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

Speakers

New speakers are added regularly. Please check back to see the latest updates to the agenda.

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Rafi Ajl leads design at Highway1, where he works with incubated teams to bridge the space between the complexity of engineering and the poetics of design and focuses on user experience, industrial design, and product development to help the teams deliver the awesome. With experience in architecture, visual art, and furniture making, he works across and through disciplines to create meaningful and insightful experiences. In his personal practice, Rafi operates Imperfect Evidence, a small design concern specializing in the physical, built world, which seeks to engage people in mindful ways to enable a mindful engagement and a sense of curiosity and inquiry in the world around them through object and environmental design and experience design. Imperfect Evidence approaches design through rigorous, process-oriented design thinking, solving problems and asking questions through research, writing, and form making. Rafi holds an MFA in design from the California College of the Arts and a bachelor of arts from Hampshire College. He currently learns, works, and teaches in San Francisco, California. His mantra is “process is progress; progress is process.”

Presentations

Lessons learned from the Highway1 hardware accelerator Session

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.

Derek Alderton is the faculty director of the Anderson Strategy Group in the MBA program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Derek has been an adjunct faculty member at the Anderson School for 10 years, developing and teaching courses in entertainment strategy, entrepreneurship and venture initiation, entrepreneurial operations, and strategy. His student teams have won multiple awards in the Applied Management Research program. Before starting his own boutique management consulting firm, Derek spent 10 years at McKinsey & Company, where he was responsible for the West Coast Media & Entertainment practice and became a leading expert on the impact of technology on entertainment business value chains. His clients ranged from established global entertainment companies to the fastest-growing technology companies, including some exceptional startups. He has been on the faculty at numerous McKinsey and other corporate training programs, has spoken at a wide variety of technology, media, entertainment, and entrepreneurship conferences, and has been published multiple times. Derek holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, degrees in law and economics from the University of Sydney, and a diploma in finance from the Securities Institute of Australia. He is also a chartered accountant (US CPA equivalent).

Presentations

2-day MBA: Essential business skills for designers 2-Day Training

Derek Alderton guides you through EMBAD, a two-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 part of the senior executive team.

TRAINING: 2-day MBA: Essential business skills for designers Training Day 2

Derek Alderton guides you through EMBAD, a two-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 part of the senior executive team.

John Allspaw is Etsy’s chief technology officer, leading the Product Engineering, Infrastructure, and Operations teams. Previously, he was the SVP of infrastructure and operations at Etsy. For over 17 years, John has worked in system operations in the biotech, government, and online media industries. John began his career running vehicle crash simulations for the US government. In 1997, he made the leap to the web, building the technical infrastructures at Salon, InfoWorld, Friendster, and Flickr. John is the author of The Art of Capacity Planning and Web Operations: Keeping the Data on Time, both by O’Reilly. He holds a BS from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an MSC from Lund University.

Presentations

Fireside chat with John Allspaw and Randy Hunt Keynote

Things change—in the world around us, in our hearts and minds, in our organizations, in what to work on, in how to work together, and how to deliver that work. Etsy’s vice president of design Randy J. Hunt and CTO John Allspaw discuss the emergent and learned practices and behaviors that have enabled their teams to support one another and evolve together.

Micah Alpern is director of product design at Medallia, where he leads mobile and insights. Micah believes great products start with a thesis, touch people emotionally, and are validated with data. He has built and managed teams at LinkedIn, where he built the Mobile UX team, growing mobile adoption from 3% to 43%, and was the group design manager for the Core Products team (Profile, Search, and Growth); eBay, where he was lead designer; and Yahoo, where he was design director for Yahoo Search. He was also founding director of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA). Micah is an alum of the Human Computer Interaction program at Carnegie Mellon.

Presentations

Adventures in startup land Session

Startup design is radically different from design at established companies. Join in to hear how design leaders Catherine Courage (Google), 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.

Gretchen Anderson is head of design for Pacific Gas & Electric, California’s energy utility. Gretchen spent the first part of her career in design consulting for firms like frog, Cooper, LUNAR, and Punchcut. Recently, she served as the vice president of product for GreatSchools and consulted on the design of the hardware and software of a next-generation surgical system. Gretchen is a Bay Area native who left only long enough to get a bachelor’s degree from Harvard in history and literature.

Presentations

Designing smart things: Balancing ethics and choice Session

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.

Irene Au is design partner at Khosla Ventures, where she works with early-, mid-, and late-stage startup CEOs. Irene has unprecedented experience elevating the strategic importance of design within internet companies, having built and led the entire User Experience and Design teams at Google, Yahoo, and Udacity. She began her career as an interaction designer at Netscape Communications, where she worked on the design of the internet’s first commercial web browser. Irene also teaches yoga at Avalon Yoga Center in Palo Alto, where she is part of the teacher training program faculty, and is a frequent author and speaker on the relationship between mindfulness practices, design, and creativity. Irene graduated summa cum laude from the Honors College at the University of South Carolina with a degree in electrical and computer engineering and holds a master’s degree from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where her worked focused on human-computer interaction .

Presentations

Fireside chat with Irene Au and Ivy Ross Keynote

This fireside chat brings together two of Silicon Valley's heaviest hitters in design. Khosla Ventures’s Irene Au interviews Ivy Ross, VP of design and user experience for hardware products at Google. Expect a lively discussion about the future of hardware design, how to design products with soul, and lessons on design leadership that pulls on threads from both of their experiences.

Austin Beer is an experience designer at Huge in Los Angeles, addressing problems facing seniors, cancer researchers, and TV watchers, working on technology to help parents be present with their children, and anthropomorphizing robots. Austin asks how we can design trust in artificial intelligence—a question he discovered while completing his master’s degree at Hyper Island. There, he learned the power of design thinking for instigating innovation, empathy, and empowerment. He has written and design interactive music videos for musicians including Bob Dylan and Wiz Khalifa and has designed games at Atari. Over his brief career, his projects have won two Webbys, four Cannes Lions, and many more accolades from his users and parents. Austin irrationally believes in the power of using food to solve conflicts.

Presentations

Designing intelligence and trust with chatbots Tutorial

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.

Tim Belonax works on the Brand Design team at Pinterest in San Francisco. Previously, Tim worked on Airbnb’s Superbrand team and Facebook’s Communication Design and Analog Lab teams, where he helped establish maker spaces in both companies, and he was the principal designer at Facebook’s Analog Research Lab, a printshop inside Facebook HQ. Tim teaches graphic design at California College of the Arts, is a board member for the San Francisco Center for the Book, and was previously the social impact cochair for AIGA San Francisco. He holds awards from the Type Director’s Club, Art Director’s Club, AIGA, Print Magazine, Graphis, and more. Tim has spoken for AIGA Alaska, DSVC, AIGA Austin, AIGASF Portfolio Day, HOW Chicago 2015, Uconn Convocation 2015, and HOW Design Live 2016. He holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. His bookshelves are organized by color.

Presentations

Creating space for making in the workplace Session

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.

Molly Beyer is an applied cultural anthropologist with experience in private, governmental, and nongovernmental projects. Molly is interested in understanding how qualitative methods can inform, guide, and “ground truth” quantitative metrics, computation, and AI to more effectively solve functional problems. Her research approach is centered around understanding people’s existing needs and habits to inform and guide design strategy to best develop policy changes, services, or products. Major areas of focus include complex emergencies, disaster response, clinical patient interaction, community health, and 3D segmentation.

