After years of begging and pleading various employers to send me to a design conference, I finally succeeded. After three hours of flying, 5 designers made it to, Chicago, Illinois. We were in the Windy City for the
HOW Design Live Conference 2017 for a total of 5 days!

How Design Conference Swag
How Design Conference Team Photo
The conference itself was incredibly inspiring and informative. How Design couldn’t have picked a better city to host their conference in. I’ve been to Chicago 3 times now, and every time I fall a little bit more in love with the architecture, the art, the food, and the spirit of this magnificent town. ❤️

Chicago Collage

“She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time.”
— Mark Twain


Takeaways from the conference

Though I saw so many talented people speak, I chose to elaborate on a few of my favorites that apply more to web design.


Joe Natoli
5 Rules for UX Disruption

After realizing that I couldn’t attend Joe’s workshop on Tuesday, I was really happy that he got to give a presentation due to a cancellation. User Experience Design is a passion of mine that I hope to eventually dive more into in my career, so this keynote especially spoke to me.

  • Disruption is quieter than we think.
  • Potential for disruption is highest when the pain is the greatest! Until there is pain, nothing changes.
  • Speak the language of business, Not Design/UX!
  • Without adoption, disruption isn’t possible. If people aren’t using it, there won’t be a disruption.
  • Silence equals Agreement. Speak up if it doesn’t feel right, and contribute!
  • Disruption isn’t fearless. Feel the fear and do it anyway!


Jeffrey Zeldman
Keynote Speaker – Saving the News

After reading articles from A List Apart, books from A Book Apart, and dreaming of the day that I can afford to attend An Event Apart, I was forever grateful to finally get to listen to the know-all of the web.

  • No one is visiting your website anymore to read content. Sites like Medium are a much better platform to get your knowledge noticed.
  • Bootstrap is making things easier for development, but killing layout creativity.
  • Stay away from Anti-Patterns on the web.
  • Learn what it’s like to be a client and a designer! BE EMPATHETIC!
  • Make your copy Authoritative.


Ben Callahan
Building a Human-Centered Culture

  • If we want to be better at our jobs, we need to be better people.
  • Invest in: Skills, A Person and a Life.
  • Culture starts with values.
  • There is no simple step for increasing empathy.
  • Hire the whole person.
  • Invest in communities with unique perspectives.
  • Expose disagreement, don’t hide it.
  • Encourage participation from those who are less outspoken.


Alina Wheeler
Change. Change. Change.

This presentation nearly brought me to tears. David Bowie is definitely a hero of mine, so to hear a keynote that combines design and David Bowie was right up my alley. Alina Wheeler ended with a wig and a stage full of attendees dancing and singing to, “Rebel, Rebel”. 🙂

  • Becoming is a process.
  • Life is like chapters and episodes
  • No one does it alone.
  • Keep Moving!


David Carson
What Happens Next

I’ve been dying to see David Carson speak since college. I respect him for pushing the boundaries of print design by breaking the rules and doing his own thing. He’s worked on some many great pieces over the years, but one of my all-time favorites is the cover art for, “The Fragile” by Nine Inch Nails.

David Carson

  • Be Influenced around you! Don’t spend time looking at print/design mags for inspiration.
  • Legibility doesn’t mean communication.
  • Be open to things you aren’t expecting.
  • If you aren’t excited, don’t expect others to be.


Thank you to all of the other wonderful Creatives that shared their stories and work:
Brian Collins, Timothy Goodman, Frank Chimero, Sonja Rasula, Margo Chase, Gemma O’Brien, Malcom Gladwell, Dontrese Brown, Gaemer Gutierrez, Jennifer Severns, Dana Arnett, Eleanor Handley, Ximena O’Reilly, Lisa Congdon, Mauro Porcini, Pum Lefebure and so many more!