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UX, UI, design tools, workflows and more

Nordic.design is a international conference all about design with speakers from Airbnb, Framer, Minecraft, Toca Boca and more.

Inspiring speakers

Tim Van Damme
Head of Design at Abstract

Designing a highly-collaborative application for collaborative designers

It takes a village to raise a child, it takes a team to build a product. Not just any team, a badass team. You want a diverse group of people with a variety of skills, backgrounds, personalities… To make this work, they all need to have one thing in common: The ability to collaborate in productive and respectful ways. 

Building a product is just the first step. Launching it, maintaining it, making sure there’s market fit all requires the help from another group of people: Your users. How do you turn your users into fans? How do you convince them to report bugs, share feature requests, and be patient when something is broken?

Over the course of this talk, I’ll talk about all these aspects, and what we learned building Abstract ( the team, the company, the product).

Tim Van Damme

Tim is head of design at  Abstract, a tool focussed on improving design collaboration and transparency inside teams of all sizes. He has previously worked on a variety of products like Dropbox, Mailbox, Instagram and Gowalla.

Besides work, Tim also sells photography-inspired hats at  Bokeh Life  and likes to spend as much time as possible with his wife and 2 daughters, preferably at Disneyland.

Learn more about Tim in  this interview with Central.

Molly Lafferty
Design Director at This Also

Designing for Television

We’re not only watching more TV than ever, we’re also using our TVs in new and exciting ways. As more smart TVs and connected devices enter the market, designers increasingly find themselves faced with large screens, unique input devices, and evolving user behaviors. How is our relationship to our TVs changing? What are the design challenges unique to television hardware? And how can we build functional, accessible, and compelling TV experiences?

In this talk, we’ll discus emerging product opportunities, explore the design challenges unique to TVs and living rooms, and provide a framework for evaluating the usability of an interactive TV experience.

Molly Lafferty

Molly is a product and motion designer based in New York City. As Design Director at This Also, she partners with clients to help shape the next generation of digital products. Molly has lead product vision and strategy for companies including Google and Xbox, and has extensive experience designing cross-platform television experiences including HBO GO.

Tobias Ahlin
Lead Experience Designer at Minecraft

Where’d all the feelings go?

In a world where “clean”, “minimalistic” and “time-less” are often used to describe “good” design, without questioning the potential drawbacks of subscribing to these dogmas, how much room is there left to express emotion in design? Are these values really fundamentally good, or are they adjectives like any other, and a matter of taste and context?

In this talk we’ll look at how UI design is approached fundamentally differently in games and apps, and what the two camps can learn from each other.

Tobias Ahlin

Tobias is the Lead Experience Designer for Minecraft in Stockholm, Sweden. He also works as an Industry Leader and is a steering committee member at the digital business school Hyper Island, where he frequently lectures about design, front-end development, and data.

Prior to Mojang, Tobias was one of the first designers at Spotify, and was early on responsible for the UI design of all their apps. He later went on to work as a Product Designer and Developer at GitHub in San Francisco. 

​Cat Noone
Founder of Iris

The Irresponsible Designer

All too often we as designers speak about our need and position of solving problems for individuals on a global scale. We forget that accessibility must not only be part of that discussion, but arguably at the start. That is irresponsible.

A designer’s role is to solve the problem at hand and service the business. But how do we approach our work in a way that ensures an experience is equally as meaningful for everyone—including those who don’t fall into the “typical” category? This talk will explore and try to answer this question in the form of tools, workflow, tools and more.

​Cat Noone

Cat is a designer focused on building products that have large and positive impact. She is the founder and CEO of Iris, a Pretty Cool Mom in Tech™, Techstars mentor, startup advisor. In her spare time, you’ll find her working on side projects and eating cookies while reading a book.

Krijn Rijshouwer
Product Designer at Framer

Creating a unified design tool for the modern designer

Code and design have been at odds for far too long. Framer is a new kind of design tool, combining the familiarity of visual editing with the flexibility of code. By connecting design and code in a single workflow, Framer aims to catapult designers into a future where code is design.

Krijn Rijshouwer

Product Designer at Framer. The next generation design workspace, combining design with the power of code. Previously at Blendle.

