Business Meets Design

It is with great sadness that we are announcing the cancellation of BLND 2020. The impact of COVID-19 limits the possibility of holding the vibrant and successful event that we have all come to love and look forward to. We will be issuing refunds for all ticket purchases. We look forward to continuing our meaningful partnerships in next year’s event.

Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to your participation next year.

Creative people. Innovative ideas. fun workshops.

March 14, 2020

University of Waterloo STRATFORD SCHOOL OF INTERACTION DESIGN AND BUSINESS

Join us for the best design party around! BLND is an interactive day highlighting how the transformative power of design has become the secret advantage to business success.

COVID-19

The University of Waterloo Coronavirus website is updated on a daily basis and houses the most up-to-date information on the University’s policies and procedures for action.

Surrounded by creative, passionate people and with the best tools and approaches at your disposal, you’ll have what it takes to lead change and create better business outcomes with design

2019 Event Recap

the perfect mix of theoretical and practical knowledge that I could apply to my work.

Attendee who filled out our event survey :)

2020 Speakers

BLND brings experts in UX research, product designer, creative strategy, and much more. This years incredible lineup will excite and inspire you to have a whole new appreciation for design in business.

Lauren Palmer headshot

Lauren
Palmer

Director, UX Research
Google

Matt Cebulski headshot

Matt
Cebulski

Strategic Partnerships Executive
Mappedin

Mike Clark headshot


Mike
Clark

Director, Research
Facebook

Heather Daam-Rossi headshot

Heather
Daam-Rossi

Innovation Designer
The Moment

JannaCameron headshot

Janna
Cameron

Design Lead, Innovation Lab
Sonova

Ben Kim headshot

Ben
Kim

Manager, Service Design and Strategy
Telus

Linn Vizard headshot

Linn
Vizard

Independent Designer

Andrea Ong headshot

Andrea
Ong

Director, Product Design
Loblaw Digital

Markus
Grupp

Senior Director,
Experience Design
Kira Systems

Chase Denomme headshot

Chase
Denomme

Product Designer
Vidyard

Ramy Nassar headshot

Ramy
Nassar

Partner
1000 Days Out

Hira Javed Headshot

Hira
Javed

Service Design Lead
CBC

Kyle Schruder Headshot

Kyle
Schruder

Director of Design
‍‍Coactuate

Sarah Hope Keast Headshot

Sarah
Hope Keast

Experience Designer
Konrad Group

Anoosha Sajjad headshot

Anoosha
Sajjad

Experience Designer
Konrad Group

Headshot of David Luong

David
Luong

Assoc. Experience Designer
Konrad Group

Femke van Schoonhoven headshot

Femke
van
Schoonhoven

Product Designer
Uber

Angie Kwan Headshot

Angie
Kwan

Product Designer
Uber

Schedule

Subject to change

8:00 AM

Bus Departure from Waterloo

For those coming from Kitchener-Waterloo, the buses will be departing from Hagey Hall at the University of Waterloo Main Campus at 8:00 AM to arrive at the University of Waterloo Stratford School for 8:45am.

8:30 AM

Registration & Breakfast

Welcome! Upon arriving to the University of Waterloo Stratford School, pick-up your name tag at the front desk.

Breakfast and beverages will be served to kick-off the event.

9:20 AM

Opening Remarks

9:30 AM

Talk: "You Can Handle the Truth!"  How when design holds a mirror, businesses thrive

Over the last 20 years design teams have changed form and function as our discipline has evolved.  While the essence of what we bring stays true, our role and impact in organizations has shifted dramatically.  Lauren Palmer shares lessons from a career in UX research and design, and considers a future that may include a re-ambiguation of UX disciplines.

Lauren Palmer
Director, Research | Google

10:15 AM

Talk: Where the rubber hits the road

Finding the intricate balance of traditional design practices and action. The world of design can sometimes seem never ending with workshops, interviews, roundtables, critiques and staged user feedback. These are all important ceremonies that yield valuable information but sometimes the real learning only comes when your idea or product is out in the wild. The real wild. Where The Rubber Hits The Road will focus on this balance and the who, what, when of implementing zero to one innovations. 

Matt Cebulski
Strategic Partnerships Executive | Mappedin

11:00 AM

Morning Workshops: Select 1 to participate in!

