Date: July 11, 2007
Luke Wroblewski — Yahoo!

In an increasing number of companies the role of design is changing dramatically from mere styling to a core ingredient of product strategy and innovation. But what’s behind this shift? Why are designers previously tasked only with “making things pretty” being invited to the corporate strategy table?

This talk will examine the impact that recent technology and market changes have had on the role of design within modern companies. In particular: the decreasing distance between equations and solutions made possible by technologies like 3D modeling and rapid prototyping; the increasing rate of commoditization driven by shorter product lifecycles and cheaper manufacturing; the always-on availability of massive data sources; and the growing ability of consumers to absorb and enjoy increasingly complex media and interfaces.

Designers of all types can use this knowledge to communicate the value of design skills, methodologies, and deliverables to both clients and stakeholders. In other words, this presentation provides a way to explain “why design matters more now.”

About the Speaker
Luke Wroblewski is a product designer, strategist, and author. He is currently the Principal Designer of Yahoo! Inc.‘s Social Media group and and Principal of LukeW Interface Designs, a product strategy and design consultancy he founded in 1996.

Luke has authored a book on Web interface design principles titled Site-Seeing: A Visual Approach to Web Usability and numerous articles on design methodologies, strategies and applications including those featured in his own online publication, Functioning Form. Luke is a member of the board of directors of the Interaction Design Association and a frequent presenter on topics related to the Web and design.

Previously, Luke was the Lead User Interface Designer of eBay Inc.‘s platform team. At eBay, he led the interaction strategy for new consumer products (including Kijiji and eBay Express) and internal tools and processes including design pattern and creative asset management systems. Luke also taught interface design courses in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and worked as a Senior Interface Designer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), birthplace of the first popular graphical Web browser, NCSA Mosaic.