Willow Mellbratt & Petter Karlsson
Play Designers at Toca Boca

The Power of Play

At Toca Boca, we believe in the power of Free Play. Undirected Play. Play that empowers the individual. We are Play Designers and will share how we bring play into our process and work with kids to develop concepts from their perspective that are inclusive, fun, and at their essence, purely playful.

Toca Boca
Toca Boca is a play studio that creates digital toys and other playful products for kids around the world since 2011.

Willow Mellbratt & Petter Karlsson

Willow is a Senior Play Designer at Toca Boca with a passion for bringing play into the design process and always advocating the kid’s perspective. After a Masters in Experience Design, Konstfack, Sweden, she sought out how to explore design research and co-creation practices through working with IDEO, Penguin Books and Doberman. She has been working in the digital Industry since 2003 with a focus on children since 2011.

Petter is a Play Designer at Toca Boca with a deep interest in play and participatory culture. As a fond believer of the power of play he co-founded the company LajvVerkstaden which uses roleplaying pedagogic to teach at schools and organizations. He has also been producing the live-roleplaying conference Prolog as well as designing numerous larps played all around the world. Petter joined Toca Boca in 2015 and has since been a Play Designer working with the Toca Life Series.

Fredrik Öst
Creative Director and Founder of Snask

Making enemies and gaining fans

Living and working by their 10 commandments Snask have built a reputation for creating bold, visually striking commercial design work, that never takes itself too seriously. More than just an agency they also indulge in a number of side projects; having written an international bestseller (‘Make Enemies & Gain Fans’), launched their own beer (‘Shower Beer’) and co-founded a design festival (’Yay’). At Nordic.Design they'll talk about why you should gain enemies in order to get fans and they'll of course bring their rock band Väg. 

Fredrik Öst

Snask is a Swedish brand, design, and film agency which ranks among the most sought-after in the world of international design of the past few years. Their work is revolutionary and their appearances cause ecstatic responses in the audience from Google HQ and Stanford University to the biggest creative festivals around the globe. Snask is loud, pink, and filled with confetti, champagne & love. Recently they got on the Top50-list of where creatives would kill to work among Nasa, New York Times and many others.

Tove Blomgren
Creative Director at Doberman

5 things to avoid when designing for AI

AI is finally happening in the consumer space after almost 100 years of imaginative fiction and failed experiments. As designers, we find ourselves equipped with a set of powerful new tools. How we decide to use them will help shape the future of digital user experiences. Can we do better than annoying chatbots and witty female assistants? Could we use AI to achieve less interface instead of adding to the noise?

In this talk, I’ll discuss what to consider when designing for AI - and what to at all costs avoid.

Tove Blomgren

Tove Blomgren is the Creative Director in Stockholm for Doberman, an international experience design firm based in Stockholm and New York. She has more than 15 years experience working in digital design, with clients like SVT, Nintendo, SR and NYC Government.

Karri Saarinen
Design Lead at Airbnb

Scaling design with systems

In the last few years, we’ve seen many of the most successful companies launching their design systems. As designers, we are looking in to systems as a way to guide and handle the increasing breath and complexity of our work. But how do unified design systems help companies like Airbnb to design better experiences? What at kind of glimpse into the future of design are they offering us as digital designers?

Karri Saarinen

Karri Saarinen is a Finnish entrepreneur and technically minded designer who driving systematic thinking through design. He is currently leading the design systems work at Airbnb in San Francisco.


Prior to that, Karri designed and directed design at at bitcoin company Coinbase, co-founded Y Combinator backed social knowledge management company Kippt and tech education non-profit Rails Girls.

Sofie Björkgren-Näse
Lettering artist

Lettering - Designing Analog Letterforms

Lettering is the art of drawing letters. Creating letterforms by hand is an art form on the rise and is already a big part of design, both graphic design and art. Sketching and refining letters with a pencil into unique and personal artwork sparks your creativity and brings you a sense of calm. Including lettering art in ads, on products and apparel is a growing market.

