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A Local UX Professional Non-Profit Organization

Puget Sound SIGCHI (PSSIGCHI) is a non-profit, local chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI) serving the Puget Sound region's user experience and human-computer interaction professionals. Our members are practitioners, academics and researchers from Seattle, Washington and the surrounding areas. With the generosity of our active paying members, we are able to invite and host exciting user experience and HCI experts to our community.

2022-2023 Board Of Directors

Samantha Muscat-Scherr, Chair

Samantha is a UX/UI designer at Cascade Public Media, home to Seattle’s PBS station and the non-profit news site Crosscut. Combining user-centered techniques with 10 years of visual design experience, she enjoys seeing projects from preliminary research to prototype. Samantha is passionate about inclusive design. She advocates for web accessibility best practices in her current role, and enjoys volunteering with and designing for older adults.


Kim Kallinger, Vice Chair


Kim is a design and facilitation expert. With Avanade since 2011, she is currently leading a team who is playing a key part in driving our five-year strategy and transformation. Bringing senior leadership together across the globe, she creates and facilitate the space where co-creation, collaboration, and strategic planning happens. Previously she held the role of UX Studio Manager. Her main areas of skill and expertise revolve around business transformation; workshop design and facilitation; strategy, innovation, user experience research; product, and service design.

Ross Ablanalp, Treasurer


Ross is currently a UX Researcher at Hilton, where he works to understand how people plan for events. Previously, he has worked at a web design agency that provided opportunities to research in a broad variety of industries including hospitality, agriculture, nonprofits, and insurance. He enjoys spending free time with his family and trying to find quiet time for reading.

Ali Bube, Membership Chair


Ali Bube has been working in UX design and research since 2013 across education, media, and healthcare sectors. She currently leads the UX Research team for Seagen Inc., and is wrapping up her master’s degree in Data Analytics and Visual Storytelling through MICA.

Heather van Helvoort, Communications Chair


Heather van Helvoort is a UX designer for a Seattle studio division of Infosys, developing internal and external tools for fortune 500 companies. Prior to her life in product design, she was a fashion designer, shipping product globally for 12+ years. She loves being outdoors, whether it's hiking, walking her dog or just reading in her hammock.

Caitlin Steele, Program Chair


Caitlin Steele is a pragmatic creative and design leader. She was a founding team member of MasterClass, and has worked on native apps for Medidata, lululemon, and Atlassian. She is currently the design manager for Trello Mobile.

Gina Girgis, Program Chair


Gina Girgis has conducted research in the HCI space in a variety of topics including computer-supported collaborative work, web accessibility, and affective AI in academic and start-up settings. Gina is serving as program co-chair for SIG CHI Puget Sound for the 2022-2023 season and looking forward to sharing their passion for UX research and design with incoming members.

Alexandra Krongel, Program Chair


Alexandra is a user researcher and engineer who currently works for the Discovery Channel. She's interested in improving educational outcomes, the role of UX for machine learning practitioners and ethics, and cross cultural research and understanding. In her free time she likes to go diving, take weekend roadtrips around Washington, and practice languages to please Duo the owl

Jie Bai, Volunteer Chair / Academic Liaison

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Jie Bai is a Usability Specialist at Amazon and a graduate student in the Human-Centered Design and Engineering program at the University of Washington. She wants to connect students, volunteers and the UW community with SIGCHI. That being said, don’t hesitate to reach out to her at for volunteer opportunity or simply learning more about SIGCHI. Outside of work, she likes to pet all dogs, go reading at a nearby library and being a couch potato at home.

Cannon Hurst, Marketing Chair


Cannon Hurst is currently an undergraduate student at the UW. He studies English (Creative Writing) and plans to further his education in UX design. And looks forward to learning as much as possible through Puget Sound SIGCHI. In his free time, he enjoys reading, photography and playing the guitar.


The Puget Sound Chapter of ACM SigChi was founded in 1990 by Tom Rideout, Kathy Potosnak and Robin Kincaid. In the first years, the group was small but attracted attendees from Aldus, Microrim, Boeing, and the few usability professionals then practicing at Microsoft.

Over the years, the organization has grown from a small group of friends to a vibrant community embracing professionals from many fields including research, usability, information architecture, user experience, user-centered strategy and design.


Interested in becoming a member?

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