Jon Kolko literally wrote the book on incorporating empathy into product design.

Can designing products with empathy be synthesized into a process? Jon Kolko believes so. When you put yourself into the physical lives of the people you’re designing for, then synthesize the data you find, beauty and function no longer have to compete.

About the speaker

Jon Kolko is Vice President of Design at Blackboard; he joined Blackboard with the acquisition of MyEdu, a startup focused on helping students succeed in college and get jobs. He is also the Founder and Director of Austin Center for Design.

His work focuses on bringing the power of design to social enterprises, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship. He has worked extensively with both startups and Fortune 500 companies, and he’s most interested in humanizing educational technology.

Jon is the author of four books:
- Well Designed: How to use Empathy to Create Products People Love
- Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving
- Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner’s Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis
- Thoughts on Interaction Design

Jon is regularly asked to participate in high-profile conferences and judged design events, including the 2013 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards. He has taught at the University of Texas at Austin, the Center for Design Studies of Monterrey, in Mexico, and Malmö University, in Sweden.

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