Recommendations and feedback are organized according to types of experience:
- Business Strategy & Research
- Agencies & White Labels
Sr. Manager of User Experience Research at Rogers
Camilo Sabogal Sr. Manager, User Experience & Engagement, RBC
I had the pleasure of being part of Ilona’s UX Research team at Rogers Digital. We executed more than 60 research projects across multiple business units, in less than 2 years.
Our outreach of UX Research insights sharing extended far across the organization, engaging many different teams, demonstrating the value of user-centered iterative design, and increasing empathy for our customers among our stakeholders.
As a manager, Ilona cared about the professional growth of her team. She was a great coach and mentor, who set me up for success. I learned so much from Ilona.
Anyone working with Ilona will benefit from learning from a great UX Expert who has great leadership skills and advocates tirelessly for improved Customer Experience.
As a bonus, Ilona the educator will teach about the “Keyhole Impact” and “Ilona’s Rules of Life.” Camilo reported to ILONA. March 27, 2017
User Experience Consultant
George Fitzmaurice Director, User Interface Research, Autodesk
We were extremely satisfied with Ilona’s performance, engagement, and insights.
Ilona Posner reported to me when conducting two usability studies for our Chronicle project, a web-based video tutorial system with a desktop recording system. (Chronicle was renamed Draco and later Sketchbook Motion which won Apple’s App Store’s App of the Year Award in 2016.) Ilona provided a set of “fresh eyes” on our project and we really benefited from her experience and perspective. In fact, we were able to make changes before running the first user study based on the initial design reviews we conducted with her.
Ilona lead the design and execution of both usability studies. She also analyzed the results and made solid recommendations. She was able to help us focus our high-level requests to “run usability studies” into what exact information we were looking for and how most efficiently we should go about obtaining the data. She has a strong technical background. Her technical skills were well used to execute and report on the usability studies.
Her skills at conducting effective and efficient design and usability analysis are truly excellent. Ilona has a rare depth of experience conducting a wide spectrum of user studies amongst a variety of businesses and industries. Also, Ilona was very flexible. She worked us into her schedule on short notice and was willing to conduct user studies at night and over the weekend.
My team and I were extremely satisfied with her performance, engagement, and insights. We look forward to an opportunity to work with Ilona again on future projects. George was ILONA’s client. March 28, 2014.
Ernest Lee Agile Enabler, Software Craftsperson
I met Ilona when she taught an intensive Usability course at my company over the course of 6 weeks almost a decade ago. Not realizing this until we recently reconnected at a talk she was giving, her teachings and insights have been a large cornerstone to the way I approach software development as a whole, putting users first and eliminating bias whenever possible. In hindsight, I have been truly blessed to have had that experience as it floods my entire view of users and customers first in a product-driven Agile approach that I spend my days advocating. Now, if everyone else could get the same education! Ernest was ILONA’s client. June 21, 2019.
User Experience Research Lead CIBC
Harumi Takeshita Director, User Experience, eChannels at CIBC
We were very lucky to have Ilona be part of our UX Research team for a year. She joined as a research consultant to help jump-start our new usability lab usage and did a very commendable job. She brought with her a wealth of knowledge in terms of current usability research, best practices, tried & true methodology, and her boundless energy. She plunged into the full usability test cycle of organizing, recruiting, facilitating, analyzing, and presentation of the results with minimal direction. She was so compelling in her Findings presentation that executives put down their Blackberries to listen.
She’s truly a user experience specialist in every sense and was responsible for many activities during the one-year contract including:
* design & execution of quality User Research studies
* design recommendations that take into account user needs, business goals & technical constraints
* insightful presentations of UX research results that encouraged cross-organizational discussions and challenged all involved to put users’ needs upfront and to innovate creative solutions around those needs
* high quality, detailed & actionable research reports deliverables
* design & delivery of customized training for UX team
* mentoring junior members of UX team
* Persona development based on the consolidation of public & proprietary research including in-house studies
Now when I see junior members running user studies in an organized and professional manner, I attribute that to Ilona’s positive influence. Harumi was ILONA’s client. March 26, 2012 – 2018.
Shao Kang Tat Senior Manager, Development, Post Signon at CIBC
Ilona was my computer science prof for Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Toronto.
I learned a great deal from Ilona and you can say that my extra attentiveness to all things User Experience related in the development world came from her.
Years later, Ilona came to work for the same company I worked for. Ilona as the User Experience Research Lead and myself, managing a team of developers.
I wanted my team to get a sense of where my attention to UE issues came from, so I had asked Ilona if she would be open to a lunch & learn to talk about UE related issues. It was a last-minute arrangement, but Ilona pulled it all together with just 4-5 business days notice.
She delivered the presentation quite successfully. Everyone in the room was engaged and certainly learned a thing or two (or more!). She is a great speaker, certainly gets your attention the moment she talks, and has ways to keep you hooked in by presenting interesting material and never staying on a topic for too long. She even incorporated a hands-on team activity to close off her presentation.
I certainly will be looking to Ilona for more material! Shao Kang managed ILONA indirectly at CIBC. January 27, 2013.
