2018 talks

2018 talks

Thursday, 31 May 2018

  • 9:10 AM

    Letting go of process and accepting controlled chaos: scaling a learning product organization

    Great product teams are empowered with a vision; organized into co-located, cross-functional, autonomous teams; and motivated by autonomy, mastery, and purpose. You don’t hire the best and then tell them what to do. But how does that scale? How does autonomy work when there’s multiple autonomous teams that must work together?

    No matter how innovative or proven your processes, structure, or techniques, they can’t be forced into place if they don’t fit the people. Every organization is different, every context is different, and every person is different. Your job as a leader isn’t building process, it’s building trust; and it requires patience. Your team must discover it and own it.

    Understanding your team’s technical skills, operational proficiency, and emotional maturity is crucial as you slowly step back from what, through how, to why. Join me for the story of how Workfront’s international user experience organization doubled in size in one year, reorganized into cross-functionally-led portfolios, assembled a design ops team, produced a design system, embarking on a complete user experience overall of an 18 year old enterprise platform, and developed a culture of accountability, transparency, feedback, and recognition.

  • 9:40 AM

    Your product is only as good as your teamwork

    Product managers and product leaders often focus on understanding customers as the secret to building great products. But that’s just the key to great ideas - the key to great execution is the team.

    The importance of teamwork isn’t a new concept in building products. As product managers and product leaders we spend so much of our time thinking about our process, about how we frame problems, how we scope them, and how we tell stories about them so that we can get our teams motivated to solve them. But to do more than just ship products, to build a truly great product, you have to go further than just figuring out how to define the problem and why it matters for your team.

    This presentation is a story about three people who launched two versions of the same product 10 months apart. It’s a story of how that team went from everything going wrong on launch day to building a best-in-class experience that launched smoothly, and how the difference in those launches was entirely due to how much better the team understood each other as human beings and coworkers.

  • 10:50 AM

    Scrapping your scrappy research process for scale

    How (and when) to say goodbye to your scrappy research culture in favor of a rigorous research process to support a scaling business.

    Like most aspects of product and development, research looks very different at a startup compared to an enterprise business. Comparisons can be made of research practices at different sized companies, but how does the transition actually happen? How do you know when it is time to move from one research approach to another? This presentation will address how to tell which research stage best fits your business, and what you need to do to level-up your research when the time is right. The story of Jane can help you anticipate how a team navigates these large-scale process changes to become a research powerhouse on the other side.

  • 11:20 AM

    Gen 2

    Everyone has a personal history. Happy growth, as well as formative struggles and insecurities mold and teach us how to navigate our day-to-day. As a California-born Korean kid, Frank will talk about his experience as a second generation American, and how early questions of assimilation and identity, and subsequent phases of introspection and self-reckoning shaped his career and perspective on effective teams, leadership, and succession.

  • 1:30 PM

    Who will build the next million products?

    Since the inception of the internet, the practice of bringing new products to market has involved an intricate dance between product managers, designers, and software engineers – so much so that thousands of companies and services have sprung up from making the interface between design and development more efficient. But what if we pause, take a step back, and ask ourselves: could there be a radically new way that we can approach creating products that will make it easier for 100X as many people to bring their product ideas to life? This presentation will explore the rich history of other creative industries (like 3D animation and digital publishing) to gain inspiration for how we can completely rethink and transform today’s product design and development practices.

  • 2:00 PM

    Applying design thinking in an agile workflow

  • 3:10 PM

    How to build a product strategy with design thinking

    If you’re a Product Manager, at some point you’ve been asked to create a product strategy. But what exactly does that mean, and where do you begin? Traditionally Product Managers often start developing a product strategy by thinking about the product first (features and functionality), but often times leads to several challenges. Product Managers should consider focusing on the problem they’re trying to solve. Designers, for example, think of the user first, having empathy for the people the product is being designed for. Can Product Managers leverage a design thinking approach to help create product strategies? If so, how does it work?

    At UserTesting we take a design thinking approach to create our product strategy. We teach product managers to think like designers and designers to think like product managers. To demonstrate our methods, we will be discussing case study examples to show how UserTesting brought together people from different teams to collaborate and create a value proposition, see and understand the bigger vision and the steps we took to create the “big vision” for a product strategy. We will give examples of how we leveraged brainstorming, sketching and storyboarding sessions that ultimately creates a story arch that helps discover key points that can eventually communicate an overall product strategy. Attendees will learn how they can successfully implement design thinking to create product strategies the UserTesting way.