Presentations

Designing for diversity in design organizations Session

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.

Leah Buley is a veteran of the experience design industry, a former Forrester analyst, and the author of The User Experience Team of One. Bridging the roles of practitioner and analyst, Leah helps companies evaluate where they stand competitively with respect to design and then turns around, rolls up her sleeves, and helps their design teams do the hard work. Previously, Leah was a design strategist at Intuit and a lead experience designer at Adaptive Path, working for clients in financial services, media, consumer products, and the nonprofit world. She writes and speaks regularly on tactics for inviting colleagues and skeptics into the human-centered design process.

Presentations

Tuesday opening welcome Keynote

Program chairs Mary Treseler and Leah Buley welcome you to the first day of keynotes.

Wednesday opening welcome Keynote

Program chairs Mary Treseler and Leah Buley welcome you to the second day of keynotes.

Darrin Caddes is vice president of corporate design at Plantronics, where he leads a world-class team of industrial design professionals to ensure that Plantronics products effectively marry the intricacies of superior sound technology, for which the company has been known for more than 50 years, with the intimacy of personal fashion and comfort—and do so in a very small and elegant package. Known for his expertise in designing products that truly become extensions of their users, Darrin spent more than 20 years designing for some of the world’s most prestigious automotive and motorcycle brands, including BMW, Fiat, and Indian Motorcycle, where he worked on a variety of projects ranging from concept vehicles and clothing accessories to corporate identity programs and strategic brand management. Of particular note: Darrin designed the BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle, which was displayed at the Art of the Motorcycle exhibit in Las Vegas, Nevada. Darrin is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design.

Presentations

Making wearable tech wearable Session

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.

Martin Charlier is a strategic designer and is currently product manager at fashion technology startup Unmade. Previously, Martin worked at innovation firm Frog Design, cutting-edge art collective Random International, and digital service design consultancy Fjord and was cofounder of Rain Cloud, a project exploring new interaction models for connected products. Martin’s experience goes across new media art, industrial design, interaction design, and service design. His speculative design work has been awarded by the Royal Society of Arts, and he is a fellow of the organization.

Presentations

Video as a prototyping tool for connected products Session

Rapidly prototyping interactions spanning 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—without spending much time or money. Martin Charlier shares examples and shows you where to start.

Patrick Chew, better known as PChew, is a software product designer at IBM in Austin, Texas. By day, he works on designing software products for the rapidly changing cybersecurity industry. By night, he runs his passion project: the IBM Make Lab, an internal maker space on IBM’s Austin campus open for any IBMer to use. As one of the first 100 designers hired by IBM, Patrick has been actively involved in shaping the culture of its very young design practice by helping to mentor and educate new designers. Patrick has designed for companies both big and small, from verynice, a tiny social good design firm in LA, to Nike. He was a SXSW interactive mentor in 2016. Patrick holds an award from HOW design magazine, a patent, and a mean table tennis forehand.

Presentations

Creating space for making in the workplace Session

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.

Courtney Clark is Forum One’s director of user experience. Courtney has more than 10 years of experience helping foundations, government agencies, and nonprofits optimize their online offerings. She works with clients like the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the MacArthur Foundation, the California Department of Health Care Services, and Consumers Union to develop tailored solutions that balance each organization’s mission with the needs of its audiences. Courtney specializes in leading user research activities like surveys, interviews, card sorts, heuristic evaluations, and usability research to understand user needs. Previously, Courtney was an interaction designer for the University of Kansas, where she took part in an extensive rebranding exercise and contributed to two major web redesigns. She holds a BFA with a focus in visual communications from the University of Kansas.

Presentations

Design systems: Accounting for quantity and scalability Session

How did Forum One design and build a beautiful website for a service-based organization that had almost 30 unique pages in less than a year? 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.

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.

Presentations

Working backwards Keynote

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.

Catherine Courage is vice president of ads and commerce user experience at Google. Previously, Catherine was senior vice president of customer experience at DocuSign; senior vice president of customer experience at Citrix, where she led its company-wide customer experience initiative with responsibilities covering brand, social, web, product design, information experience, and business process reinvention, all to drive adoption and loyalty among customers, partners and employees; and vice president of product design at Citrix, where she led the team responsible for delivering user interface designs, providing user experience education, driving seamless experiences across product lines, and supporting design thought leadership and execution companywide. She has been a director of Insight Enterprises Inc. since January 25, 2016, and was a founding member of the experience team at Salesforce. She has received a number of awards, including being recognized as one of 2011’s 40 under 40 and one of 2013’s Women of Influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Catherine holds an MA in applied sciences from the University of Toronto.

Presentations

Adventures in startup land Session

Startup design is radically different from design at established companies. Join in to hear how design leaders Catherine Courage (Google), 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.

Ame Elliott is design director at nonprofit Simply Secure, where she cultivates a community of user experience designers working on open source secure communication. Previously, Ame spent eight years at IDEO San Francisco, where, as design research lead, she delivered human-centered tech strategy for clients such as Acer, Ericsson, and Samsung, and was a research scientist at Xerox PARC and Ricoh Innovations. She holds eight patents and is the author of numerous publications, including a chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Internet Psychology. Her design work has been included in the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and recognized with awards from the AIGA, IDSA/IDEA, the Edison Awards, and the Webby Awards. Ame holds a PhD in design theory and methods from the University of California, Berkeley.

Presentations

Designing trustable products: Microinteractions matter for secure UX Session

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.

Simon Endres is creative director and one of three partners at Red Antler, a branding company based in Dumbo, Brooklyn, specializing in startups and new ventures, which creates captivating brand experiences that connect with people deliberately, through all points of interaction. Under Simon’s leadership, the design team has created brand experiences for some of the world’s most compelling new businesses—most notably Casper, Allbirds, Foursquare, Birchbox, and Vevo. Simon has over 20 years of experience in advertising and branding, which has included work for Target, Sony, Tommy Hilfiger, and Amnesty International. Previously, he was an accomplished sculptor with work held in both private and public collections. After moving to New York, he cofounded Team ProAm following a two-year stint as senior designer with Kirshenbaum, Bond & Partners, New York. Simon holds a BFA with honors in sculpture from Canterbury University and has taught at Parsons School of Design. A New Zealand native, Simon lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two sons.

Presentations

Lessons learned designing Allbirds Session

Simon Endres shares his experience creating the brand for the NZ-inspired, SF-based footwear company Allbirds.

Tim Frick is founder and CEO of Chicago-based digital agency and B Corp Mightybytes, which builds creative digital solutions for conscious companies. A frequent speaker and conference presenter, Tim offers workshops and presentations on web design, content strategy, digital marketing, socially conscious business, and sustainability. He is passionate about the global B Corporation movement and cohosts Chicago-area B Corp networking events. Tim is also the author of four books, which are used at higher learning institutions across the US and Europe, including Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, the Art Institutes, Full Sail University, and others. Tim is board president of Climate Ride, a national charity organization that produces multiday endurance events to raise money for active transportation advocacy, environment, and sustainable solutions.