Sofie Björkgren-Näse

Sofie is a freelance lettering artist based in Stockholm. She is the creative force and founder of Fia Lotta Jansson Design. She has been fascinated by letters and creating letterforms all her life and decided to dive head first into working as a professional lettering artist in 2012. The analog quality of creating letterings using pen and paper is something that Sofie highly values and enjoys. She is frequently hired for workshops as well as organizing her own. She loves inspiring others to create and draw letters. She has done work for H&M Foundation, Foodly, Personlig Almanacka and most recently Levi’s Nordic.

Carly Ayres
Partner at HAWRAF

Interacting with People

At HAWRAF, we believe that anything can be interactive. Whether it’s a t-shirt, mirrored poster, or job application, we think that the communications you put out in the world should invite someone to say something back. It's that belief that is at the core of our studio and, in this talk, we’ll talk about how interactive communications resonate just that more with their audiences. We’ll talk about how people want to leave their mark and they want to be a part of that conversation. And we’ll talk about a few ways to do that.

Carly Ayres

Carly Ayres is a writer, creative director, and, most recently, a partner at HAWRAF, a freshly minted design studio based in New York. Born out of Google's Creative Lab, the studio focuses on creating compelling branding, marketing & communications that engage audiences in new ways. 

Kostya Gorskiy
Product Design Lead at Intercom

Lessons learned in building bots at Intercom

Thousands of articles have been written and millions of words have already been spoken about conversational UI. People seem to love and hate bots. Excitements changes for disillusionment and then excitement again. 

At Intercom, conversation is the heart and soul of our products. We were experimenting with bots to try to find our own way. And we have a pretty strong opinion now. I’m going to share our findings and tell:

- do we really need bots
- what people feel about bot’s personality
- do bots have manners
- why do we call our bot introverted
- what our principles of conversational design are and why
- what to avoid and what to encourage



Kostya Gorskiy

Kostya is the Product Design Lead at Intercom. Before joining Intercom he was the Design Director at Yandex, the biggest Russian internet company. 

Alexia Ohannessian
Director of international operations at Trello

Why is the future of your Product global?

How did Trello go from 1 to 21 languages with (almost) no investment? Tips and tricks for designing a localized product.

The digital industry is a pretty new industry, the localization of digital products is even newer. Trello is a pioneer in its internationalization strategy, sharing our learnings is very relevant to anyone designing digital tools. We will explain how being global is not just about translating but also about bringing the experience closer to your users to make sure it fits local cultural needs.

Alexia Ohannessian

Alexia is director of international operations at Trello, where she launched the product in 21 languages through an innovative crowdsourcing effort and now manages the international marketing and product efforts. She has previously helped numerous companies create expansion strategies for Brazil. Trello was recently acquired by Atlassian for 425M USD. Alexia has lived and worked in three different continents. She is originally from France and lives in Brazil.

Conference host: Unn Swanström
UX Designer at Doberman

UX Designer & appreciated speaker. IT Woman of the Year 2015. Making lovely Internet at Doberman. Organiser of meet-up Designers i Stockholm and previously The Code Pub.

A place for design & great experiences

Nordic.design will take place at Nobelberget, a new international venue for music, art and food – located just 10 minutes from the city centre.

Get inspired & learn

Nordic.design is a single track conference with 10 talks per day by internationally renowned speakers as well as rising stars.

Are you interested in speaking at Nordic.design? Or do you know someone that would give a really interesting talk? In both cases, don’t hesitate to send us a proposal or suggest a speaker.

500 designers

With over 500 designers and creatives descending to Stockholm for the event, and both structured and informal networking sessions provided, it’s a brilliant opportunity for you and your team to forge new professional contacts and make new friends.

Share stories & learn from like minded

Nordic.design is created by designers for designers. Our ambition is to inspire and to get inspired, to meet and learn from others and to bring our community closer together.

Let’s partner up!

An event like this could not happen without the support of sponsors and collaborators. Are you interested in being part of Nordic.design? We'd love to talk!

See you in September!

Nordic.design is a sister conference to Nordic.js and was founded in 2017 by Jonny Strömberg, Martina Elm and Johannes Edelstam.

Contact us

The Code of Conduct

We are dedicated in providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion.

We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks.

Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference at the discretion of the conference organizers.

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