virtual reality.

This event is free and open to the public. Wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres will be served and our UX labs will be open for viewing with VR devices available for guests to demo before and after the presentations. RSVP today!


  • 5:30pm - Artist reception, refreshments, and VR demos
  • 6:30pm - Introduction and overview of the artwork
  • 6:40pm - Kelly Franznick, CXO of Blink UX
  • 7:00pm - John Howard, Creative Director of Loook
  • 7:20pm - Socializing/networking until 8:00pm

Kelly Franznick, Co-founder and CXO, Blink UX

Presentation: My Chatbot Ate Your Intranet


Kelly is passionate about making our daily interactions with technology more innovative, intuitive, and rewarding. While growing Blink from two to over 60 employees, he has worked with hundreds of clients, from tech-sector heavy hitters like Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, to startups and non-profits.

He holds a degree in industrial design from Arizona State University and a Masters from the Institute of Design in Chicago. Prior to founding Blink UX, Kelly led user-centered design teams at E-Lab, Personal Health Connections, and Bowne. He enjoys working on cutting edge projects in the data visualization, healthcare, and IT spaces. He feels lucky to have contributed to some of the largest and most successful product launches in history and his work has been recognized with a number of awards, including several IDSA IDEA awards for design excellence.

Always eager to share his passion for design and technology with others, he volunteers his time as an instructor and external advisor for programs at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology and the University of Washington.

Presentation: My Chatbot Ate Your Intranet

Chatbots have been around since before the Internet, but new technologies such as SMS messaging, easy API access, and artificial intelligence are bringing on a resurgence of chatbots aimed at solving real business problems.

This talk will highlight lessons learned when designing a chatbot to replace a business function that had previously been delivered through an Intranet. Topics will include common mistakes, user testing approaches, and where this technology is headed.

John Howard, Co-founder and Creative Director, Loook, Inc.

Presentation: UX/UI Design for VR and Mixed Reality

John Howard

John Howard is Co-Founder and Creative Director of LOOOK, a mixed reality design and development studio that creates meaningful applications for companies, organizations and individuals. Their clients include KPMG, BGC Engineering, and Vulcan. Previously, he was Creative Director on Microsoft HoloLens for partnerships with NASA, Autodesk, and Trimble. His past work includes Xbox Fitness and Lead Design positions on several AAA games, including Halo: Combat Evolved.

Presentation: UX/UI Design for VR and Mixed Reality

VR and mixed reality will be the biggest technology disruptions since the smartphone, but most UX/UI design is still focused on flat screens. What do UX designers and engineers need to make the jump to spatial 3D?

The futuristic 3D interfaces of movies and video games have painted an exciting picture, but what looks cool onscreen is rarely functional or practical for real applications. And the tried-and-true rules of flat UX design often fail to translate into 3D.

Fortunately, real work is being done is this space. The new rules of spatial UX/UI are being written today. This talk explores the spatial UX/UI toolbox. We’ll take a look at what works, what doesn’t, why, and how you can apply these UX/UI principles to your own projects.

Margaret Leonard, Artist


Margaret is an interdisciplinary artist working in Seattle and Harstine Island. She grew up in Massachusetts with her parents and six siblings. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1997.

Artist Statement

Through the years, I have observed how speaking about the art can distract the receiver’s individual experience. I have watched how my personal interpretations can derail one from truly participating in the life of a painting, sculpture, installation, or performance.

What moves through my being, and calls for creation of a certain form, cannot always be known or anticipated. It has become clear that my obligation is to deeply listen with as little judgement as possible. I trust and follow the collective impulses that influence, and allow the work to continue to give of itself.

I feel a duty to hold true to the honor, wonder, and mystery that surrounds the process. My privilege and hope is to pay attention with honesty, humility, courage, and tremendous grace.

May somehow this collection of work serve a greater knowing, and a deeper realization of who you are.

UPDATE (4/4/17): View the presentation records from this event here:

Event Details

The event is open to the public and free of charge. For updates, photos, and event info, find us at #BlinkThink

Please RSVP at our Eventbrite page. Guests are welcome, please list each name on the RSVP page.


Location: Blink
Waterfront Building
1011 Western Ave. Suite 810
Seattle, WA 98104

Questions? Contact us at [email protected]