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Design First: Prototype

#1 Meetup
Design First: Prototype

The first ever “Design First” event will focus on the topic of prototypes. We have four amazing speakers with different approaches, processes and team dynamics.

There's going to be amazing food and drinks, provided by our sponsor — InVision.


Speaker list:

Matt Hartman, Betaworks 
Jessica Phan, Zurb
Will Dawson, Huge
Donna Lichaw, Parsons


6:00 — Meet & Greet.
6:30 — Talks
8:00 — Networking
9:00 — Finish

Matt is the director of seed investments at Betaworks, the company behind companies such as Digg, Instapaper and Dots. He will open the meetup talking about code-less prototyping, approaching the topic from an investors point of view.

Jessica is an x-ZURB (a design consultancy that builds prototyping platforms) that will talk about Product design and methods that help us with everything from idea validation to detailed interactions. From sketching to hi-fi and coded prototypes.

Will, a product design at Huge, approaches prototyping from a business perspective and explains the inhouse iterative design process.

Finally, Donna is a independent professional with 15+ years of experience who taught at most NYC design schools, currently at Parsons. She’s approaching the topic using the most effective tool: the structurally sound story.


Five is a design driven app development company with offices in NYC and Croatia.

Shoutem provides everything you need to create amazing apps.

InVision Design Better Experiences for Web & Mobile. A Prototyping, Collaboration & Workflow Platform

WeWork is a platform for creators that offers the space and the community. 

Matt Hartman
Director of Seed Investments @betaworks

“How To Build Your Prototype Without Code”
A 15 minutes talk about how you test a hypothesis for a startup without using any code, in the context of what data investors look for.

Matt Hartman manages seed investing at betaworks. Previously, he worked at Hot Potato (acquired by Facebook) and Trammell Crow Company (acquired by CBRE) and started ReferBoost and JustBecause.

Jessica Phan
Product Designer x @zurb

“What is Product Design”
As product designers, it's important for us to have a wide range of skill set from ideation, interaction design, visual design and front-end code. These skill set helps us validate ideas, test detailed interactions and prove the overall concept while we create sketch prototypes, hi-fi prototypes and coded prototypes.

A product designer in the Silicon Valley, Jessica designs solutions to create delightful and meaningful human-centered digital experiences. Previously at ZURB, an interaction design consulting firm, she worked with a broad range of clients, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, such as Samsung, SAP, JCPenney and BDBiosciences.

Will Dawson
Senior Product Designer @huge

“Benefits to Prototyping for Business”
It’s often hard to imagine how a product will perform and feel before it is built. At this session, I will discuss the prototyping process at Huge and how we use it to continuously evaluate these variables throughout the iterative design process.

Will Dawson is a Senior Product Designer at Huge, where he designs and builds digital products for some of the world's largest brands, including Gucci and Harvard Business Review. He was previously a designer for Pennebaker in Texas, and received a B.A. in Political Science and Visual Arts from Emory University.

Donna Lichaw
Independent Consultant @parsons
Adjunct Faculty Member, Parsons Department of Design + Technology

“Story-first: A Narrative Approach to Prototyping Products and Services”
Prototyping is essential to designing memorable experiences with products and services. While many of us seek out the newest and shiniest tools to prototype interfaces, we often overlook one of the oldest, leanest, most effective prototyping tools out there: the structurally sound story. In this talk, you will learn how taking a story-first approach to designing, building, and testing prototypes and demos can help you build more successful products and services.

Donna Lichaw has helped businesses such as Atlantic Records, Citi, Bloomberg, Seamless, Apartment Therapy, and WNYC to create, launch, and innovate digital products, campaigns, and services. In addition to running her product strategy and consulting practice and building and training design and product teams, she is on the adjunct faculty at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. Donna is currently writing a book about using narrative structure to design successful products and services for Rosenfeld Media.


Start the conversation @fivenyc & #designfirst

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  • Sophie

    Great event! Really appreciate that people were sharing their experience and knowledge. I am looking for product designers, particularly plastic products.

    1 · December 18, 2014

  • katya

    Thank you for organizing a great meetup. The presentations were very informative and the venue was great, if a little chilly. Looking forward to a next one :)

    1 · December 17, 2014

  • John C.

    The presentations were very enlightening. The format works and the speakers had a lot to offer in their different approaches to prototyping. Their processes and tools seemed reflective of the type of work that they do day to day (which was quite varied) so was something for everyone. Looking forward to the next event!

    1 · December 17, 2014

  • Eric L.

    Tin, great start, congratulations to you and everyone who put it together! I would like to add some constructive criticism about the venue: the noise. The constant door slamming and commotion of people going in and out was distracting me from the speakers. On that note, very informative and interesting talks, I appreciate the effort they made to share their prototyping process. I'm looking forward to the next one!

    2 · December 17, 2014

  • Tin K.

    You can view Donna Lichaw's story first approach to presentation on slideshare:

    December 17, 2014

    • Christopher D.

      Thanks, Elliot! I wasn't able to make it so this is fantastic

      2 · December 16, 2014

    • Tin K.

      Thank you so much for that recap.

      3 · December 16, 2014

  • Tin K.

    A great start with inspiring and insightful presentations from our speakers. Also, the free sushi and beer was amazing ;)

    1 · December 16, 2014

  • Karen M.

    Thank U Tin for hosting

    2 · December 15, 2014

  • Alexander D.

    I had to change my rsvp, but I hope this will be on video to watch later

    1 · December 15, 2014

    • Tin K.

      We couldn't organise that for the first event, sorry about that.

      1 · December 15, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    will stop by to check out.

    November 25, 2014

  • Dwayne S.

    Nurse/Attorney looking to appease my creative side as a designer. Happy to learn new things about UI/UX.

    November 24, 2014

  • Marien

    I work down the street so I'l swing by.

    November 21, 2014

Our Sponsors

  • Five

    Five is a NYC based Design Driven App Development Company.

  • Shoutem

    Everything you need to create amazing apps.

  • WeWork

    Everything you need to make a life, not just a living.

  • Hub

    Discover the best events in tech, business, and design.

  • InVision

    Design Better Experiences for Web & Mobile.

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