Design and the Mobile Startup
In the evolution of a product, ideas are the seed but the execution is key, and what happens between those two stages can make or break a product's success. Designers are trained to think on their feet, be flexible, and not be afraid to start over or make mistakes. Similarly the key tenets of today's startup culture are to be lean, move quickly, and iterate often. In this environment, where risk and competition make innovation critical, companies must leverage design thinking to help define products, often by adapting the design process. In this multidisciplinary panel of technologists, designers, and entrepreneurs, key players in some of today's most successful mobile products will look at the "textbook" creative process in delivering user-centered results and delightful outcomes. Then, we'll talk about examples of what actually happens in the less black-and-white world of startup culture, and discuss what can be done to leverage design in the making of great products.
Alex is Head of Product at foursquare. Alex brings 12 years of product development experience and a multidisciplinary background to his work, with a focus on mobile, social and emerging technologies. Previously, he co-founded Dodgeball, one of the first mobile social services in the U.S., and sold it to Google in May 2005. He is a lifelong New Yorker currently living in Brooklyn with his wife, daughter and dog. Alex holds a master's degree from New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program and a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Trinity College.
Alexa Andrzejewski is the Founder and CEO of Foodspotting, a website and mobile app that lets you find and recommend dishes instead of just restaurants. Foodspotting was named a “Hot Trend of 2010” by iTunes and one of Time Magazine’s “50 Best Websites of 2010,” and Alexa has been featured in Inc Magazine’s “30 Under 30” and Gourmet Live’s “50 Women Game-Changers” in food.
Before launching Foodspotting in January 2010, Alexa was a User Experience Designer for Adaptive Path, where she helped both startups and enterprises craft great experiences through strategy, research and design. Following in the footsteps of other Adaptive Path colleagues, she set out to build her own “UX-Driven Startup” when she realized there were many restaurant review apps, but there was no easy way to find or rate specific dishes.
Having experienced firsthand the joy of seeing an idea from inception to funded startup, she loves sharing what she learned with others. Recent appearances include An Event Apart, SXSW, WebVisions, Big Omaha, and the Web 2.0 Expo.
Mike graduated from Stanford University where he studied Symbolic Systems with a focus in Human-Computer Interaction. During his undergrad, he interned at Microsoft's PowerPoint team as a PM and at Foxmarks (now XMarks) as a software developer. He wrote his Master's thesis on how user interfaces can better support collaboration on a large scale. After graduating, he worked at Meebo for a year and a half as a user experience designer and as a front-end engineer before co-creating Instagram with Kevin Systrom.
Ron Goldin is the founding principal and creative director of Studio Akko, a design consultancy based out of New York and San Francisco. With over a decade of experience in user experience design, visual design and design strategy, Ron has worked with companies ranging in size from start-ups (Uber, Sonic Living, Samasource) to large organizations (LG Electronics, Dolby, Mercedes-Benz, The Metropolitan Museum of Art) on the design and positioning of websites, mobile and desktop applications, embedded devices and more. Lately, Ron has focused his attention on improving the process of user-centered product design within teams and organizations. He has recently served as a design mentor for Founders Lab NYC, a five-week workshop focused on the early phase of launching startups in the mobile space, giving guidance to multidisciplinary technologists, designers and MBAs on how to create user-centered products. Ron is frequently engaged with the design community and has spoken at AIGA, IxDA, SXSW, EuroiTV, and PechaKucha and his award-winning designs have been feature in publications such as ID Magazine. He is also responsible for the ubiquitous branded Uber pedicabs of SXSW 2011.