Choose one of four day-long workshops—all taught Wednesday, June 7 at the Argonaut Hotel:

Workshop 1: Scalable Design Systems

Nathan Curtis

Instructor: Nathan Curtis
When: 8:30am-4:30pm; Wednesday, June 7

The role of design with large organizations is expanding, spreading across product teams and influencing decision-making at higher and higher levels. This scale makes it increasingly challenging to align designers and product teams to deliver cohesive, consistent experiences across a customer journey.

A design system is a framework of practices that bring designers and products together. It is a platform to identify, decide on, and document what to share, whether a visual style, design patterns, front-end UI components, and practices like accessibility, research, content strategy.

This workshop exposes you to the broad range of those considerations – the kinds of parts, products, people, and practices involved—and equips you with tools and activities to start, spread, and sustain a system yourself.

Why You Should Attend
All too often, organizations have multiple products that are disjointed and inconsistent. With a design system, your teams will have a framework to align on standards and processes.

Multiple design teams and development teams suffer from doing duplicative work, resulting in a customer journey that’s meant to be cohesive but ends up expensive or impossible to align and evolve together. Design systems save organization time and money, and foster positive energy among those who value efficiency and reuse.

With the system as a backdrop, you will see designers, developers, and product managers aligning and motivated to bridge the gap between products. All of that leads to the ultimate goal: creating a cohesive experience for your customers.

Who Should Attend
Designers, front end developers, product managers, content strategists, their leadership, and anyone interested in learning how to inject design systems into their broader organization

What You’ll Learn
Over the course of a day, we’ll introduce design systems, practice how to get started, discuss how style guides help us spread it to our organization, and plan for how to sustain a system over time.

We’ll learn about and practice how to:

  • Identify your system’s parts, people who contribute, and products to which it applies
  • Deconstruct system into its parts like a visual language, UI components, and layouts
  • Organize a library that articulate standards across diverse topics and disciplines
  • Project your system’s purpose and value to your organization through your artifacts, particularly your living style guide
  • Conduct design clinics and audits to maintain standards and product cohesiveness
  • Run design shares to identify product inconsistencies
  • Align your development, product, and marketing teams work with your system’s roadmap

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Workshop 2: Product Management for UX Professionals

Kate Rutter

Laura KleinInstructors: Laura Klein and Kate Rutter
When: 8:30am-4:30pm; Wednesday, June 7

In this full day workshop, Laura Klein and Kate Rutter will teach researchers, designers, and design managers a crash course in many of the things you need to know about product management.You’ll learn how to:

  • Incorporate business goals, metrics, and other quantitative data into making design decisions without sacrificing the user experience.
  • Design more effectively in an Agile environment without skipping user research.
  • Get product management constructively involved in design.
  • Frame design decisions more effectively for a business audience.
  • Experiment and track designs in a way that helps improve the user experience long term.

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Workshop 3: Strategy for Design Leadership

Dave Malouf

Instructor: Dave Malouf
When: 8:30am-4:30pm; Wednesday, June 7

Based on Dave’s recent book published by UXPin, this workshop on strategic planning will add or enhance the skill of strategic thinking that few designers are taught in their career paths. Thinking strategically is a valuable skill especially for those wishing to take on roles of leadership and management. This workshop will teach mid-level designers to junior managers to think and plan strategically utilizing a set of valuable frameworks that can be used with cross-functional teams upon returning to work after the conference.

The workshop will have 3 sections that follow the primary metaphor of a mountain climb. First, the creation of a vision that helps you find the “peak” your expedition will advance towards. Then map out the “path” you’ll use to achieve the goal of the vision, and helps all stakeholders with related goals along the way. Finally, how to use the key points along the path to observe, measure, reflect, evaluate, learn and adapt.

Attendees of this workshop will gain the following insights and abilities:

  • Insight into how an outcomes-oriented approach to strategy can help individuals create value for your organization.
  • A methodology for project planning their day to day to meet strategically valuable goals.
  • A framework that will allow them to go back to work and apply strategic thinking at any level of zoom inside their organization.

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Workshop 4: Design Your Design Organization

Kristin SkinnerPeter Merholz

Instructors: Peter Merholz and Kristin Skinner
When: 8:30am-4:30pm; Wednesday, June 7

As the move to establish in-house design teams accelerates, it turns out there’s very little common wisdom on what makes for a successful design organization.

Drawing from their recently published book Org Design for Design Orgs, Peter Merholz and Kristin Skinner address this lacuna by shining a light on the unsung activities of actually running a design team, the organizational and operational challenges and considerations, and what works and what doesn’t.

The workshop will be structured as a facilitated conversation, light on presentation, with activities to get things going.


  • How a service mindset reframes design practice
  • Organizational models for design teams
  • Evolution of a design organization
  • A new taxonomy of design roles
  • The 12 qualities of effective design organizations
  • The set of skills necessary to deliver great experiences
  • Levels framework for professional development
  • The untapped opportunity for design

Participant takeaways:

  • The importance of (re-)structuring your design organization to deliver the best experience to your users
  • A maturity model for assessing just how effective and sophisticated your design organization is
  • A clear levels framework that supports designer professional development, and plugs into operations across your design organization

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