When we envision people using our services, we tend to design for the happy path. The girl meets the boy. We exceed our health goals. The applicant gets the job. The service works flawlessly. But of course in many product experiences, the typical path is not always a happy one: bad things happen. We are left swiped. We fail to get off the couch. We send cover letters and applications into the silent void. These moments leave us with a group of ego-bruised users, many of whom choose not to stick around for more frustration and rejection.
As product leaders, Fitbit’s Katy Mogal and dscout’s Michael Winnick both influence product experiences that risk leaving users feeling rejected or demotivated — even when the overall intent of the service or product is to deliver positive outcomes. As researchers, they decided to work together to see what might be done to create a better, bad experience. They will share a set of principles and stories drawn from their own experiences, primary research conducted just for this talk, and interviews with designers in relevant fields from dating to venture capital.
It’s always a delight when we run across someone whose UX mission goes beyond merely improving experiences, and aims to improve people’s lives. How’s that for motivation? We were inspired just talking with Katy Mogal and decided she just had to come to Fluxible. She’ll give us all much to think about!
Katy is a long-time observer of the human condition, who figured out how to turn curiosity (some might say “nosiness”) into a vocation. And speaking of running across someone, Katy leads a team of anthropologists, design strategists and behavioral scientists at Fitbit. Together, they explore user behaviors, needs and desires to inform the development of hardware and software experiences that help people live healthier, more active lives. Katy also helps germinate the next generation of design researchers through adjunct faculty positions at CCA and Stanford.
In Michael Winnick, we have the design field's very own "Jacques Cousteau" on the program.
In 1950, Cousteau launched the vessel Calypso; it served famously for decades as a mobile research platform, unlocking secrets in the daily lives of marine animals. In 2011, Michael mirrored this move with the launch of another mobile research platform; today, dscout unlocks meaningful insights into the moments that matter in people's lives, as inputs to product and service design.
They're identical platforms, really, Calypso and dscout. Except in every detail. As dscout’s tools have become a centerpiece for qual+quant exploration by progressive tech companies, retailers and consulting firms, their research and product leaders continuously tap into CEO Michael’s personal passion for making sense of it all. His subject matter expertise at the intersection of design and digital has afforded him a lead role in reshaping consumer product and technology landscapes within organizations and across industries. He speaks regularly on innovation in the U.S. and abroad, though rarely underwater as far as we know.
Prior to leading dscout, Michael served as gravitytank's Managing Partner, steering the innovation consultancy through exponential growth for nearly a decade. He has also led product development efforts at Bay Area start-ups and media companies, including Wired. Michael is an alum of IIT Institute of Design (ID), received a BA from Stanford University, and has taught graduate level courses on concept definition at ID. He serves as adjunct faculty at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Kellogg School of Management.