Jane Motz Hayes has been recognized with an Arbor Award, a distinction reserved for the university’s leading citizens. In recent years, Jane has been a leading role model for user experience design (UXD) students, having made the journey from Faculty of Information graduate to senior industry executive in Toronto.
“Jane has taught, inspired, interviewed, mentored dozens of our students, even hiring some,” says Assistant Professor (Teaching Stream), Colin Furness. “She has also worked tirelessly to break down gender barriers facing our graduates entering the field.”
Jane, who is Partner for Strategy and Experience Design at the ICF Next Agency, co-founded the Faculty’s “UX Industry Partner in Residence” initiative with Olivier St-Cyr, Assistant Professor (Teaching Stream) in 2017. She was actively involved with two courses: INF2170 – Information Architecture (Fall-2017) and INF2191 – User Interface Design (Winter-2018). In class, she and her team would help run workshops, lecture, and provide mentorship to the students. Jane and her team also ran an iSkills workshop on UX Portfolio that same academic year.
“There is a lot of energy in the classroom, particularly in the UXD studio and employer panels, and I like to sit with students to advise them with project work and coach them on how to plan for their future,” says Motz Hayes. “Much of what I focus on with them is how to break into the industry and where and what to do in order to start their career.”
With 15-plus years of experience in product design, digital content strategy, user experience, and information architecture, Jane has created products for multiple industries and has produced award-winning content for leading brands in the finance, media, automotive, fitness, and healthcare sector. She advocates for diverse and inclusive leadership and representation in the creative and tech industry.
“BIPOC and female identifying students will often find themselves either at a disadvantage or unable to network in for that first interview and so I work with them to build skills and make those connections so they can land a job,” says Motz Hayes. “Many of my mentees over the years have stayed in touch and it’s a pleasure to see how they’ve landed into the industry.”
The Arbor Award is the highest honour granted by the university and is given for sustained contributions to specific academic units, such as faculties, colleges or institutes, or for broader contributions to the university at large. The 112 alumni and supporters recognized this year contributed a diverse array of skills and leadership.