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Highlights from Interaction20

If not now, when? At this year’s Interaction Conference, one thing was clear— design problems are no longer just designer's problems. Design has erupted across industries and environments and serves the essential need of capturing human-centered stories.

Each year, we send a cohort of designers to IXDA’s Interaction Conference. This weeklong event explores the current themes and cutting-edge trends in design. This year’s theme, “A New Dawn” identified the industry’s meaning, its varying approaches and exciting evolution as new challenges continue to arise within organizations today and society at large. Take a peek below to learn about some of our involvement throughout this epic week:

Transforming your organization with the business value of design

Delivering design across the many levels of an organization is a key element of today’s designer. We hosted a workshop surrounding our Business Value of Design report, where participants learned how to measure their company’s design performance and how to drive change within their organizations. Facilitators Associate Design Directors, Ruth Tupe, and Matteo Barbero and Expert Associate Partner, Gianluca Brugnoli; completed a live-synthesis to illustrate participant’s results from completing a mini version of the McKinsey Design Index (MDI). To increase understanding of the report's four themes, attendees walked to an area of the room that signified their MDI score. (Visualization rules!)

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Worksheets from our Value of Design workshop.
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Our team during the McKinsey Design Index live synthesis.

“The focus for this workshop was not just to share out the research but to connect designers who are facing similar situations across the globe and give them a framework to solve real-life design conundrums. We wanted participants to walk away with practical solutions and to gain a mutual understanding of the issues facing design adoption and growth. We've been known for the business value of design— but we can also be the ones to foster this dialogue within the design community,” said Associate Design Director, Ruth Tupe.

Talks at lightning speed

The program included more than 80 talks from design, tech and policy leaders. With over 600 submissions, curating such a program was no easy task.

Kim Mingo, Experience Design Director shares her perspectives as Co-Director of Programming for the week, “For more than a year, the core conference planning team of over 20 volunteers (yes, Volunteers!) works tirelessly and with immense passion to put together a stellar experience for attendees and the greater design community. We held hours of late-night calls as well as a couple of long-weekend team retreats. I am proud of what we accomplished with a conference that represents a diversity of voices fitting to Interaction 20’s theme, A New Dawn.”

Highlights from Interaction20
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Two of the talks were completed by McKinsey Designers, Katerina Markova and Scott Nazarian. Katerina’s talk explores managing our digital life after death. She argued for putting our digital presence to rest with the dignity it deserves once we are no longer on Earth. Scott’s talk, “Design is a social affair” seeks to understand how the health of design communities impacts the unique benefits of design problem solving methods and serves as a tool to further integrate the design capability in many organizations.

Learning was at an all-time high and we can’t thank this conference enough! One thing was certain, McKinsey Designers connected as a team and came away inspired and energized by the current state of design.

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Some of our McKinsey Designers!
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Our office in Milan, where our design team gathered to connect and share key learnings for Interaction20.
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Yummy treats in Milan!

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