Prepare to Design the Future
March 19–20, 2017: Training
March 20–22, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
San Francisco, CA

Proceedings

All
Derek Alderton (UCLA Anderson School of Management)
2-Day Training Please note: to attend, your registration must include Training courses.
Derek Alderton guides you through EMBAD, a 2-day program for experienced design professionals who increasingly need to interact and deal effectively with senior management. You'll gain an understanding of the concepts, vocabulary, and priorities of senior management by discussing a series of real-world situations as though you were actually the senior executive team.
Technology, tools, and process
Kaaren Hanson (Medallia), Micah Alpern (Medallia), sara khoury (Google), Amanda Linden (Asana), Catherine Courage (Google)
Startup design is radically different from design at established companies. Join in to hear how design leaders Catherine Courage (Docusign), Kaaren Hanson (Medallia), Sara Khoury (bebop), and Amanda Linden (Asana) moved from leadership positions at large corporations to roles at scrappy startups. If you’re thinking about joining a startup, this is the panel to attend.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Lane Goldstone (Brooklyn Copper Cookware)
The mindset, skills, and experience that make you a successful user experience designer can contribute to your success as an entrepreneur. Instead of working on a project defined by someone else, what would it be like to bring your own ideas to life? Lane Goldstone shares her journey from consultant to entrepreneur and explains how having a background in design impacts Brooklyn Copper Cookware.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Jenny Mullins (LearnUp Inc.)
Being the first designer is rewarding, but it’s hard. How do you convince leadership to invest in design? What roadblocks will you face and how can you overcome them? Jenny Mullins shares helpful tips and practical advice to help any current or aspiring design leader pave the way for a strong design culture.
Beyond the screen
Desiree Garcia (IBM Watson)
Desiree Garcia shares a case study of using IBM Watson to build a bot to help Nike+ customers troubleshoot their products. Along the way, Desiree demonstrates the urgent importance of designing with content first and outlines the ways that even advanced bots can leave people helpless in very serious situations.
Beyond the screen
Patrick Chew (IBM Design), Alexandra Williams (Airbnb), Ryan Noon (Nike), Tim Belonax (Pinterest)
Companies around the world are creating room for screen printing, letterpress, circuitry, and more. But what does physical making have to do with building better products? Patrick Chew, Alexandra Williams, Ryan Noon, and Tim Belonax discuss how spaces like this come to be, why they exist, and how they're changing the modern workplace.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Julie Rodriguez (Sapient Global Markets)
Your data can be key to the success of your decisions and communications, but without proper data visualizations that provide context and accurate representation of the numbers, communications can be misguided. Julie Rodriguez draws upon examples from her book Visualizing Financial Data to show you how to turn your raw data into meaningful information.
Keynotes
John Allspaw (Etsy), Randy Hunt (Etsy)
A fireside chat with Randy Hunt, VP of Design, Etsy, and John Allspaw, CTO, Etsy.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Tim Frick (Mightybytes, Inc.)
The internet is becoming the world’s largest source of CO2 emissions. 560,000 agencies around the world make daily design decisions on behalf of their clients, directly impacting internet sustainability. Tim Frick explains how to apply sustainability principles to the process of designing digital products and services, helping you make better decisions on behalf of people and the planet.
Beyond the screen
Sarah Gold (Projects by IF)
Companies use our data in thousands of ways but only ask permission to with one: getting us to click "agree" to a jargon-rich list of terms and conditions. It’s not good enough, and users know it. Sarah Gold discusses projects that offer new models of consent and explores how people respond when you give them more agency over the data they generate.
Evan Ryan (Fresh Tilled Soil)
2-Day Training Please note: to attend, your registration must include Training courses.
Evan Ryan guides you through a mini design sprint, giving you firsthand experience of what it’s like to apply this process to a business challenge. Along the way, you’ll hear stories of how other organizations have implemented design sprints and engage in discussions of tips and pitfalls for executing design sprints in your organization.