Presentations

Design for sustainability Session

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.

Desiree Garcia is a designer for IBM Watson. She works on Watson Conversation, a product that enables people who are not developers to build, train, and scale conversational interfaces. Before, she worked on the Watson Developer Cloud, helping developers to leverage specific domains of cognitive technology in their software. She is interested in the notion of diverse teams setting precedent with “emerging AI,” a term she uses to describe a range of current technology that will shape what mature AI looks like someday. Her official background is in psychology research and practice, but she has been tinkering with computers and the web for much longer. Ending up on the Watson design team was unexpected, but makes pretty good sense.

Presentations

Bots may solve some of our problems; here's how they'll put us on the hook for others Session

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.

Sarah founded IF to work on ambitious projects involving technology, data, and networks in the public domain. A NESTA New Radical, Forbes 30 under 30 awardee, Tech For Good advisor and part of the practitioner panel for the Research Institute in the Science of Cyber Security, she sees the way we think about security and privacy not as matters of compliance but challenges for design.

Presentations

Design patterns for data sharing Session

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.

Lane Goldstone is the cofounder of Brooklyn Copper Cookware. Although she now identifies as an entrepreneur, Lane’s roots are in digital product design and construction. Since the early ‘90s, she has worked with teams at Philosophie, Kluge, Carbon Five, LUXr, Hot Studio, Liquidnet, Atomic Object, Cooper, Electronic Arts, and Microsoft on projects that span the digital era. Lane is a popular teacher and speaker on the subjects of user experience (UX), Lean Startup, Agile, and Balanced Teams. Lane’s recent speaking engagements include Design Briefs, the Balanced Team Summit, UX London, UX Week, Lean UX NYC, the Lean Startup Conference, QConSF, and Agile UX NYC. She has a broad understanding of UX practices in many settings and looks forward to sharing her journey from consultant to entrepreneur with you.

Presentations

Becoming a designer founder Session

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.

Elizabeth Goodman investigates the possibilities and perils of emerging technologies in her design, research, and writing. Elizabeth’s work has taken her from exploratory research and design teams at Intel, Yahoo, and Fuji-Xerox to her current position with 18F, a service and product design group within the US government aimed at making federal agencies more efficient, more transparent, more accessible, and more accountable to the people they serve. She authored the second edition of Observing the User Experience, a widely used handbook of design research methods and speaks widely on the design of mobile and pervasive computing systems at conferences, schools, and businesses. Elizabeth holds a PhD from UC Berkeley’s School of Information, where her research focused on human-computer interaction and design practice for novel technologies and was supported by National Science Foundation and Intel fellowships. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.

Presentations

Designing trustable products: Microinteractions matter for secure UX Session

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.

Mike Haley is senior director of machine intelligence at Autodesk, where he leads the group at Autodesk Research that identifies, evaluates, and develops disruptive technologies that improve the practice of imagining, designing, and creating a better world. Mike’s team combines research, development, and user experience in coupled iterative cycles to develop new products and foundational technology. For the last several years, the team has been focused on bringing geometric shape analysis and large-scale machine learning techniques to 3D design information with the intent to make software a true partner in the design process. Previously, Mike led the move of Autodesk products from the desktop to the cloud by driving the adoption of scalable, distributed compute and data technology. Prior to joining Autodesk, he performed research and product development in the fields of volumetric graphics, distributed multimedia, computer vision, and embedded systems. He is drawn to areas where he can combine his 25 years of experience in computer graphics, distributed systems, and mathematical analysis. Mike holds a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Presentations

The future will see you now: Machine learning transforms design Session

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.

As vice president of experience design at Medallia, Kaaren Hanson builds robust design teams and creates customer-centered collaborative environments. Kaaren is obsessed with emotion and how companies can exceed customers’ expectations. Previously, Kaaren was vice president of design at Intuit, where she drove Intuit’s transformation to become a design-driven company with dramatic improvements in the customer experience and innovation culture. While at Intuit, Kaaren was recognized with two CEO leadership awards, and her success was noted in various media such as Bloomberg Businessweek, Harvard Business Review, Creative Confidence (Kelly & Kelly), and Scaling Excellence (Sutton & Rao). Prior to Intuit, she led user experience teams at Remedy Software (a BMC company) and BigVine. Kaaren holds a BA from Clark University and a PhD from Stanford University.

Presentations

Adventures in startup land Session

Startup design is radically different from design at established companies. Join in to hear how design leaders Catherine Courage (Google), 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.

Patrick Hebron is a scientist in residence and adjunct graduate professor in NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications program. Patrick’s research relates to the development of machine-learning-enhanced digital design tools. He is the creator of Foil, a next-generation design and programming environment that aims to extend the creative reach of its user through the assistive capacities of machine learning. Patrick has worked as a software developer and design consultant for numerous corporate and cultural institution clients, including Google, Oracle, Guggenheim/BMW Labs, and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute.

Presentations

Rethinking design tools in the age of machine learning Session

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.

Dan Hill is an associate director at Arup and the head of Arup Digital Studio, a strategic and service design team that creates great user experiences for buildings, places, infrastructure, and cities. Dan is also a visiting professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London and an adjunct professor at RMIT University in Melbourne and UTS in Sydney. A designer and urbanist, Dan’s previous leadership positions have produced innovative, influential projects and organizations ranging across built environment (Arup, Future Cities Catapult), education and research (Fabrica), government (SITRA), and media (BBC, Monocle), each one transformed positively via digital technology and a holistic approach to design. He has lived and worked in the UK, Australia, Finland, and Italy. His design work has been featured in the UAE’s Museum of the Future in Dubai (2014, 2015), the Istanbul Design Biennal (2012), Habitar (Gijon, 2010), and Remodeling Architecture (Sydney, 2009), as well as being regularly featured in global media. He is the author of Dark Matter & Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary from Strelka Press and numerous pieces for other books, journals, magazines, and websites. Dan has produced the groundbreaking and highly influential blog City of Sound since 2001.

Presentations

The UX of buildings, cities, and infrastructure Keynote

Dan Hill explores creating great user experience for buildings, places, infrastructure, and cities.

Kat Holmes is the director of inclusive design across Microsoft’s leading products, including Windows, Xbox, and Office. Kat is best known for her thought leadership in reexamining disability and diversity as a source of innovation. Unlike traditional approaches to accessibility, Kat emphasizes studying the way people interact with each other as an analog for better interactions between people and technology. Her aim is to create solutions that are adaptive, personal, and accessible. She leads organizations in identifying simple, transformative insights that result in differentiated customer experiences. Kat led the development of the Microsoft Inclusive Design toolkit, which Fast Company described as a “radical” evolution of design thinking and practices. She’s also passionate about filmmaking as part of the design process. Most recently she produced Inclusive, documenting the key insights and partners that led to this emerging design approach. In 2014, Kat collaborated with Vice Motherboard and Warner Brothers to create Captivated by Her, a two-part documentary inspired by the Spike Jonze film Her, which follows workshops with students, artists, and innovators to explore how human emotion can inspire new interactions with technology. Kat is frequently invited to speak about design at events and companies, most recently at the White House’s South by South Lawn festival, Pixar, Walt Disney Imagineering, and Girls Who Code. She enjoys working with students and universities to bring inclusive design to their curricula. She has a growing interest in how inclusive design can benefit startups and NGOs.

