Alan Cooper co-founded Cooper in 1992. He is widely known for his role in humanizing technology through his groundbreaking work in software design. He is also the author of the books About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design (editions 1-4) and The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity. Widely recognized as the “Father of Visual Basic,” Alan also created the goal-directed design methodology and invented personas as practical interaction design tools to create high-tech products that delight users’ sensibilities.
“The future,” Alan reminds us, “is right in front of us, unobscured by anything other than our inability to recognize it.”
Alan attended the College of Marin to study architecture.
Location: San Francisco, CA
As the VP of Design and Experience at digital health start-up, Carrot Sense, Grace is combining technology and behavioral science to help people stop smoking. Grace has spent over two decades helping start-ups, non-profits, Fortune 500 companies, and the public sector use design for bettering lives and growing business. Prior to Carrot Sense, Grace spent 12 years at the global innovation consultancy IDEO, most recently as the Executive Director of Health. There, she led multi-disciplinary teams to craft physical and digital experiences, products, services, and brands in the Health, Food and Beverage, Consumer Electronics, Retail, and Aerospace industries. This included significant work with Planned Parenthood, recognized by Fast Company with the 2016 Innovation By Design award in Health.
Grace graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Product Design and Mechanical Engineering. She teaches a course in Stanford’s School of Medicine focused on creating presence between clinicians and patients, and re-thinking the human experience in medicine.
Location: Grace resides in Menlo Park with her husband, also a designer, and two kids, who can’t seem to escape from their parents’ incessant push for prototyping.
Over his 20-year career, Itai has been a forward-thinking expert in design focused on bridging the gaps between design, engineering and business. Itai serves as the General Manager and Vice President of the Wearables Business Unit at Intel. Previously, he worked as Head of Product at Pebble and as the VP of Product and Design of webOS at HP\Palm (acquired by LG Electronics) to deliver webOS TV. Itai was also the co-founder of elements, a UX design and strategy firm focused on consumer products.
Itai holds a BA in Computer Science from The Academic College of Tel-Aviv, Yaffo.
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
She was previously co-founder of Jackson Fish Market, a small software startup having shipped dozens of software products in addition to partnering with small and large clients. Before Jackson Fish Market, Jenny worked at Microsoft from 2001–2007 as Creative Director of the Windows User Experience team shipping two versions of the Windows OS and 2 versions of MSN Explorer.
Jenny has served on the national board of directors for the AIGA and mentors national & local organizations like TechStars and Startup Weekend to foster the next generation of creative design talent headed for the tech industry. She was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Technology by the Puget Sound Business Journal and was honored on the 40 under 40 list of Seattle Business Leaders.
Jenny attended the University of Florida to study Advertising and the Portfolio Center for Design.
Location: When Jenny isn’t shipping product, she’s figuring out this parenting thing with her husband Adrian Klein and wrangling her twin 3-year-old girls, Sawyer and Seneca from beautiful Bainbridge Island, Wa.
Kelly is a seasoned creative leader with over 20 years of experience in user-centered design and brand experience. She leads the New York studio’s interaction design discipline to develop impactful and engaging digital products. Kelly has expertise in financial services, technology, retail, media and education. She has worked with a variety of clients, including Apple, Bank of America, Capital One, Discovery Channel, HP, Intel, Oracle and Williams-Sonoma.
Prior to joining Smart, Kelly served as VP of Design at Originate and ran her own award-winning digital design studio in San Francisco. She is a member of IxDA and AIGA, as well as UX mentorship programs. Her work has won numerous awards, including SxSW and Webby Award nominations, One Show Awards finalist, W3 Silver Award, WebAward Standard of Excellence, Forbes Best of the Web and others.
Kelly received her BFA in Graphic Design from California State University, Fullerton
Location: New York, NY
Nick Foster is Head of Industrial Design at X (formerly Google X), and is a partner at the Near Future Laboratory, pioneering work in the field of Design Fiction embracing the future with all it’s wrinkles and bumps. He has been a designer and futurist for 20 years and has worked in advanced design roles for Sony, Nokia, Dyson amongst others. Nick is a co-author of “TBD Catalog: The Near Future’s Normal Ordinary Everyday”. His work has been published in the Alpine Review, Core77, Blueprint, BoingBoing, Wired and Stylus.
Nick holds a BSC in Product Design from the Brunel University London and an MA in Design Products from Royal College of Art.
Location: Oakland, CA
Skye Lee is currently the Chief Design Consultant at Stealth7, which fittingly enough is currently in stealth mode. Before that Skye brought her UX design and product leadership to Oculus VR, where she led a team of world-class specialists in visual design, interaction design, audio design, Unity prototyping, user research and content strategy to sculpt new products and features.
Previously, she served as portfolio director and lead at IDEO, where she helped design the new digital voting machine for Los Angeles County. Before that, Skye has worked at some of the most successful companies in Silicon Valley such as Facebook, Netflix and PayPal to name a few. She also works with seed VCs as an advisor, executive coach and angel. In all of these roles, Skye’s overarching goal has been to help steer things towards the light side of the force, and be a change agent for good.
Skye holds a BFA in Design from Carnegie Mellon University.
