++ Nominees Announced ➜ 18 July ++ Be the Next Winner ➜ How to Enter

++ Nominees Announced ➜ 18 July ++ Be the Next Winner ➜ How to Enter

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Designers Should Lead the AI Conversation

As AI continues to shape the future, it is crucial to have critical conversations on how it should be designed. Who better to lead these conversations than designers?

In our UX Conversation, Sofia Ryan shares her journey from designing for marginalized communities in developing countries to leading design strategy and UX teams in the tech industry, emphasizing her shift towards design leadership and a strategic role in large corporations. She discusses the importance of comprehensive user research in crafting people-centered AI solutions, and reflects on the cultural nuances that influence user interaction with technology.

The conversation highlights the challenges and opportunities in embedding ethical considerations into AI development, stressing the role of designers in advocating for people-centric and culturally sensitive technology solutions. Sofia believes that the skills of designers enable them to lead a dialog about the importance of conscious, inclusive practices in today's technological landscape.

Our Guest:

Sofia Ryan is a Principal Design Director at Microsoft, working on the core AI autopilot team. She creates UX visions and strategies that bridge AI design goals with business objectives in the Microsoft 365 product ecosystem.

Sofia holds a master’s degree in product design and a PhD in user research and co-design. Her drive to connect design leadership skills with business strategy development led her to also take an executive MBA.

Sofia has worked as an academic researcher, design practitioner, chief product officer, and design leader. She has built global design teams and UX strategies in both larger enterprises and startups. She uses this broad experience not only to improve UX maturity in companies, but also to evolve design as a discipline to ensure that design gets a seat at the table.

Sofia is also a member of the jury for the UX Design Awards – Autumn 2024.

About the Format:

UX Conversations presents professional insights and personal stories by leading design personalities and the awards’ jury members. The one-on-one talks offer inspirations and valuable takeaways from diverse disciplines and professional fields, supporting designers in their own work and career.

Presented by Ake Rudolf, Head of Strategy / Award Director, International Design Center Berlin (IDZ)


Sofia Ryan

Principal Design Director, Microsoft