Presentations

Design for seven billion; design for one Keynote

Can one product be meaningful to billions of people? Humans have been at the center of design practices for a long time, yet technology is poor at adapting to their unique needs. Join Kat Holmes to explore how designing for human diversity can unlock more meaningful experiences for each of us and result in better technologies for all of us.

Randy J. Hunt is vice president of design at Etsy, where he leads a team of designers, researchers, writers, and artists creating the end-to-end brand and product experience, both on- and offline. Etsy was honored with the National Design Award in 2014.

Presentations

Fireside chat with John Allspaw and Randy Hunt Keynote

Things change—in the world around us, in our hearts and minds, in our organizations, in what to work on, in how to work together, and how to deliver that work. Etsy’s vice president of design Randy J. Hunt and CTO John Allspaw discuss the emergent and learned practices and behaviors that have enabled their teams to support one another and evolve together.

Nearly 20 years into his design career, Phillip Hunter is building his fourth UX team and practice while leading the experience direction for how people will create and use Amazon Alexa skills. He is passionate about how teams work, understanding systems, and the little details of interaction design that make big differences. Phillip is an active member of Seattle and international design communities. He enjoys spending time creating and adding good to the world. He also tweets a lot and fancies himself both a postmetal guitar hero and an undiscovered Instagram star.

Presentations

Amazon Alexa: What, why, and why now? Session

Today’s forays into voice-driven experiences, led by Alexa, are different than those in even the recent past. Phillip Hunter explores what's making these innovations possible and what it means for user experience today and in the future.

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.

Presentations

Guaranteed successful design Session

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.

David Jalbert-Gagnier is the principal and founder of Objective Subject, where he leads the design and strategy efforts and guides the firm’s clients to solutions inspired by rational thinking and realized with energized creative direction. A native of Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada, David holds a diplôme d’études collégiales in graphic design from Dawson College in Montréal. After studying philosophy, David was lured back to design by Landor Associates to design packaging and corporate identity programs for international clients. He then worked at Frankfurt, Germany’s Hauser Lacour agency before making his way back to the United States, where he splits his time between Brooklyn, New York, and Oakland, California. He is an occasional rugby player, a sport of which Wolfgang, his 8-year-old terrier, only mildly approves.

Presentations

Seeing government: A digital-savvy facelift for the City of Oakland Session

Lizzie Kumaria and David Jalbert-Gagnier 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.

Abi Jones is a designer and sprint master at Google Fiber, where she helps teams answer critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers. Abi specializes in product development via storyboarding. She illustrated the second edition of Understanding Your Users.

Presentations

Explore, persuade, destroy: Storyboarding for product development Tutorial

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 explains how to place product ideas in the context of user needs through storyboarding, as she walks you through refining product concepts and shares a variety of sketching techniques and product stories.

Jim Kalbach is the head of customer success at MURAL, a leading online digital whiteboard. Jim is a noted author, speaker, and instructor in user experience design, information architecture, and strategy. He has worked as a UX designer for a number of large companies, including eBay, Audi, Sony, Elsevier Science, LexisNexis, and Citrix. Jim is the author of Designing Web Navigation and Mapping Experiences, both from O’Reilly, and was a cofounder of the European Information Architecture conferences and the IA Konferenz series in Germany. He blogs at Experiencinginformation.com. You can find him playing jazz bass in jam sessions and combos in his hometown of Jersey City.

Presentations

Mapping experiences: From insight to action Tutorial

James Kalbach discusses the principles of value alignment through diagrams, sharing examples and practical advice and offering guidance on mapping experiences as well as how to become grass-roots strategic players.

Barry Katz is consulting professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, professor of industrial and interaction design at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, and a fellow at Silicon Valley-based design and innovation consultancy IDEO. Barry is the author of six books, including Change by Design with Tim Brown and Make It New: The History of Silicon Valley Design, and his writing on design as a strategy of innovation has appeared in many academic, professional, and popular journals.

Presentations

The expanding perimeter: The evolution of design in Silicon Valley Keynote

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.

Andra Keay is the managing director of Silicon Valley Robotics, an industry group supporting innovation and commercialization of robotics technologies. Andra is also founder of Robot Launch, global robotics startup competition, cofounder of Robot Garden hackerspace, mentor at hardware accelerators, a startup advisor, and an active angel investor in robotics startups. Andra is also a director at Robohub.org, the global site for news and views on robotics. Previously Andra was an ABC film, television, and radio technician and taught interaction design at the University of Technology, Sydney. Andra has keynoted at major international conferences, including USI 2016, WebSummit 2014 and 2015, Collision 2015 and 2016, Pioneers Festival 2014, JavaOne 2014, Solid 2014, and SxSW 2015. She was selected as an HRI Pioneer in 2010. Andra holds a BA in communication from the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, and an MA in human-robot culture from the University of Sydney, Australia, where her work built on her background as a robot geek, STEM educator, and filmmaker.

Presentations

Designing good robots Session

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 practices.

Sara Khoury is director of design at Google. Previously, Sara was head of product management and design at bebop (acquired by Google); held executive experience design positions at @WalmartLabs and Bank of America, where she led research programs, design strategy, and execution of multichannel ecommerce and finance programs at scale; and led consulting firms as the executive creative director and executive director of an internet professional services business unit for Organic and as the vice president and design director for Ikonic Interactive. Sara holds a BFA in design from Pratt Institute and an MFA with a focus on interaction design from the Art Center College of Design.

Presentations

Adventures in startup land Session

Startup design is radically different from design at established companies. Join in to hear how design leaders Catherine Courage (Google), 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.

Jennifer King is a social technologist who draws upon her training in the social sciences and human-computer interaction to investigate the issues that arise when technology and society collide. Most recently as a researcher at the Samuelson Law, Technology, and Public Policy Clinic at UC Berkeley’s School of Law, Jennifer focused on privacy and security on the internet, in sensor networks, and in ubiquitous computing environments (including RFID and video surveillance technologies), usable security, and technology policy issues. Previously, she worked in security and product management for several internet companies, including Yahoo, where she was an online community expert. Jennifer holds a master’s degree in information science from UC Berkeley’s School of Information, where she is currently a PhD candidate.

Presentations

Designing trustable products: Microinteractions matter for secure UX Session

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.

Lizzie Kumaria is the director of strategy and engagement at Objective Subject, where she leads the company’s strategy to bring the benefits of good design to the public sector. Lizzie has extensive experience developing policy in the UK government, from building a high-speed railroad, reforming justice in the Secretary of State’s office, and updating the UK constitution to creating an economic and transportation strategy for England’s northern cities. Lizzie studied politics and modern history at the University of Manchester, UK, and cities and urban development at New York University. Lizzie is originally from an obscure part of the West of England. Since arriving in New York after several years in London, she has been exploring the city on foot and by bike.

Presentations

Seeing government: A digital-savvy facelift for the City of Oakland Session

Lizzie Kumaria and David Jalbert-Gagnier 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.

Amanda Linden is a director of product design at Facebook. Previously, Amanda was the head of design at Asana, an enterprise teamwork productivity app with millions of users worldwide, where she managed product and marketing design teams and led Asana’s rebrand, and a design director within Intuit’s Small Business group, where she led a QuickBooks redesign and managed the payments, payroll, and accounting design teams. Amanda holds an MBA and a BS in visual communication from UC Davis.