* Select 1 of the following workshops to attend:

1. Sketch It Out: a Workshop on How to Sketchnote
Sketchnotes, aka visual notes, harness the power of visual thinking to hone our listening and synthesis skills. They’re not about art or artistic skills. Making sketchnotes is a way to synthesize what we hear, to make mental connections, to become more effective listeners and learners. And it hones your ability to focus.You can sketchnote just about anything: a conference talk, a section or chapter or a whole book, an article, a project plan, a context map for a project, an intro about yourself, your favourite things, highlights from your vacation, a meeting at work, etc.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
How to get started with sketchnoting
How to focus and listen to get the most out of what you’re investing your time into

Andrea Ong
Director |  Loblaw Digital
_________________


2. Designing for Growth: Sprint experiments for better experiences that drive business growth

For designers, marketers, product managers and engineers who want to collaboratively attack company growth. Participants will learn how to incorporate growth hacking methodologies into short sprints to craft experiments around growth levers, generating better user experiences and igniting business growth.

Chase Denomme
Product Designer | Vidyard

_________________


3. Getting and Starting your First Full-Time UX Job

What is it like to get your first full time design job? What makes an application stand out? Hear the first hand experience from designers who just made their way through this transition and are now transforming industries with design thinking. We’ll bring the experiences of our hiring managers who’ve shared what they look for in each stage of the hiring process, including their favourite interview questions and the best ways to navigate them. This workshop is designed to prepare you for your job hunt and empower you to make the most of your opportunities!


Sarah Hope Keast, Annoosha Sajjad & David Luong
Experience Designers | Konrad Group

12:30 PM

Lunch

Your brain needs energy, eat some food! Enjoy a catered lunch.

1:30 PM

Fireside Chat

Panel discussion with some of the speakers from the day.

2:15 PM

Afternoon Workshops: Select 1 to participate in!


* Select 1 of the following workshops to attend:

1. Design Thinking for AI and ML

This interactive workshop gives participants a deep dive into AI, machine learning, and emerging technology, through the lens of human-centered design. This approach provides individuals & teams a repeatable and scalable toolkit that can be applied to building better AI-enabled solutions.

The program, delivered by the author of the upcoming AI Product Design Handbook, is intended for those involved with bringing disruptive digital products & services to market. Participants will walk away with tools, methods & frameworks focused on applying these technologies to customer and organizational problems.

Ramy Nassar
Partner | 1000 Days Out

_________________

2. Kickstarting your Design Career: How to prepare for your first design job
 
We know how difficult and stressful it can be to land your first design job. What can you do to stand out and embrace your uniqueness? How do you discover your values and what you want out of your career? These are some of the questions we’ll be working through together, as well as sharing advice on preparing your portfolio, writing successful case studies, and nailing take-home assignments. At the end of this interactive workshop, you’ll walk away with actionable takeaways to kickstart your design career.

Femke van Schoonhoven & Angie Kwan
Product Designers | Uber

_________________

3. Using Comics to Share Research Results

Too many UX research reports are quickly forgotten. In this workshop, you will learn a new way to communicate the stories you hear: UXR comics. In what will feel like a fast 90 mins, you’ll go through the entire process of creating a UXR comic; From summarizing an interview to creating your final visuals. Feel that your art skills aren’t up to par?  Don’t worry.  You’ll learn some secret shortcuts to creating {sufficiently) engaging visuals.

Janna Cameron
Design Lead | Innovation Lab, Sonova

___________________

4. Designing with Diversity: How to adapt your design methods for inclusion

Participants will be able to understand how inclusivity and diversity benefits their design projects and pushes their capacity to become better designers and researchers. Through an experiential activity participants will feel first hand the challenges associated with some of the traditional design and research methods and generate alternative approaches to overcoming barriers to inclusion in teams and on projects.

Ben Kim
Manager of Service Design and Strategy | Telus

Linn Vizard
Independent Designer | Toronto


3:45 PM

Break

Connect and socialize with speakers, sponsors and attendee's over light snacks and refreshments!

4:15 PM

Talk: Developing User Experiences for ML and AI in the Workplace

Details to come...

Mike Clarke
Director, Research | Facebook

5:00 PM

Talk: The Joy & Happiness in Design

Over a decade of experience has taught me that joy is essential to bring the best out of people, and bring the most out of collaboration. This is my story about bringing joy and happiness into the design process, even when the content is serious. Through real-life examples, I’ll show how to give joy a critical role in the design process…Spoiler alert–it’s even more important than choosing the ‘right’ framework!

Heather Daam-Rossi
Designer | The Moment

5:45 PM

Closing Remarks

Final remarks for the day by Christine McWebb.

6:00 PM

After Party @ The Parlour Inn

Final remarks for the day and instructions for BLND 2020 after party at a local Pub.

8:00 PM

Bus Departure Stratford

Bus departs the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus to return to the University of Waterloo Main Campus at Hagey Hall.

SponsorED By:

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