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

Guaranteed successful design

Noah Illinsky (Amazon Web Services)
2:05pm–2:45pm Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Level: Non-technical
Average rating: ****.
(4.75, 4 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • UX designers, product managers, and leadership

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Basic familiarity with UX and information architecture

What you'll learn

  • Learn how to find the right problem to solve and solve it well
  • Learn to think more holistically about the design process and problem solving


Design, as a discipline, isn’t very disciplined. We end up spending a lot of time designing the wrong thing or designing the right thing poorly. 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.

Topics include:

  1. Separate function from implementation (axiomatic design)
  2. Solve the abstraction first or see how it was solved in other domains
  3. Track your assumptions
  4. Introduce constructive constraints
  5. Pursue bigger, better boxes
  6. Deliver insight and actions, not just information
  7. Architect for human use
  8. Draw the map or diagram
  9. Consider what could go wrong
  10. Design for human inaction
  11. Track opportunities for improvement
  12. Do root cause analysis
  13. Analyze the market visually
  14. Predict the (inevitable) future with Wardley mapping
  15. Pursue much bigger boxes
  16. Work on stuff that matters
  17. Save the world
Photo of Noah Illinsky

Noah Illinsky

Amazon Web Services

Noah Iliinsky is a senior UX architect with Amazon Web Services. Noah strongly believes in the power of intentionally crafted communication and has spent the last decade researching, writing, and speaking about best practices for designing visualizations, informed by his graduate work in user experience and interaction design. Most recently, he worked on Amazon QuickSight. Noah is the coauthor of Designing Data Visualizations and technical editor of, and a contributor to, Beautiful Visualization, both published by O’Reilly Media. He is also a frequent speaker for both industry and academia. Noah holds a master’s degree in technical communication from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Reed College.