Design the Future
January 19–20, 2016: Training
January 20–22, 2016: Conference
San Francisco, CA

How to be human: Balancing the art and science of product design

Maria Giudice (Autodesk), Scott Tong (Pinterest), Bo Lu (Pinterest), James DeAngelis (Pinterest)
1:15pm Friday, 01/22/2016
Location: Fire House
Average rating: ***..
(3.17, 6 ratings)

At Pinterest, one of our core mantras is “put Pinners first.” But what does that really mean when designing a product? How do you balance your gut, the feedback from your users, and what the numbers say? The Pinterest design team talks about the art and science of product design and explores how to build a product that hits all your aggressive growth goals but still feels human.

This session is sponsored by Pinterest.

Photo of Maria  Giudice

Maria Giudice


Innovator, artist, protagonist, and positive provocateur Maria Giudice has pursued a vision of intelligent, elegant, people-centered design throughout her professional life. Her grasp of the pragmatic, the authentic, and the essential have kept her at the forefront of design and business for over 25 years.

Under Maria’s leadership, Hot Studio, the experience design firm she founded in 1997, grew into a full-service creative agency with an impressive list of Fortune 500 clients. In March 2013, Facebook acquired the talent behind Hot Studio. In 2015, she joined Autodesk as VP of experience design. Her latest book is Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design, published by New Riders. Maria is an AIGA design fellow. She has spoken at conferences all over the world and currently serves as an adjunct professor and trustee at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

Photo of Scott Tong

Scott Tong


Scott Tong leads a team of designers at Pinterest that focuses on new-user onboarding, education, and viral features. He and his team collaborate closely with design research, product management, growth engineering, and data analytics to build experiences that help people understand the value and mechanics of Pinterest.

Previously, Scott was a cofounder at IFTTT and a principal designer at IDEO. At IFTTT, he was responsible for leading all brand and user-facing product efforts across Web and mobile. During his six years at IDEO, Scott was a principal designer working on design strategy and execution across a variety of industries for clients including Samsung, Microsoft, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, P&G, ConAgra, Mizuno, and Steelcase.

Photo of Bo Lu

Bo Lu


Bo Lu is an interaction and graphic designer with a passion for helping brands manifest themselves across multiple touchpoints. She has more than 10 years of experience defining brands and products from tiny startups to large corporations. In 2008, Bo was part of the original team redefining from both a visual and interaction perspective. She helped Brit + Co get off the ground, worked as an art director at the Gap, and, at IDEO, worked with a wide range of clients and industries, ranging from education and women’s health to big tech and hospitality services. She’s currently at Pinterest, where she spends her time designing ways to help users get started as easily as possible. Bo loves Texas Hold’em, Law & Order: SVU, and dried squid.

Photo of James DeAngelis

James DeAngelis


James De Angelis is a friendly product designer who makes things for Pinterest on the virality/collaboration team. He has a passion for building interesting, memorable, and useful things.

With over a decade of industry experience, James has worked with big brands and tiny startups alike. He cofounded a design services company, Dayrise, that helped startups with design; led the UI team for Sydney-based incubator Pollenizer; and at TBWA\Sydney, created digital advertising campaigns for companies like Nissan, Apple, and NRMA.

When he isn’t glued to a glowing rectangle, he strums the uke, explores strange wildlife, and has an unhealthy interest in corgis.