UX / CX / Product / Service Design

Scenic background image of conference location

Silicon Valley

April 5 - 6, 2017

SAP Conference Center

3475 Deer Creek Road, Building 8,
Palo Alto, CA 94304

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Workshops by:

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XD Silicon Valley is a two-day event for UX / CX / Product / Service Designers (mid- to senior-level) who want to grow their skills in the latest experience design methodologies. This event will offer multiple workshops by industry leaders from Etsy, Fitbit, LinkedIn, SAP, IBM, Intuit, Semantic Studios and Voicebox. You can attend workshops on either day or both days.

XD Silicon Valley is organized by UX STRAT, and is being hosted by SAP at SAP's offices in Silicon Valley: 3475 Deer Creek Road, Building 8, Palo Alto, Ca 94304. Check-in begins at 8:30 am PT, and workshops begin at 9 am. Lunch will be provided for people attending both a morning and an afternoon workshop on the same day. Coffee will be provided throughout the day.

The schedule for this 2-day event is below. To view an abstract for one of the workshops, click its title. To view a bio for the workshop leader, click the workshop leader’s name.


Wednesday April 5th

Morning Workshop A: 9 AM - 12:30 PM


Michael Yap

Design Fiction: Inventing Experiences at Etsy

“Lying about the future makes history.” —Umberto Eco

Designers lie about the future to guide their thinking, feeling, and making in the present. Through design, we attempt to depict realities that don’t yet exist to assess their desirability, potential market-fit, and viability. In this way, design is a means for telling untruths. Familiar experience design methods—personas, journey maps, wireframes—are ill-equipped to convincingly portray the future. In order to effectively speculate upon the possibilities beyond tomorrow, experience designers must develop new approaches.

Design fiction is a storytelling and prototyping technique that represents the future as if it already exists to generate emotional responses and critical conversations. Prototypes are typically artifacts from a made up product experience—an unboxing video, a quick start guide, a product demo. Through the process creating design fictions product teams learn more about their ideas than if they simply assumed what a possible future would be like. Design fiction helps our ideas about the future feel real.

This half-day workshop is for any experience designer inventing product experiences or radically reimagining existing ones. Material will include a history of design fiction in academia and professional practice plus a scan of seminal case studies. Exercises will challenge participants to select an experience that exists today and create a design fiction that places it in the near future and examines how it will exist then. The day will conclude with presentations that demonstrate concepts, document process, and share key learnings.


Michael Yap, Etsy

Michael Yap is a designer, developer, and educator. He holds a Bachelor of Studio Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Interaction Design. Yap has worked with IDEO, Second Story, and now practices UX at Etsy. He has taught design at the California College of the Arts and is currently a faculty member of School of Visual Arts. He has organized for Tech Crunch DISRUPT and won the Reinvent NYC.gov and GOOD Magazine hackathons. He is best known for his data visualizations of Foursquare check-ins, Citi Bike—New York City’s bike share—system data, and the Department of Homeland Security’s drone program. His work is published in Raw Data (2014), a book by Steven Heller, and has been covered by a number of publications including Fast Company, Site Inspire, and Wired.


Morning Workshop B: 9 AM - 12:30 PM


Shyamala Prayaga

Designing Voice + AI Experiences

With the ever evolving voice technologies like Siri, Ok Google, S Voice, Amazon Echo, and Google Home, etc., voice is becoming a key experience for users to interact with any product. Despite the growing technology, users still struggle while using voice on these devices due to multiple reasons including what to say, how to say it, etc.

On a GUI, affordances are clear and users can relate to success, error and processing everything, but voice is invisible. How can we communicate to users through voice? How can we extend help?

In my workshop I will teach how we can design for voice user experience, which solves for all of the above problems. I will also present some best practices in designing for voice.


Shyamala Prayaga, Voicebox

A self driven user experience evangelist with 16 years experience designing for mobile web, desktop and Smart TV applications.

3 years experience with voice and multimodal speech interface for Connected Home Experience, Automotive and Wearables. Currently working on designing voice based application for home personal assistant and automotive personal assistant.

I am a UX and accessibility evangelist who tries to improve UX whereverpossible and with the same zeal in mind I keep conducting and participating in various UX and accessibility related workshops and conferences as a speaker.


