This week I had the privilege of gathering for a few days with a tribe of 150 designers in Denver, CO at Experience Design Week, and got to focus on what really matters – humans!
Throughout the conference, I found myself inspired by the incredible stories of designers from all kinds of different backgrounds and from different places. These are folks who want to create disruption by unapologetically putting their consumers first and fighting for their consumers through thick and thin.
Like most conferences, we were privileged to hear some great speakers and participate in some helpful breakout sessions. A big, disruptive aspect of this gathering, though, were the therapy sessions (think breakout sessions with a structured conversation instead of a presentation) where people got to share openly about the perception of failure in their companies, how isolated they feel in the midst of trying to put the consumer first, and how they need to get sh*t done beyond sitting in “ivory tower” meetings. Good stuff.
Our booth theme for this year doubled-down on bringing the hot salsa to humanizing. So, in our disruption lounge, we created space for people to hangout and chat about the big hairy problems that are preventing them from thinking about the humans who are at the center of their personal and professional missions. It was so great to be able to hear so many amazing stories from so many talented people about all of their ideas for humanizing their industries!
Speaking of stories, one of my favorite challenges came from Maggie McKosky, the vice-president of UX and product design from Shutterstock. Among other things, she challenged us to think about the role that stories and nostalgia play in the user journey and to always make our users the heroes of our stories. Who are the heroes in your stories? What can we do together to shift mindsets so our consumers are always the epic heroes of the stories who have their lives positively affected by what we do each and every day?
I share all of this only to make a sincere request of you to reach out to me with your stories because there are so many people in our world that feel isolated and need a little help to reignite their inner disruptive fire! Always know that I care about you and your real mission to see significant change happen, not just for yourself, but also for the humans that you serve. Please send me a note and let’s connect soon!