24 to 27 May 2022 Lisbon, Portugal

Katie Swindler

Innovation Design Strategist at Allstate

Katie is a user experience strategist who writes and speaks on topics related to human-centered design.

Originally educated as a theatre director, she brings a unique perspective to digital work. She believes that if brands wish to truly connect with consumers they must combine emotion and utility, storytelling and technology to fulfill real human needs.

Katie is currently the Design Strategist for Allstate Insurance’s Innovation group, guiding the design of new products and services. Prior to joining Allstate, she was a UX Director at FCB Chicago where she was the UX lead on the 2016 global redesign of JackDaniels.com as well as leading experience design for many other clients such as Cox Communications, Meow Mix, and Toyota Financial Services.

Katie is an experienced presenter who has spoken on UX topics internationally at design industry events such as SXSW Interactive, IxDA Interaction, 4A’s, Amuse and PUSH. She recently published Life & Death Design: What Life-Saving Technology Can Teach Everyday UX Designers with Rosenfeld Media, a book that explores researched-based design techniques that work with ingrained human survival instincts.

Thu 26 May
Breaking Point: Designing for Stressful Moments

Stress changes human behavior. Users who are panicky, upset, or angry, are more likely to react on instinct than logic – sometimes this gives them a critical edge, and sometimes it leads them to disaster. If you design products or systems made to be used by humans, it’s a near certainty that someone will be stressed out at some point while using your product. This workshop will cover the essential information that designers need to know about the human stress response to create experiences that harness the benefits of stress, protect users from the drawbacks, and calm users after a crisis.

  • Explore the five stages of the stress response and specific design considerations for supporting users at every step;
  • Practice hands-on exercises that will teach you to find the hidden stress points in the experiences you design and match the appropriate techniques to support users in those moments;
  • Learn how designing for expert users in stressful professions differs from designing for general consumers. Explore techniques specific to enabling professionals to excel in the moments that matter most;
  • Uncover the complex relationship between stress, intuition, and bias. Learn to edit the intuition of the people you design for and reduce the effect of harmful unconscious biases.

This workshop is aimed at mid-career and senior UX professionals and focuses primarily on UX strategy with some discussions about practical application in digital UIs and service design. All participants should be familiar with common UX strategy techniques such as journey mapping, and personas.

Fri May 27
A Designer's Guide to Life-and-Death Decisions

Stress changes the human brain, enhancing some abilities and degrading others. In some of the most dangerous industries, creators of life-saving products have discovered how to leverage brain science and smart design to harness good instincts while reducing panic and aggression. They use human-centered design to help their users land airplanes, avoid car crashes, resuscitate heart attack victims, and escape burning buildings. Apply their techniques to your work in any field to create clear, intuitive experiences that effectively guide the behavior of your users, no matter their state of mind.

Key takeaways:

  • Learn the secrets of designing for users under stress developed by practitioners in some of the highest-stakes industries like healthcare, avionics, and the military, but applicable for great design in any field.
  • Unlock the science of the human survival instinct and learn how moments of peak stress change users’ physical and mental capabilities, affecting their ability to use certain types of designs.
  • Apply techniques for identifying potential high-stress moments and crafting experiences that can harness the user’s instinctive behavior, suppress it, or protect the user from panicked-induced actions.