I am a design lead at IBM Design in Austin, TX. At IBM I have had the opportunity to work on complex problems with people all over the world. I currently lead a team of awesome designers that focuses on enabling our middleware customers to experience and benefit from hybrid cloud. Before IBM, being a designer to me has meant pulling screenprints, stressing over type, interviewing people, setting up studio lighting, and writing code. Outside of design I love climbing mountains, seeing live music, and eating way too much queso.
Keynote: User Testing Vs. User Teaching
There is sometimes an unclear relationship between a designer's expertise and the user's preferences. Research is absolutely necessary to understand the problems that we try to solve and the people who will use our solutions. We all know the importance of research and user testing, but where does the purview of testing end and where does the designer's gut take over? It is really easy to take the idea of user first and extrapolate it to things like A/B testing every little design element. This, however, relegates the designer to just a middleman. There is a balance that allows for more. We have the ability and responsibility to push our users to aesthetic development and greater enjoyment.