Technology, tools, and process
Amy Vainieri (Forum One), Courtney Clark (Forum One)
How did Forum One design a beautiful website for a service-based organization that had almost 30 unique pages without taking a year to build it? Amy Vainieri and Courtney Clark explain how Forum One uses atomic design principles in its work and demonstrate how to make your website project more efficient, consistent, and scalable.
Technology, tools, and process
Mark Wolfe (Slalom)
Many people begin a show or podcast on their computer, continue it on their handset, and finish the experience from their home. Unifying the experience across the connected ecosystem is essential to maintain engaged and loyal users. Mark Wolfe discusses designing the experience for streaming devices and the connected experience for the entire digital ecosystem.
Claire Rowland (Independent), Elizabeth Goodman (confectious), Martin Charlier (Rain Cloud)
2-Day Training Please note: to attend, your registration must include Training courses.
Claire Rowland, Elizabeth Goodman, and Martin Charlier offer a solid, practical grounding in the core principles and techniques for creating great UX with hardware, applications, and data, enabling you to hit the ground running as a connected product designer.
Cathy Pearl (Sensely)
2-Day Training Please note: to attend, your registration must include Training courses.
Cathy Pearl demonstrates how to design a system that follows good conversational UI principles.
Technology, tools, and process
Cathy Pearl (Sensely)
"Earl Gray, hot." We are closer than ever to the promised land of the Star Trek computer. There have been huge strides recently in the technology of speech recognition, but the new era of speech-enabled devices (such as Siri, Ok Google, and the Amazon Echo) is in its infancy. This talk will provide key design principles to help you design the best VUI possible.
Rune Madsen (NYU)
2-Day Training Please note: to attend, your registration must include Training courses.
Rune Madsen explains how to design compelling visual stories from data.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Eli Silva (Pivotal Labs), Molly Beyer (University of North Texas)
Who designs designers? Who designs design organizations? Is UX empathy only skin deep? Do you believe in a world where everyone matters? Eli Silva and Molly Beyer outline ways to design cultures that support design thinking, organizational growth, and diversity in the workplace. Join in to learn how to develop career paths for your team and discover tips for inclusivity in design workspaces.
Beyond the screen
Claire Rowland (Independent)
The IoT creates new possibilities for controlling and instrumenting the world but also new possibilities for failure—systems are subject to physical breakages, gnarly software bugs, and emergent system effects. We have a responsibility to system users to anticipate and mitigate these failures. Claire Rowland discusses the ways products can fail and explains how to mitigate the impact on users.
Beyond the screen
Andra Keay (Silicon Valley Robotics)
As robots become reality, there are calls for us to design ethical "good" robots. . .but all we really need are good design principles for robots. Andra Keay introduces five principles for good robot design drawn from the best thinking in human-robot interaction—purpose, predictability, transparency, durability, and honesty—illustrated by examples of robotics best practice.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Austin Beer (Huge)
Tutorial Please note: to attend, your registration must include Tutorials on Monday.
Austin Beer demonstrates how applying design thinking to chatbots can help create more trustworthy experiences and allow you to quickly experiment with designing artificial intelligence. As you work in teams to design your own chatbots, you'll explore human-centered methods, ethical issues, design process, and the heart of conversation design in order to create revolutionary experiences.
Beyond the screen
What happens when the trolley problem is applied to an autonomous car? What happens when the robot nanny has to discipline a child? Algorithms and the IoT are not neutral or impartial—they inherit the biases and assumptions we train them for. Gretchen Anderson explores the challenges we face when designing the user experiences of the complex behavioral agents that increasingly run our lives.
Beyond the screen
Ame Elliott (Simply Secure), Elizabeth Goodman (confectious), Adrienne Porter Felt (Google), Jennifer King (UC Berkeley School of Information)
If users don’t trust a product, they won’t use it. Too often, security and privacy are treated only as engineering problems—not problems involving design. Using examples from large-scale software deployments with more than a billion users, this panel deconstructs UX microinteractions—details giving immediate feedback—that communicate security and shares tips for designing trustable interactions.
