Conference Program

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As designers, we have a core sense of our personal values and the value we bring to our users. Thinking about self promotion and finance can feel at odds with those values, but we do need to make sure our colleagues value our work, and that we’re adding to the value of our company. By the end of our time together you should have answers to the question “how can I create more business impact, while still feeling like a designer?”


As product designers and product managers, working with each other can be confusing, frustrating, and sometimes causes conflict, especially as corporate expectations evolve and our roles increasingly overlap. How do we each play to our strengths, and still find a way to meet at the focus of our product; our users? In this talk, we will learn how our disciplines are both the same and differ, and how to become trusted partners towards our common goals, at any stage of our career.


Product managers and designers, why don’t we always get along? One side claims team ownership but often overrides team decisions, while the other longs for a seat at the table but remains quiet in high-stake discussions.

Iain and IHan believe that building a genuine partnership begins with aligning leadership. They will share how they established this partnership and cascaded it down to the individual level. Additionally, they will discuss their methods for guiding teams in shifting their mindset toward cross-functional collaboration. Their goal is to cultivate a trusting relationship so that team members can navigate disagreements respectfully and move forward cohesively once decisions are reached.


Government’s digital products and services often impact millions of people. In this session, two team members from Coforma, a digital services firm supporting both commercial and federal government modernization efforts, will discuss how they navigate challenges and foster success in supporting one agency’s effort to relieve over-burdened clinicians and improve patient care. At the center of their work is a suite of tools that enable the agency to advance equitable delivery of innovations in cancer treatment. Julie and Laureen will share their strategies for prioritization within a complex ecosystem of business owners, centering patients and clinicians through a strong UX/Product partnership, and leveraging roadmapping and user story mapping to define, focus, and clarify achievable MVP solutions.


Setting the right priorities and roadmaps can be challenging. Having a data-driven and evidence-based approach provides a robust way to prioritise value propositions and features that inform the roadmap to align stakeholders.

UX research and product discovery methods that work in a complementary way are key. UX leaders can take the project-based, strategic approach to UX research to get key business and product insights. Product discovery lends itself to lean experimentation for refining products and the UX. Both are needed simultaneously for broad and focused research efforts. This session will explain how UX Research and Product Teams can collaborate to identify innovation opportunities and develop products and services customer and users need.



Online shopping was first premiered in the 1980s, as a way for people who couldn’t shop in-person to easily make purchases. But how far we’ve come! In this talk, Fable’s Accessibility Evangelist Sam Proulx will walk you through some of the key factors to create an online shopping experience that is accessible to everyone. From his perspective as a full time screen reader user, and drawing on Fable’s thousands of hours working with people with disabilities, Sam will highlight how consistency, convenience, confidence, and customizability enable a smooth experience for all users, disabled or not. Let’s bring online shopping back to its accessibility roots!

Read the transcript

In many companies, Design is viewed as a tactical resource; in fact, it’s often a subsidiary of Product, there to support the Engineering team. Basically, Design is viewed as “the wire frame people.” This results in a lot of frustration and feeling like the design team doesn’t have a seat at the table, and creates resentment between Design and their Product and Engineering partners. It also results in the organization not realizing the full value of its investment in the design team. The solution to this problem is to transition Design from being a tactical resource to a strategic partner. The question is, how? This session will cover ways that Design can make this transition, exponentially increase their influence, and become a key strategic resource/partner for everyone in the organization.


UX practitioners often overlook the fact that UX terms do not naturally translate into business contexts, particularly when high-stakes decision-making and unclear communication become barriers. In this session, Shan Shen will highlight instances where UX terms consistently hinder collective problem-solving between UX and product teams.


Product managers and designers have something in common. We are all in the coherence business. We need to make sense of things long enough to make progress. We express this in different ways, which can often cause conflict and misunderstanding, but the underlying need remains the same.

In this talk John Cutler will explore what alignment really means in the context of complex unpredictable work, where we are constantly dancing between different levels of abstraction, frames, and perspectives.

Wrap Up

The Cozy Juicy Real Experience: Connect with the Design in Product Community

Join us the evening of Wednesday, November 29 to play Cozy Juicy Real – an engaging online board game where the purpose is anything but trivial: creating authentic and truly meaningful connections with your peers.

This is an interactive session and spaces are limited. RSVP is required!

Looking for a fun and unique way to connect with others in the community? Then this one’s for you!

Whether you’re looking to expand your network, meet your next client or connect with collaborators, this is the perfect opportunity to make it happen.

Cozy Juicy Real has been played in 71 countries and is proven to create stronger team bonds at the world’s most successful organizations – including Google, Adobe and the UN.

“You will connect. Cozy Juicy Real is the best way to foster connection online.”
– Marcia Goddard, Chief Culture Officer, The Contentment Foundation

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