Presentations

Adventures in startup land Session

Startup design is radically different from design at established companies. Join in to hear how design leaders Catherine Courage (Google), 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.

The future of enterprise software design Session

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.

Kelly Lohr is a former material scientist turned designer with a passion for experimental design research. She enjoys making objects, systems, and situations that help her understand how people interact. She’s worked as an industrial designer for clients in personal care, pharmaceutical, and insurance industries while at the Chicago-based innovation firm GravityTank, as an in-house design strategist at Capital One, and now as a user experience designer at IBM.

Presentations

Make fast, learn fast: Introduction to prototyping with Arduino Tutorial

Kathryn McElroy and Kelly Lohr walk 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.

Rune Madsen is a Danish designer, programmer, and artist living in New York City. He designs and builds web applications, interactive installations, algorithmic graphic design systems, and many other things involving artistic uses of computation. Rune believes in simplicity, organized complexity, and that the pragmatic and poetic are inseparable.

Presentations

Designing data visualizations 2-Day Training

Rune Madsen explains how to design compelling visual stories from data.

TRAINING: Designing data visualizations Training Day 2

Rune Madsen explains how to design compelling visual stories from data.

Dan Mall is the founder and executive director of SuperFriendly, a design collaborative that brings exquisite creative direction and design to the world’s most interesting and important organizations. Dan has a passion for playing matchmaker between surprising art direction and intuitive interaction design. A creative director and advisor from Philly, he has worked with clients like Canon, ESPN, Kraft, Quartz, Apple, Google, the New York Times, Microsoft, GE, Crayola, Lucasfilm, and Thomson Reuters. Dan has extensive experience leading design teams and crafting processes for successful digital work. Previously, he was design director for Brooklyn-based digital creative agency Big Spaceship; interactive director of web design boutique Happy Cog and one of the founding members of its Philadelphia office; cofounder of SuperBooked, a service that helps you find work with a little help from your friends; author of Pricing Design, a book to help designers figure out how and what to charge for their services; and cohost of Businessology, a podcast and workshop series teaching designers how to run better businesses.

Dan often speaks at conferences, such as SXSW, An Event Apart, Smashing Conference, Artifact Conference, RWD Summit, Future of Web Design, and FITC, teaching other designers and developers his methodology of how to do better work, and has been invited to serve on award show juries, including the Art Directors Club, .NET Awards, and the Pixel Awards. Dan has written for notable design publications like A List Apart and .NET Magazine. Most recently, he taught advertising at the Miami Ad School, web and graphic design at the University of the Arts, and animation at the School of Visual Arts. Dan regularly consults with design agencies to help whip their design teams into shape. Dan is enthralled with his wife and two daughters. He writes irregularly at Danielmall.com and tweets often as @danielmall.

Presentations

Should designers. . .? New design skills from coding to Agile, process, and more Keynote

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.

Billie Mandel is a design strategy and management geek with nearly two decades of experience leading global teams of software creatives—in teams of up to 50, in four time zones and three continents, and in startups and established companies. Billie recharges her batteries teaching design to adult career changers at General Assembly and teaching the hard value of soft skills to her mentees and corporate clients. She is the creator of the Embodied Critique method, which helps designers, developers, and other creative professionals bring their whole selves to work, give and receive actionable feedback, and iterate their way to more effective designs and more productive work environments. Billie’s recent speaking engagements have included giving a talk at Designtrepreneurs (a lecture series at the intersection of LGBT leadership and design leadership, as part of SF Design Week), teaching Embodied Critique as a preconference workshop at Interaction16 in Helsinki, and curating a literary reading for San Francisco’s Litquake LitCrawl. Billie likes origami, anything flavored with lavender, and making tech a better place for women, queers, and folks of color.

Presentations

Taking off the training wheels: How to hire, motivate, and inspire the next generation of designers Session

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? Billie Mandel explores the impact of strong mentorship in creating successful designers.

Marieke McCloskey is the director of research at UserTesting, the user experience research platform that helps you get on-demand insights from target markets, where she ensures customers have a great experience by conducting research at every stage of the design process. Prior to this, she lead UserTesting’s Professional Services team. Previously, Marieke was a user experience consultant at Nielsen Norman Group, where she trained thousands of professionals on UX research and design.

Presentations

Uncovering need and validating ideas Session

Marieke McCloskey shares advice on how to build products that people love by spending time in the product discovery phase: understanding who your users are, what they need, and how they might use and react to your product. Along the way, Marieke outlines fast and affordable ways to understand your customers and validate design concepts through remote research.

Kathryn McElroy is an advisory designer for the IBM Mobile Innovation Lab in Austin, Texas. Kathryn is an award-winning designer and photographer and is passionate about near-future technology and building electronics and smart objects. She has published tutorials of her projects in Make magazine and Fast Company and is currently writing a book, Prototyping for Designers, for O’Reilly. Kathryn regularly speaks about design thinking, prototyping, and user experience design. In her spare time, she volunteers to get girls involved in STEM fields by speaking at schools and after-school events and on career panels.

Presentations

Make fast, learn fast: Introduction to prototyping with Arduino Tutorial

Kathryn McElroy and Kelly Lohr walk 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.

Jody Medich is director of design for Singularity University Labs, where she incubates solutions to Global Grand Challenges using exponential technologies. Drawing on over 20 years of experience in human-driven design, Jody works at the bleeding edge of new user interfaces, research, and development. As the barriers between people and technology dissolve, Jody’s grasp on physical narrative and the power of “speaking human” serves as a natural lens with which to transform everything from healthcare to virtual reality. She’s spent the last seven years on AR/VR, most notably as principal experience designer on the HoloLens Project at Microsoft and principal UX designer at LEAP Motion. Previously, she cofounded and directed Kicker Studio, a design consultancy specializing in natural user interfaces and R&D for companies such as Intel, Samsung, Microsoft, and DARPA. Jody is also a practicing artist and a collaborator with the art crew Five Ton Crane. Jody holds an MFA in painting and design and technology from the San Francisco Art Institute. In her spare time, she makes her own clothes and builds robots and rockets.

Presentations

Virtual reality beyond entertainment Session

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.

Peter Merholz is vice president of design at Snagajob, the leading marketplace for hourly workers. A user experience and design executive with 20 years of experience across a broad range of digital media, Peter is the coauthor of Org Design for Design Orgs, the first book dedicated to the organization, management, and operations of in-house design teams. He cofounded Adaptive Path and was instrumental in the company’s growth from a small boutique firm to a renowned international consultancy. More recently, he led the global design team at Groupon, including product/UX, marketing, and brand design, where he doubled the team from 30 to 60 and was instrumental in the first redesign of Groupon.com since the company launched. Peter is also perhaps most (in)famous for coining the word “blog” in 1999. Really. In the OED and everything. Since then, he’s been blogging continuously at Peterme.com.

Presentations

Org design for design orgs: The workshop Tutorial

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.

