Product Designer - Portland

Beyond the Pixel

November, 2019

Pixels and sunshine

Recently I attended a small one day conference here in Portland. It was my first conference in awhile and Cvent was nice enough to send me. I decided to bring my camera along and document the experience.

The day started out with a casual walk to the conference. I was lucky that it happened to be near where I live. After I soaked in some sunshine (rare for Portland) I grabbed a coffee and sat down at my table. I quickly recognized a few designers from the dribbble meetup that I met a few months back. I did not realize one of them was actually the one who helped put on the conference. (awesome work Matt)

Jake Knapp

A coffee or two later Jake Knapp took the stage and presented “How to Start Big Difficult New Products.” For those who don't know Knapp wrote the book Design Sprint. In the book he talks of a way to test ideas and prototypes within a week. Knapp is a real OG in the design industry and it was great to hear his passion for design. A quote that resonated with me at the end of his presentation,

“Your work is your real life, fight the defaults.”

Kate Rutter

Next up on the agenda was Kate Rutter. Kate is an entrepreneur and recovering UX designer. Kate spoke about continuous learning and “chunky learning”. By the end of her talk I couldn’t wait to get home and write this post. One of her suggestions in the talk is to continuously write, so here we are! A quote that stood out,

“Don’t hold back bad work, bury it with good work.”

Jared Spool

Last but not least was none other than Jared Spool. I’ve followed Jared for awhile and so have many others in product and UX. Fun fact Jared’s twitter helped me land my job at Cvent. Jared gave a talk about design metrics and of course NPS. I wrote down a ton of notes with good tips that I won’t go into detail on here. But I did want to post a few quotes.

“The best designers never stop asking interferences” and “Visuals should service the experience.”

Overall I found my time at the conference well worth it. It was fantastic to hear from some of the originals in UX and their insights to help push the industry in the right direction.