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Jonah Jones - Product Designer Manager @ Facebook
Jonah has been working in product design since 1999. With a background in design, programming and film, he began his career as a designer in the London startup scene. He then joined Google, where he worked for 8 years in Zurich, Sydney and Mountain View, leading the redesign of Google Maps. He now leads design teams for Facebook in London, working on tools to bring people closer together.
The Google Maps navigation and cartography teams have an overwhelmingly complex task to create a universal experience that helps people navigate their world, no matter where in the world they are. How do you create an experience that works for well-established road grids in New York City and dirt roads in rural India?
The Facebook sharing team also have an overwhelmingly complex task to support the diverse needs of a quarter of the worlds population. How do you build tools that work as well for a teenage girl in Japan as they do an elderly man in rural France?
Brian Flanagan - Global Product Director @ Expedia
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Brian has been at Expedia since 2008 leading all e-commerce and product aspects of the Expedia site for Canada and, for 4 years, launching and leading their Latin American sites.
He joined Expedia’s Global Product Organisation and moved to London to lead product initiatives related to maps, geography and reducing the cognitive load that travellers have when planning their trips. Brian’s product management experience spans mobile, banking and marketing all from a customer centric view point.
Expedia is a leader in product management and UX approaching these disciplines with a healthy dose of data science. Their internal mantra is “led by design, confirmed by science”. The presentation showed insights into Expedia’s approach to product development which leverages collaboration between design, research, technology and analytics and how they apply a test and learn approach and the Scientific Method to our every day lives.
Our speakers for the evening were Lead Machine Learning engineer Kostas Perifanos from Argos along with Kostas Manolarakis a Lead Research and Development Engineer from Stratagem Technologies and Stefan Boronea the CTO at Proportunity.
Recent developments in AI & Machine Learning have enabled us to build machines with enough power to change society. Artificial intelligence and machine learning is being adopted by more industries than ever before. A look at how the sports and particularly betting industries are driving this technology forward, with a focus on how machine learning is being utilised to extract key information from large data sets. Building machine learning models is tough. Building and testing machine learning models at scale is nearly impossible.
Overall, the event was a success and formulated some interesting discussions as well as the chance to network and learn more about the topic itself. Thank you to all of those who attended and we hope to see you at our next Soda Social!
"One thing that really stood out was the organisers did a great job of making me feel welcome when I came in"
Our speakers for the evening were Creative Directors for Sky, Jose Alves and Matt Coyne, who shared with us the lessons they've learnt from product conception to launch and beyond during their time at Sky.
We also heard from Patrick Mullen, Product Designer and Julian Ohnacker, UX/UI Designer both from Transferwise, a company which powers money for people and businesses to pay, get paid and spend, wherever you are, whatever you're doing and for as little as possible. They discussed the company's culture that empowers individuals and enables them to turn abject failure, into meaningful services for their users.
As usual, it was an insightful, fantastic evening with a real opportunity to learn, absorb, network and of course tuck into a beer or two on us!
Really enjoyed the presentation; useful, frank and honest. I will definitely come again.
The event was well attended by those familiar with service design, some working and operating in the industry and also those wanting to pursue a career in service design. Our speakers for the event were Niharika Hariharan, Service Design Lead, who has experience with big companies including Boots, Barclays and Sapient spent focusing on creating tools and methods to create meaningful experiences and building human centric services and experiences with companies.
We also had Alberta Soranzo, an End to End Service Design Director at Lloyds, who is a firm believer that there's always another way to look at a challenge and is showed us how we can support achieving meaningful financial outcomes by intentionally designing financial services that acknowledge our emotions and help us overcome our fears and biases.
Our third speaker was Aino Hanttu, Service Design Lead at Futurice, who specialises in complex service design projects and is passionate about digital transformation of businesses. She was right at home during our event, getting us all thinking about what makes a good service designer.
A really good event, well organised and very interesting talks - thanks for the food and drinks!
Our speakers really made the evening and gave us a lot to take away from the event.
I loved the evening with good informative suggestions/points by the speakers. Appreciate the organizers for making it an untiring evening.
We had Andrew Martin who is a Lead DevOps Consultant at Capgemini with a strong test-first engineering background, and Luke Bond a back-end developer moving further down the stack, and nowadays focuses on DevOps and Linux Containers, most recently working as a senior consultant at YLD.
We also had Ilya Dmitrichenko, a Developer Experience Engineer, and Luke Marsden, Head of Developer Experience, both from Weaveworks who showed off a sample reference microservices app, a socks shop. We looked at how it's been developed it and why, and then deployed it to three different platforms, and then used Weave Scope to find out how it works.
