Speaker

John Voss

John Voss

Senior Design Manager of UI Design & Design Systems at Stitch Fix & Co-founder, Queer Design Club

San Francisco, California, United States

John Voss is a gay designer who teaches, writes, and advocates for a more inclusive, just design industry and world. He was the founding design lead on Stitch Fix’s Mode design system, and is currently growing the Stitch Fix design system team and practice. He also co-founded Queer Design Club, a group that promotes and celebrates all the amazing work that happens at the intersection of queer identity and design worldwide.

He’s worked with non-profits, social enterprises, and other good causes over the last decade and believes a good designer isn’t just a decorator, they’re a trouble maker.

Area of Expertise

  • Consumer Goods & Services
  • Information & Communications Technology

Topics

  • Design
  • Design Systems
  • Design Leadership
  • inclusive design
  • design ethics
  • LGBTQ in Technology

Practical Design Principles

Good tools are essential to good design but only work when the design decisions they’re used to document are sound. Design principles are a framework that can help teams make better decisions.

Too often, principles are created by design teams without buy-in from their partners in the rest of the business, leading to the same old disagreements about what good solutions look like, what the bar for MVPs are, or when and how to prioritize accessibility and inclusion.

Sometimes, cross-functional teams agree to principles in the abstract but never find ways to put them into practice.

At Stitch Fix, Product Design has led the effort to create a set of experience principles that articulate shared standards for products as well as our commitment to creating inclusive experiences. They’re currently being adopted by teams across all of our customer-facing and internal products and are beginning to inform collaborative work with other functions like Marketing.

This talk would share learnings from that process so designers in other organizations can use experience principles to drive organizational change and conversations about inclusion.

Dysfunctional Systems: Digital Products and Addiction

Digital product teams have a problem with addiction: we see it as a product strategy. We talk about getting users hooked. About driving engagement through addictive experiences. About binging content for a dopamine hit.

By adopting the language of addiction in our process, we embed harmful patterns of thought in the patterns we design. These become harmful patterns of behavior in the people who use our products. It’s time to break the cycle.

A practical approach to queering design

This talk takes a look at what it means to ”queer” design outside academia. It covers what the experience for queer designers working today looks like, what the design field can learn from the LGBTQ+ community, and how a queer perspective might change the way we practice design.

When your boss doesn’t care about doing the right thing

Design ethics are a hot topic, but the discussion often tiptoes around the fact that some of the highest profile designers work for the worst offending companies. This talk offers real talk about what an ethical career takes and some hard truths about “changing things from the inside.”

John Voss

Senior Design Manager of UI Design & Design Systems at Stitch Fix & Co-founder, Queer Design Club

San Francisco, California, United States

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