Posts in Design Leadership
How to Get Better at Giving and Receiving Feedback

In this talk, Julie Zhuo - VP of Product Design at Facebook gives an overview of her top tips for getting and giving feedback and include several examples from her experience.

The talk includes questions to help challenge your perspective around giving and receiving feedback. Various feedback scenario prompts are put up on a slide and you can practice working through these conversations. It is effective if you do that with a partner. The partners will then give feedback to each other on how each delivered and received the feedback and then switch roles. Each person will have a chance to go through several scenarios as both the deliverer of the feedback and the person receiving it and discuss how they could have been more effective.

Some examples:

  • You have to tell your top performing employee that his work did not meet your standards. You want him to stay motivated and continue performing, but you know he gets defeated easily and will take this feedback personally.

  • Your most senior employee just quit and her deputy wants to know about the future of your team. You're sitting down in a 1x1 with her and want to encourage her to stay and feel positive about the company.

Designing Effective Collaboration at Scale

Facebook has over 2 billion users who are spending a reasonable amount of time on the app, and for a company of this stage, growth and time spent aren't the biggest problems anymore. When the company scales to this stage, how do you foster a collaborative environment focused on quality and long-term goals?

In this talk, Amanda Linden, Director of Design at Facebook shares examples and lessons learned on aligning teams around what the people problems are, measuring success and performance, as well as establishing a design bug resolution process where the design org works as one to implement pattern changes across the entire app.

How to Be a Strong Leader Without Sacrificing Who You Are

When you think of the word "leader", what or who comes to mind? What do you see? Why? 

In this talk, Emily Luke, Head of UX Design at Thoughtworks Products explores the way we see and define leaders and leadership. 

She dives into these perceptions and how she had to grapple with them in her own journey into leadership. You'll leave with a better sense of how to personalize your leadership style with confidence, without feeling like you have to fake it.

About the Speaker

Emily Luke | Head of UX Design @ThoughtWorks Products | @emilyeatskale

Emily is Head of UX Design at ThoughtWorks Products, the products division of a consultancy that builds cool stuff for software development teams. Her career as a designer started in grade school with countless hours of diorama building and cardboard fort-making. Other careers before this have included: non-profit fundraiser, copywriter/editor, content strategist, and consultant. She lives for making the complex simple and eats way too much ice cream. 

Product Illustration at Scale

Illustration has made its way into product design in a big way and shows no signs of slowing down. But as illustration gains screen space, our understanding of how/when to use it strategically falls behind.

In this talk, Meg covers what it means to make product illustration accessible to an entire organization, and the role education plays in extending the reach of any specialty team. She shares examples of what it means to keep multiple illustrators speaking from the same voice, and how they learned to change their tone to suit the many needs of the product. 

About the Speaker 

Meg Robichaud | Illustration Lead @Shopify | @megdraws

Meg is an illustrator and designer based out of Vancouver, Canada. She works to advocate for illustrators as designers and thinks about illustration as part of a larger design system. She leads the illustration team at Shopify, where she helped build the design system, Polaris. Before Shopify Meg worked as a freelance illustrator where she focused on connecting the marketing voice and product voice through illustration.

Building Effective Teams With Retrospectives

Every team is different and has different needs. Additionally, products go through multiple phases of development so teams working effectively in one phase may struggle in a new phase.

Jennifer Lin, Engineering Manager at Instagram shares how agile retrospectives are a powerful tool to iterating towards a happy, productive, and efficient product teams. She gives examples of how she has used retrospectives to run extremely different teams as well as carrying a single team through multiple phases of product development. 

By the end of the talk, you will understand how to use retrospectives to receive regular feedback on how to iterate on processes your team will actually appreciate.

About the Speaker

Jennifer Lin | Engineering Manager @Instagram | @_jennylin

Jennifer heads up the web teams at Instagram.

She draws upon almost 20 years of industry experience in her role as an engineering manager. When she’s not working, she is competing in either bridge or curling.