I wanted to post the notes from my conference talk for you. Wow, it was such a huge privilege to be able to share some of things I’ve learned in my own personal journey. If you want, you could also listen to the audio from all the conference sessions, including my own. But with this route, you get to see the slides I created and included in the talk as well. I’d love to hear your thoughts about these points in the comments, and get a discussion going.

Read the full notes and see the slides >>


The best thing about the conference for me was how intimate it felt. There was a commonality, a feeling of, “these are my people, and they get me.” New relationships were forged with ease, and it was great feeling like we were all there for a unified purpose. I wanted to post a few highlights from the talks I took the most notes from – hopefully you will be able to take away a nugget or two.

Kyle Steed

The work you do does not define who you are.
Talking about God is easy, having faith is hard.
Simplicity is the secret to seeing things clearly (Oswald Chambers). Don’t over think it.

Josh Blankenship

Designers/artists, you may as well know magic. Because most people don’t understand how we do what we do. Everything you don’t understand is magic. (Tim Berners Lee) Most magic has humble beginnings. Accept it, you are a wizard – that doesn’t make you special, it makes you necessary. We who know “magic” can help others who don’t. We get used to our own skills – to where it doesn’t seem magical anymore. If you don’t use your talents for anyone other than yourself, than the magic stops with you. Don’t complain about what you permit. What you build will have ripple effects not just in your world, but the world as a whole. You are building the world you are going to live in. What does the world need to look like? What good is magic if you don’t go on a quest?

Promise Tangeman

Cultivate thankfulness. Encourage others. Think of 5 people you can encourage today. Identify your strengths. Knowing who you are is key to filling yourself again. What makes you come alive? What are you passionate about? You can be passionate about a lot of things, but what are you most confident in? Find your rhythm so you don’t get stuck in cycles and ruts. Let your work simmer in the subconscious mind first before you tackle it. What can you adjust to create more efficient work flow?

Dan Mall

Design doesn’t tell the whole story. Your goal as a manager is to get your hires to their next job. All clients are created equal. But some clients are more equal than others. The client is your partner, part of your team, not an extension of your team. Big sites need smarter work not more work. Explore the genius of the tinker – find the adjacent possible (the connection in things). Create empathy, put yourself in your clients shoes.

Blaine Hogan

You are not a tool, you are a human. Tools cannot make beauty. Machines and tools break and fall apart. The world is not yet done. Relax + breathe (Sabbath principle). We are crazy and we don’t think God is real so we work our asses off. Embrace obstacles. Computers only give answers. Humans ask questions. It will never be easy work – The ground is cursed.  I want to love so well that evil wants to destroy me. We don’t always know how to increase our heart (Prov. 4:23) but we know how to lop off our limbs (self-sabotage). What are you doing now that is breaking your heart? Good design means you love people. When you put love into it, you make the best work. Don’t make work that functions out of mere utility. What am I really making? Am I loving well? Our work will be better if we can figure out how to be better humans. Good artists know themselves.