Mike Oren believes that technology serves people, not the other way around. Accordingly, he strives for collaborative and innovative solutions to technological challenges that empower people to accomplish goals they never thought possible. He has been an Adjunct Faculty member at IIT Institute of Design (ID) since 2018, teaching Evidence-Based Design, a course that introduces students to behavioral analytics and A/B testing. Mike also mentors students at Northwestern University’s Segal Design Institute. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science and English writing from DePauw University, a Master of Science degree in Human-Computer Interaction from Iowa State University, and a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from Iowa State. He also received a certificate in Disruptive Strategy from the Harvard Business School Online.

Industry Experience

Professionally, Mike brings stakeholders across an organization together to democratize data, so that all can focus on a core problem and derive the best solution. He is a fierce believer in collaboration and works to increase cross-pollination of ideas between user experience (UX) and data science. He also strives to ensure organizations are set up to maximize empathy for their customers.

Since 2018 Mike has served as Senior Manager of Design Research and Strategy at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, where he has established a talent pipeline, championed the design process to move engagements from delivery to thought leadership, and enhanced practice processes to deliver increased value to the organization without increasing timelines. In 2016 Mike founded Societech, a company that engineers and monetizes UX solutions to problems embedded in social practices. With an initial focus on interpersonal communication and finance, Societech helps solve big problems with small yet effective solutions.

Previously, Mike was Principal Design Researcher at Motorola Mobility, Chicago (2014–16), where he planned and conducted research using innovative techniques aimed at getting more realistic feedback from users for web, software, and hardware experiences. He also worked at United Airlines in Chicago in UX research (2012–14) and as a Senior User Interface Analyst at AIM Specialty Health, also in Chicago (2011–12).

Select Publications

Oren, Mike, and Stephen B. Gilbert. 2011. “Framework for Measuring Social Affinity for Computer Supported Cooperative Work Software.” In Proceedings of the Association of Computing Machinery’s Conference on Human Factors in Computing, CHI EA: 1387–1392.

Oren, Michael A., and Stephen B. Gilbert. 2011. “Building Better Design Teams: Enhancing Group Affinity to Aid Collaborative Design.” In Proceedings of Design Computing and Cognition, Gero, J.S., ed. Springer, Dordrecht.

Oren, M.A., and Gilbert, S.B. 2009. “ConvoCons: Encouraging Affinity on Multitouch Interfaces.” In Human-Computer Interaction: Ambient, Ubiquitous, and Intelligent Interaction, Jacko, J.A., ed., vol. 2612. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.