Aye Moah is the cofounder and chief of product of Boomerang, makers of thoughtful productivity software that helps you focus on what matters. Boomerang, the most popular extension for Gmail and Outlook, enables millions of people to email more effectively with artificial intelligence. Aye was born and raised in Burma. She holds a BS in computer science from MIT.

Presentations

Designing for intelligence augmentation: How to design products that use artificial intelligence effectively Session

Conversations about designing for artificial intelligence often start and end with replacing the humans, but few explore the potential of AI working alongside people to augment our intelligence. Aye Moah shares lessons learned from the design process behind Boomerang Respondable, the world’s first AI assistant that works with people to help them write better emails.

Peter Morville is president of Semantic Studios, where he advises such clients as AT&T, Cisco, Harvard, IBM, Macy’s, the Library of Congress, and the National Cancer Institute. A pioneer of the fields of information architecture and user experience, Peter is the author of a number of best-selling books, including Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, Ambient Findability, Search Patterns, and Intertwingled. His work has been covered by Business Week, the Economist, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal. Peter lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his wife, two daughters, and a dog named Knowsy.

Presentations

The secret to strategic design: Mastering planning Session

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.

Jenny Mullins is the lead product designer at LearnUp, a prejob training platform that aims to reduce the skills gap for entry-level jobseekers, where she and her team build intuitive user experiences for both large corporations like Walmart and Old Navy and entry-level jobseekers. Jenny believes in the power of design to create great experiences that empower people to succeed. Previously, Jenny worked as a senior product designer at Yammer (acquired by Microsoft) and Zenefits. Prior to joining the Bay Area tech scene, she taught undergraduate design courses at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and the California College of Art (CCA). She holds a BFA in studio arts from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).

Presentations

Being the first designer: How to pave the way for an awesome design team Session

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.

A designer and multimedia artist based in Portland, Oregon, Ryan Noon is the director for Blue Ribbon Studio and the BRS Academy, Nike Design’s concept makerspace for all things experimentation, learning, craft, and connection. Ryan was born in New England between mountains, the ocean, and big cities. Previously, Ryan spent 10 years in Europe, studying at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design before working at Alexander McQueen, Henrik Vibskov, and Nike—where he developed and started the Nike Tight of the Moment program, designed graphics for tennis players, and ran the Nike trend research council—and running his own label, Ryan Noon, as part of London Fashion Week. Ryan has been a visiting lecturer at Central Saint Martins and the London College of Fashion and is currently a senior lecturer at Cavendish College. He is also a practicing artist making wearable objects and curating community experiences. Ryan serves on the executive board of directors for Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA).

Presentations

Creating space for making in the workplace Session

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.

Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America, a national nonprofit that believes that government can work for the people, by the people, if we all help. Jennifer recently served as the US deputy chief technology officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she architected and helped start the United States Digital Service. She is known for her TED talk, “Coding a Better Government,” and has been the recipient of several awards, including MIT’s Kevin Lynch Award, the Oxford Internet Institute’s Internet and Society Award, and the National Democratic Institute’s Democracy Award. Jennifer spent eight years at CMP Media, where she ran the Game Developers Conference, Game Developer magazine, Gamasutra.com, and the Independent Games Festival. Previously, she ran the Web 2.0 and Gov 2.0 events for TechWeb, in conjunction with O’Reilly Media. Jennifer is a graduate of Yale University. She lives in Oakland, CA, with her daughter, husband, and six chickens.

Presentations

Government services that work for people Keynote

Poor service design can have devastating consequences for vulnerable people in our country, but it doesn't have to be that way. Jennifer Pahlka explains why intentionally designing government interfaces, especially for low-income people, not only improves social outcomes but costs taxpayers dramatically less. Designing for users isn't just how to make great technology; it's how to govern.

Pamela Pavliscak (pronounced pav-li-check) is the CEO of SoundingBox, where she advises designers, developers, and decision makers on how to create technologies with emotional intelligence. Pamela is also on the faculty at Pratt Institute’s School of Information and is leading an effort for IEEE Standards for ethics and artificial intelligence. Pamela explores our conflicted and emotional relationship with technology and often speaks on creativity in the digital age, generation Z, and emotion and technology, most recently at SXSW and Collision.

Presentations

When your internet-connected things know how you feel Session

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.

Cathy Pearl is director of user experience at Sensely, whose virtual nurse avatar, Molly, helps people engage with their health. Cathy has more than 15 years of experience designing user interfaces and has worked on everything from helicopter pilot simulators at NASA to a conversational iPad app in which Esquire magazine’s style columnist tells you what you should wear on a first date. During her time at Nuance and Microsoft, Cathy designed voice user interfaces for banks, airlines, healthcare companies, and Ford SYNC. She is the author of the upcoming O’Reilly book Designing Voice User Interfaces. Cathy holds a BS in cognitive science from UCSD and an MS in computer science from Indiana University.

Presentations

Designing conversational UIs 2-Day Training

Cathy Pearl demonstrates how to design a system that follows good conversational UI principles.

Designing conversational voice user interfaces Session

"Earl Grey, 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 those with Siri, Ok Google, or Amazon Alexa integration) is in its infancy. Cathy Pearl shares key design principles to help you design the best VUI possible.

TRAINING: Designing conversational UIs Training Day 2

Cathy Pearl demonstrates how to design a system that follows good conversational UI principles.

Adrienne Porter Felt leads Google’s Chrome Usable Security team, the group responsible for building (and improving) the browser security features that you can see, like security indicators, browser warnings, and permissions. One of the team’s major initiatives is promoting HTTPS—increasing HTTPS adoption among developers and explaining its value more clearly to end users. Adrienne does a mix of frontend work (building UI), experimental design, large-scale data analysis, and managing. Previously, she was a research scientist on Google’s Security Research team. Adrienne holds a PhD in computer science from UC Berkeley, where her work focused on permission systems.

Presentations

Designing trustable products: Microinteractions matter for secure UX Session

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.

Steve Portigal is the founder and principal of Portigal Consulting, a boutique firm that brings together user research, design and business strategy, where he helps companies to think and act strategically when innovating with user insights. Steve is the author of Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights and Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories. He’s also the host of the Dollars to Donuts podcast. Steve makes his home in the San Francisco Bay Area, where there’s always a new ramen restaurant to check out.

Presentations

User research war stories Session

War stories about contextual user research and the inevitable mishaps that ensue are in turn bizarre, comic, tragic, and generally astonishing. Steve Portigal shares some of the best stories he's collected, examining the patterns and lessons they reveal.

Doug Powell is a distinguished designer at IBM, directing the program to scale design and design thinking across the global tech company. A designer with more than 25 years of experience in a wide range of design disciplines, Doug is a lecturer, commentator, and thought leader on design issues and has presented at a variety of national conferences and forums, including the 2015 Beirut Design Week in Lebanon, the 2015 Offset design conference in Dublin, Ireland, the 2011 Mayo Clinic Transform Conference, and the podcast Design of Business/Business of Design. He was a recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Sam Fox School of Design at Washington University in St. Louis and the 2014 Fellow Award from AIGA Minnesota. Between 2011 and 2013, Doug served as the national president of AIGA, the professional association for design and the largest and oldest design organization in the world.

Presentations

Diversity in Tech Session

Open discussion with O'Reilly Design speakers regarding opportunities for diverse designers in tech.

