Emmet runs the Product Design team at Intercom. Before that he designed Google Flight Search and co-founded and designed Android Wear at Google. Having worked on product teams in Dublin, Zurich, and San Francisco, he has embraced the post-pandemic cliché and now lives in lovely Galway on the west coast of Ireland.
Designers spend the first few years fine-tuning their craft, earning their stripes. One of the challenges a team faces is the need to figure out what to build that goes beyond execution.
In this session, Emmet will discuss the changing role of design and how it can change as your company scales and your career grows, the product vision which used to come from the top to a point where the long-term strategy and vision falls on the product team. Emmet will discuss how to best prepare for this new skillset and design for longer term vision over immediate execution.
Many of us in the design community pride ourselves on being tool builders, creating products that others can use to get things done. This is, at some level, the fundamental promise of all technology. Yet if we don't pay close enough attention, our own tools can sometimes get the better of us. Whether it's a team using a prescribed design process, or a company building software to be used by the entire planet, it turns out that these tools can be used in unintended ways. They can break, or grow out of control. And so our job as designers is not just to build things, but sometimes to recognise when we need to take them apart again. In this talk Emmet will discuss some lessons learned while growing the design team at Intercom, how that relates to the broader technology industry, and why building a process for everyone to follow is less important than building a culture that can upend it.