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

fundamental skills conference sessions

2:05pm–2:45pm Thursday, 01/21/2016
Danielle Latman (Lextant), Sapna Singh (The Ohio State University)
Through a design studio at the Ohio State University, a team of graduate design, business, and occupational therapy students worked with a group of five residents at a senior living facility to codesign a new shoe-shopping experience. Danielle Latman and Sapna Singh present a case study of this process that explores user experience and design in collaboration with users.
9:00am–12:30pm Wednesday, 01/20/2016
Dan Brown (EightShapes)
Great design projects start with discovery. More than just research and analysis, the discovery phase sets the tone for the project: you ensure you're solving the right problem, explore different approaches, and establish a plan. Dan Brown guides participants through the essential ingredients of discovery and demonstrates how to structure the discovery phase.
9:00am–12:30pm Wednesday, 01/20/2016
Pamela Pavliscak (SoundingBox)
Slides:   1-PDF 
The data shows that we can't escape data. Whether designer, developer, or researcher, this workshop is for everyone who wants to learn how to get more out of the ever-growing mountain of data to create a better user experience. Pamela Pavliscak explains how to combine data from analytics, social media, public datasets, diaries, usability tests, and more to inform design.
3:45pm–4:25pm Thursday, 01/21/2016
Claire Rowland (Independent)
Slides:   external link
Claire Rowland examines how the IoT breaks direct manipulation, the UX convention underpinning most successful consumer interfaces. This creates significant UX challenges. Claire explores how using the IoT is conceptually similar to programming and why that proves a challenge to many consumers.
1:15pm–1:55pm Friday, 01/22/2016
Molly Steenson (Carnegie Mellon University)
The architecture of digital systems isn't just a metaphor. It developed out of a 50-year collaborative relationship between architects and designers, on one side, and technologists in AI, cybernetics, and computer science, on the other. Molly Steenson traces that history of interaction, tying it to contemporary lessons aimed at designing for a complex world.
4:35pm–5:15pm Friday, 01/22/2016
Braden Kowitz (Google Ventures )
Braden Kowitz discusses the Google Ventures design sprint process.
1:45pm–5:15pm Wednesday, 01/20/2016
Tanya Kraljic (Nuance Communications)
Tanya Kraljic covers the fundamentals of voice design by guiding participants in creating simple, natural language and dialogue models to integrate with a native application. Participants will come away with an understanding of the technology underlying spoken language systems, important aspects of the design process, and how the recently published speech APIs and tools fit into the process.
2:05pm–2:45pm Friday, 01/22/2016
Steve Johnson (LinkedIn)
Steve Johnson gives an interactive discussion centering around his philosophy on product design, organizational management at scale, and the importance of culture designed around diverse perspectives and inclusion.
3:45pm–4:25pm Thursday, 01/21/2016
Adam Connor (Mad*Pow)
Slides:   1-PDF 
Real critique has become a lost skill. Critique is intended to help teams strengthen their designs, products, and services, not allow individual members to assert authority or push agendas under the guise of “feedback.” Adam Connor and Aaron Irizarry discuss what critique really is and explain how to give it, get it, and use it to improve your team’s designs, communication, and collaboration.
3:45pm–4:25pm Thursday, 01/21/2016
Abi Jones (Google)
Abi Jones compares human-to-human and human-computer conversation and interaction to explain how their differences impact system design. Learn what makes for great human-computer speech interaction from the first turn to the last, how computers interpret speech, and why it’s more enjoyable and addictive to talk to a 1960s chatbot than any intelligent assistant available today.
4:35pm–5:15pm Friday, 01/22/2016
Eli Schiff (Consultant)
The design community has converged on a principle of austerity in the visual design of graphical user interfaces. Leaving behind the textured, dimensional aesthetic, designs today are superficially simple but ambiguous in use. As designers have reached effective consensus in embracing modern minimalism, it warrants questioning: have we lost something essential by rejecting representational UIs?
3:45pm–4:25pm Friday, 01/22/2016
Slides:   external link