How is design driving outcomes? Keynote

Doug Powell explains how IBM's design transformation is resulting in real impact for the world’s most established and enduring tech company.

Julie Rodriguez is associate creative director at Sapient Global Markets. Julie is an experience designer focusing on user research, analysis, and design for complex systems. Julie has patented her work in data visualizations for MATLAB, compiled a data visualization pattern library, and publishes industry articles on user experience and data analysis and visualization. She is the coauthor of Visualizing Financial Data, a book about visualization techniques and design principles that includes over 250 visuals depicting quantitative data.

Presentations

Data visualizations that expand your visual literacy Session

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.

Ivy Ross is the vice president of design and UX for the hardware product area at Google. Previously, Ivy was vice president of Project Aura (Glass and beyond) at Google and held executive positions ranging from head of product design and development to CMO and presidencies with several companies, including Calvin Klein, Swatch, Coach, Mattel, Art.com, Bausch & Lomb, and Gap. Ivy has been a contributing author to numerous books, including The Change Champion’s Field Guide and Best Practices in Leadership Development and Organizational Change, and has been referenced in many more, including Ten Faces of Innovation, Rules of Thumb, and Unstuck. Ivy was the keynote speaker at the Nokia World Design Conference and Fortune magazine’s Women Conference and has been cited by both Fast Company and Businessweek as one of the new faces of leadership. A renowned artist, Ivy’s innovative metal work in jewelry is in the permanent collections of 12 international museums. A winner of the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts grant, Ivy has also received the Women in Design Award and Diamond International Award for her creative designs. Ivy’s passion is human potential and relationships. She believes in the combination of art and science to make magic happen and bring great ideas and brands to life.

Presentations

Fireside chat with Irene Au and Ivy Ross Keynote

This fireside chat brings together two of Silicon Valley's heaviest hitters in design. Khosla Ventures’s Irene Au interviews Ivy Ross, VP of design and user experience for hardware products at Google. Expect a lively discussion about the future of hardware design, how to design products with soul, and lessons on design leadership that pulls on threads from both of their experiences.

Brian Russel Davis is the founder of Axiom88, an emerging business with a team of 20 developers in four offices worldwide. Previously, Brian was a Pandora engineer working exclusively for the Creative team. A child of Trinidadian-Guyanese parents, born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Sacramento, California, Brian started mixing art and technology early, coding in 5th grade and beginning formal art training at 12. He holds a BA in philosophy with a focus in analytical logic from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Presentations

The power of us: Empathy isn’t enough Session

Brian Russel Davis shares a radical proposition: if we empower groups to understand design for themselves, we may be able to usher in a new era of UX curation, a space where groups design their own experiences without total dictation from designers and where designers learn new ways of interfacing with communities that may have been otherwise outside their reach.

Evan Ryan is chief product officer at Fresh Tilled Soil, where he focuses on understanding ecosystems and extracting user insights to guide strategy and drive innovation and works with a variety of organizations from startups to nonprofits to Fortune 500 companies to solve mission­-critical problems and effect change. Evan is a seasoned entrepreneur and product specialist with over a decade of experience bringing products from concept to market. He has built two of his own companies and helped launch numerous others. Evan shares his knowledge through speaking engagements and custom workshops and as an adjunct professor at IE Business School’s Business Impact Lab in Madrid, Spain.

Presentations

Design sprints 2-Day Training

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.

TRAINING: Design sprints Training Day 2

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.

For 20 years, Dan Saffer has been designing everything from apps to robots and everything in between. Dan is the author of four acclaimed books on design, including his latest, Microinteractions, which Scott Berkun called “the best design book in years.” He speaks and teaches workshops on design around the world. In 2008, he coined the term “topless meeting” (for a meeting without laptops), which was a finalist for Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year and Time magazine’s #10 buzzword of 2008.

Presentations

The robots are coming Session

Safety, privacy, displaying robot intent, cooperation, and movement between humans and robots—all of these need to be considered when designing social robots. Drawing on his experience designing Kuri, a home robot just launched at CES 2017, Dan Saffer shares lessons learned about designing robots.

Brandon Schauer is the head of influential experience design consultancy Adaptive Path and curator of annual design conferences, including UX Week, the Managing Experience Conference, and the Service Experience Conference. As of October 2014, Brandon and the Adaptive Path team are a part of Capital One, working to create great human experiences that change banking for good. Brandon has a love of Excel that is unnatural for a designer.

Presentations

Wielding the soft (and hard) science of service design Session

We map and measure customer journeys but often stumble at 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.

Jordan Shade is a designer and design researcher at IBM, where she is building global programs to help achieve a 400,000-person cultural transformation. Jordan is fascinated by the intersection of design thinking and education and also enjoys making art, podcasting, and camping. Jordan holds a BFA from UT Austin and a MDes from the University of the Arts.

Presentations

Measuring adoption of design thinking in organizations Session

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.

Eli Silva is senior product designer at Pivotal Labs. Eli is a Dallas-based product designer and speaker on design, Agile, and digital transformation. He loves to experiment with process and approaches to creating design culture in organizations large and small. A big believer in building the right thing at the right speed, he focuses on learning to ask questions that give design thinking leverage.

Presentations

Designing for diversity in design organizations Session

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.

Amy Silvers is a senior product designer and researcher at Nasdaq, where she plans, conducts, and distills findings from customer interviews. She has more than 10 years of experience as a designer and has worked for at least a zillion companies. Amy has a master’s in library science and is happiest when doing IA work. She lives in the New York City area and is easily recognized due to the large amount of cat hair on her clothing.

Presentations

The embedded researcher: Incorporating research findings into the design process Session

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 users' needs. Amy Silvers explains how Nasdaq's design team has been working to include research throughout the design process and outlines the tools they use to manage and share findings.

Alastair Simpson is head of design for software teams at Atlassian. Alastair is an advocate of using design-thinking methodologies to solve complex business problems. Previously, he worked at global publisher Reed Business Information and a digital consultancy firm consulting to Qantas, Foxtel, and Telstra. Alastair also owns a rather large T-shirt collection.

Presentations

From 6 to 126 in four years Session

Within four years, Atlassian's design team has increased from 6 designers 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.

Kristin Skinner is head of design management at Capital One, where she leads the practice and team of design managers who coordinate the design organization’s efforts, guides cross-functional collaboration, and enables the design team to deliver outcomes with measurable impact. An author and organization design leader, Kristin has extensive experience recruiting, hiring, and managing designers as well as shaping design organizations and operations for optimal effectiveness—in both consulting and in-house contexts in companies large and small alike. Previously, Kristin was managing director at Adaptive Path, where she established and lead the Design Management practice, guided sales and operations, co-led the portfolio, and scoped and co-led over 40 of the firm’s most strategic and complex projects and programs; she also shaped the design manager role for entertainment and devices while at Microsoft’s Pioneer Studios. Kristin is coauthor of Org Design for Design Orgs: Building and Managing In-House Design Teams and is the programmer and host of the LX Conference (formerly MX). She is also a keynote speaker and frequent workshop teacher on organizational design and design management.

Presentations

Org design for design orgs

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. Kristin Skinner shine a light on the unsung activities of actually running a design team, exploring what works and what doesn't.

Org design for design orgs: The workshop Tutorial

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.

