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A place for design & great experiences

Nordic.design will take place at Magasin 9, an international venue for music, art and food – located in a harbor just 10 minutes from the city centre.

World class speakers

Nordic.design is a single track conference packed with 10 talks 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.

Speakers

Sophie Tahran
Senior UX Writer at Condé Nast

The Art and Science of Naming

Names. Everyone has at least one — but when it comes to products, features, and functions, choosing a name often spikes subjectivity and emotion.

In this session, we'll learn how to design an effective naming process, defining everything from who should *really* be involved to how you'll determine success. We'll walk through real-world examples from Lyft and InVision, leaving you with the information needed to choose an ownable, widely adopted name.

Relevance

Every company names (and renames) products on a regular basis, so this topic is relevant to all types of modern business. These takeaways will be most relevant to designers, product managers, and content strategists at mid-sized companies. They're most likely to participate in naming exercises at some point and have the resources needed to follow the entire process.

Sophie Tahran

After being evacuated from Cairo to Jerusalem during the Arab Spring, Sophie  Tehran realized her travel blog was being read by more than her grandpa.
Hooked on storytelling, she studied professional writing and copyediting, then climbed aboard a rocket ship.
For four years, she helped steer the Lyft voice through the addition of 1,500+ employees, 300 cities, and countless products.
She then became the first UX Writer at InVision, the design platform used by 80% of the Fortune 100 and brands like MailChimp, Netflix, and Airbnb.
Sophie currently is the Senior UX Writer at Condé Nast, with a primary focus on The New Yorker.

Laura Kalbag
Designer & accessibility expert

Disruptive Design: Harmful Patterns and Bad Practice

Why does every app use the similar interactions? Why does every homepage look so similar? Often we find ourselves using particular design patterns because other organisations use them. We assume they’ve done the research, and these patterns can be our shortcut to success. But what if those patterns actually cause harm? What if they have a negative effect on the inclusivity and accessibility of our designs?

In this talk, Laura will examine and challenge design patterns we use in the industry today, along with the assumptions and practices behind them. Let’s work to do better, and have a positive impact with what we create.

Laura Kalbag

Laura Kalbag is a British designer living in Ireland, and author of Accessibility For Everyone from A Book Apart. She’s one third of [Small Technology Foundation, a tiny two-person-and-one-husky not-for-profit working for social justice in the digital age. At Ind.ie, Laura follows the Ethical Design Manifesto, and works on a web privacy tool called Better Blocker, and initiatives to create ethical alternatives to mainstream technology.

On an average day, Laura does everything from design and development, learning how to run a sustainable not-for-profit, and trying to make privacy, and broader ethics in technology, accessible to a wide audience. You can find her making design decisions, writing CSS, nudging icon pixels, or distilling a privacy policy into something humans can understand. Sometimes, she speaks at conferences and writes articles too.

Ricardo Vazquez
Senior Product Designer on Shopify

We Are Systems

Throughout history, we've made sense of the world by adopting, adhering, and creating systems. We will peer into the past, and find example of how our collective society has gained immense perspective and value out of a systems framework and approach. By taking step back from the"design system", we will look at the benefits that a system-focused mindset(and product) can yield. Thinking in systems allows us to build for impact, influence, output, and quality. However, the work is on us to make these systems opinionated, flexible, and future-proof.

Relevance

Approaching design as a place, as a moment in time, has changed the way I perceive my craft and influenced every aspect of my life. Spatial conceptual mental models allow us to open up our minds to curiosity and wonder. I will cover art history, philosophy, and pedagogical research during my talk in an effort to spark cross-disciplinary conversation and awareness. Design is holistic; our conversations should remain this way.

Ricardo Vazquez

Ricardo Vasquez is a Senior Product Designer on Shopify’s Retail Team, where he works on designing mobile experiences to empower merchants to sell products through physical spaces such as brick-and-mortar stores and pop-up shops. Throughout his career, Ricardo has garnered significant experience designing for mobile at companies such as Mozilla Firefox, FreshBooks, and 500px. Ricardo is interested in culture, design, aesthetic, wit, thought, refinement, courage, and the happiness of pursuit. When not designing, you’ll find him noodling on his guitar, and rowing in rivers all over Canada.

Vitaly Friedman
Creative lead of Smashing Magazine

Bringing Personality Back To The Web

Generic web layouts have become somewhat of a misnomer in conversations circling around web design these days. As creatives, we’re bored and slightly annoyed by how predictable and uninspired most web experiences have become. How do we break out of predictable and boring designs without breaking the usability and functionality of our experiences?

In this talk Vitaly will shed some light into a strategy of how to bring personality back to web design, and how we can make our experiences more humane while also having a higher ROI. Beware: you might not be able to unlearn what you’ll learn in this session. Bonus: you’ll see some slightly dirty examples of things being done out there, so bring along some pragmatism to this talk.