Location: San Francisco, CA
As an all round creative Thomas’ goal has always been to create memorable experiences through imagination and design. He firmly believes that putting people at the center of the imagination is the only sustainable way to create a meaningful experience for people and achieve long term business relevance. During his 20 years as a professional creative, Thomas has developed many skills and gained a wide experience in different creative disciplines such as user experience, interaction design, product & service design, strategic & innovation design, communication, brand design and digital.
At Philips, Thomas has contributed to some of the award-winning strategic projects such as Living Memory, La Casa Prossima Futura, and Next Simplicity. The last few years he has been driving the design strategy of the global digital presence of Philips and most recently directed the refresh of the Philips Brand which was launched in 2013.
Thomas attended Fontys Hogescholen for his Post HBO in New Media.
Location: Amsterdam Area, Netherlands
Beverly is the Executive Director of the UX Awards. She has 2 decades of experience in tech, product development and UX and has helped define and launch hundreds of new tech initiatives at agencies, publishers, startups, and in Peacekeeping at the UN. Beverly is faculty in Digital Analytics and Product Design at Columbia University and teaches at U.C. Berkeley and General Assembly; is Senior Digital Specialist for the State of CA Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development; and has led The Concepts Lab theconceptslab.com and her own UX & product strategy consultancy, Oxford Tech since 2008, with a jaunt to Europe in 2015 as CTO & Head of Product at a social video mixing company in Berlin, Germany.
Beverly has an Executive MBA from the University of Oxford, a Master’s degree from NYU’s ITP Program, and a BA from University of Toronto. She is a triple EU- Canadian- US citizen and a regular educator and public speaker on UX, product management and analytics.
Location: New York NY and San Francisco CA
Janaki Kumar is the Head of Strategic Design Services, America in SAP’s Design and Co-Innovation Center. She leads a team of designers who work directly with customers to transform their user experience. She has over a 15 years of experience building, coaching, and leading high performance teams to deliver design-led innovation.
She is the co-author of the book, Gamification at Work – Designing Engaging Business Software. Janaki has a Masters in Information Systems from Boston University. She has authored 20 intellectual property patent applications of innovative user experiences.
Phil has been a Visual & UX Designer since 2001 and has experience designing across a variety of devices and platforms within non-profit, retail, advertising, and enterprise software organizations. He is currently a Design Director for GE Aviation Digital Solutions working with airlines to use big data to improve operational & fuel efficiency. An educator and futurist, he also organizes and leads design skill programs and is the founder of Speculative Futures and the PRIMER conference which focuses on cultural and social impact of design for the future.
Sam is Chief Design Officer at SAP, where he has overseen major initiatives including SAP Fiori, SAP Screen Personas and SAP ́s UX design services. Under his stewardship, SAP has won over 20 design awards, including multiple UX Awards and Red Dot awards. In 2015, Sam also became Managing Director of SAP Labs in Silicon Valley.
Sam is also an Associate Consulting Professor at the Stanford d.school where he co-teaches courses helping large organizations scale creativity and innovation in their organizations using design thinking and an advisor to the Innovative Technology Leaders program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB).
Before joining SAP, Sam was co-founder of Covigna, Inc., an enterprise software company that delivered project management solutions. At Covigna, he led design, engineering, and strategic customer engagement.
Sam has a Ph.D. in Design Theory and Methodology from Stanford University.
Location: San Francisco CA
Scott is an Inc. 5000 entrepreneur and co-founder of New York-based digital innovation and UX consultancy Modus. Prior to founding Modus, Scott was a strategist with the New York office of Scient Corporation and creative supervisor at Young & Rubicam’s Brand Dialogue interactive group.
An expert in customer-centered business innovation, he has led high-profile strategic initiatives for Morgan Stanley & Co., SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Sony Electronics, Comcast Corporation, InterActiveCorp, Major League Baseball, Cleveland Clinic and other leading brands.
Scott is a member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association, the Digital Analytics Association and the User Experience Professionals Association. He is a co-founder of the Digital Analytics Association’s New York City chapter and serves on the board of advisors of two Internet start-ups.
Talin Wadsworth is the lead product designer for Adobe XD, a new design tool for UX/UI and mobile app design. Adobe is a winner of a 2012 UX Award and is a premier supporter of the upcoming 2017 UX Awards. As a designer at Adobe, Talin has lead many 1.0 product initiatives, including the launch of Creative Cloud and Adobe Sketch for the iPad, with over five years’ experience at Adobe. Talin has a BFA from California College of the Arts. You can find him online @mrtalin on Twitter and Instagram.
Location: Los Angeles CA
Todd Lefelt is Managing Director of User Experience at Huge in Los Angeles. Since joining Huge in 2006, Todd has been instrumental in building the agency’s user experience team and helping to define the philosophy and process applied to user-centric design. In 2010, Todd joined Huge’s Los Angeles office, where he has played a key role in the development of the company’s West Coast presence. Todd has directed interactive design and research for some of Huge’s largest engagements and has worked with clients including Clear Channel, National Geographic, NBC Universal, Samsung, Toyota and Warner Music Group. With nearly two decades of industry experience, Todd held senior positions at a number of other companies prior to joining Huge, including Time Inc. Interactive, Ecos Technologies, Pathways Flandrau Science Center, Wave Technologies, Kozmo.com, R/GA and Ultra 16.
Todd received a BFA from the University of Michigan and an MA from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University. He currently lives in Silver Lake with his wife Holly, son Ira, and cat Pippa.
Location: Los Angeles CA