Web Directions Product://remote Design & Management 2020 Australia's conference for Product professionals

Exclusively OnlineNovember 2020

a global, remote-only conference for Product professionals, covering product design and product management.

Day 1

  • November 6th
  • 11am–2:30pm AEST

Designing for Emotion

Aarron Walter, VP of Design Education Invision

These are intense times and we’re all feeling a lot of emotions. Tuning into your customers’ emotions—fluctuating from fear and uncertainty to joy and hope—is essential to connecting what and how you design to those you’re designing for.

Aarron Walter shows you how to bring designing for emotion—all emotions—into your process so you can create better, kinder customer experiences.

Guiding your team strategy with User Research Principles

Emma Boulton, Director of Design Research Babylon Health

We often hear that Ops is all about process, efficiency, speed and scale but does saving time and money have a real and lasting impact? What about quality? Are we doing the right work or are we scaling poor quality research? Is the work visible? Are we learning from our insights or are we repeating the same studies? Does anyone care about governance or are we skipping over the ‘boring’ work in favour of speed?

In this talk, Emma will introduce you to her Research Ops Principles. She will show you how these can help you set objectives and guide your strategy. You will learn how a well-functioning Research Ops layer, helps the work of the team stay relevant and impactful.

QA with Aarron Walter and Emma Boulton

Join in a conversation with our speakers to dicuss their presentations and more.

Break time

Time for a quick break for a cup of coffee or tea. Chat to fellow attendees and speakers. Or visit one of our fantastic partners.

The Art of the Prototype

Jessica Edwards, UX Developer Canva

Building a prototype is a great way to get feedback on a feature without dealing with the red tape that comes with engineering. As an engineer, you might be tasked with building a prototype and become instantly wary: every 'prototype' you've built before ended up in production and you've been suffering from the technical debt ever since, or it was too far removed from reality to truly answer any questions.

But prototyping is still valuable. Not only is it a useful tool to have on hand in product development, it's also a great way to hone the craft of writing code outside the scope of engineering. So, how do you reap the benefits of prototyping without suffering from "prototypes last forever"? This talk will cover strategies to ensure your time is spent effectively, and how to communicate and present your work to stakeholders so everyone is on the same page.

Moving fast and NOT break things: Experimenting in zero failure environments

Tom Alterman, VP of Product & Design StructionSite

Building new products is incredibly hard, especially if you want to do so quickly with few resources. All the great lean approaches developed over the past few years rely on fast experimentation and learning from failures.

This is great in consumer products but how can we do this in Enterprise SaaS where we’re often working on mission critical solutions that can never be allowed to fail? What if you’re building tools for industries where people’s lives are at risk if your product doesn’t work correctly the first time?

This was the exact challenge we faced at PlanGrid when looking to launch a brand new product for managing construction projects. Come hear how we got a very small cross-functional team to explore, build and start earning multi-million dollars in revenue in a matter of months.

QA with Jessica Edwards and Tom Alterman

Join in a conversation with our speakers to dicuss their presentations and more.

Refreshment break

Need a quick breather? Or why not share your thoughts with others attending? We'll be back soon.

Design Fiction and Space to Speculate

Jack O'Donoghue, Experience Design Lead Sportsbet

When we work in the same way as our competitors, we sign up for the same set of constraints. On the same path to the same destination. We’re good at improving our products through a series of iterations, but the holy grail of bold innovation is as elusive as ever.

We’ll see how fictions and possible futures can help us to think without boundaries. We’ll talk atomic priests, glowing cats, and love-struck computers to see how making space to speculate leads to new ideas.

Breaking Even

Christian Crumlish, Product Leader PathCheck Foundation

"Break Even" is about going from product-market fit, to experimenting with revenue models, to achieving profitability, based on my experience taking 7 Cups from an entirely free service running on seed capital to a profitable company without taking any venture capital rounds (with $5m in revenue in 2018 and on track for at least $20m in 2019).

