Aaron Irizarry

Aaron Irizarry aka “Ron”, is the Director of User Experience at Nasdaq and has been building online products for startups and large corporations for over 10 years.  He is also a life long Dodgers fan, heavy metal enthusiast, and co-author of Discussing Design: Improving Communication and Collaboration Through Critique.

You can follow his frequent ramblings about food, sports, music, and yes design on twitter at @aaroni.


Hold Fast: Managing Design Teams When Projects Go Sideways

October 13th | 11:00 AM

Often times the projects we work on hit rough spots, snags, and even end up in crisis mode. Challenges can come in the form of clients who are tough to deal with, organizational politics, or strife within our own teams. As managers (or leads) of design and product teams we are often looked to for clarity, support and resolution when things go sideways.

How do we work through these scenarios as leaders, while managing the expectations of our teams and business partners and keeping things moving forward despite the various challenges that we face? 

In this talk you will learn tips and techniques for managing through the ups and downs of the design process, including:

Managing stakeholders

  • Managing expectations of stakeholders, customers, support/sales/account teams, and even designers.
  • The value of building team consensus before things go into fire drill mode.

Managing your team

  • The design manager’s role/deliverable in today’s design process (shipping is just the beginning).
  • Managing vs. leading and the implications on teams and the challenges we face.

Managing the process

  • Finding the sweet spot between sticking to process and remaining flexible.
  • The balance between execution and maintaining principles.
  • Foresight and avoiding blind spots.
  • Learning what went sideways and how to address it for next time.