June 29 2016 Masterclass

A free, half-day masterclass of panels, lectures, and workshops exploring how startups can create a culture that enables great design to thrive.

Who Should attend?


Learn how to infuse good design into your organization’s DNA, whether your designer is employee #2 or #200.


Discover new methods to improve the way you collaborate with founders, development teams, and customers.


Explore proven approaches to fostering empathy and achieving a shared vision of success among founders, designers, and stakeholders.




How to Get the Most—and the Best—Out of Designers

Hiring the right designers is important, but it’s only the first step. For designers to work effectively, it’s essential to create an environment in which design is valued and designers can thrive. Our panelists will discuss approaches and techniques that have helped them build a culture of good design.



Design Thinking to Design Doing

Facilitated by Chris Avore

This interactive workshop will begin with understanding the structure of a business problem and the core building blocks of how to treat it more like a design problem. We’ll use personas based on research to ground our understanding of our customer. Then we’ll use the design studio method to explore multiple possible solutions to the customer’s problem and apply the language of critique to discuss how to effectively iterate until we’ve arrived at a useful, viable, desirable solution.

Participants will learn and experiment with:

  • Crafting evidence-based personas through research
  • Sketching via the design studio methodology
  • Critique to address strengths and weakness of design solutions


Lecture & Conversation

Becoming Pro/Design: How to Leverage Design’s Increasing Role in Business

This lecture will kick off with a brief landscape of the changing expectations of design over the last few years. We’ll investigate topics that may ring familiar such as agile, Lean UX, and Design Thinking, and identify how companies of all sizes apply such themes to be successful. We’ll explore how the next steps of design-led companies may lie in everyone being a designer as needs scale across organizations.

We’ll continue with an interview with Peter Merholz, a veteran Bay Area product executive who coined the term Blog (no, seriously, it’s in the OED). Peter was a founding partner at user experience consultancy Adaptive Path and has led product and design teams at Groupon, Jawbone, OpenTable, and many others.

Lastly, we’ll take questions from the audience to further extend the exploration into becoming Pro/Design.