“Break Even” offers insights from the arduous path of taking a raw startup idea to the rare milestone of profitability (first "ramen profitable" and ultimately revenue enough to grow on).

QA with Christian Crumlish and Jack O'Donoghue

Join in a conversation with our speakers to dicuss their presentations and more.

Day 2

  • November 13th
  • 11am–2:30pm AEST

Perception, Behavior, or Both

Randy Hunt & Preeti Kotamarthi, Head of Design, Behavioural Science Lead Grab

Design is a learning practice. We learn by designing. We design to learn. What are we trying to learn, though? What is the output of design? We design to learn if our decisions are capable of shaping human behaviour and shaping perception the way we intend to. Or are they shaping it in unintended ways?

How entrepreneurial is your product team?

Ben Wirtz, Chief Product Officer Aurelius

6 years ago, Benjamin F. Wirtz shut down his startup and became a Senior Product Manager at Atlassian. 4 years ago he wrote a blog post about the transition from founder to PM. He has upskilled over 1,000 product people since, but still gets emails about that blog post.

As the world economy is facing possibly the biggest recession in modern history, it's the entrepreneurial people who will propel organisations to excel in the new world – if organisations dare to hire them. WhatsApp's co-founder Brian Acton was famously rejected by Facebook, which bought his company 5 years later for $16bn as it was slowly disrupting Facebook.

Where are organisations going wrong when they reject entrepreneurial people, and how can entrepreneurs increase their 'product/market fit' with larger organisations? This talk will help both sides turn a lose-lose into a win-win.

QA with Randy Hunt & Preeti Kotamarthi and Ben Wirtz

Join in a conversation with our speakers to dicuss their presentations and more.

Refreshment break

Need a quick breather? Or why not share your thoughts with others attending? We'll be back soon.

What Do We Do Now?

Randy Silver, Director Out of Owls

The philosopher Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” This year has punched all of our roadmaps in the mouth. Hard.

For a while, the question is, what do we do now? A few months later and we’re asking, what do we do next?

In this session, Randy Silver guides you through the questions you need to be asking - and the conversations you need to be having - to ensure you and your team are working on the right things, right now.

Effective product management from crisis to the new normal

Cheryl Gledhill, Head of Product Zip Co Limited

Product managers are nothing if not adaptable. How do we remain effective product managers and thrive in our roles if remote Zoom sessions are to be our near-term future? How do we retain influence and continue to drive through innovation when we're in our yoga pants in our living room? What are some of the new challenges we're going to face in this covid 19/ post pandemic world?

QA with Randy Silver and Cheryl Gledhill

Join in a conversation with our speakers to dicuss their presentations and more.

Break time

Time for a quick break for a cup of coffee or tea. Chat to fellow attendees and speakers. Or visit one of our fantastic partners.

Design for Cognitive Bias: Using Mental Shortcuts for Good Instead of Evil

David Dylan Thomas, Author, speaker, filmmaker

Users' minds take shortcuts to get through the day. Usually they’re harmless. Even helpful. But what happens when they’re not? In this talk, based on my book from A Book Apart, I’ll use real-world examples to identify some particularly nasty biases that frequently lead users to make bad decisions. I'll then talk about some content strategy and design choices we can use in our apps, designs, and platforms to redirect or eliminate the impact of those biases. Finally, I'll explore our own biases as designers and some methods to prevent our own blind spots from hurting users.

Potato, Potato: Building Connection Between Product and Design

Jane Davis, Head of UX Research and Content Design Zapier

Product teams can benefit tremendously from both experimentation and research, but it can be difficult to understand when to apply each approach. This session will run through a framework for deciding when to experiment and when to do research and help people understand how to apply it to their own work.

QA with David Dylan Thomas and Jane Davis

Join in a conversation with our speakers to dicuss their presentations and more.