Our first speaker of the night was Yan Cui, Server Architect Developer at Yubl, a regular speaker at user groups and conferences. He spoke about "AWS Lambda from the Trenches" and shared his experiences in operating AWS Lambda in production, whilst transitioning from a traditional, monolithic system.
Our second speaker was Hassy Veldstra, the lead node.js Developer at artillery.io and a performance / load-testing consultant. They discussed lltrace, an experimental open-source project developed by the innovation team at Thomas Cook. It visualizes the architecture of your AWS Lambda-based apps written in Node.js. With lltrace you will have architecture diagrams that update themselves and never go out of date.
Our third speaker, Ahmed Nuamand is Co-Founder and Director of Development at Scout. Scout is a tech start-up working to provide real world analytics and behavioural analysis to the retail sector. Ahmed gave us a sneak peak into how their entire analytics and data ingestion stack is completely serverless, yet still handles over 20m new rows of data per customer per day.
Our guest speakers for this event included Danny Hawkins, Co-Founder and Head of Technology at Quiqup, a London based on-demand delivery app that hand-delivers everything from food, retail to everyday services such as phone repairs and lost keys in 40 minutes or less. Danny spoke about the on-demand economy and its mobile first mechanism, as well as the challenges of developing a bespoke logistics platform which provides ease of access via mobile, web and API.
Our second guest speaker was David Santoro, Co-Founder and Head of Technology at Carwow, a driven, energetic startup based in central London, backed by some of Europe’s leading VC’s. David covered Carwow’s journey from a lone laptop on his kitchen table, to a company of over 60 employees in two countries and a national television campaign bringing in millions of visitors a month. And in particular the importance of making pragmatic technical choices and adapting with growth.
Our final speakers were Matty Beatty and Luke Eastwood, Co-Founders at Spacehop, a new London based startup that aims to disrupt the office space market. They aim to offer greater choice to freelance professionals, startups and small businesses when looking for a workspace. They want to introduce greater flexibility and affordability to the market. Matt and Luke talked us through the Spacehop story so far and what’s in store for the future.
Our featured speakers gave us a great isight into the industry and took some really thoughtful questions from those who attended, giving us more to think about and take away from the event.
Aino Hanttu, Service Design Lead at Futurice London with over 10 years experience, discussed Next-Gen Experiences, looking at how the lines are blurred between physical and digital. She asked how can design and digital technology make those experiences more meaningful and immersive?
Sergio Irigoyen, Senior Designer at Neutral Digital, focuses his main research on video games tools and techniques applied to architectural visualization and design. Sergio discussed a VR app the Neutral is currently working on for an in-flight entertainment system.
Dr. Mitra Memarzia was our last speaker, Artist/Senior Producer at Seeper, a pioneering London based studio working at the intersection of art and technology for live event and installations. Over the last 17 years she has led and collaborated on many projects. Her recent focus is around creating experiences that merge digital and physical together in compelling ways.
Great event, guys. A stimulating discussion and cutting edge technology - what's not to like. Thanks for organising this.
Our guest speakers were Jason Mesut and Robbie Clutton, who spoke to us about the duelling demands on product design from the UX and tech perspectives, respectively.
Jason Mesut is Experience Strategy and Design Consultant and Founder of Resonant Design and Innovation. With over 16 years experience in developing products and services with ane xperience focus, as well as spending the past 10 years provoking fresh perspectives and building the User Experience community in London, he brought a lot to our event.
Robbi Clutton is Director at Pivotal Labs, with over 10 years of software development experience in London and New York. Through working in product teams and consultancy, Robbie has experienced working with startups, not-for-progits and multi-national organisations and through Pivotal Labs helps companies build sustainable product delivery teams.
Topics of the presentations included
Our Q&A session went well with lots of attendees getting involved, asking many questions to our guest speakers, with a great networking session with drinks flowing afterwards.
Saba Shaukat is a leading industry mobile technology and digital media business leader. She's an entrepreneurial market leader, recognised for delivering innovative mobile and digital solutions to address market and customer needs for mobile operators and mobile payment companies.
Martin McDonnell, Soluis Group Founder and Co-CEO introduced their work as one of Europe’s leading CGI visualisation & animation houses – along with describing their recent innovation and thought leadership in augmented reality, virtual reality, and immersive dome technology.
A very nice experience! Looking forward for the next one!