As we gear up for the June 2017 edition of the IIeX conference, let’s take a few minutes to get to know Kaylee Schwitzer, an experience designer at Moment, a digital product strategy and design consulting firm in New York City. This will be her first time speaking at a conference!
Why have you never spoken at a conference before?
I’ve always wanted to speak at a conference but have never mustered up the energy to submit. I think I’ve just assumed that people who speak at conference are “experts.” While I am technically a “professional” designer, I have yet to feel like I’ve reached “expert” status. I finally decided to the pull trigger and submit after Meghan Nishiyama, the woman who led the connected home project that I worked on, convinced me that I had done enough work in the space to feel confident about having my own voice and presenting on the topic.
Why are you looking forward to speaking at IIeX?
While I work as a designer now, my background is in research so I’m really excited to speak to a research audience about where my two worlds come together. I’m also excited to be part of the conversation about how research can inform the decisions that we make about how new technology can and should impact our lives.
What worries your about speaking at IIeX?
I speak in front of audiences quite regularly at work but speaking in a formal setting at a conference is certainly new territory for me. My biggest fears are that I’ll lose my train of thought, that I won’t come off as relaxed and/or confident, and that I won’t be adding anything new to the conversation. That said, I’m optimistic that with enough practice and feedback, I’ll be confident in my talk come presentation day.
What is the most intriguing thing you will discuss in your IIeX talk?
In my talk, I use the story of how Betty Crocker Cake mix came to be to illustrate the historical complexities of home automation and to identify a few core principles to consider when designing for the connected home industry that takes people’s perceptions and attitudes into consideration.
What are you most looking forward to by attending IIeX?
I love talking with other researchers because I feel like I always end up having existential conversations about the impact of the work that we do. With such a wide range of topics covered at IIeX, I’m excited to hear other people’s stories and see where the conversation can go. I also love how re-energized and inspired I feel after leaving a conference and I’m sure that IIeX will be no different.