Monday 5 May 10:00AM (PDT)
Co-founder & Principal
Nielsen Norman Group
A Conversation with Don Norman: Reflections from a UX Guru on the Profession of Design

When people are asked to identify a UX guru, “Don Norman” is the most frequent response. Don has published 19 books and countless articles on user experience. His classic publication The Psychology of Everyday Things was first published in 1988 and because of its long-term relevance to the design world was revised last year with new examples and an expansion to include the role of emotion in user experience. In the interval between the two editions, expectations regarding product and services in technology and other industries have shifted significantly. Don is one of the first successful UX pioneers and continues to be a UX giant in industry, whose thoughts and opinions are highly valued by companies that want to deliver the ultimate user experience. We are fortunate to have Don as the keynote guest at our You in UX summit, where he will share his thoughts on the evolution of the UX profession and the industries we support. We also hope you’ll take the opportunity to bring your burning UX career questions and obtain his sage insights.

Tuesday 6 May 9:00AM (PDT)
Vice President of Advanced User Experience Design
Mercedes-Benz R&D North America
Free Advice: You Get What You Pay For

Do you feel you need to figure out how to make Agile work for UX since that’s how everyone else is doing it? Should you try to create disruptive experiences if you don’t like how things are going? Should you trust your gut and not worry about the potential pitfalls ahead of you? Throughout your design career you’ll receive lots of free advice. Some may be good and some may be bad. However, beware of the good sounding advice that actually isn’t right for the situation, problem or you. Paolo Malabuyo is the VP of Advanced UX Design at Mercedes-Benz R&D and has been a UX designer for 19 years. He has been the recipient of lots of advice, both solicited and unsolicited, that has both helped and hindered his career development. Sometimes what appeared sound advice at the time later became, not just irrelevant, but actually caused problems. He will share the top three pieces of advice he received that weren’t helpful and yet knows other UXers are still receiving the same advice today. He wants to set the record straight and tell others why they should ignore certain types of advice and take alternative paths. He will provide real-world examples from his own career which spans the domains of enterprise, gaming, social, and automotive to illustrate a set of lessons he’s learned over the years.

Top Career Takeaways & Learnings for You:

    • How to think more critically about design and process
    • Approaches to become a more effective designer and leader
    • Behind-the-scenes stories of where practice met theory
Tuesday 6 May 1:00PM (PDT)
Director of Global Learning & Development
frog design
Career Conversations: Communicating Your Aspirations with Clarity and Impact

Are you still expecting your boss to know exactly what you want for your career progress and disappointed when progress doesn’t happen? Have you heard that you’re responsible for your own career, but feel cheated because someone else should be doing more to help you? The truth is you can probably do more to help yourself make the progress than you’re currently doing.

Tonya Peck, Director of Global Learning and Development at frog design, has developed an approach for having the crucial career conversation at work. The approach provides individuals with a framework to prepare for the conversation so they can understand exactly what it is they want and what they need in order to achieve it. Then the next step is then having a plan and awareness of conversation tactics to engage in the critical career conversation with a manager, mentor, or peer.

Large organizations have rarely provided people in the UX profession with a clear systematic path to career progression, often because the numbers were small and diversity of responsibilities broad. Organizational documented approaches provide some assistance, but to have the career you want requires you being proactive and intentional with critical conversations.

The approach Tonya will share is not only powerful for career conversations, but for any quality conversation where you need to work towards a shared outcome.

Top Career Takeaways & Learnings for You:

    • How to explore and consider what it is you want
    • An approach to prepare for an effective conversation whether you’re the coach or coachee
    • A framework for having a quality career conversation
Wednesday 7 May 9:00AM (PDT)
Dean of Institute of Design, IIT, Steelcase/Robert C. Pew Professor of Design
Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology
Design and the Speed of Competition

For almost twenty years three trends have contributed to the growth of human-centered design:

  • Technology driven products and services continue to become more complicated.
  • The life span of products and services, and often the companies that make them, continually get shorter.
  • The choices offered to consumers continue to grow, creating the dilemma characterized by companies knowing how to make almost anything, while being less and less certain about what to make.

Designers have thrived in this situation because they look beyond features and see UX as a holistic system of interactions with all of the touch points that are relevant to users.

In many ways design has succeeded.  It is normal for design and research to be included up front.  But now that it is standard procedure it no longer provides a competitive advantage, thus the speed of competition has increased.

Companies have decreased time and certainty, which pressures designers to reduce the time to develop deeper insights.  Add to this that for every ten or twenty ways for a project team to create a better user experience only one will lead to a viable business. This situation presents new opportunities for design. The ability to see problems in a broader context focused on the company, not just the user experience, is required to help identify what to build given all of its options.