Day 3

  • November 20th
  • 11am–2:30pm AEST

Guardrails or handcuffs? Building creative and sustainable design systems

Mark Boulton, design director, writer, and speaker

The holy grail for design systems is akin to designing a game like chess or football: Create a system with simple, understandable and communicable rules that empower creative freedom and expression with limitless possibility.

Modern digital design systems take a different path: create modular, reusable components so we can quickly build on-brand products at scale.

The latter is always sold with the promise of the former.

In this talk, Mark will outline his approach to building design system products and teams that acknowledge the tensions that exist between the need to scale and the need to differentiate.

Breathing room for Design

Sharbani Dhar, Program Design Lead AusPost

Over the past few years, the digital team at AusPost has matured into one of the most well-functioning agile trains in Australia. The challenge in this journey to success was to ensure how design and discovery retain their customer centricity in an environment of rapid production (we deliver every. 3 days!). The need was to continue to be proactive instead of reactive in our approach to problem-solving.

Some of the challenges the design team had were

  • To ensure we had enough room for the right amount of research for the right problem while ensuring rapid delivery.
  • To ensure that all members of the team from Product to Development could collaborate like a true cross-functional team to come up with solutions to problems.
  • To ensure there was always enough fodder for the delivery trains to continue delivering while design and research would be doing their bit.

The talk will be a demonstration of how the Design team introduced 'dual-track' methodology of embedding design thinking into agile development trains and worked with the wider teams to incorporate it as a way of unpacking and delivering on complex customer problems.

QA with Mark Boulton and Sharbani Dhar

Join in a conversation with our speakers to dicuss their presentations and more.

Break time

Time for a quick break for a cup of coffee or tea. Chat to fellow attendees and speakers. Or visit one of our fantastic partners.

Make me pretty

Emma Carter, UX Design & Product Lead ThoughtWorks

According to research you’re going to spend 10% more time looking at my speaker profile than reading my Bio, which is a little bit creepy.

65% of the population are visual learners and more than 500 million people use Instagram daily to like photos, comment and post stories. Visual design is in our DNA and it impacts our overall product experience.

The rise of design sprints, MVP’s and simply getting an idea out there as fast as possible to test and gain feedback is great to validate an idea. The continuous delivery of products ensures we are always testing and constantly delivering better experiences to customers. However, the visual design of products and software is often seen as just adding the lipstick. Some delivery teams don’t even have time to go back over products and add the polish to create a better experience for customers, yet 65% of the population are visual learners.

How much impact does the visual aesthetics really have on the user behaviour and overall product experience?

During the 20 minutes, I will walk you though the impact visual aesthetics has on the user behaviour and overall product experience. How brands like Uber use visual elements to optimise pages. You will leave knowing more about how our brains work and process visual elements. How visual elements guide users attention and how brands are boosting their revenue by combining their brand and key user interface design. All of which is vital for any successful product.

How UX Can Help Us Humanize Products in the COVID-19 Era (and Beyond)

Ashley Hefnawy, Creative + UX Writer

How do we talk about the products we work with as designers, writers, strategists, and creative thinkers? As a UX Writer, I am often hired to help companies and brands "humanize" their voice, making sure that different aspects of the product experience are clear and easy to follow from a language lens. I have become known for my ability to transform complex subjects into digestible, human messages.

Many writers are known to do this, and what I'm asking is: instead of backtracking to use language as a means of humanizing products, what does it look like if the products themselves are more human friendly? As we move forward as a society and continue to build for humanity during and eventually post COVID-19, we must pay attention to the shifts that happen—in the ways we understand what humanization means for ourselves, how we relate to each other with community and care in mind, and how we relate to products.

This session will help attendees think creatively about what it might look like to live in a world where the products that make their way into our lives are actually given substantial thought, where brand loyalty is no longer just about great branding, where we evolve to build and create products that work to help us be better humans to ourselves and to each other.