    In this session, we will walk through how UserTesting has:

    • Built product strategies with a large distributed group in a way that keeps everyone moving forward fast.
    • Communicates and share ideas in a way that motivates and aligns everyone around a common goal.
    • Bridges the gap between product management and other teams to create a cohesive strategy.

  • 3:50 PM

    Blind spots and bents: Designing around your product biases

    How taking a look at a problem from a different perspective led to a complete reinvention of our product and my perception of product design.

    This presentation will examine what it means to overcome bias through the lens of my team’s case study around the redesign, rebranding, and re-launch of Typekit to Adobe Fonts.

    It will touch on different types of biases and how to overcome them while exploring three main aspects of the product case study:

    • Designing beyond the pixels to influence every aspect of the product experience
    • Conducting guerrilla user testing to make stakeholders aware of their blind spots
    • Thinking beyond your intuition to design for inclusivity.

Friday, 1 June 2018

  • 9:10 AM

    Organizational design: Going from features to experiences

  • 9:40 AM

    Radical collaboration and trust; breaking down silos and building products at scale

    Learn about the highs and lows of growing a diverse UX organization, introducing new practice areas, and building relationships to thrive.

  • 10:50 AM

    Product, marketing and customer success make a power trio

    How product teams can (and should) develop tight relationships with marketing and customer success to create a better customer experience.

    Product teams often view a customer’s interaction with their offering as limited within a set of product features. But to a customer, it really extends to the end-to-end experience with your entire brand — from acquisition ads, targeted emails, and sponsored content, to the website, into the product, and continued via live chat or other support interactions. Consider how much better the customer journey can be with a consistent experience across every interaction. This presentation will provide a framework on how to build and maintain strong relationships with your marketing and CS counterparts, as well as real examples from my experience at Chatbooks and Ancestry.

  • 11:20 AM

    Creating a new path to empathy & insights

    Employees at Lyft are close to the passenger experience--we all take Lyft rides. However, fewer employees understand the driver experience. The Lyft driver app has a lot of screen flows/use cases that happen when a passenger is not in the car. These use cases are spread across many different teams! Due to the complexity of the driver experience and the lowered visibility of that experience, we started the Employee Field Testing (EFT) program to get Product Managers, Designers, UX Researchers, Engineers, Content Writers, etc into the drivers seat and directly experiencing the product in real time, on the road, across use cases. The insights generated from the EFT program have impacted product road maps and design priorities as well as increased empathy for anyone working on driver products.

  • 1:30 PM

    Creating a modular onboarding system

  • 2:00 PM

    The incumbents dilemma: How large organizations are being disrupted by their own assumptions

    What if everything you think you know about the market is wrong? Not that it was always wrong, but that it is wrong today. That is a very possible reality in todays ultra fast-paced world. The solution: disrupt your assumptions before they disrupt you.

  • 3:10 PM

    Designing for impact: The shape and strategy of design maturity

    Design is at a pivotal moment. Our influence within the business is growing, our skills are in higher demand as problems grow more complex, and companies across size and industries are asking themselves: how do we increase the impact of design?

    This talk will explore the drivers of design maturity through the lens of research, drawing from two major reports released last year, and from direct experience, looking at how highly design-mature companies manage, evangelize, and practice design. I’ll explore the levers that have the most direct impact on design influence, and the way organizations are leaning into their people and practices to get there.

  • 3:50 PM

    The business value of design

    Is design fluff? Pop and sizzle? Icing on the cake? Or, is design the lifeblood of the business? We all can point to products and services from thriving businesses that are iconic and well designed. These experiences are reminders that well designed products and services can thrive at the intersection of both consumer and business value. Come listen to stories from my experience at Nike and Vivint Smart Home in creating value through consumer-centered design.

Join us at the Front!

In it's 5th year, Front is a sell-out event, with 1,000 annual attendees from 5 countries and 31 states across the US. Join us at the Front to share, learn, and be inspired to create amazing products.

Register