Leadership By Design 2021

Learn design leadership from the experts at Leadership by Design 2021.

Leadership By Design 2021 is an online 2-day conference focused on all aspects of design leadership.

On Thursday & Friday, August 12th & 13th, from where ever you are. We’ll have 2 days of stellar keynotes and focused design leadership presentations with thoughtful Q&A that allow you to gain a lot of insightful learning. In addition, each day has an uplifting interstitial that is sure to be refreshing and reinvigorating after deep content sessions.

We continue to provide a stage with inclusive continuing education that is great for our community. Don’t miss out–join us and expand your User Experience horizons–and don’t worry: we record the sessions so you can revisit them later.

And we’ve got swag! We’ve partnered with Nerditees (again) to bring you some cool UX-themed gear. We’ve got a really cool t-shirt based upon the poem “Worthy” by Emily Haines LLoyd, author of the book Pep Talk Poetry and interstitial presenter.

 

Each swag item purchased adds to our pool of “Need 1, Take 1” passes that are available to anyone who has a need–no questions asked.

Event Details
Speakers
Helen Keighron
Helen Keighron
Director of Product Design
HubSpot
Helen Keighron, Director of Product Design at HubSpot, is focused on leading and scaling multi-disciplinary UX teams.
Carmen Medina
Carmen Medina
Owner
Medinanalytics
Carmen is an organizational heretic and all-purpose troublemaker whose only real expertise is asking stupid questions and noticing odd, new things that might amount to something…or maybe not.
Carmen Bocanegra
Carmen Bocanegra
Director of Design and Research
Truss
Over the past decade, Carmen has led teams through the process of research, strategy, and design.
Chris Avore
Chris Avore
Vice President & Head of Design
Northwestern Mutual
Chris is a Vice President, Head of Design who leads teams, drives product strategy, and helps executives understand the value of design. He has championed design, research, and content strategy to improve the services people use every day in organizations of all sizes and industries around the globe.
Megan Kellie
Megan Kellie
Writer, Actor, Improviser, Illustrator
Independent
Megan Kellie is a writer, actor, improviser and illustrator. She lives in Chicago where she regularly repurposes cardboard and goes to Blick.
Susan Salvi
Susan Salvi
Writer, Actor, Speaker
Independent
Originally from (sincerely) wonderful Pittsburgh, Sue Salvi is an actor, improvisor, and writer who now lives in Chicago.
Meena Kothandaraman
Meena Kothandaraman
Experience Strategist
twig+fish
With 30 years of experience, Meena has consulted to emphasize the strategic value and positioning of qualitative research in the design of product, space and service.
Maria Pereda
Maria Pereda
Director of Product Design
Clio
Maria leads design at Clio, helping increase access to justice while improving the lives of lawyers. Previously, she’s led teams at Roadmunk, Schoology, Critical Mass and GE.
Marc Rambeau
Marc Rambeau
Director of Content Strategy
U.Group
Marc leads content strategy, content design and copywriting at U.Group. His team cuts through the cruft to drive action and simplify services.
Christine McGlade
Christine McGlade
Sessional Lecturer, Digital Futures
OCAD University
Christine McGlade has been a digital media producer, designer, and educator for over 20 years. She is a sessional lecturer in the Digital Futures faculty at OCAD University in Toronto where she teaches topics in user experience design and user research, data visualization, futures thinking, and the ethical issues that arise when we step into design leadership roles in the digital economy.
JR Miller
JR Miller
UX Writing Lead & Product Designer
Google
JR Miller is a Caribbean-American writer, designer, and speaker in the Bay Area. He’s worked on design and brand initiatives for companies such as Google, cPanel, and Grooveshark.
Eva PenzeyMoog
Eva PenzeyMoog
Principal Design
8th Light
Eva PenzeyMoog is a Chicago-based UX designer who focuses on the emerging space of safety design. Before joining the tech field she worked in education non-profit and volunteered as a domestic violence educator and rape crisis counselor.
David Dylan Thomas
David Dylan Thomas
Author, Speaker, Filmmaker
David Dylan Thomas, LLC
David Dylan Thomas, author of Design for Cognitive Bias, creator and host of The Cognitive Bias Podcast, and a twenty-year practitioner of content strategy and UX, has consulted major clients in entertainment, healthcare, publishing, finance, and retail.
Dr. Temple Grandin
Dr. Temple Grandin
Professor, Speaker, Author
Colorado State University
Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned autism spokesperson, scientist, and inventor, has served as an inspiration and role model to hundreds of thousands of families and persons with autism. In this unique presentation, Temple eloquently and candidly describes the challenges she has faced and offers glimpses into her own childhood, with ideas on how others dealing with autism can meet these obstacles and improve the quality of their lives.
Lisa deBettencourt
Lisa deBettencourt
Founder & Principal
Forge Harmonic
Lisa is a product strategy and design leader. She works with organizations in healthcare and life sciences to discover, develop, and operationalize innovative ways to improve the patient and clinical experience.
Emily Haines Lloyd
Emily Haines Lloyd
Writer & Pep Talker
Independent
A copywriter, magazine contributor, and novelist—Emily Haines Lloyd has been telling stories her entire life.
Low-cost, high-quality events for the User Experience community.
Chicago Camps
Event Producer
Chicago Camps
Chicago Camps, LLC was formed and founded with the intention of bringing high-value, low-cost events to the User Experience community.
Schedule

We'll open the doors a little early and let folks in. Sometimes, we have surprises, sometimes, we play music, sometimes it's a little quiet. Get there a little early to be ready for kick-off!

Announcements and gratitude, schedule for the day, and general information about the event.

