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Design for the Network with Matthew Milan

Are you one of the poor few missing out on Midwest UX in Indianapolis? Don't suffer alone. Come out to IxDA GR for an evening with one of the regions' most sought after speakers and practitioners: Matthew Milan. 


For thousands of years, networks have played a growing role in the progress of human society. They are the hardware infrastructure that the software of culture runs on. Design has always been about creating culture; what’s different now is that the target of design isn’t just a user, a group or a market. We’re designing for the network.

Proposing a new target for design means that we need a new language of design. We need to consider a new aesthetic, new materials, and new methods, methodologies and mindsets. Perhaps most importantly, we need to reflect on whether the future of design should continue to be human-centered.

Part conversation and part manifesto, this session will delve into the role of design in our connected world of networks, software and systems. We’ll explore tools, approaches and perspectives that can help us become more networked-centered in our work as designers, and challenge some core elements of current design practice by asking what it means to “design for the network”.


Matthew is the CoFounder and CEO of Normative, a software design firm headquartered in Toronto. Matthew is a design leader with 15 years of experience in the domain of emerging technologies, specializing in software design, innovation and product development. A veteran of startups in the areas of knowledge management, geospatial visualization and machine learning, Matthew excels at helping collaborators turn complex ideas and information into compelling and engaging user experiences.

A recognized voice in the areas of design and strategy, Matthew speaks regularly at conferences on a wide range of topics including interaction design, systems theory and wearable computing.

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  • Paul S.

    One-way information flow is a poor design practice. The network topology of these presentations cries out for more bidirectional edges.

    October 24, 2014

    • Paul S.

      What the thought-instigator has to say is much less interesting than the ideas of the audience. More interesting would be the further thoughts that might be engendered by sharing these ideas in community, while fresh. Otherwise, it just becomes re-TED: clean, neat, organized, polished, and deadening. Creativity is born of clutter.

      October 27, 2014

    • Paul S.

      Whenever I presented in my area of expertise, the first thing that I offered the audience was to question me at any time. I tried to make it a conversation from the beginning. Perhaps, that's just a style, but I like to think that my audiences gain more from this approach.

      October 27, 2014

  • Leslie B.

    Paradigm shift for me after listening to Matthew Milan, from Normative.

    October 24, 2014

  • Paul S.

    Any UX event should include a healthy Q&A session. Yes?

    October 14, 2014

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