Technology, tools, and process
Abi Jones (Google)
Tutorial Please note: to attend, your registration must include Tutorials on Monday.
Storyboarding converts brainstorming sessions into a real product direction and, in turn, provides a vision that your team can return to throughout the design and development process. Abi Jones walks you through placing product ideas in the context of user needs through storyboarding, refining product concepts, learning a variety of sketching techniques, and presenting product stories.
Keynotes
John Allspaw (Etsy), Randy Hunt (Etsy)
Join John Allspaw and Randy Hunt for a fireside chat.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Braden Kowitz (GV (formerly Google Ventures))
Design culture. We know it’s important. It affects design teams, productivity, hiring, and employee retention. But often it’s hard to define and even harder to foster. Braden Kowitz draws on his experience working with over 100 startups at GV (formerly Google Ventures) to discuss the main tenets of creating a meaningful design culture.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Alastair Simpson (Atlassian)
Within four years, Atlassian's design team has increased from 6 to 126. Building and managing a design team of this size is one thing; integrating it into a traditionally engineering led organization is another. Alastair Simpson shares how Atlassian has successfully embraced design as a first-class discipline and is transitioning from an engineering- to an experience-led company.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Noah Iliinsky (Amazon Web Services)
Noah Iliinsky offers a quick survey of 17 design approaches and conversations you've never heard of—or aren't using sufficiently—enabling you to find the right problems to solve and solve them well. . .or at least better than you can now.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Aarron Walter (InVision)
Aarron Walter has been on a journey. As the first designer hired at MailChimp, he founded the product design practice and scaled it as the company grew from just 6 employees to 550. The waters were at times difficult to navigate for him and his team. Constant company growth required adaptation, and lead to many hard learned lessons.
Technology, tools, and process
Ben Fullerton (Nike)
A blinking cursor, a blank sheet of paper, an empty artboard. . .the very beginning of a project can be a daunting place for anyone, regardless of how many times they’ve been there before. Ben Fullerton explores different ways designers approach work and identifies some techniques that lead to successful projects and quality work.
Chris Maury (Conversant Labs)
Tutorial Please note: to attend, your registration must include Tutorials on Monday.
The design process for voice user interfaces (VUIs) is fundamentally different than for graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and is arguably more impactful on the final product. Chris Maury explores best practices in VUI design and the design life-cycle of voice-enabled products before walking you through designing and prototyping your own voice-enabled app.
Keynotes
Julie Zhuo (Facebook)
Keynote with Julie Zhuo
Keynotes
Kat Holmes (Microsoft)
Keynote with Kat Holmes
Simon Endres (Red Antler)
Simon Endres shares his experience creating the brand for the NZ-inspired, SF-based footwear company Allbirds.
Technology, tools, and process
Rafi Ajl (Highway1)
Things don’t come into the world as fully formed awesome expressions: they are the result of a rigorous design process. Rafi Ajl shares lessons learned from 40 hardware teams who have gone through the Highway1 accelerator—enabling you to listen to people and the world around you and chase down the insights that differentiate the merely good from the truly great.
Kathryn McElroy (IBM Watson)
Tutorial Please note: to attend, your registration must include Tutorials on Monday.
Kathryn McElroy walks you through physical prototyping with the open source electronics platform Arduino. You’ll learn the basics of prototyping with electronics, including tips and tricks on how to get started and how to write code for microcontrollers. It’s easier than you think. You’ll walk away with an Arduino starter kit and the skills to keep building when you get home.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Darrin Caddes (Plantronics)
Design is an increasingly important element in determining the success or failure of a wearable device. Darrin Caddes discusses the state of wearables today from a design and aesthetics perspective, covering societal drivers, motivating factors, UX trends, potential barriers for adoption, and core keys to success.
Technology, tools, and process
James Kalbach  (MURAL)
Tutorial Please note: to attend, your registration must include Tutorials on Monday.
