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Oct 11, 2019 | Updated May 7, 2021

Blink at the Seattle Interactive Conference

We are thrilled to be a part of the Seattle Interactive Conference. We are delivering three talks, two panels, one live-podcast recording, one workshop, and more! Seattle Interactive Conference is Thursday, October 17 and Friday, October 18.

We are thrilled to be a part of the Seattle Interactive Conference. SIC celebrates the intersection of technology, creativity, and commerce. The conference shines a light on Seattle's vibrant tech, design, and marketing sectors. SIC invites connections and collaboration over two jam-packed days of keynotes, panels, workshops, and off-site events.

The Blink programming includes three talks, two panels, one live-podcast recording, one workshop, and more. We are excited to champion evidence-driven design, explore design ethics with experts, and share some of our best practices with our community.

Seattle Interactive Conference is Thursday, Oct 17 and Friday, October 18. Conference-goers are encouraged to pick up their badges early from Blink HQ on Wednesday, October 16 starting at 3:00pm.

Check out this list of Blink conference sessions and off-site events:

Image: (L to R) Director of innovation Quba Michalski and visual designer Megan Ruhlach with Chad Hall and Jp Avila, hosts of the This Is Design School Podcast in our Seattle studio. The podcast will tape live at the Seattle Interactive Conference on Thursday. Photo by Oliver Johnson.

Wednesday, October 16

Early-Badge Pickup & Opening Night Mixer

3:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Pick up your badge the day before the conference starts and celebrate Seattle Interactive with refreshments at Blink.

Workshop Workshop

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Benjamin Shown, Design Director & Partner, Blink

A special Pre-SIC event

Workshops are a great technique for getting everyone on the same page and setting the tone for a new project. Unfortunately, most design programs don’t teach workshop facilitation. In this workshop, you will learn a new format and practice a set of exercises that are proven to effectively align disparate teams, set expectations, build trust, and identify the foundational elements of whatever your team is building together.

Thursday, October 17

User Experience Driven Innovation: What the Future Holds

9:30 am - 10:10 am

Kelly Franznick, Co-Founder & Chief Innovation Officer, Blink

Most people think of innovative new products and services as being driven by breakthroughs in new technologies. However, there is another way to see what drives innovation— a way that provides us with a way to predict what will come next and plan for it. Viewing innovation through an experiential framework helps us understand where we've been and where we are going. User experiences like Google Search and Uber change user expectations and drive innovations across other markets. What can we expect on the horizon for experiences in retail, travel, and even enterprise applications?

Live Podcast: This is Design School — Megan Ruhlach and Quba Michalski

1:15 pm - 1:55 pm

Jp Avila, Host, This is Design School
Chad Hall, Host, This is Design School

What do UX, outer space, and 100 eggs have in common? We’ll cover them all in this live-taping of “This is Design School,” a podcast for growing designers. Join hosts Jp Avila and Chad P. Hall for a live, unedited interview with senior visual designer Megan Ruhlach and director of innovation, Quba Michalski about their work with NASA, their uncommon career paths, and their experiences in today’s fast-changing industry.

What To Do When Design is Actually Brain Science

2:10 pm - 2:50 pm

Byron Baker (Moderator) Head of Design & Partner, Blink
Heather Marsh (Panelist) Director, User Experience, Fred Hutch Cancer Care
Justin Kiggins (Panelist) Product Manager, Chan Zuckerberg Institute
Tyler Mollenkopf (Panelist) Product Manager, Allen Brain Institute

Every industry presents unique challenges for designers but some of those challenges are more complicated than others. In particular, science and medical tools are especially difficult fields for UX designers because of the highly specific and technical knowledge required to work effectively in the domain.

There are also a number of challenges relating to legacy tools and aversion to organizational change. The list goes on and on.

This panel of experts from distinguished institutions will discuss designing for complex industries. The discussion will include stories about complex data sets, battling jargon overload, and successful recruiting strategies. Panelists will also share how they successfully advocate for a great user experience.

Design Ethics in Tech

3:15 pm - 3:55 pm

Victoria Young (Moderator) Product Fellow, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Laura Blanchard (Panelist) Design Director, Blink
Timothy Bardlavens (Panelist) Sr. Manager, Product Design, Zillow Group, Inc
Matt May (Panelist) Head of Inclusive Design, Adobe
Lauren Cascio (Panelist) Design Director, Microsoft

As designers, we use heuristics to make products more usable. And we use frameworks that are proven to make products more engaging, which can create a ripple effect, particularly if we’re designing for complex, global products.

While the burden of ethics should be shared across the organization, designers usually are at the forefront of considering safety, privacy, inclusivity, and honesty when solving problems. For big tech companies, especially, practicing ethical design is a daily challenge with far-reaching implications.

This panel of experts from recognizable, global firms will discuss ethics in design. The discussion will include stories about tough decisions, tips for avoiding dark patterns, and opinions on hot topics such as surveillance capitalism. Panelists will also provide practical advice for incorporating ethics into the design process.

Friday, October 18

The Life-Changing Magic of a Good Workshop: Philosophies, Strategies, and Tips for the Best Workshops Ever

9:30 am - 10:10 am

Benjamin Shown, Design Director & Partner, Blink

At their best, a design workshop ignites creativity and collaboration. Designers are empowered, stakeholders are psyched teams are aligned, and design projects can take a big leap forward. At their worst, workshops are just really long meetings.

The keys to a triumphant workshop are both tactical (which exercises work best for which groups, how do we capture all the ideas) and philosophical (why are we here? why do we want to work in this way?).

Leading design workshops is a vital skill, but it often isn’t taught in design programs or formalized in the workplace. In this talk, you will learn how we run workshops, and why I’m so passionate about them as a means to inspire and align. Be prepared to leave the session with an actionable blueprint to run your own workshop tomorrow!

Translating UX in International Projects

2:10 pm - 2:50 pm

Sarah Alvarado, Research Director, Blink

What are the unique considerations and challenges that come with leading UX projects in international markets? How does a team set itself up to deliver strategy, research, and design across consistent standards when there are language barriers or cultural unknowns?

In this talk, Sarah Alvarado, Research Director at Blink, will share compelling and honest anecdotes across a number of international projects to help organizations think deeply about when, where and how to conduct international UX work.

  • When it makes sense to consider international UX work (and when it doesn’t)
  • Where to look for relevant and meaningful UX opportunities in new markets
  • How to bridge cultural and language barriers across client and agency teams to deliver insights, innovative strategies and impactful designs

Come see us at Seattle Interactive Conference—or any other time

Check out our sessions at Seattle Interactive, and visit our Seattle studio as a part of our off-site programming. Not in Seattle for the conference? Say hello to learn more about Blink or schedule a tour of our studios and labs anytime.