Understanding how research, user experience work, and product & marketing design fit together is a skillset that professional creatives need to develop. Connecting the dots between these practice areas leads to meaningful branding and useful products.
In this session of Designers + Geeks, we'll be looking at the practices and tools that great teams use to weave these disciplines together. Featuring speakers from Celo, IDEO, Affirm, and others, we'll learn from some of the best in the business.
This event will be hosted at Affirm's lovely office at 650 California St. When you enter the building lobby, look for Affirm / Designers + Geeks check-in and we'll show you the way to the venue.
Partner at Celo
Vanessa Slavich is a Partner at Celo, an open platform making financial tools accessible to anyone with a mobile phone. She leads Celo's research practices, culture, and community—the connection between who Celo is, what Celo is building, and who Celo is serving.
Vanessa received her Masters in Interaction Design with a focus on social impact and, prior to Celo, worked with the United Nations OCHA’s Centre for Humanitarian Data and the Kapor Center for Social Impact. Earlier in her career, she built inclusive company cultures at Apple and Square, recruiting the early iOS team at Apple and helping Square scale from 70 to 2,000 employees. She speaks and writes about design and inclusion, lives in San Francisco and online at vslavich.com.
Brand Designer at Celo
Taylor leads visual communication for the Experience Team at Celo. After studying character design and animation, Taylor focuses on imbuing his work with character development and long form storytelling. He spends his time thinking about the power of symbols, archetypes, his mixed-race identity, and dumplings.
Director of UX Research at Affirm
Jeff Gurr is the Director of UX Research at Affirm, a Financial Technology company that is helping people pay for the things they need over time. Prior to Affirm, Jeff spent time at IDEO, The Walt Disney Company, and NerdWallet.
Product Design Manager at Roblox
I thrive in chaos, especially when things are not well-defined. With ambiguity, comes possibilities, and responsibilities for unintended consequences, especially in emerging technologies. I am currently the product design manager at Roblox, a user-generated social online gaming and creation platform for kids to young adults. Throughout my career, I’ve helped to launch many successful products from zero to MVP in various domains. Among them were Google, Netflix, Samsung, and Adobe. I am also active in the design community and often speak about the practice of design research, interaction design, and inclusive design, in various design conferences such as IXD, World Information Architecture Day, UX Summit, and SXSW Interactive.
Jorge Arango designs systems that connect people to knowledge and each other. Over the past 25 years, he's helped a broad range of organizations create digital products and services that generate lasting value. He’s the author of Living in Information: Responsible Design for Digital Places and co-author of Information Architecture for the Web and Beyond, the fourth edition of O'Reilly's celebrated “polar bear” book. In addition to his design consulting practice, Jorge is also an adjunct professor in the Interaction Design program at the California College of the Arts.