Multiscreen experiences are powerful; we now divide our time between different devices based on context. At the same time, conversational assistants have evolved to be quite usable. But we’re just beginning to see how one assistant might work across an ecosystem of devices. Karen Kaushansky explores the future of designing with voice across multiple devices.
4:35pm–5:15pm Friday, 01/22/2016
Olivia Erickson (Microsoft)
Virtual and augmented reality is expected to be a $120+ billion industry by 2020, and with the dawn of 3D computing comes a need for innovative interactions and experiences. Olivia Erickson covers the challenges of this new paradigm in computing, from the potential for different platforms and input to the need for new ways to interact with our digital world.
4:35pm–5:15pm Thursday, 01/21/2016
Judd Antin (Airbnb)
Companies today routinely use behavioral metrics for tactical and strategic decision-making at scale. Effective use of sentiment survey data—information about users' attitudes, values, and beliefs—is more challenging. Judd Antin shares tested best practices and examples of how to make sentiment data useful for every stage of product design and evaluation.
1:15pm–1:55pm Thursday, 01/21/2016
Slides:   external link
GitHub has an abundance of quantitative data about what people are doing. Over the past two years, it has built a practice of qualitative research dedicated to uncovering the why. Qualitative research surfaces blind spots with product and customers and has changed the way GitHub ships features. Using three examples, Chrissie Brodigan shares how GitHub rolls features out as controlled experiments.
9:00am–12:30pm Wednesday, 01/20/2016
Greg Nudelman (DesignCaffeine)
Greg Nudelman guides small groups through using low-fidelity paper prototyping techniques to envision, design, and test an Apple or Android wearable app coupled with a corresponding mobile app. Bring your ideas, and walk away with wireframes.
2:05pm–2:45pm Thursday, 01/21/2016
Kathryn McElroy (IBM Watson)
Prototyping is now a necessary skill in all areas of design. Kathryn McElroy explores current approaches to prototyping for both physical products and digital software and outlines multiple prototyping methods that you can immediately apply, from high-level best practices to an understanding of the basics of user testing those prototypes to gain the best insights for your product.
1:15pm–1:55pm Thursday, 01/21/2016
Dan Hon (Code for America)
Empathy is a real business value, and companies ignore it at their peril. Today, we aim to design products and services that genuinely meet real user needs, a new emphasis that relies on understanding and empathizing with users. In this new world, the companies that don't do so stick out like a sore thumb. Dan Hon explains how you can start building a culture of empathy in your organization today.
3:45pm–4:25pm Thursday, 01/21/2016
Livia Labate (NPR/OpenNews)
Slides:   external link
Design practitioners are beginning to understand the practical utility of writing code as a way to make design happen, but the obstacles to skill building are a significant barrier to entry and require designers to reframe how they think about work (and their own learning). Livia Labate offers guidance on how to navigate these challenges.
4:35pm–5:15pm Thursday, 01/21/2016
Simon King (CMU Design Center)
As computation and network connectivity extend beyond the screen into products and environments, interaction designers find themselves addressing new UX challenges in the physical world. Although the context is new, much can be learned from long-standing principles of industrial design. Simon King highlights relevant examples and their applications to the IoT context.
3:45pm–4:25pm Friday, 01/22/2016
Ben Brown (Howdy)
Messaging apps and chatrooms are platforms for a new type of application: one that is purely text based. This new type of app requires new processes and techniques and a different set of disciplines than previous apps or websites. Ben Brown delves into how designers are beginning to create these apps and discusses what it will mean for your app, brand, or publication to be all text.
2:05pm–2:45pm Friday, 01/22/2016
Mike Gadow (Fjord), Russell Wilkins (Uber)
Slides:   1-PDF 
Everyone is talking about transitions and motion in interfaces these days. But how does motion benefit UI? As designers, we face the challenge of communicating how motion should work (and its value) to other stakeholders. Mike Gadow and Russell Wilkins, motion designers turned UI designers, show how they use motion graphics and advocate for motion in user interfaces.

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