Braden Kowitz reveals how human-centered design has everything to do with the humans we design and build with every day. He advocates for a genuinely supportive environment where it’s okay to be who you are, and where you’re encouraged to speak up, and openly share how you’re truly feeling. He reminds us to acknowledge that life isn’t perfect, and neither are we…and that’s also okay. He articulates the origin story and evolution of design patterns and explains why ‘ugly’ may sometimes appear to win. He also challenges us to consider how the metrics we typically depend on, may not be telling us the complete story.
Braden is a Product Designer and Co-Founder at Range Labs, where he makes software that helps teams work better together. Prior to starting Range, Braden was a design partner at Google Ventures, where he founded the first design team at a venture capital fund and co-developed the Design Sprint process. Braden was also an early designer at Google and led the design of several products including Gmail, GSuite, Google Spreadsheets, and Google Trends. He’s really into bicycle advocacy lately.
Dr. John Whalen teaches us what it means to design for how people think. He reveals the powerful principals behind what he calls the six minds of user experience, and explains how anybody can harness them to build better products (no doctorate degree required!). He reminds us that it takes serious research to reveal the deep insights that genuinely make our products successful for the user and the business. He also encourages us to understand that no one is more qualified than anyone else in solving unique problems.
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John Whalen is the founder and Lead of Psychological Insights & Innovation at Brilliant Experience. He is an international speaker, and author of the recently published book Design for How People Think: Using Brain Science to Build Better Products (O’Reilly). John helps businesses use psychological research to strategically position their products, services, and marketing. He has a PhD in Cognitive Science and 15+ years of experience working in user research and product design with Fortune 500 companies and design agencies including Google, PayPal, Bloomberg, eBay, Cisco, Capital One, and Johns Hopkins. Little known fun filled facts: He’s camped North of the Arctic Circle on 12 feet of ice and he’s a green-eyed, left-handed Psychology PhD, making him (statistically at least) 1-in-a-million.
Jeffrey Zeldman answers the provocative question, “Is Web Design Dead?”. He enlightens us to what the Web was, where it’s at now, and where it could go in the future. He touches on the many short-sighted predictions that tend to prod our delicate psyches such as automation and new technologies poised to replace Web Designers. He encourages us to ignore the rhetoric and continue to learn as tools change how Web Design is done. He also emphasizes that the Web was built on sharing, and that we must continue to share if we want to not only protect its spirit, but keep it alive and thriving.
Jeffrey Zeldman is the Godfather of Web Design, and unquestionably the greatest friend of the Web. He’s a guy behind highly esteemed Web Design content initiatives such as A List Apart, An Event Apart and A Book Apart. He’s a prolific speaker and heavily influential blogger. He’s the Author of the our industry’s staple: Designing with Web Standards. He’s the host of The Big Web Show. He’s also the founder of renown Web Design studio Happy Cog. Back in the day, he played synth and Casiotone with The Insect Surfers, a DC post-punk techno-surf band.
Jasmine Oh informs us that AI will one day replace our current jobs as designers. She challenges us to adapt to AI since no career field is exempt from its influences. She also reminds us not to fear AI but to harness it to our advantage instead. She reveals that AI shouldn’t be judged as a gloomy UX future but as a medium that supports our most meaningful work in new roles. She also encourages us to challenge stakeholders when shallow data is used to feed requirements into a product.
Jasmine Oh is a UX Designer in the Windows Product Direction team at Microsoft which is an incubation team helping define future vision of computing. She named herself after Jasmine the Princess from Aladdin. (Woo Jung is her official name, which means “friendship” in Korean.)
Nir Eyal teaches us how to harness the skill of the century… becoming Indistractable. He reminds us that distraction is an action that starts from within. He motivates us to take command of our personal development in a world that is frequently competing for our attention. He encourages us to recognize the external triggers that don’t serve us and how to be more mindful of those that do. He also shares what it takes to be competitive in an increasingly automated job market.
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Nir Eyal is the author of Hooked: How to build habit-forming products. His latest book, Indistractable shows us how to overcome distraction, and gain one of the most important skills of the 21st century. He runs a popular blog about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. His primary focus is on what he calls “behavioral design” which encompasses user experience, behavioral economics, and a dash of neuroscience. He’s taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Design. He has sold two technology companies and now help teams design more engaging products. For most of his career he’s worked in the video gaming and advertising industries where he learned, applied (and at times rejected) the techniques used to motivate and manipulate users. He writes to help companies create behaviors that benefit their users, while educating people on how to build healthful habits in their own lives. He received most of his education earning an advanced degree from the The School of Hard Knocks as well as an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He also wrestled for 4 years in high school and never won a match.