Cheryl Platz is an internationally-renowned interaction designer best known for her work on a wide variety of emerging technologies and products – including Amazon’s Alexa voice platform and the Echo Look, Microsoft’s Cortana and the Azure platform, and groundbreaking early titles for the Nintendo DS. Her professional passions include natural user interfaces, design for constraint and complexity, systems design, and storytelling for product design.
Cheryl’s past employers include Microsoft, Amazon, Electronic Arts, Griptonite Games, MAYA Design and Disney Parks. Cheryl is currently a Principal UX Designer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, focused on improving digital collaboration. In her spare time, as owner of design education firm Ideaplatz, LLC, she travels the world sharing her experience designing for new technology (and applying improvisation to design) with other technologists.
Cheryl holds a degree in computer science and human-computer interaction from Carnegie Mellon University. In addition to her design work, Cheryl has been a professional improvisor and performer for well over a decade. She’s most frequently seen in Seattle as an ensemble member and teacher at Unexpected Productions, or featured in the hit improvised parody of Star Trek “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. Her other hobbies include travel, writing and video gaming.
Harry Max works with senior leaders, start-up founders, and technical visionaries to help them realize their visions, build high-performing teams, and zero in on solutions to complex challenges.
A servant-leader at heart, Harry Max has been a founder/CEO, executive, business coach, and consultant with start-ups, innovators, and global brands, including AllClear ID, Adobe, Apple, DreamWorks Animation, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Nokia, PayPal, Rackspace, SGI, Skype, SpoonRead, Symantec, and Yotascale.
An early pioneer in e-commerce and crowd sourcing, Harry Max was a co-founder of Virtual Vineyards (the original wine.com), where his designs powered the interaction model behind the first secure, online shopping cart. He was also the founder of Public Mind, the first SaaS crowd-sourcing platform for harnessing the voice of the customer.
Harry’s work has been featured internationally in the Economist, New York Times, TEDx, the Wall Street Journal, and in a Harvard Business School case study. He studied Modern Society and Social Thought at the University of California, Santa Cruz, serves on a number of boards, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his family and rescue Catahoula Leopard dog.
Dan Brown leads design projects to help clients define digital products and design complex experiences. He uses design and facilitation techniques to uncover problems and align teams around a product definition. Dan collaborates effectively with both executives and practitioners, working to establish an overall product strategy while designing the product experience. He co-founded EightShapes in 2006 to elevate the practice of user experience in the Washington, DC area and beyond.
Dan wrote three books dealing with making design teams more effective and jump-starting the design process. He designed a card game for designers to help them improve their conflict resolution skills. He’s busy creating a new deck of cards to inspire designers working on difficult information architecture problems.
Carolyn Hou is the Founder of Arlo Labs, a boutique insight and innovation consultancy for healthcare and tech companies. Applying methods and theories from cultural anthropology, social psychology, and behavioral economics, Hou helps companies better understand and design for their users. Her work has led to multiple award-winning designs on the market. Hou completed her graduate degree in Anthropology at the University of Oxford, where she also served as President of Oxford Women in Business. She currently resides in New York City.
Jina Anne is a design systems advocate. At Opvitae, she is an advisory board member, focused on design. At AIGA San Francisco, she is a committee lead, focused on content direction for the blog and social media channels. In the Google Developers Experts program, Jina is a Product Design Expert.
She has been making websites for over 22 years, and working professionally in the industry for over 15 years. She is currently advising, coaching, and consulting with companies on design systems, visual design, and user experience. At Amazon, Jina was Senior Design Systems Lead for a new, special projects team.
At Salesforce, Jina was lead designer on the Lightning Design System. She also lead the overall Salesforce UX community and evangelism efforts, by acting as Editor-in-Chief for the Salesforce UX blog, managing the Twitter account, organizing and setting up sponsorships for meet ups and conferences, and coordinating speakers. She led the CSS architecture and style guide for the Apple Online Store. She also worked at GitHub, Engine Yard, Crush + Lovely, inferno, Oden, and Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Through consulting, she’s worked on projects including W3C Web Accessibility Initiative, Mass.gov, Deloitte, FedEx, and International Paper.
Jina organizes Clarity, the premiere Design Systems conference. She founded the global Design Systems Coalition and its inaugural chapter, the San Francisco Design System Coalition. She runs the Design Systems Slack which currently has over 10,000 members, and she curates the Design Systems publication on Medium. She also created the Design Systems Jobs board. Jina is on the Sass core team, where she leads the brand design and website for Sass. She organizes The Mixin (a Sass and front end meet up). And she curates Sass News. Jina co-authored the Design Systems Handbook (DesignBetter.Co by InVision), Fancy Form Design (SitePoint), and The Art & Science of CSS (SitePoint). She was a tech editor for Sass for Web Designers (by Dan Cederholm, A Book Apart) and Sexy Web Design (by Elliot Jay Stocks, SitePoint). She has written articles for publications including A List Apart, 24 Ways, The Pastry Box, Sitepoint, net Magazine, and Treehouse. Jina has keynoted Design Systems London, Design Systems Conference Helsinki, CSS Dev Conf, and ConvergeSE, was a featured speaker at Adobe MAX, and has also spoken at events such as AIGA Design Conference, An Event Apart, Beyond Tellerand, Smashing Conference, and many more. Jina has been featured in net Magazine and Print Magazine featured her as a leading San Francisco creative. She has been said to be one of the most cheerful goths.
Kristin Skinner is a design management executive and recognized thought leader in design operations and design program management. She is co-author of Org Design for Design Orgs: Building and Managing In-House Design Teams, the first book dedicated to the organization, management, and operations of in-house design teams. A frequent conference keynoter and workshop leader, Kristin co-created and co-curates the DesignOps Summit series—the foremost design operations event—and has curated the Leading Experience conference. Her executive experience includes senior design management and leadership roles at Chase, Capital One, Adaptive Path, and Microsoft.
Jacqui Frey is the Director of Design Operations at MailChimp, where she launched the Design Ops group that oversees design programs, production management, and department operations. In previous roles, she led various sales ops, marketing ops, in-house design studios, and learning and development programs in a variety of industries from tech to apparel. She resides in Atlanta with her husband and two sons.
Amy Bucher, Ph.D. works in Behavior Change Design at Mad*Pow, a purpose-driven strategic design agency in Boston. Amy focuses on crafting engaging and motivating experiences that help people change behaviors that contribute to physical, mental, and financial health and well-being. Before joining Mad*Pow in 2016, Amy worked on behavior change products in-house at CVS Health and Johnson & Johnson.
Amy received her A.B. from Harvard University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She’s a frequent speaker at behavior change and UX conferences where she talks about motivation, engagement, and product design.
Amy is the author of upcoming Rosenfeld Media title Engaged: Psychology for Digital Product Design.
When Andy was eight, he wanted to be a poet and a paleontologist. Twenty-seven years later, he is neither, but he uses those skills in his day job as a content strategist on Adobe’s product design team — writing under huge constraints, and uncovering artifacts from big, old software interfaces. When he’s not working, he’s creating podcasts and zines about one of his favorite topics: wooden pencils. Find him in San Francisco with his wife and two large cats, or online at andy.wtf.
Michael has designed mobile apps, conversational AI products, multi-site web platforms, technical software, and more. With a background in journalism, he frequently finds himself talking about the critical role words play in designing useful, usable experiences. He has given talks and taught workshops on the topic at industry conferences around the world. He lives with his wife, two children, and a very small dog just outside Chicago.