Patrick Whitney has led the IIT Institute of Design since 1986, one of the largest graduate schools of design in the U.S. He moved the focus towards the intersection organizational strategy and understanding people’s needs, which was a controversial shift at the time. Now BusinessWeek describes Patrick Whitney as a ‘design visionary’. Fast Company identifies him as a ‘master of design’ for linking the creation of user value and economic value. Forbes counts him as a member of the “e-gang” for leading the integration of design and business.

Join us in a conversation with Patrick that will provide expert insight and advice on how UX professionals can use different lenses to deliver repeatable results to business leaders in a manner that doesn’t just meet expectations, it exceeds them.

Wednesday 7 May 12:00PM (PDT)
Founding Partner
Lockwood Resource
Getting "There": Embracing the Evolution of UX and Design Career Opportunities

The corporate world is changing. Fast. And there is a growing hunger to understand the power of design, user experience and creativity. But what are companies really looking to achieve? How can companies adopt a “creative class” or design thinking mentality? And how should creative UX professionals capitalize on these rapidly evolving and expanding corporate needs?   Drawing from his extensive UX experience of working with UX leaders and companies globally, both as an advisor and leadership recruiter, Thomas Lockwood will explore the current opportunities in UX, and design at large, from a corporate and global point of view. He’ll provide a perspective on industry changes in product and service design departments, including customer experience and innovation, and provide a few interesting company cases. He’ll share his thoughts on relevant trends in organizations, and discuss the links between UX and other key corporate functions like innovation and customer experience.

Top Career Takeaways & Learnings for You:

    • A global industry informed point of view of where UX careers are heading, and how to get “there”
    • Suggestions for career advancement and career tracks to support the future changes with a little career coaching
    • Insights for how managers should consider recruiting great people, build organizations and expend UX capabilities to support the predicted changes
PANEL-- Getting the Job You Want: Insight & Advice from UX Recruiters

Bobby Morgan: Recruiting Director,  Artefact
Thomas Lockwood, PhD: Founding Partner,  Lockwood Resource
Carrie Smith: UX Recruiter,  Google
Angela Yeh: Founder,  Yeh IDeology

Have you been considering a job change, but feel intimidated about starting the process? The reality is there are more UX jobs out there today than there are qualified UX professionals to fill them. Companies are looking for UX talent to shape the future of their products and services. If you are willing to work hard and know how to work smart, you can find the job you want. And this panel can provide you with strategies to success! What are the skills recruiters and hiring managers are looking for today? What are the most common mistakes people make during the interview process? How can you enhance your resume and portfolio? This panel of experts can tell you. This group of recruiters has cumulatively placed thousands of designers and researchers with major companies around the globe, and gathered tremendous insights in the process. Take control of getting the job you have been dreaming about by learning from the experts.

Top Career Takeaways & Learnings for You:

    • Skills recruiters and managers are looking for today
    • How to demonstrate your unique gifts and excellence
    • The biggest mistakes people make while looking for a job
    • Tips to enhance your portfolio and resume
Thursday 8 May 9:00AM (PDT)
Elevating UX through the Introvert/Extrovert Spectrum

Angela Craven: Senior UX Designer,  Slice of Lime
SuAnne Hall: Senior UX Product Designer,  MapQuest

Behind every successful design engagement is a well-rounded dynamic team. However, the culture and expectations of design agencies are largely built around the outspoken, gregarious personality. Group brainstorming, on-the-fly presentations, and open workspaces have become the norm in design settings.  For many of us, encountering personality types with more intensity than a high school debate team has become a daily challenge, so how can we all be successful while still staying true to our naturally-effective styles of working and communicating?

As fellow introverted UX designers ourselves, we set out to discover just how many designers tend to be more on the introverted spectrum, and also uncover what makes them successful, what makes them tick, and how they use their introverted qualities as leaders to round out their teams and create great designs and experiences. In our findings, we heard deeply personal stories about lessons learned when going against natural tendencies and pretending to be a gregarious and spontaneous conversationalist, and inspirational stories about how displaying quiet confidence can be effective when dealing with powerfully strong voices in a large meeting.  Whether the idea of introversion speaks to you, or you more readily identify with more extroverted qualities, everyone can benefit from tapping into their quiet side.

Your career will benefit from a year’s worth of research on this topic and advice from introverted leaders in the UX industry.

Top Career Takeaways & Learnings for You:

    • How to use introversion to your (and your team’s) advantage, by combining introverted and extroverted skillsets in order to make super teams of design professionals
    • Whether employing quiet strength or charismatic persuasiveness, how to be a successful leader and influencer by utilizing skills that come naturally to you
    • How to stop seeing introversion as a weakness, and recognize the powerful characteristics and skills inherent to introverted designers
Thursday 8 May 3:00PM (PDT)
Senior Director of Ydesign
Yahoo APAC
How Working Abroad Can Help You Reawaken the Designer Within (Session will NOT be recorded)

Session will not be posted and recorded given Yahoo’s corporate policy. Please attend live!

