Leadership By Design 2018

Learn design leadership from the experts at Leadership by Design 2018.

Leadership By Design 2018 is an online 2-day conference focused on all aspects of design leadership.

On Thursday & Friday, August 9th & 10th, we’re hosting a two-day, single-track conference featuring inspiring keynote speakers, accomplished design leaders, and experienced professionals from major brands and organizations.

For 2019, we’re adding optional workshops on Wednesday, August 7th (workshops are a separate, additional cost from the conference itself) to help hone your leadership skills. More information soon!

This event was previously titled “Prototypes, Process & Play.”

Event Details
Colleen Pellissier
Colleen Pellissier
UX Researcher
Colleen is passionate about collaboration, human-centered research, and a holistic approach to creating products. She’s currently a UX Researcher at Groupon; bringing a customer-focused lens to teams and initiatives across the organization with a fiery heart and quick wit.
Andy Budd
Andy Budd
As a renown Design Leader and agency CEO, Andy helps companies like Virgin Holidays, John Lewis and Penguin Random House with issues of customer experience, product strategy, and digital transformation.
Kim Goodwin
Kim Goodwin
You may know Kim Goodwin from her bestselling book, Designing for the Digital Age. Kim is a consultant who helps organizations build their UX capabilities. She has served as VP of Product & UX at PatientsLikeMe and as VP Design & General Manager at Cooper, leading an integrated practice of interaction, visual, and industrial designers and the development of the acclaimed Cooper U design curriculum.
Antionette Carroll
Antionette Carroll
Founder & CEO
Creative Reaction Lab
Antionette D. Carroll is the Founder and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a nonprofit social enterprise designing healthy and racially equitable communities for Black and Latinx populations.
Lou Rosenfeld
Lou Rosenfeld
Rosenfeld Media
Lou Rosenfeld is Rosenfeld Media’s founder and publisher. Like many user experience folk, Lou started somewhere (library science), made his way somewhere else (information architecture), and has ended up in an entirely different place (publishing).
Tanya Snook
Tanya Snook
User Experience Design Leader
Tanya Snook is a user experience designer who builds citizen and employee experiences in the Government of Canada. She is best known for popularizing the phrase "UX Theatre" to describe the superficial posturing that some organizations do in the place of proper user experience design.
Adam McCrimmon
Adam McCrimmon
XYZ Game Labs
Adam’s passion is the exciting world of Tabletop Gaming! In 2016 he co-founded XYZ Game Labs and created the card game called RobotLab with his team. He currently spends most weekends playing, talking about or designing tabletop and board games.
Kara DeFrias
Kara DeFrias
Chief of Staff
QuickBooks Online Platform
Adam’s passion is the exciting world of Tabletop Gaming! In 2016 he co-founded XYZ Game Labs and created the card game called RobotLab with his team. He currently spends most weekends playing, talking about or designing tabletop and board games.
Peter Merholz
Peter Merholz
Design & Product Management Executive
Peter Merholz has been active in digital design and product for 25 years, most notably in building Adaptive Path, and now a design executive and product leader.
Meg Lewis
Meg Lewis
Designer, Educator
Meg Lewis is a designer creating experiences for happy companies and a one-on-one educator creating happier lives for humans of all kinds. Meg is the founder of Ghostly Ferns, a collective of designers & commercial artists and is the co-founder of Fool Proof, a shared workspace for creativity & collaboration in Minneapolis.
Romke de Haan
Romke de Haan
Business Development Officer
Romke de Haan has been in the DJ world since he was 13 years old. First under DJ greats like DJ QuickMixx and Opie Cuttingham of Illinois Mixx Mob. Romke became more of a performing DJing in his late 20s after the passing of his friend DJ Roc Dee.
Amy Jiménez Márquez
Amy Jiménez Márquez
VP of Experience Design
Amy Jiménez Márquez is the owner and Publisher of Boxes and Arrows, devoted to the practice, innovation, and discussion of design—including graphic design, interaction design, information architecture, and the design of business.
Beth Zwolski Tobias
Beth Zwolski Tobias
The Chalk Girl
Beth has been drawing since her mom placed a crayon in her hand. Over the years, she picked up passions for drawing, painting, animation, special effects makeup, and fabrication. She earned a B.A. in Film/Video with a concentration in Traditional Animation from Columbia College Chicago.
Debra Gelman
Debra Gelman
EVP of Experience Design and Global Head of Digital Products
Ogilvy Experience
Debra Gelman is a leader, strategist, author, and practitioner in the digital design and user experience space. Throughout her 20-year career, Deb has used customer behavior to drive the design of experiences for the telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, education, and publishing industries.
Bennett King
Bennett King
Managing Partner
Ben is the Managing Partner of Konrad+King, a San Diego based human-centered design studio that focuses on enterprise, healthcare, mobility and smart cities.
Elizabeth Goodman
Elizabeth Goodman
VP of Design and Strategy
A1M Solutions
Elizabeth’s writing, design and research focus on product, service, and interaction design for organizationally complex products and services.

