Speaking Engagements

The following are some talks that are currently being offered for your event (meetup or conference) or internally at your company.

IMG_20180801_190611.jpg#asset:108:contentimageMatthew, speaking recently in Portland.

Best Practices for Destroying Peoples' Dreams (and Other Ways Design Research Can Be Helpful)

Ever been handed a project or had someone come to you with an idea that immediately made you think, “This is probably a waste of time.” What if, instead of taking on the project, you first went to find out if it’s a good idea?

This talk is a mix of stories about people whose dreams were dashed (and they were thankful for it) as well as practical advice for helping you find out if that idea is any good.

The talk title comes from the fact that, over the course of his career, Matthew killed several projects by providing evidence that the project shouldn’t even begin (or should be stopped in its tracks). Four times he’s had to deliver the bad news to someone who then went on to shutter their entire business. And they thanked him for it. Spending $20,000 to make that early decision meant avoiding spending millions to build something no one would want enough to justify the money, time, and effort.

This is a 60-minute talk. It is about stand-alone Discovery projects and why we should be doing them pretty much all the time. The audience is anyone who spends time in their work trying to understand the value of an idea before committing to it.

Given most recently at UX Hong Kong.

Cromulent Research Methods

There are a few tried-and-true research methods, as well as some methods that are tried-and-untrue-yet-still-used-anyway. This talk will give an overview of some of these methods with an eye to how you can do this work yourself, do it better, and begin with a solid foundation of understanding so that you can do the right work well.

This can be a 60-minute talk or a 30-minute talk. In the 60-minute version we get to watch clips from The Simpsons! It is about different research methods people can use to better identify user/customer needs. The audience is non-HCD or new-to-HCD.

Given most recently at Product Tank PDX.

Choices & Consequences

It isn’t enough anymore to make something well if the thing itself has no value or at worst contributes to the frustration, anxiety, or actual harm of another human. We all, individually, need to consider that we’re making choices everyday that have consequences, and we need to decide the extent to which we’re willing to live with that.

You own your skills. You get to decide who gets your value.

This can be a 10- 20- or 45-minute talk. This is not a practical talk. There is some practical advice, but it really is more a get-you-thinking/call-to-action piece that asks people to consider who they work for and what they work on. The audience is anyone who makes things for humans.

Given most recently at User Research London.

Nudges: Changing Minds and Behaviors with Data, Patience, and Kindness

Whether seen as a profession, method, or tool, Design Research excels at providing a deep understanding of any given system and the things needed to move that system into a better state of being. A big part of that system is the humans who work within it and are impacted by it. 

If you want to move a group of people to a better state of being (think behavior change over time) you've got to do it with small nudges. It starts with a thorough understanding of the current state of things. How well one identifies a gap usually influences how well one bridges it.

This can be a 45- or 60-minute talk. This is a designing-for-behavior-change talk with a focus on Service Design, Process Design, and all those "soft" skills that are actually hard to do. The audience is anyone who makes things for humans.

Given most recently for members of the Service Design Network and PDX Design Research.

Principles of Effective Service Design

If you search for “Design Principles” you will find plenty of options to choose from. This talk seeks to coalesce some of the core principles of human-centered design with an eye toward measuring said principles to make sure you’re doing the right work well.

This can be a 30- or 60-minute talk. The focus of this talk is on Service Design, but the principles can be applied to any work that is about making things for humans to use. The audience is anyone who makes things for humans.

Still in development, but it will be a good one!

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