Have you daydreamed about working in another country? Have you wondered about the pros and cons of moving abroad?

Melora Zaner, Senior Director at Yahoo Design APAC, is an American that has spent the last 9 years in Asia working for multinational organizations. When Melora was still in the US she abundantly conducted international research – disappointed to discover the hard way that it wasn’t enough to develop global products. So she embarked on a journey to become a truly global designer. She decided to immerse herself in the culture, moving to Shanghai to build design studios across several markets in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Nine years later her experiences abroad have transformed her into a Change Agent and a far more inspiring leader.

Melora will share how seeing the world through new eyes changed her as a person and allowed her to fall back in love with Design. Each day presented new challenges, such as navigating large cities with unique cultures and language, negotiating the price of services & goods using hand gestures, and growing young designers with little to no English skill to have common design process, language and skills. She found these designers to be hungry to learn, innocently innovative and inspiring. This reawakened her to the fact that design problems, and hence design inspiration, can be found all around us. These challenges allowed her to learn what she was truly capable of, growing her voice, creativity and confidence along the way. Melora will also discuss the challenges she and many others face working away from corporate headquarters and how she successfully navigated those complexities. We can all imagine what it would be like to leave all we know behind in search of inspiration and knowing!

Top Career Takeaways & Learnings for You:

    • The benefits and challenges of working and living abroad
    • The necessary state of mind to be successful when working and living abroad
Friday 9 May 8:00AM (PDT)
Lebsontech LLC
Deciding Whether You Want to Be an Independent UX Consultant and Succeeding If You Do!

Have you ever considered becoming an independent UX consultant? But not sure what might be involved or how to make the leap? Cory Lebson, Principal of Lebsontech and President of UXPA International, has been a user experience consultant for 20 years. He started his own consultancy and has written and spoken about what it takes to become a successful UX consultant. In this session Cory will talk openly about the pros and cons of being independent, as well as help you think through what needs to be done before making the leap. In addition Cory will share what to do once you have committed – how to build your brand and network, how to setup benefits, and how doing UX related things without pay can help keep you employed. If you have ever considered becoming an independent consultant you want to miss Cory’s wisdom, humor and tales of caution!

Top Career Takeaways & Learnings for You:

    • Necessary personality and leadership skills you need to become an independent consultant
    • UX experiences you should have before making the plunge
    • How to get that break-away project that will allow you to get started
    • How to brand yourself and build a large enough network
    • How to generate benefits (such as health insurance, other kinds of insurance, retirement, and vacation days) that are equal to or better than what you can get from an employer
Friday 9 May 10:00AM (PDT)
UX Evangelist
Code for America
Using Your Powers for Good - As a Career

Almost every UX practitioner will tell you they entered the field with hopes of making the world a better place. But often our daily jobs creating commercial products, optimizing funnels, or improving entertainment experiences for already privileged people don’t satisfy that desire. Yet those are the obvious jobs that are available if you want to be paid for UX work. Recently, however, a whole world of civic design has blossomed. There are opportunities to improve the experience of voting, participating in public dialogue, even paying parking tickets – in short to make the lives of many, many people better through work on the citizen experience.

Citizen experience advocate Cyd Harrell will share her path from financial services through consulting to a full-time civic UX career. She’ll discuss various models and opportunities for every practitioner to work on design problems that really matter, whether as a sideline or a major career focus. The public sector is undergoing an awakening about design, very similar to the private sector’s awakening to UX 15 years ago – it’s an incredibly exciting and rewarding time to apply your abilities to the public good.

Top Career Takeaways & Learnings for You:

    • What is changing in the public sector to make it welcoming to UX design
    • The different types of opportunities for UX work in the civic world
    • How to present the value of your skills in a space dominated by developers
Friday 9 May 12:00PM (PDT)
Director, WorkSpace Futures
Steelcase Inc
Pivot with Grace: Designing Change in Your Career

Crooked paths through life and work are a marker of rich experience.  How can you harvest wisdom from all the experiences you collect along your crooked pathways?   How can you own your journey, even when you’re not sure what’s around the next corner?  And how do you choose to tell the story of your life?    Donna Flynn has made masterful transitions throughout her career, from cultural anthropologist to international policy work to UX Research Manager at Microsoft and most recently to Director of WorkSpace Futures at Steelcase.   In this talk, Donna will share things she discovered along her own twists and turns that help her leverage each experience along the way—such as learning more from your mistakes than your successes, maintaining a beginner’s mind, and reframing your experiences and skills to open doors into new challenges, new disciplines, new industries.   Few of us trod a truly linear path through our career, but we all have a rich compendium of experiences to weave into a narrative that can empower us in every future step we take.

Top Career Takeaways & Learnings for You:

    • How to harvest value from the full range of your experiences
    • Reflecting on mistakes as an opportunity for change
    • Designing your career as an iterative, nonlinear journey