Daniel Soltis is UX director at Moving Brands. Daniel is a NYC-based designer and creative technologist interested in cross-platform design, the IoT, and, more recently, the intersections of design and business needs.

Presentations

UX, brand, and crossing disciplines Session

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.

Ann Thyme-Gobbel is voice UI/UX design lead at D+M Group, home of Denon, Marantz, and similar high-quality audio brands. Ann has 20+ years of experience in the speech and natural language industry, with UI/UX roles in product development, R&D, and customer-facing service engagements at several companies, including Nuance and Lab 126 (Amazon). As head of design and UX at a recently acquired startup, she focused on creating multimodal conversational interfaces that assisted acute and chronic care patients. Ann’s other past work includes research in language and emotion detection, prosody, discourse structure, and TTS development. She holds a PhD in cognitive science and linguistics from UCSD.

Presentations

Voice user interface design: How to wireframe for voice Tutorial

Ann Thyme-Gobbel outlines the concepts, tools, best practices, and challenges for designing voice-based experiences. You'll learn how to write sample dialogues, build audio wireframes, and test prototypes for voice user interfaces.

Mary Treseler is director of strategic content at O’Reilly Media, Inc., where she acquires, curates, and edits design content when not writing it herself. Her experience with design-related topics includes editing Lean UX and Designing Interfaces and launching the Lean Series with Eric Ries. Mary has more than 20 years of experience working in technology publishing; her introduction to the design discipline began in 1993 with Jakob Nielsen’s Usability Engineering. A Boston native, Mary lives by the ocean in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Presentations

Tuesday opening welcome Keynote

Program chairs Mary Treseler and Leah Buley welcome you to the first day of keynotes.

Wednesday opening welcome Keynote

Program chairs Mary Treseler and Leah Buley welcome you to the second day of keynotes.

Jay Trimble is mission operations and ground data system manager for the Resource Prospector Lunar Rover Mission at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Previously, Jay founded and led the User-Centered Technology group, which played a significant role in bringing design thinking to mission software; was the lead operations director at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for Space Radar Lab 1, an international Earth remote sensing mission that flew on the Space Shuttle Endeavour; and was a science operations support team member for the Voyager encounter with Neptune. He was also a mission controller for space shuttle payloads at Johnson Space Center.

Presentations

New realms for NASA's mission control visualization software: Design thinking and open source Session

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.

Amy Vainieri is a senior designer at Taoti Creative in Washington, DC. In her 10+-year career in design (both digital and print), Amy has focused on designing for nonprofit, advocacy, and government clients—including the Peace Corps, United Way Worldwide, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, People for the American Way, and Doctors Without Borders. She is an advocate for election design reform; previously, she held a fellowship in the Oregon Elections Division, where she redesigned election materials for an improved user experience. Amy grew up moving around between the US and Europe. She holds a master’s degree in graphic design from SCAD-Atlanta and a bachelor’s degree from Emory University.

Presentations

Design systems: Accounting for quantity and scalability Session

How did Forum One design and build a beautiful website for a service-based organization that had almost 30 unique pages in less than a year? 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.

As the vice president of design education at InVision, Aarron Walter draws upon 15 years of experience running product teams and teaching design to help companies enact design best practices. Aarron founded the UX practice at MailChimp and helped grow the product from a few thousand users to more than 10 million. His design guidance has helped the White House, the US Department of State, and dozens of major corporations, startups, and venture capitalist firms. He is the author of the best-selling book Designing for Emotion (A Book Apart). You’ll find @aarron on Twitter sharing thoughts on design. Learn more at Aarronwalter.com.

Presentations

Hard-learned lessons in leading design Session

As the first designer hired at MailChimp, Aarron Walter 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. Aarron shares hard-learned lessons, guiding you around the obstacles that tripped him up and exposing the shortcuts that helped his team succeed.

Alexandra Jane Williams is a bookbinder, artist, and producer based in San Francisco. She currently works in the Art department on Airbnb’s Superbrand Marketing team and also cofounded and runs the Common Studio, an internal makerspace dedicated to getting people away from their computers and cultivating creative experimentation and wellness. Alexandra also maintains an art/bookbinding practice and is the founder of Triangle House. Most recently, she’s turned part of her personal studio space, located in the Bayview district of San Francisco, into a multi-use gallery and workshop space. In collaboration with long-time friend Ava Sayaka Rosen, Alexandra has founded Open Windows, which seeks to empower underrepresented voices by providing a flexible space for them to learn letterpress/bookbinding and show their work in the gallery. She is a lover of music, books, and outdoor space and cannot live without frequent immersion in the Pacific Ocean.

Presentations

Creating space for making in the workplace Session

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.

Mark Wolfe is an Atlanta-based UX strategy consultant at Slalom as well as a designer, writer, and speaker. Mark is passionate about creating beautiful and innovative experiences across devices of all sizes and connections. His work in this space has benefited many of the most recognized brands from Fortune 100 companies to the pluckiest of startups. When he’s not working with clients, Mark can be seen ogling design history, playing mediocre third base, and drinking loads of coffee.

Presentations

Designing connected experiences for 10 feet and beyond Session

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.

Benjamin Yoskovitz is the founding partner at Highline BETA, a startup cocreation company that works with large customers to identify areas of interest and potential disruption and then recruits founders and invests in creating new startups. It’s a new model for disruptive innovation. Previously, Ben was vice president of product at VarageSale and GoInstant (acquired by Salesforce in 2012). Prior to those roles, Ben was a founding partner at Year One Labs, an early-stage startup accelerator, which ran a Lean Startup methodology and invested in five startups, one of which, Localmind, was acquired by Airbnb.

In 2013, Ben coauthored Lean Analytics with Alistair Croll, one of several books in the Lean Startup Series published by O’Reilly. Ben has spoken around the world at events and conferences, including the Lean Event (Brighton, UK), CRUNCH Conference (Budapest), and Lean Startup Conference (SF). Ben conducts keynotes, workshops, and training sessions on Lean Startup, data analytics, product management, product strategy, and more. He is often quoted in national and international publications, such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Ben actively blogs at Instigatorblog.com, covering topics including startups, raising capital, product management, Lean Startup, and Lean Analytics, and more.

Presentations

Product strategy for designers 2-Day Training

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.

TRAINING: Product strategy for designers Training Day 2

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.

Julie Zhuo leads the design team at Facebook working on the Facebook app, where her responsibilities range from making News Feed the best place to get the news you care about to designing tools that help you share with the people most important to you. She has been at Facebook since 2006, helping grow the service from 8 million college and high school students to over 1 billion people all over the world. Julie regularly writes about design and technology on her popular blog, The Year of the Looking Glass, and in publications like Fast Company, the New York Times, and Huffington Post. Julie holds a BS and MS in computer science from Stanford, where she was a Mayfield fellow and coordinated the well-known CS198 program of student computer science instructors. In her spare time, she likes playing video games and exploring SF’s delectable food scene.

Presentations

Determining success in design Keynote

In the design community, there is often an adverse reaction to the notion of being metrics driven. The term conjures up notions of soulless design and poor optimizations. But what are the alternatives? More broadly, how can we know if our designs achieve what we set out to do? Julie Zhuo explores the different definitions of success in design and shares a few principles on how to set clear goals.