QA with Emma Carter and Ashley Hefnawy

Join in a conversation with our speakers to dicuss their presentations and more.

Refreshment break

Need a quick breather? Or why not share your thoughts with others attending? We'll be back soon.

Machine Learning for Product Managers

Mat Travers & Matt Kelcey, Principal, Machine learning Product Principal ThoughtWorks

Machine learning offers huge potential across digital products but it continues to come with so much hype that it leaves us with more questions than answers. What new thing can we build we couldn't before? How do we introduce intelligence into existing products? How much data do we really need?

In this talk Mat and Matt given an overview of practical concerns in building machine learning powered products through a set of standard product management lenses including customer value, commercial viability, technical feasibility and end usability.

They step back and consider the strategic implications of Machine Learning and the potential to build sustainable competitive advantage, before diving into the practicalities of establishing ML product teams.

The triangle love: Product, Data and Growth

Albert Mai, Head of Growth Vero

In 2013, Albert made the bold move to Sydney from Vietnam via Singapore, to immerse himself in one of the leading startup ecosystems in the world.

Since then he's worked on numerous projects and with startups including AngelHack hackathon, Dolphin Browser, AVYLD, AsianPioneers, ZeroMail, IMWT, Airtasker, GlamCorner, TinyBeans and most recently, Vero.

QA with Mat Travers & Matt Kelcey and Albert Mai

Join in a conversation with our speakers to dicuss their presentations and more.

Day 4

  • November 27th
  • 11am–2:30pm AEST

Fair game: the ethics of telco fraud

Laura Summers, multi-disciplinary designer Debias.ai

How do we connect high-level principles with day-to-day product decision making? How do we move past the AI Ethics hype and start trying, testing and implementing practical approaches?

These questions are at the heart of Laura's work, and in this talk she shares stories, discoveries, and decisions from her time as an 'ethics ops' consultant embedded with a small team in a big telco.

From improving the science bit of data science, to developing the collective sensitivity of the team, to designing recourse for false positives, tune in for pragmatic pointers and actionable take-aways that you can try with your team right away.

Who's homeless because of what I designed?

Nicola Rushton, Product Designer

Product designers have power. We come up with ideas, and ship them to the world. And sometimes, those ideas take on a life of their own…. To severely unintended consequences. Twitter was designed as a micro-messaging platform, and ended up influencing world politics. Freaked out yet? Maybe we should be.

In this talk, Nicola shares one tool we can use to get a super-scaled perspective on our designs and the potential impacts they could have on the world, and what we can do with this information once we have it. She will also talk through one example of how this looks in the real world.

QA with Laura Summers and Nicola Rushton

Join in a conversation with our speakers to dicuss their presentations and more.

Refreshment break

Need a quick breather? Or why not share your thoughts with others attending? We'll be back soon.

It's time to get better at disclosure: An evidence-based toolkit

Nathan Kinch & Rob Hale, Founder and CEO, Chief Digital Officer Greater than Experience, Regional Australia Bank

Have you ever read an entire terms and conditions document? Have you ever been tasked with 'designing' one?

For most, the answer to both questions is no. In fact, if your only job was to read the privacy policies of every website you visited in a year, you'd be fully employed for 76 working days.

Although it's commonly cited that no one cares about this dilemma, the evidence suggests otherwise. People are resigned. They feel disempowered. They've become apathetic. As a result, they tick and forget. At Greater Than X we refer to this phenomenon as the Agreement Bypass Bias (ABB for short!).

The thing is, it doesn't have to be this way. Terms and Conditions, Product Disclosure Statements and Privacy Notices can be valuable, meaningful and engaging. This presentation will demonstrate how.

Nathan Kinch, Co-founder and CEO of Greater Than X, will share practical case studies from their Better Disclosure work, get you up close and personal with the Better Disclosure Toolkit and ensure that, by the end of the talk, you have access to new tools and approaches you can put into practice the following day. Nathan will be joined on stage by Rob Hale, Chief Digital Officer at Regional Australia Bank. Rob will share his candid perspective on the challenges and opportunities of putting this work into practice within a purpose and community driven, yet heavily regulated organisation.