Vitaly Friedman

Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and does not give up easily. From Minsk in Belarus, he studied computer science and mathematics in Germany, discovered in passage a passion for typography, writing and design. After working as a freelance designer and developer for 6 years, he co-founded Smashing Magazine, a leading online magazine dedicated to design and web development. Vitaly is the author, co-author and editor of all Smashing Magazine books. He currently works as creative lead of Smashing Magazine in the lovely city of Vilnius, Lithuania.

Prem Krishnamurthy
Designer, Exhibition Maker, Teacher, and Writer

Ways of Graphic Design-ing

In common usage, you can’t employ “graphic design” as a verb. Yet looking at this “generous discipline” not as an end but as a means proves instructive. Rather than considering the why’s and the what’s of graphic design, this talk will examine the how’s. Which structures and methods derived from graphic design might hold broader application? Together, we will take a closer look at three significant principles: bumpiness, juxtaposition, and generosity, each a microcosm for approaching creative work and life.

Prem Krishnamurthy

Prem Krishnamurthy is a designer, exhibition maker, teacher, and writer based in Berlin and New York. Dubbed a “design guru” by The New Yorker magazine, Prem is a partner in the multidisciplinary design practice Wkshps and co-artistic director of FRONT International 2021, the Cleveland triennial of contemporary art. 

Previously, he was a founder of the design studio Project Projects, winner of the Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Award for Communication Design. His experimental, ever-changing book, P!DF, is available from O-R-G.

Agatha Yu
Senior Design Manager of 3D and Mixed Reality at Adobe

Building a new interaction grammar with XR input

We will first explore the history of input devices (command line, mouse and touch screens) and how the input shaped the medium. Then move onto what makes the VR medium different from the older computing systems. I will discuss a framework I introduced while leading at Oculus Rift design on we can adopt linguistic structure to support a more generative way of interaction with the new inputs (voice, hands and controller).

Agatha Yu

Agatha is the senior design manager of 3D and mixed reality at Adobe. She previously was a creative designer at Valve and lead product designer at Oculus. Having shipped multiple v1 software/hardware product life cycle, her design efforts are now focused on generative design for new immersive technology.

Jack Morgan
Designer at Duolingo

Designing for 1.2 Billion People

There are approximately 1.2 billion people learning a new language, and the majority are doing so in pursuit of a better life. As part of our mission to make education free for everyone, we studied millions of people spanning every country on the planet... until we made a shocking research discovery that led us on a journey around the world, throughout the Middle East and eventually inside one of the world's largest refugee camps in Azraq, Jordan - where even more unexpected discoveries awaited. The footage was later turned into an eye-opening documentary called Something Like Home, which has been seen by over 1 million people and promoted by the United Nations.

Relevance

The stakes have never been higher. A timely lesson for designers, engineers and founders amidst Big Tech Controversy, political polarity and an (ongoing, yet often unnoticed) refugee crisis. This powerful short talk provides the audience with three key takeaways: 1. What refugees can teach us about our responsibility as designers 2. How as more of us got connected, we've become more disconnected 3. Why we need to start with People and work our way back to Technology - not the other way around, and how this can radically improve our products and our approach.

Jack Morgan

Jack Morgan is a British Designer with a focus on solving large-scale problems. He was the Lead Designer for Google’s Digital Education arm, where he designed the Google Digital Academy and Google Squared, resulting in the creation of the Google Academy Space in London - a 40,000 sqft building dedicated to helping people improve their tech skills. Recently, he produced an acclaimed documentary about Syrian refugees and designed a revolutionary adaptive AI Testing platform.

His work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, CNN, The Post Gazette, Forbes, Campaign Magazine, The Drum, AdWeek, IGN, NPR, PSFK, TechCrunch, MacRumors, Wired, CNET, Adobe and Smashing Magazine. His work has been referenced in university textbooks and profiled by industry leading critics like Brand New and brandchannel, and was nominated for an international design award by Brandemia.

Andreas Olsson
UX designer at Tobii Eye Tracking

Eye tracking the user experience – should you?

This presentation is about bringing eye tracker to you user research, and how to present that information in a good and understandable way. It’s also about being smart in user testing, and when to not use it. It will include some eye tracking background and basics, as well as the insights you can get.

RELEVANCE

Knowing about eye tracking and understanding user attention is relevant to most people in UX. It’s not about selling, or even using eye tracking. It’s about what we’re trying to understand about the users.

Andreas Olsson

Andreas Olsson is a user experience designer, building tools for conducting user research with eye tracking technology. Since joining Tobii he has been working on designing research applications for a variety of areas, from deep academic research to the quick and agile UX field. He believes that being smart, efficient and humble in research and design is what brings the best results. Outside of work, Andreas likes to engage other creative activities such as music and drawing. But in reality it’s more about bringing food on the table, changing the diapers and cleaning up after his two kids

Diamond Ho
Product designer at Facebook

How to run a design sprint without a panic attack

Running design sprints can be exhausting or intimidating, what if there is a secret recipe that can make the process creative, fun — and effective? It’s easy, I promise. In this session I’ll go over my favorite methods to generate real solutions in a short period of time. I’ll show you examples of how Facebook designers run design sprints, and teach you easy, actionable processes to bring many minds together for real design solutions.

