8:00 AM

Coffee & Breakfast

Check in to get your name tag, swag bag, and parking pass. Then grab yourself a hearty breakfast and coffee to fuel your day!

8:30 AM

Opening Remarks

Kat Duran-Higa & Jennifer Kumura

9:00 AM

Session 1

Kanaka-Centric Design

Carlo Liquido & Amy McKee

@ Main room

Kanaka-Centered Design


Amy McKee, PhD Student, Education, @ UH Mānoa
Carlo Liquido, Founder, @ Lady Bandit Studios

An exploration into practicing design in a Kanaka context and how it connects, intersects and differs from conventional Western design thinking and methodology.

Story Mapping: The Holistic User Experience

Juliana Ceja

@ Purple Box

Story Mapping: The Holistic User Experience

Storytelling is a great tradition of ancient Hawaiian culture and has been a way to learn and pass history through the years. Whether telling stories through chants, song, hula, or verse, stories are a powerful way to communicate knowledge and ideas. Join us as we dive into the history and applications of Story Mapping, a technique used in product discovery to understand both system and user perspectives. Become a ‘Story Mapper’ and you’ll be able to visualize and communicate the holistic user and product experience.

10:00 AM

Session 2

Things I Wish I Knew Before Transitioning Into Design

Tyler Nishida

@ Main Room

Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Product Designer

Tyler Nishida, Product Designer @ Revacomm

If you search “10 things I wish I knew before…” on Google or YouTube, you’ll discover a wide range of topics, from starting a video game to getting a cat. These articles and videos can be incredibly helpful before embarking on something new, so it makes sense to look for similar design-related content before transitioning to the field.

However, when it comes to design, it’s mostly clickbait. There’s a lot of content like “How I broke into UX in 3 months” or “How I got a job in UX with zero experience,” and I, like many others, were misled by many of these engagement-farming articles.

So, that’s the reason for this talk. It’s the kind of content I wish I had consumed before making the leap into design from a completely different field in my early 30s. I’ll not only talk about the difficult truth of the transition itself, but the aspects that affected my life outside of design and the surprising difficulties that await after you break in.

Radical Participatory Design

Kim Davidson

@ Purple Box

Radical Participatory Design

Kim Davidson, VP of Product, BallotReady

We learn that our role as professional designers is to lead, to facilitate, to discover, to innovate, and to create solutions to complex problems through rigorous processes. What that often means is making interpretations and decisions on behalf the people who will actually be affected by our work. We do our best to include community members, but what if we go further? What if instead, we turn the process over entirely to the affected community? How do the processes change? How do the products change? How do the communities change? How do we change?

Radical Participatory Design is a framework that re-envisions what design processes could look like. This talk will cover what it is, and a case study in two parts – The first, a tool built for another team through a fairly conventional design process; the second, the same tool improved through a very different process.

11:00 AM

Panel: From Novice to Expert: Stories from UX Career Journeys

@ Main Room

Keynote Panel: From Novice to Expert: Stories from UX Career Journeys Name

Moderator: May Sermonia

Panelists: Blake Reary, Christina Agena, Rachel Dlugos, Chris Gargiulo

With the landscape of job opportunities in design evolving rapidly, choosing the right education path is a pivotal decision. Whether you’re self-taught, a product of traditional university programs, or a graduate of a design boot camp, we’ve got you covered. Our diverse panel, featuring professionals from various backgrounds, will explore the merits and challenges of each route. Gain insights into what propelled them toward design, and discover the strategies they employed to break into the field. Get ready to navigate your own journey with confidence.

12:00 PM


Grab a bite and mingle with the UX design community!

1:00 PM

Session 3

Culture Eats Data for Breakfast

David Sharek

@ Main Room

Culture Eats Data for Breakfast

David Sharek, UX Research @ Google

Doing research is easy. Being an effective researcher is hard. This session borrows from experiences while conducting UX research with the US Navy SEALs and Google Doodles to walk you through how to effectively advocate and socialize your insights for any team.

Mindfulness Transforming Design Methods

Arthur Grau

@ Purple Box

Mindfulness Transforming Design Methods

Arthur Grau, Service Design Strategist @ RVCM

Design challenges, whether simple or complex, require us to think in new ways. Along with our technical and intrapersonal capabilities, a designer needs to be able to draw conclusions and arrive at insights that answer design challenges and serve elegant experiences. In today’s interactive workshop we practice how we might use simple mindfulness practices throughout the design process to transform our work. We will share a few simple tools that amplify our expertise and expand our worldviews empowering the design process to unfold. Be prepared to interact. All materials provided.


Session 4

Pono Principles in UX Culture

Ka’o Carlos

@ Main Room

Pono Principles in UX Culture

Ka’o Carlos,  VP of Design and Research at

Learn to integrate Hawaiian culture for stronger, more cohesive design and research teams. Join us and embrace innovation with aloha spirit.

A Glimpse into the World of a Design Systems Designer

Mele Hamasaki

@ Purple Box

A Glimpse into the World of a Design Systems Designer

Mele Hamasaki, Senior Product Designer @ Coinbase

Dive deep into the world of design systems design. Discover the tools of the trade, delve into our core responsibilities, and understand the unique problems we solve. This session offers a comprehensive look into what it truly means to be a design systems designer.

3:00 PM

Session 5

Designing with Empathy: Why We Need Universal, Inclusive, and Accessible Design

Lori Lum

@ Main Room

Designing with Empathy: Why We Need Universal, Inclusive, and Accessible Design

Senior Vice President, UX at Anthology/Finn Partners 

We know these truths: resources are finite, everyone is different, and human abilities change over time, but our appetite to find meaning, to be loved, or stay informed seems limitless. UX researchers, designers, developers, or enthusiasts, are uniquely positioned to create experiences with empathy. This session will touch on universal, inclusive, and accessible design and the need for each approach in our toolbox because they are not the same.

UX Content Design: What’s in it for you?

Emily Shi Lee

@ Purple Box

UX Content Design: What’s in it for you?

Emily Shi Lee, Senior UX Writer @ Codecademy

UX content is all around us. When it works, it’s barely noticeable. When it doesn’t, it can frustrate us, stop what we’re doing, and even make us delete an account.
Discover the work of UX content design in this session: What it is, what it’s not, and the telltale signs of when a digital experience needs help with “the words” and beyond.
I’ll share insider tips on how to identify the secret writers and information architects in your organization, and how maximizing their contributions can unlock new opportunities.

4:00 PM

Keynote Panel: The State of UX in Hawaii

@ Main Room

The State of UX in Hawai'i


Moderator: Akemi Hiatt

Panelists: Carlo Liquido, Lori Lum, David Chatsuthiphan, Jennifer Kumura

What is one word that you associate when you think of UX in Hawaii? “Growing”? “Opportunity?” “Challenges?” All came to mind when we launched our State of UX in Hawaii Study early last year, in which we sought to understand the job market and landscape for local UXers. What we found were wide-ranging perspectives from educators, practitioners, and managers that provided valuable context into actionable career advice for those just starting out, to larger strategic conversations about the unique limitations of the current Hawaii tech scene, while looking ahead to how far it can go.

5:00 PM

Closing Remarks & Pau Hana

Kat Duran-Higa & Jennifer Kumura