Behind the Kimono: A Look Behind the Scene of Two Designers

Todd Zaki Warfel (Messagefirst), Russ Unger (18F)
Design & User Experience
Location: Empire East
Average rating: ****.
(4.12, 17 ratings)

We call ourselves UX professionals, but don’t show our work in public. It’s time to nut up or shut up.

Get a behind the scenes look at the design process used by two prominent UX designers, Todd Zaki Warfel, author of Prototyping: a Practitioner’s Guide, and Russ Unger, author of A Project Guide to UX. This highly energetic session will provide an in-depth behind the scenes look at the process behind the design, including: research, IA/interaction design, wireframing/prototyping and visual design. The presentations will end with a time-lapse video of the entire process from start to finish.

Todd Zaki Warfel


Todd Zaki Warfel, founder and principal designer at messagefirst, has been designing products and services for over 15 years. Todd’s clients have included AT&T Wireless, Bankrate, Citibank, and Comcast, Numara and NYU just to name a few.

An internationally recognized thought leader on research and design, and author of the prototyping course for the Web Standards Project Education Task Force, he has spoken at conferences and taught workshops around the globe.

His new book, Prototyping: a practitioner’s guide discusses how prototypes are more than just a design tool and shows you how to use prototyping to create a common language, market a product, gain internal buy-in, and test feasibility with your development team.

Todd currently lives in Philadelphia, blogs at, and twitters @zakiwarfel.

Photo of Russ Unger

Russ Unger


Russ Unger is an Experience Design Director in Chicago where he leads teams and projects in design and research. He is co-author of the books A Project Guide to UX Design, Designing the Conversation, and Speaker Camp for New Riders (Voices That Matter). Russ is also working on a book on guerrilla design and research methods that is due out, well, sometime.

Russ is co-founder of ChicagoCamps, which hosts low-cost, high-value technology events in the Chicago area, and he is also on the Advisory Board for the Department of Web Design and Development at Harrington College of Design. Russ has two daughters who both draw better than he does and are currently beginning to surpass his limited abilities in coding.

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Amanda Duff
10/04/2010 6:04am EDT

Love the videos! Thanks for posting. Wondering if the presentation slides will be available?

Picture of Russ Unger
Russ Unger
09/29/2010 5:50pm EDT

You can find the videos we showed today online at: (Russ) (Todd)

Brian Trinca
09/29/2010 7:34am EDT

Great talk… Wondering if the process videos will be available?? I’d love to show these back at my agency to show how truly backwards our current process is.


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