No one likes the wool pulled over their eyes. This is how we, as product designers and developers, can ensure our customers never feel this way again.

Design Patterns for building Trust

Kate Linton, Head of Design ThoughtWorks Australia

Trust in banks is at an all time low in Australia. Following the Banking Royal Commission and the introduction of Consumer Data Rights (CDR), there is a critical focus within our financial institutions to re-establish trust with customers and introduce greater controls for users over their data and flexibility over their accounts and service providers.

ThoughtWorks, through our work with the banks and Government, are drawing upon customer friendly and repeatable Design Patterns for Banks, Financial Services and Corporates to enable a consistent approach to Open Banking and CDR, enabling these organisations to offer customers a far better experience that will slowly build back trust.

In this talk, we will share these design patterns and the insights learned through prototyping and testing with customers and merchants. These designs are based on principles that are relevant to all customer interactions. Learn about how these methods and patterns can be applied to give customers control in their online transactions and greater confidence over their financial decisions.

QA with Nathan Kinch & Rob Hale and Kate Linton

Join in a conversation with our speakers to dicuss their presentations and more.

Break time

Time for a quick break for a cup of coffee or tea. Chat to fellow attendees and speakers. Or visit one of our fantastic partners.

Designing responsibility during rapid technological change.

Meg Blake, Product and Design Consultant ThoughtWorks

It’s no wonder we are starting to see a rising public backlash toward tech companies, or ‘techlash’, that is defining the state of the tech world in 2020. We are seeing data breaches, unfair working conditions, social polarisation, bullying and harassment on social media becoming the norm. Technology has even become a threat to global democracy.

It’s clear that there is an urgent need for designers to evolve our design practice in the face of these seismic technology shifts. So what can we do better?

This talk will give you three strategies to help you create better and safer products that take everyone into consideration and allow you to take more responsibility in creating technology that reflects our human values and intentions.

With Great Addiction, Comes Great Responsibility

Raymond Dellar, Iteration Manager, Delivery Lead, and Agile Coach DiUS

When 0.4% of all users of Candy Crush generate more than 50% of the game's revenues, when attention translates directly into revenue, where a small number of super-users of platforms generate most of the content on those platforms, the line between "habit" and "addiction" has become well and truly blurred. Games, apps and online services are explicitly designed to trigger the same kinds responses as addictive substances and behaviours.

In this presentation Raymond Dellar will dissect how these addiction loops are built into products and the psychology behind why it works. He'll conclude by considering how we can use these lessons to help and improve our customer's lives, instead of draining them.

QA with Meg Blake and Raymond Dellar

Join in a conversation with our speakers to dicuss their presentations and more.

Find the conference pass for you

Attend Product alone, or as part of our comprehensive training platform, Conffab.

Conffab Premium

  • Conffab Premium Annual membership

  • Product conference

  • Product conference videos

  • $395 annually or
  • $39 monthly

Product Conference

  • Product conference

  • Product conference

  • $195 early bird, until Oct 2nd
  • $295 discount, before Oct 16th
  • $395 Standard

Pay What You Can

  • Product conference

  • Product conference

  • COVID19 Impacted your employment? We want to help with a pay what you can to attend option.

Product Conference

  • 4 in-depth sessions across November 2020
  • 12+ hours of content
  • World Leading experts
  • Hallway Track
  • Digital Swag

Product Conference Videos

All the Product conference presentations, captioned, transcribed and more

Conffab Presentation Library

1 year access to our growing library of hundreds of conference presentation videos

Conffab Premium Live Content

Access to all Conffab Premium live content, including Product://Remote our Product Design & Management conference in November

Conffab eBook and Online Course Library

Immediate 1 year access to our library of hundreds of ebooks and online courses from the likes of Packt, Wiley, Smashing, A Bok Apart and SitePoint.