User Experience & Usability Consultant
Garry Beirne Chief Technology Officer at Directive Communication Systems
I have worked with Ilona a number of occasions She completed a usability review of a complex system for a client in the pharmacy industry. Her insights, intuition, and report quality were extremely professional and comprehensive, and the report is strongly influencing the course of product development. We were so impressed with the work that we hired her to give first a full-day workshop, and then a 9-week course to our developers and communications staff on Usability & User Experience. We were very happy with the outcomes of this course and many of the learnings were incorporated into our development process. She is an excellent communicator, teacher, and creative thinker. I can highly recommend Ilona as a powerful leader in usability and user experience. Garry was ILONA’s client. January 26, 2013
Stephen Orr Founder & CTO at Rigel Innitiative
I hired Ilona to assist in the re-design of an existing UI that had already been partially converted but needed some of the trickier portions of the product designed. She was given wide latitude for her initial concepts and produced some highly innovative and compelling solutions. She was excellent at defining the scope of work, helping to define the target user, and building a strong rationale for her solutions. I hope to have opportunities in the future to work with her again. April 26, 2012, Stephen was ILONA’s client
Paul Nykamp CTO at Klothed
Ilona has great experience, knowledge, and insight into software usability, and has made many valuable contributions to our browser-based collaboration software, Octopz. Ilona helped us shape the user experience of Octopz with usability testing and creative solutions to usability issues. Octopz has benefited greatly from Ilona’s input over the years. April 7, 2009, Paul was ILONA’s client
Mary Alton Interactive, Design and Illustration
Ilona’s insights into the design and development of software are always educational, and I think always lead to a better product. Ilona encourages collaboration and debate and brings out the best in her colleagues. June 22, 2007, Mary worked with ILONA at Independent Consultant
Dmitry Buterin Serial Entrepreneur, Mentor, Blockchain Angel investor
I have worked with Ilona on several joint projects and highly recommend her. She is very practical and results-oriented, works very quickly and efficiently. I am very impressed with her ability to extract meaningful conclusions from user interviews and come up with specific usability recommendations. September 11, 2006, Dmitry was ILONA’s client
Lecturer University of Toronto
Aizah Bakhtiyar Recent grad, designer, and maker
I took CSC318 with Prof Posner in Dec 2019 which was one of the most impactful courses I took during my undergrad. It challenged me and made me eager to pursue a graduate program that would enable me to understand design in a broader scope, which was something I’d never considered, prior to taking her class.
Her class and teaching style were also some of the most enjoyable parts of my undergrad experience and was why I encouraged other people to take CSC318 as well! Prof Posner structured the course in a way that sets you up for success if you put in the work. I particularly enjoyed the examples of bad design that we went over at the beginning of every class and I often used some of those examples in my interviews. Listening to her engaging lectures enabled me to critically observe interaction design in ubiquitous technologies, a typically tacit skill to acquire and for that I’m greatly appreciative of Prof Posner.
I had only a few professors who inspired me and Prof Posner was definitely one of them. December 25, 2020. Aizah was ILONA’s student at the University of Toronto, Department of Computer Science.
Sarah Esmail User Experience Designer & Offering Manager at IBM
I had the pleasure of meeting Professor Posner when I participated in her Ergonomic Design of Information Systems course in my final year of Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. She truly cares about her students and goes above and beyond to ensure they succeed both inside and outside the classroom.
Professor Posner is effective, teaching a User Centred Approach to solving design problems to ensure excellent user experience. With a focus on the “discover”, “define”, and “design” stages of Design Thinking, she provided me with the confidence to facilitate user research sessions and usability tests. From her, I learned the ability to develop personas, scenarios, user journeys, low and high fidelity prototypes, research artifacts, and professional reports to design effective solutions. These skills prompted many opportunities for me, including a full-time position in the UX industry. October 20, 2019. Sarah was a student of ILONA at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Industrial Engineering.
Michael Glueck Visualization Researcher
Ilona Posner taught my undergrad Interaction Design course at the University of Toronto. This was by far my favourite undergrad CS course.
She always brought enthusiasm and energy to the evening lectures and made sure to engage all students in the material. There were always small exercises to do outside of class, such as find examples of bad interaction design in our daily lives. Looking back, these seemingly trivial activities had the largest impact. Ilona encouraged me to develop my own awareness and critical eye– and make interaction design a part of my life. October 15, 2013, Michael was a student of ILONA at the University of Toronto, Computer Science
Matt McPherson Technology Entrepreneur & Operator
I had Ilona as my teacher for a graduate reading course in ‘Design of Interactive Computational Media’ – and she had everything you want in a teacher: accessible, nurturing and an expert in the subject matter (User-Centred Design in this case). The course ran in parallel with a computer science lecture and her style was engaging, garnering the undivided attention of the class. We need more teachers like Ilona. February 7, 2011, Matt was a student of ILONA at the University of Toronto, Computer Science
Ted Nelson, Designer, Generalist, Contrarian, Best known for: coining terms “hypertext” and “hypermedia” in 1963 and founding Project Xanadu, December 12, 2001
I enjoyed meeting you. You have a sparkle which is rare.
Isaac D. Scherson, Professor and Associate Chair for Academic Personnel, Dept. of Information and Computer Science, the University of California at Irvine, November 15, 2001
It was indeed a real pleasure to have met you in Toronto … as I said already, I liked your style !!!! …. better yet, I LOVED IT !!!