James Kalbach discusses the principles of value alignment through diagrams, with many examples and practical advice, offering guidance on mapping experiences as well as how to become grass-roots strategic players.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Jordan Shade (IBM)
Creating a culture around design thinking in any company requires education, evaluation, and iteration. IBM has educated and activated 10,000+ of its employees in design thinking. . .but how do you know if it's having an impact? Using IBM as a case study, Jordan Shade explains how to measure the adoption of this new way of working, including common blockers and essential enablers.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Jay Trimble (NASA)
Jay Trimble explains how design thinking was applied to user software for NASA's mission control systems and how NASA has been able to build a design-informed organization of stakeholders by mapping existing mental models from system engineering to design thinking.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Peter  Merholz  (Self-employed), Kristin Skinner (Capital One)
Tutorial Please note: to attend, your registration must include Tutorials on Monday.
As the move to establish in-house design teams accelerates, there's very little common wisdom on what makes for a successful design organization. Design requires not just process and methods but savvy with organizational and operational matters. Peter Merholz and Kristin Skinner shine a light on the unsung activities of actually running a design team, exploring what works and what doesn't.
Benjamin Yoskovitz (Highline BETA)
2-Day Training Please note: to attend, your registration must include Training courses.
Ben Yoskovitz provides an in-depth, hands-on exploration of business strategy, product management, and the role of design in both of these disciplines. Over two days, Ben guides you through various tools, techniques, and processes for understanding and mapping business strategies, measuring what matters, and learning how to build quality products that solve real problems.
Technology, tools, and process
Patrick Hebron (Interactive Telecommunications Program, New York University)
Is it possible to simplify design tools without limiting their expressivity? Patrick Hebron investigates how recent advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence will enable a new generation of tools that help novice and expert designers alike develop deeply nuanced and original ideas without committing to a steep learning curve or ceding creative control to the machine.
Bridging design, technology, and business
lizzie kumaria (Objective Subject), David Jalbert-Gagnier (Objective Subject)
David Jalbert-Gagnier and Lizzie Kumaria of Objective Subject share how a digital project kickstarted a wider update of the City of Oakland’s communication materials. Showcasing the principle of "evolution, not revolution," which is so crucial in public sector design, Lizzie and David discuss four tests for better government visual identities.
Keynotes
Dan Mall (SuperFriendly)
It's no longer enough to be a Photoshop master. Designers need to grow their skills in order to stay relevant and effective. But which skills are worth focusing on? Drawing on his experience, Dan Mall shares stories and perspectives on whether designers should code, how designers can fit into Agile workflows, the role a designer has in creating, using, and maintaining design systems, and more.
SPACE UNAVAILABLE
Technology, tools, and process
Danielle Malik (Design Equation), Billie Mandel (Design Equation)
With the industry booming and fresh designers flooding the job market daily, the gap between education and employment has never been more evident. How can managers mentor junior hires to maximum effectiveness? How can junior designers stand out in the crowd? Danielle Malik and Billie Mandel explore the impact of strong mentorship in creating successful designers.
Technology, tools, and process
Amy Silvers (Nasdaq)
Design teams often treat research as an artifact, conducting and recording interviews and then setting them aside when it’s time to work on design. This results in designs that don't meet the users' needs. In this talk, I'll discuss how Nasdaq's design team has been working to include research throughout the design process. I'll share and demo the tools we use to manage and share findings.
Keynotes
Barry Katz (California College of the Arts)
The history of Silicon Valley Design is the history of the growth and expansion of design itself. Barry Katz explains how design has evolved from packaging electronics in sheet metal enclosures in the 1950s to grappling with some of the most fundamental problems of modern civilization: global poverty, urban violence, public health—in short, everything from the beginning of life to the end.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Amanda Linden (Asana)
The future of enterprise design is one where users have a strong connection with the brand of the products they are using. At the same time, future enterprise products will make you feel closer to your coworkers, even as teams become more distributed across the globe. Amanda Linden explains what your product team should prioritize and how to ensure your user experience investments are successful.
Beyond the screen
Mike Haley (Autodesk, Inc.)