Andy first came to prominence in our industry as a designer and web standards enthusiast. He was driven by a desire to improve and professionalise the industry, which is how he came to start the UKs first user experience consultancy, Clearleft. He never set out to be a design leader, but now find himself leading a team of thirty people, almost by accident.

In a quest to understand what makes a great leader, and help his friends in newly minted leadership positions, Andy started the Leading Design conference and Slack community. Over the past 18 months, Andy has interviewed dozens of prominent leaders and listened in on hundreds of Slack conversations about the art and craft of leadership.

In this session, Andy recounts his journey into leadership, shares his successes and failures, and the important lessons he’s learned on the way. The result is a talk packed full of design leadership heuristics suitable for leaders of all shapes, sizes, levels and seniorities.

Why do some project teams work well, while others just can’t seem to get it together? Why do some teams have a strong sense of culture while others feel like a group of strangers working on the same task?

When a team comes together, whether it’s for a short-term project or ongoing long-term operations, a culture emerges: you can see it in how the team works toward common goals and how they interact with one another. Although you can’t force team culture, you can design for it. Through an enterprise project case study, we’ll look at onboarding techniques and methods that can be used to deliberately build strong team cultures.

Not everyone wants or needs a warm, supportive manager, and not everyone wants or needs the tough, task-focused boss. I’ve come to realize that my usual style of mentoring and motivating people on my teams does not work for everyone, much to my dismay. There are many shades of leadership in between, and knowing what each team member needs means discovering the answers to deeper questions about what makes them who they are.
You’ll need to uncover what inspires and motivates each individual team member, while also understanding how they’ll respond to ambiguity or sudden change. You’ll also need to do this while handling your day job and while also keeping them–and yourself—from burning out. We’ll discuss some approaches to tackling most of this (that burn out one…) and share tips on empathy and emotional resonance that can help you build stronger and more genuine ties to your team in order to set them all up for their best success.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take your big idea and run a Kickstarter campaign? Have you ever wondered why the heck those Kickstarters you funded took so long, didn’t deliver as expected, or in general frustrated you?

I’m going to walk you through what it’s like to go through our first Kickstarter–and share with you all the things we learned along the way. By the time this event happens, we’ll have also gone through a second campaign, and if it’s successful or fails dramatically, I’ll have even more of a story to share!

Making podcasts isn’t for the faint of heart and I’m here to tell you why—we’ll take a shallow-dive into the craft of audio storytelling via podcasting, and the production that goes into it. Podcasts are hot—people aren’t leaving the house before making sure they have their phone, keys, wallet, and earbuds connected with their favorite show queued-up. I’m going to tell you how that all happens!

Health and wellness of an organization’s or project’s performance can be relatively simple. In a snapshot we can know a lot–dashboards and metrics tell us lots about how well our work is progressing, what mile stones we’re reaching, and what color-coded alert state of panic we should be in. And we can optimize our way into just about any green-colored diagram we choose.

Teams, and the humans that comprise them, are fascinatingly complex and complicated. In a snapshot, we can fool ourselves into believing all kinds of things about them. And yet, we can’t really know for sure unless we dive in deeper and learn about their health, their needs, and try to help them optimize for their individual successes. In this presentation, Kara shares her approach to the care and feeding of humans, sharing lessons gleaned from working at the highest echelons of sports, entertainment, government, and technology.

A challenge many designers face as they embrace leadership is learning how to let go of the work. All through their career, their success has been measured by their ability to deliver. Now they have to figure out how to shift their efforts to support the delivery of their teams. This may lead to an existential crisis – “If I’m not doing the work, how am I contributing value?”

In this talk, Peter will outline the four archetypes of the Complete Design Leader. This leader grows their design team, provides clear expectations, and does everything they can to ensure the team’s effectiveness. These leaders must broaden their purview beyond creative matters, into the managerial and operational activities that will enable their team to succeed.

Even with a grand seat at the table, big decisions hinge on two overlooked factors 1) who at the table has the most power? and 2) how can they be influenced? Designers notoriously overlook how their lack of political acumen cripples their ability to make good design happen. But fear not: this fast paced talk based on the critical situations that impact designers teaches a situational playbook for turning things around.

