Derek Featherstone teaches us how designing for people with disabilities is really just better design for everybody. He shows us how people with disabilities aren’t different from us, they just use different tools to accomplish the same things. He encourages us to apply empathy to grow our skills in learning how to design for accessibility. He also reveals how taking small steps to incorporate something new into our design process could change everything.
Derek Featherstone is an internationally known speaker and authority on accessibility and inclusive design. He has been working on the web since 1999, starting as a web developer. He migrated to the field of accessibility and quickly discovered the need to move thinking about accessibility and inclusion into the design process. He founded and led an international team of accessibility and usability experts at Simply Accessible, which was recently acquired by Level Access, where Derek is now the Chief Experience Officer – focused on ensuring that accessibility and inclusion are seen as an integral part of user experience and service design, rather than as a simple checklist afterthought. Derek lives in Ottawa, Canada with his wife and their 4 children. He’s also a fitness instructor and 3 time Iron Man triathlon finisher.
Origin Story (5:53)
What Were Your “Aha” Moments? (12:02)
Why Do We Tend to Forget About Disabled Users? (17:15)
Tools Disabled Folks Use to Navigate (20:47)
Accessibility, Greater Than Aesthetics (31:37)
Has Designing for Accessibility Ever Made Things Worse for Majority of “Able” Users? (36:14)
Story of Biggest Triumph in Designing for Inclusivity + Accessibility (42:36)
Jason Ogle shows us how we can all be design superheroes with the right mindset. He reveals how grit trumps talent, every day. He reminds us of the peril that bad leadership and ego can have on a team and organization. He challenges us to never stop fighting for our users. He also inspires us to be a catalyst for our community.
Jason Ogle is human, not dancer. He fails early, and learns often. He’s a growth-minded, avid reader and listener whose vehicle is a rolling university, and a biz-minded, strategic designer who loves to make life better for his users. He’s a passionate user defender who fights for the users who are victims of bad design decisions. He’s an influential podcaster who uses the enchanting magic of audio to inspire and equip an audience of hungry and ambitious designers. He’s an evocative (often contrarian) writer who believeth in the power of the written word. He’s a self-aware and highly empathic servant-leader who believes that humans are so much more than resources. He’s also a loving husband, father of seven (one’s in heaven), and thankful believer who has a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Fun fact: He once had to get a manicure to be a hand-model for a tech ad, and he has a rare essay titled “Altars of Satan” given to him and signed by Eldridge Cleaver.
Cassie McDaniel inspires us to get away from the ‘pick me’ mindset, and to pick ourselves. She challenges us to be willing to kill our darlings so that something better can emerge. She teaches us the importance of knowing our values, but also embracing the fact that they are going to change. She also encourages us to not just do what we’re good at, but do what we enjoy.
Cassie McDaniel runs a small, ambitious, friendly design studio with her husband called Jane & Jury. As previous Design Director at the Mozilla Foundation, she led a team of designers on the organization’s advocacy and digital literacy fronts. She founded the interview series Women&&Tech and runs a creative event and workshop series called Paris Lectures. She grew up in Florida, jumped around in England, and is now based an hour outside Toronto in rural Ontario, where she is deeply invested in the roots she puts down into her community both locally and online. She’s both a national champion collegiate water polo player, and a published poet.
Secret Identity (8:27)
Origin Story (20:56)
Being Mozilla Foundation’s Design Director (24:09)
Joe Johnston inspires us to embrace the superpowers of curiosity and empathy for our users and business owners. He motivates us to always stay curious, and ask why to get to the heart of the problem faster. He encourages us to make sure we use the shiny objects available to us to actually solve a problem.
Joe Johnston has over 18 years of digital experience with extensive knowledge creating digital and physical experiences. His skill set focuses on the user experience and the creation of these experiences to help clients quickly test & validate soultions. He’s adept at navigating the rapidly evolving and shifting technological landscape, making intuitive decisions amidst information-abundance, where sparse facts mingle loosely with data-drenched opinions. He’s completed a wide variety of projects, performing duties that include Experience Director/Advisor/Consultant, Digital Strategy, Experience Design,Service Design and front end development. He believes experience design is driven by moments of engagement, or touch points, between people, brands, ideas, emotions and memories that these moments create. My experience design philosophy is holistic in nature and takes into account all components required to create engaging and emotive experiences. Little known fact about Joe: He grew up on a farm, raising sheep during the day and hacking on a Commodore 64 at night.
Alexa Roman motivates us to prove the value of design and contribute to it every single day. She encourages us to always be learning new things since designers work across many different fields. She inspires us to get more excited about analytics and measuring our designs. She also challenges us to think about what we want on our tombstones…while we’re still this side up.
Alexa Roman is a Lead Product Designer at Burner, an app for creating on-demand, smart phone numbers. At Burner, she works on product and growth initiatives. Customer development, experiments and analytics are core to her design work. Previously, she was at Carbon Five where she worked on growth projects with teams at Nissan, Prosper and Joyable. In her spare time, Alexa volunteers with the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles, the Violence Intervention Program and resisterhoodLA.
Fun fact about Alexa is that when she worked in the Art Department for the TV show The Office, she became the resident IT person and would often be called to set to show the actors how to use their on-screen UI. When you see UI in a TV show, it’s nearly always a file that’s been programmed and you have to know the shortcuts to operate it. I did not, however, design that UI and it was terribly out of date even for the time we shot that show.