Afternoon Workshop A: 2 PM - 5:30 PM


Katy Mogal

Digital Ethnography

We design in screens and interactions, but people’s experiences occur in moments - pivotal instances that can be delightful, or a total breakdown. Analytics data shows us people’s behaviors in relation to our products, but that data can’t communicate the context of those critical moments - how users are thinking and feeling. We can ask them about it later, but people’s memories of experiences are notoriously unreliable.

New digital tools have emerged that enable us to understand longitudinal user journeys and critical moments along the way. These digital ethnography tools, based on analog user diaries of the past, offer designers and design researchers the opportunity to capture the critical instances of interaction with our products and services that determine how they resonate - or why they don’t - as they unfold in real time.

In this workshop, we will walk through the why, what, when and how of digital ethnography. Using real-world examples and a hands-on exercise with a real data-set, participants will gain an understanding of the access and insight this emerging approach can yield, as well as the ability to apply it to their own work.


Katy Mogal, Fitbit

Katy is Director of User & Design Research at Fitbit, where she oversees the integration of insights into the product development process. She leads a team of anthropologists, social scientists, design strategists and Human Factors specialists who work alongside designers and product managers to create new experiences rooted in a deep understanding of user needs, behaviors and desires.

Katy’s experience in design and user research spans a range of industries from technology and entertainment, to CPG, healthcare and finance. She’s worked in consumer tech firms including Jawbone and Logitech, and for design research pioneer Cheskin, one of the first design research firms in the Valley. She also teaches design and user research at Stanford.


Afternoon Workshop B: 2 PM - 5:30 PM


Sally Lawler Kennedy

Creating a Culture of Innovation

How Innovative is Your Organization? The Design Management Institute released a report that shows clear positive correlation between design driven organizations and shareholder value. It shows that design-centric organizations have outperformed the S&P by 211% over the past 10 years. Such companies go beyond using design as a service, seeing it instead as a catalyst for organizational change and something that should drive business strategy and innovation.

 In this interactive workshop, participants will:

  • Assess their organization’s innovation readiness based on a framework
  • Work in teams to understand common barriers to their innovation journey
  • Brainstorm strategies to overcome these barriers

We will share with you resources that will help you in your innovation journey. Join us to create an action plan to transform your company into a design-led organization.

Co-presenters: Janaki Kumar, SAP; Susan Kuypers, SAP


Sally Lawler Kennedy, SAP

Sally has more than 15 years of experience in user experience and design. Sally loves this field because it brings together her background in engineering and nursing. Sally has led numerous SAP customers in their transformation into design led organizations. It was at SAP where she was trained and immersed in Design Thinking methodologies. Sally has taught and led Design Thinking workshops for some of the largest global companies, in a variety of industries from consumer products, to automotive, to oil and gas, to retail. Sally is passionate about Design Thinking, helping companies create a design-led culture, and people discover their creative abilities.


Thursday April 6th

Morning Workshop A: 9 AM - 12:30 PM


Kassie Chaney

Teaching Designers to Conduct Valid User Research: Research Bento

This workshop is intended for designers and researchers. Participants will learn about LinkedIn’s UX Research team’s collaborative program with designers, Research Bento, and how to apply it in their own work. The program empowers and enables designers to run small projects with support from research to ensure quality and rigor.

The workshop will include:

  • Program overview and types of research it’s best suited for
  • Description of Research Bento framework
  • Brief case study
  • Hands-on activities participants can take back to their own practice (see 3 takeaways below)

As LinkedIn’s Design and Research teams have grown, the ratio of designer to researcher continues to outpace the ability to deliver direct insights on all products and users. The Research Bento program came out of need to meet the growingneeds of the design team, who come from diverse domains—Advertising, Psychology, Engineering, Interaction, Anthropology, Philosophy—you name it! The diversity of perspective is what makes our collective stronger than any individual.Research Bentos allow us to scale rigorous research practices in a fast-paced, high-demand environment. We see this as a common trend in design and have an opportunity to share knowledge and practices with others in a similar context.

Participant takeaways:

  • Based on design explorations of interest, participants can expect to leave the workshop with basic tools needed to run their own study within the rapid iterative process. They will gain an understanding of steps for conducting a user research study and examples of how to apply them.
  • Participants will also leave with a Dztake-away toolkitdz. This toolkit will provide participants with everything they need to build their own Research Bento in the future. It will remind them of necessary Dzingredients,dz examples to leverage, and tips to help during each research phase. This toolkit will best address how to conduct researchon the following: early design explorations; design concept testing; and interaction and usability testing.
  • Beyond material take-aways, participants will leave with a newfound sense of empowerment. Equipping designers with the ability to run user research gives them the power to drive product strategy in a way that is influential, valuable, and impactful to their teams and potentially the world.