Any seasoned designer or PM knows the importance of context: users, goals, environments, and business needs all shape the “best” solution to a given problem. And yet, designers and leaders frequently assume that a process, skill set, or attitude that worked in one place is the one right answer. Kim will discuss:

What characteristics of organizations demand different things from leaders
How to assess your leadership effectiveness within a given context
How to find your own context/leader fit

There’s no one like you on this planet, so why have a career like anyone else? Traditional career paths, like fitting into a one-size-fits-all job description and letting higher-ups determine our success, don’t work for everyone. What if there was a new path that was paved just for you? Let’s ditch the separation of work/life and embrace a new life where you get paid to be yourself! Champion your unique personality, strengths, and values to grow your life and career!

During this fun and interactive talk, we’ll cut deep into your squishy core and find what makes you, you! Grab your metaphorical lantern and head into the depths of your true self as we create an actionable plan for your future life and career as a leader.

This talk will help you identify the qualities that make you unique and translate them to a career only you can have. Meg will coach you through defining a life’s purpose that will drive your career and life decisions. At the end, she’ll guide you through creating team and relationship guidelines that help fulfill your purpose and advance your career. You’ll leave feeling confident and excited knowing your team needs your unique abilities.

Leading design in a large organization is more than just “doing design with more people.” Anyone who tells you otherwise has yet to spend their time untangling a myriad of non-design-related issues so that design work can get done. Huge teams, competing priorities, personal agendas, and outdated methodologies can make innovation seem impossible, and can discourage even the most optimistic practitioners.

Some planning, some data, and a whole lot of patience will help you develop strong relationships with your product, marketing, and technology partners, create advocates across the organization, and communicate the value your team brings to the organization. If only that were all there is to the job!

Yes, design leader, it’s entirely possible to inspire teams, drive change, and create meaningful digital experiences in an enterprise environment. It’s not always easy, and there’s no single path to success–let’s start with what I’ve learned to point you in the right direction.

Music is magical–it can make us move, it can move us, it can make us forget everything for a moment, and it can make us remember things we thought we’d forgotten forever. There’s even more magic that happens when a DJ gets in the zone and makes you experience all of that for a long period of time.

How does it happen That thing where you were singing and dancing along to something familiar one moment and the next you’re experiencing something completely different—yet similar—and you’re not sure when it happened.

I do that, and I can promise you, it’s all by design. It takes a deep knowledge of and appreciation for music, a passion for helping others experience something great for them and created by you, and it takes precision timing and skill to keep everything going. We’ll hear and see some live DJ action, and then I’ll slow it all down and we’ll deconstruct it so you can learn all that happens when the music beat goes on and the DJs appear to be switching to glide.

Have you ever wondered how an artist makes a living–not just the ones with galleries, the other ones that you see when you go to conventions, or peruse Etsy for unique items to add to your collection of whatever-it-is-you-collect? Have you ever thought about taking a passion project and making it less about passion and more real?

This is what I do! I create art, using chalk (yes, that chalk), and you’ll see me creating it live at any number of fan conventions, and then I turn it into something you’d be proud to frame and hang on your wall! It’s a lot of fun–and a lot of work–to make this type of thing work. For some it’s a hobby, for some it’s a full time job. For me, it’s taking an idea and turning it into art, and finding ways to make art make money.

Have you ever wondered if you could be the boss? Not just the manager, or the design leader, but someone who is ultimately responsible for decisions that shape the success or failure of your company? I’m going to tell you about my journey to become the boss, and share the lessons I’ve learned about accepting risk, finding value, creating worth, and seeing benefit in the design field.

Something tells me that this is the type of thing that gets easier the second time, but, to me, there were no do-overs in this adventure. It involved going all-in and gambling without a safety net. Along the way, I’ve found myself pondering a second mortgage to keep the lights on, losing employees and clients at the worst times, riding project highs followed by periods of drought, and somehow constantly running out of bourbon.

And this was exactly what I had been looking for. Maybe it’s what you’re looking for too, so I’ve got some stories for you.

Despite widespread praise for experimentation and play, “mess” still remains an insult in business books and home design blogs alike. Inheriting an organizational mess means taking on someone else’s disorder, clutter, and ongoing difficulties. Who would thank a predecessor for bequeathing them that?

You, that’s who. In this talk, I’ll argue for embracing mess as a powerful tool in organizational (re)design. As well, I’ll walk through some some principles and practices for putting mess to work without letting it take over.

Event Details
June 2024