Relevance

After this session, you will be able to understand the framework to run a design sprint and generate quick and effective solutions for user testing.

Diamond Ho

Diamond Ho is a designer who appreciates the small delights in everyday objects. She is currently a product designer at Facebook, focused on building meaningful product experiences as part of the News Feed and Stories team. Previously, Diamond shipped multiple hardware products with Logitech as a UX designer. She spends most of her free time with her dogs, Truffle and Waffle. She is also home body with a travel bug.

Caroline Sinders
Machine learning design researcher

Designing for Transparency in Machine Learning

How can we ethically design products using machine learning, and create spaces for user agency? How do we ethical use AI in product design? In this talk, I will outline design methodologies, suggestions, use cases, and real life examples for creating more transparent and equitable AI for product design. This talk will cover examples from Facebook and algorithmic timelines to civic technology using AI, to predictive policing and missteps that have existed in AI as well as great use cases of AI in product design. The future is going to be weird but it doesn’t have to be broken, especially for design that touches the lives of everyday users. 

Relevance

It focuses on ethical ways to create with machine learning as well as specific guidelines and examples of how to create better and more transparent products and projects that use machine learning .

Caroline Sinders

Caroline Sinders is a machine learning design researcher and artist. For the past few years, she has been focusing on the intersections of natural language processing, abuse, and politics in digital, conversational spaces. Caroline is the founder of Convocation Design + Research, a design and research agency focusing on the intersections of machine learning, user research, designing for public good, and solving communication difficult problems. As a designer and researcher, she's worked with groups like Amnesty International, Intel, IBM Watson, the Wikimedia Foundation as well as others. Caroline has held residencies and fellowships with the Mozilla Foundation (where she is a current fellow), Google's PAIR (People and Artificial Intelligence Research Group) as a writer in residence, Harvard University, the BuzzFeed Open Lab as an Eyebeam Fellow, the Yerba Buena Centers of the Arts, the International Center of Photography as well as others. Her work has been featured at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Modern Art Museum in Bologna, MoMA PS1, the Houston Center for Contemporary Art, Slate, Quartz, the Channels Biennale, as well as others. Caroline holds a masters from New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

MCs

Olga Stern
Developer & Author

Nordic.design MC

Olga Stern is a backend developer who loves to spread the gospel of tech to all the people. She recently came out with the book “Ettor och Nollors Hemliga Liv” (Hidden life of ones and zeroes) that tells the story of programming from a cultural, historical and gender balances perspective. She is the founder of Genews.io, co-founder of Happo.io and is the Chief Knacker at Knackeriet.

When she’s not doing IT-stuff you will find her on a squash court - currently ranked as 16:th best female player in Sweden, she will probably kick your ass.

Unn Swanström
User Experience Designer at Doberman

Nordic.design MC

During the day Unn works at Doberman, an international experience design firm based in Stockholm and New York. She enjoys helping large organizations make better things and smallish startups discover how to win the hearts of their users. She currently works with well known Swedish and international brands as a User Experience Designer. Previous clients include Spotify, ICA's Innovation Hub, Swedish Radio, Telia and Expressen.

At night she transforms into a glitter clad, horseback-riding, ballet-dancing human-shaped being. Fighting boredom one cat picture/design meet up/adventure at the time. Unn is co-organiser of Designers in Stockholm meet-up. Loves her cat, Arnold.

2015 she won the award 'IT Woman of the Year' for her never-ending pursuit to make the tech industry more inclusive and fun.

Meet like minded people in a creative environment and get inspired by industry leaders. You won’t be disappointed. If you’re going to a design conference in Sweden, this is it!

Jenny Granlund - Attendee 2017

Make new friends

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.

Few conferences can boast both a cotton candy machine and rockband closing keynote. nordic.design had all this and more. Was truly a delight to be a part of it all.

Carly Ayres

Give a lightningtalk

We will have a lightning talk sessions scheduled, all conference attendees are welcome to contribute. Each talk should be around 5 minutes long - you can apply for a slot when you get to the conference, why not share some learnings from a project you’ve been working on or maybe take a firm stance on tabs vs spaces. Start preparing!

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.

Bring your learnings back to work

Online videos of all sessions, with integrated slides and audio will be made available to all attendees after the event. This ensures no one will miss a thing and your whole office can benefit. Watch all talks from previous years here.

Let's partner up?

An event like this couldn’t happen without the support of sponsors and collaborators. Are you interested in being part of Nordic.design? Send us an email at sponsorship@nordic.design. We'd love to talk!

Old images from the harbour Frihamnen, where it all will take place, are from Stockholmskällan (CC-BY)