Evaluative Research: Out in Tech online events

Out in Tech is an international organization for LGBTQ+ people who work in the technology space. Their community connects over 40,000 people by creating opportunities for members to advance their careers, grow their networks, and leverage tech for social change.

You can read the full report here.


Out in Tech’s local chapters used to have their own in-person events, but since 2020, online events have become the norm. In the age of Zoom for both work and recreational chatting, Out in Tech sensed the need for a solution to Zoom fatigue.


My team of 5 was tasked with evaluating a series of video conferencing platforms that feature freedom of movement in the virtual space, and allow separate, organic conversations to form. The goal was to provide guidance to event creators and introduce them to new platform options. By communicating our findings to the leads of Out in Tech slack channels, we worked to improve event offerings for the queer community.

My role:

Over the course of 8 months, our team tested 6 platforms. We conducted events, surveyed the participants, and conducted user interviews. We synthesized our data using affinity maps, produced a written report, and presented to stakeholders. I was involved in each stage of this process, but took a lead role during the phase where we wrote up our insights and produced the report.


  1. Host events at two time slots each month (to accommodate a range of time zones)
  2. Survey participants to gather quantifiable data post-event, and screen for interviewees
  3. Conduct user interviews
  4. Synthesize data using affinity mapping
  5. Present findings to Out in Tech staff

The following platforms were examined by our team:

Quick reference cards:

I put together a series of quick reference cards with a snapshot of the interface of each platform and notes about its specifics, as a deliverable for the channel leads running events. Here is an example:

A slide containing an image of the Kumospace platform in use, plus details on Kumospace's capacity, known issues, onboarding, customizability, fun features, and so on.


The purpose of our research was to explore Zoom-alternative video chat options. These platforms give participants the ability to move freely about a space and have many separate conversations at one time in an organic manner. Among participants we interviewed, there was great enthusiasm for these types of events, both now and in the future. Finding a queer community is sometimes hard no matter where you live or who you are. Being able to connect the community is at the heart of Out in Tech’s mission and being able to provide better events promotes a more inclusive, accepting, and diverse tech community across the board. Some takeaways as to why our participants love virtual events:

Perhaps our most important finding is the extent to which running a good event is as much or more about the event setup as the platform itself. Creating an environment where LGBTQIA+ people can feel safe to be themselves and make genuine connections goes far beyond the physical or digital setting of events.

You may also like to read the full report.

On Teamwork

When everyone has an equal say, it's tough making decisions and phrasing findings. You have to know when to step up and say "here's what we're doing" or allow someone else to, even if you don't exactly agree. I'm grateful to my team for sticking together to figure out that dance respectfully and playfully.

Many thanks to Alex Solis and the RUXstar program, my fabulous teammates Juan Maquilon and Christopher Matthews, and our fearless leader, Leo LaCroix.