What do we really mean when we talk about “ethics” in tech? What are we actually aiming for, and what specifically can we all do to get there? It’s not enough to point out existing issues with racist, sexist tech, products that are easily weaponized for abuse, or harmful tech workplaces – we need intentional strategies for creating a tech industry that is truly ethical.

This talk breaks down the call for “ethical tech” into the need for both our tech industry and the products we create to be focused on safety, justice, and compassion. This talk focuses on how we can transform tech in terms of the industry and the products it makes to prioritize those things, drawing on historical case studies of other movements that shifted paradigms from unethical to ethical.

Systems are tricky, slippery things, especially complex adaptive systems that bring humans and digital technologies together. In this 15 minute focus session, we’ll do a whirlwind tour of Systems Thinking and the ethical implications of a systemic paradigm on user experience and service design. Because here’s the thing about systems: once you see them, you can’t unsee them. We’ll walk through three not-so-simple proposals for how we might up our design game in a systemic world.

What happens to your customer’s digital assets when they pass away? Do you have a way for next of kin to notify you? Policies in place for verification? Processes to handle archival and/or transfer of control? Employees who are trained on what to do and how to do it well?

In this brief talk, I will explain why it’s of great importance to design this part of the customer experience well and the risks involved when you don’t, and share a 4 part framework that will help you put the right things in place to protect the business and your customers.

Think pep talks are just for overzealous sports coaches and kinda-culty motivational speakers? Think again.

Life is tough, but so are we. And we’re even tougher when we’re in it together. Sometimes you just need a reminder that you’re an unmitigated badass.

Author, Emily Haines Lloyd, will read from her book Pep Talk Poetry and talk about why pep talks are so important, why she wrote a book chock full of them, and how to cheer on anyone who is struggling, including yourself.

Leading and managing design teams might be reaching peak difficulty. With high expectations from the people you support and the managers above you, to the challenges inherent to managing during a pandemic, and now an economy roaring back with unprecedented job movement, many design leaders have questions about their own career paths and how they find value in their day to day roles.

This brief talk highlights some of those challenges many in leadership and management may be encountering, tailored to people at different stages of their career: the successful independent contributor who’s considering managing, the early career manager, experienced managers, and those thinking about moving from a startup to enterprise role or vice versa.

We’ll rely on interviews and conversations with design leaders of varying experience worldwide, and the experience, observations, and screwups encountered when writing the design management book Liftoff!. As a result, we hope to create space for discussion about what’s important to design managers, where ever you may be in your journey.

Leading a practice is hard enough. But what if it doesn’t even exist yet, and how do you even get started? We'll discuss lessons learned—including the challenges and pathways to success that help make your new practice a reality.

Marc Rambeau will recount his experience launching a content strategy practice at an organization without one. He’ll share concrete tips you can use at every stage of your practice’s development, from identifying champions and winning buy-in to growing leaders from within. No matter your craft, you’ll walk away with real ideas for building and maturing a community of practice.

This year Google Maps introduced a Black-owned business attribute. Learn more about how this project started, what it took to make it happen, and ways you can bring inclusive product development practices into your work.

We'll open the doors a little early and let folks in. Sometimes, we have surprises, sometimes, we play music, sometimes it's a little quiet. Get there a little early to be ready for kick-off!

Announcements and gratitude, schedule for the day, and general information about the event.

After 45 years in the labor force, more than 30 of them in so-called leadership positions, I’ve learned that just about everything I was ever taught formally about leadership was wrong. My advice today for someone aspiring to be a leader would be quite different from what I was brainwashed to believe.

I’ve got six basic principles to share, and the seventh one is no matter how convincing I may sound, be your own person and become the leader you uniquely are meant to be.

Maintaining a healthy self and extending that to our professional lives are journeys. The root cause of many of our inner and outer conflicts stem from the stories we tell ourselves. The beliefs that support those stories are deeply held and often unnamed. My therapy journey started on a cold, rainy day on a bus in Portland, OR. I knew I wanted to find peace, but what I gained was so much more. I learned to let go of beliefs that didn’t serve me personally or professionally. My goal is to share what I learned, how I reframed those beliefs in my own life, and what I learned about design in the process.

Megan Kellie and Sue Salvi read through their book, “Someday a Bird Will Poop on You: A Life Lesson,” which uses avian evacuation as a metaphor for those things in life we can’t control. Megan and Sue will also extrapolate and explore aspects of the book you never would have considered because you didn’t create it. If you did, please email us so we can clear this up.

When we fail to include the human story in the designs of our products and services, we fail humans. twig+fish has worked with global customers and we frequently hear the same challenges: no time, budget, or value to qualitative research output. Products suffer when they are not anchored in the human story, and the humans who create and use them struggle even more. Rather than talk about the ROI of conducting qualitative research, twig+fish began to study the cost of not doing it.

Meena Kothandaraman shares the results of this internal study that looks at the costs to organizations who have left their decision-making to sources other than the wisdom and insights gained from qualitative research.

​​Leadership isn’t easy, and finding someone to ask questions to, or to give coaching and advice can sometimes be a challenge. Fear not, design leader, Maria and Helen, along with Meena as guide and expert interjector, will address your burning question about design, leadership, design leadership, and likely a few other things.

Users’ minds take shortcuts to get through the day. Usually they’re harmless. Even helpful. But what happens when they’re not? In this talk I’ll use real-world examples to identify some particularly harmful biases that frequently lead users to make bad decisions. I’ll then talk about some content strategy and design choices we can use in our apps, designs, and platforms to redirect or eliminate the impact of those biases. Finally, I’ll explore our own biases as designers and some methods to prevent our own blind spots from hurting users.

Event Details
Sponsors
February 2024
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