Co-presenters: Yulia Gorman, Linkedin; Donna Driscoll, Linkedin; Elizabeth Gin, Linkedin


Kassie Chaney, Linkedin

Kassie Chaney is a Senior User Experience Research Manager at LinkedIn. She co-originated the Research Bento program and supports designers who are interested in running research of their own. With a background in Psychology and Sociology, Kassie has long been fascinated by communities, particularly subcultures, and how they interact and communicate in the connected era. At LinkedIn, she's studied subgroups and generational trends, networking, and sharing behaviors. She's also interested in aligning research to inform product and design strategy, as well as creating research methods/tools to scale research in lean organizations.


Morning Workshop B: 9 AM - 12:30 PM


Russell Parrish

Exploring Persuasive Patterns in VR

Explore the power of persuasive patterns, nudges, and a behavioral approach to virtual reality interactions. This workshop will cover how design patterns nudge users toward specific outcomes and introduce an interaction library of nudges for new mediums.

Attendees will gain the following skills:

  • Vocabulary of persuasive pattern terminology
  • Ethics for when to nudge and when not to nudge users
  • Ability to recognize when your behavior is being nudged
  • Selecting the appropriate nudge for new mediums that are both appropriate and ethical


Russell Parrish, IBM

Russell is a UX designer at IBM who has worked on a variety of successful initiatives such as quantifying user experience across all IBM's cloud based software, introducing a new data and analytics developer platform, and most recently leading the education of 83 new designers in design thinking practices during IBM Design's Bootcamp for new hires. Previously a design consultant for McKinsey & Company for several years, Russell specializes in taking complex business problems and archaic solutions and designing new disruptive applications.


Afternoon Workshop A: 2 PM - 5:30 PM


Kylie Tuosto

Making the Case for Investing in First Use Experiences

No matter what you call it – user onboarding, first-time use, the out-of-box experience – a user’s first experience with your product is critical. And in a world of connected platforms and integrated networks, getting the value out of a product for the first time is essential to business success. But how do we design experiences that maximize value? How do we leverage data to personalize the new user experience? And how do we know when to invest in a wholesale redesign vs. coach-marks that instruct new users along the way? In this workshop, we’ll discuss how we approach first use at QuickBooks and provide strategies, frameworks, and examples for investing in designs that lead to business results.

Co-presenter: Shawna Kirby, Intuit


Kylie Tuosto, Intuit

I'm a design thinker and creative problem solver. I started my career at the Stanford d.school, where I studied mechanical engineering and product design. Along the way, I fell in love with digital interfaces, and am now a Design Manager at Intuit. Early in my career, I focused primarily on mobile app design, but these days I lead a team dedicated to new user acquisition and on-boarding. I'm passionate about turning digital interactions into magical and meaningful experiences. I'm a diehard Fireworks fan, and when I'm not sketching or prototyping, I like binging on Netflix with my husband or playing with my labradoodle, Milo.


Afternoon Workshop B: 2 PM - 5:30 PM


Peter Morville

Planning for Strategic Design

In response to a manager’s query about how to plan products, Alan Kay famously remarked “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” His answer invokes a paradox at the heart of design: we can’t know the future, yet it’s what we design for. If we hope to practice design successfully in an era of rapid change, we must get better at planning.

To start, we must let go of “the plan” and embrace a dynamic way of planning that’s social, tangible, agile, and reflective. We must engage our colleagues in business and technology to align use cases, prototypes, and roadmaps with culture, governance, and process. In order to design sustainable products, services, and experiences, we must also design the context.

In this workshop, we’ll mix presentation and conversation with “planning together”exercises that invite us all to share stories, solve problems, and invent better tools for strategic design.


Peter Morville, Semantic Studios

Peter Morville is a pioneer of the fields of information architecture and user experience. His bestselling books include Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, Intertwingled, Search Patterns, and Ambient Findability. He advises such clients as AT&T, Cisco, Harvard, IBM, Macy’s, Vodafone, the Library of Congress, and the National Cancer Institute. He has delivered conference keynotes and workshops in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His work has been covered by Business Week, NPR, The Economist, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He is currently working on a new book about planning. Peter lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, two daughters, and a dog named Knowsy. He blogs at intertwingled.org.


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