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

Working backwards

Alan Cooper (Cooper )
9:05am–9:30am Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Location: Grand Ballroom
Level: Advanced
Average rating: ****.
(4.58, 12 ratings)

“Design thinking” is the latest buzzword in business, and for good reason: good design is at the heart of many of today’s most successful products and services. But business leaders often still labor under the misconception that design is a noun, a thing that can be manufactured.

Using examples from his award-winning design consultancy, Alan Cooper shares the secret to his success: working backwards. Working backwards means taking the time to ask the hard questions before wading into unfamiliar territory. It can be scary (and for some, frustrating), but it’s the only way to innovate. Along the way, Alan sheds some light on the true value and process of design. Spoiler alert: design is a verb, and it involves working and thinking in ways contrary to the status quo.

Photo of Alan Cooper

Alan Cooper


The cofounder of Cooper, Alan Cooper is widely known for his role in humanizing technology through his groundbreaking work in software design. Alan is the author of the books About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design (editions 1–4) and The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity. Recognized as the “father of Visual Basic," he also created the goal-directed design methodology and invented personas as practical interaction design tools to create high-tech products that delight user’s sensibilities.