Notes from Microsoft Design Day 2019 —  Open for business

Design Day is a day of community and training dedicated to the design-minded at Microsoft. The goal is to bring design teams together to share experiences, strategies, and superpowers to translate our creative talent into success stories. It was held at the Meydenbaeur Conference center, about a 10 minutes drive from the main Microsoft campus in Redmond.

This year’s theme, “Open for business”, is all about design having a seat at the table.

What will you do with your seat at the table?

Jonah Sterling ,General Manager of Design at Microsoft, opens the event by emphasizing our role as designers and what we need to know to make business impact.

The sessions were grouped into 3 main tracks:

  1. MBA in a Day: Own your seat at the table. Learn to articulate and sell your design decisions to stakeholders and drive your business impact at Microsoft.
  2. Tools of trade: Make it work. Build your toolkit and learn best practices to collaborate across the company and disciplines to deliver product impact.
  3. Future Forward: Learn about future Design directions, broaden your cross-discipline knowledge and reflect on next steps in your career.

In addition to the talks, there was also an expo with student ambassadors from several schools presenting their work. Microsoft Design partners with universities and high schools around the world on a product design challenge.

I was glad to join the company just in time to attend this event, as it was a great opportunity for me to meet designers from other teams outside my own product area. I was most interested to learn about how finance works at Microsoft because it gave me a better understanding of what matters to the stakeholders. This would definitely help me create better and more convincing stories when I present my designs.

In this article, I would like to share some notes from the talks I’ve attended throughout the day.

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