Find the conference pass for you

Attend Product online, or as part of our comprehensive training platform, Conffab.

Conffab Premium Membership

  • Conffab Premium Annual membership

  • Product conference

  • Product conference videos

  • $395 or $39 monthly for 12 months

Conffab Premium

Product Conference

  • Product conference

  • Product conference videos

  • $195 early bird, until Oct 2nd
  • $295 discount, before Oct 16th
  • $395 Standard

Register for Product

Pay What You Can

  • Product conference

  • Product conference videos

  • COVID19 Impacted your employment? We want to help with a pay what you can to attend option.

Pay What You Can

Our venue

Product://remote 2020 will now take place wherever it's most convenient for you.

Taking place across 4 Fridays in November (or Thursdays for those east of the date line) at a time convenient from the US Pacific Coast to Hong Kong and Singapore, we're bringing world leading experts and ideas to you.

Product://remote will take place on Thursday November 5, 12, 19, 26 4pm–7:30pm Pacific Time, and on Friday November 6, 13, 20, 27 in New Zealand from 1pm–4:30pm, on Australia's East Coast from 11am–2:30pm, in Japan and Korea from 10am–1:30pm, and in Perth and South East Asia (including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Philippines) from 9am–12:30pm

Getting there:

Get out of bed, make a coffee, wander to your desk, and start right in. Or just watch from the comfort of your bed. If conditions allow watch in your office, or grab a team pass and watch together as a team.

No expensive flights, or long commutes, be part of it wherever you feel like.


No need for hotel rooms or airbnbs!

Praise for past Web Directions events

Phil Whitehouse
Web Directions is the must-attend event of the year for anyone serious about web development.

Phil Whitehouse,
Innovation Lead DigitasLBi

Ethan Marcotte
I’ve been admiring the Web Directions events for years, and was honored to be part… What a fantastic event!

Ethan Marcotte,
inventor "responsive Web design"

Dave Greiner
Out of any conference, Web Directions is far and away our favourite

Dave Greiner,
founder Campaign Monitor

About Us

Co-founded and now run by John Allsopp, Web Directions has for over a decade brought together leading developers, engineers, visual, IxD, UX and product designers, Art and Creative Directors, product managers indeed everyone involved in producing web and digital products to learn from one another, and the World's leading experts across this vast field.

We spend our lives thinking about what comes next, keeping up with trends in technology, practices and processes, and filtering the hype, to make sure you don't miss trends that matter, and don't waste time on hype that doesn't.

We promise attending one of our events will leave you significantly better versed in the challenges you face day to day, and in solutions for addressing them.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we're switching things up a bit for 2020. We'll be organising Product, Design, and Code as online conferences, and our annual extravaganza, Web Directions Summit will take place in Sydney as soon as it is practicable in late 2020 or early 2021.

vignettes from our events, social, speakers and more. Includes Hannah Donovan skylarking.

John Allsopp

John Allsopp has been working on the Web for over 20 years. He's been responsible for innovative developer tools such as Style Master, X-Ray and many more. He's spoken at numerous conferences around the World and delivered dozens of workshops in that time as well.

His writing includes two books, including Developing With Web Standards and countless articles and tutorials in print and online publications.

His "A Dao of Web Design" published in 2000 is cited by Ethan Marcotte as a key influence in the development of Responsive Web Design, who's rightly acclaimed article in 2010 begins by quoting John in detail, and by Jeremy Keith as "a manifesto for anyone working on the Web".

Code of Conduct

For over a decade, we've worked hard to create inclusive, fun, inspring and safe events for the Web Industry.

As part of our commitment to these values, we've adopted a code of conduct for all involved: ourselves, our speakers, our partners and our audience.

If you have any concern or feedback, please don't hesitate to contact us.