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.
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.