Mike Haley explores how machine learning (aka artificial intelligence) is changing how designers build products and how people experience them—a transformation driven by advances in computer science that enable designers to remove barriers to creativity, making it easier and faster to create than ever before.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Peter  Morville  (Semantic Studios)
In response to a manager’s question about how to plan products, Alan Kay famously remarked, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” His answer invokes a paradox at the heart of design: we can’t know the future, yet it’s what we design for. Peter Morville argues that to practice strategic design amid disruptive innovation, we must get better at planning.
Keynotes
Dan Hill (Arup)
Dan Hill explores creating great user experience for buildings, places, infrastructure, and cities.
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Keynotes
Program chairs Mary Treseler and Leah Buley close the first day of keynotes.
Keynotes
Mary Treseler (O'Reilly Media), Leah Buley (Leah Buley Co.)
Program Chairs, Mary Treseler and Leah Buley, welcome you to the first day of keynotes.
Event
During lunch, you'll have the chance to participate in a Birds of a Feather session with like-minded people.
Keynotes
Mary Treseler (O'Reilly Media), Leah Buley (Leah Buley Co.)
Program chairs Mary Treseler and Leah Buley welcome you to the first day of keynotes.
Beyond the screen
Steve Portigal (Portigal Consulting)
War Stories are stories about contextual user research and the inevitable mishaps that ensue. These stories are in turn bizarre, comic, tragic and generally astonishing. In this session, Steve will share some of the best stories he's collected, examine the patterns revealed by the stories, and articulate the different lessons revealed by this large collection of stories.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Daniel Soltis (Moving Brands)
While branding is often viewed as graphic design, it is intertwined with user experience: a brand identity is a tool that practitioners use when designing a range of experiences. Daniel Soltis explains how attitudes, skills, and practices from UX design can inform brand design and, more generally, what it looks like to take lessons from one discipline and apply them to a new context.
Technology, tools, and process
Martin Charlier (Rain Cloud)
Rapidly prototyping interactions spanning across multiple devices, places and interface types can be challenging. A little-used medium that can help is video: it can be used for both rapidly prototyping the experience of connected products, as well as documenting it for development. Both without spending much time or money. This talk will show examples and where to start.
Beyond the screen
Jody Medich (Singularity University)
Virtual reality has great entertainment potential, but that's just the beginning. Because VR provides all of our visual sense, it has magical abilities to actively rewire the brain to provide superhuman healing powers for everything from PTSD to paralysis to recovery from strokes. Jody Medich discusses the how and why and explores the untapped potential for this technology beyond entertainment.
Keynotes
Program chairs Mary Treseler and Leah Buley close the second day of keynotes.
Keynotes
Mary Treseler (O'Reilly Media), Leah Buley (Leah Buley Co.)
Program Chairs, Mary Treseler and Leah Buley, welcome you to the second day of keynotes.
Event
During lunch, you'll have the chance to participate in a Birds of a Feather session with like-minded people.
Keynotes
Mary Treseler (O'Reilly Media), Leah Buley (Leah Buley Co.)
Program chairs Mary Treseler and Leah Buley welcome you to the second day of keynotes.
Beyond the screen
Pamela Pavliscak (SoundingBox)
The technology we use every day knows a lot about what we do. But so far, it doesn’t know much about how we feel. That’s changing as emotion-sensing technology moves from the experimental phase to reality. Pamela Pavliscak explores what makes for a rich emotional experience and why, even if we make our technology invisible, the connection will still be emotional.
Bridging design, technology, and business
Brandon  Schauer  (Adaptive Path at Capital One)
We map and measure customer journeys, but often stumble at just what should be done next to deliver great service experience atop complex systems and organizations. Brandon Schauer demonstrates that the paths forward are knowable and can be practiced with rigor if we understand and apply the soft—and sometimes hard—science of service design.
Keynotes
Alan Cooper (Cooper )
It seems every business person has gotten the memo: get design and win big. Companies everywhere are hiring, contracting, acquiring, and training designers. But is it really making any difference to the bottom line? Alan Cooper explains why success requires more than just designers. You must also effectively integrate design into your business—and that is a significant design problem in itself.

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