Unity Design Summit

The Situation

Years of rapid expansion, numerous acquisitions, and uncertainty led to significant shifts in personnel, corporate dynamics, and even our physical location. The pandemic persisted, dampening morale and engagement across the organization. Recognizing the imperative for change, our leadership embarked on a mission to cultivate a unified, nurturing design culture.

Charged with leveraging my expertise, network, and innovative vision, I was tasked with crafting an event that would not only unite the team but also redefine our approach to collaboration and creativity.







Locations Represented




Pechakucha Talks


Keynote Presentstions



Not my day job

I organized this event alongside product design responsibilities and team management.

Global Pandemic

Amidst the uncertainty of the Covid pandemic, we deliberated on whether to host the event in-person, remotely, or through a hybrid format, or whether we should do it at all.

Moving goalposts

As we began planning, our team comprised approximately 60 members, with projections indicating a growth to up to 125 by the time of the event.

My Role & Team

Creative Director

  • Executed successfully on a vision
  • Selected themes that were woven throughout the experience
  • Developed branding to reflect themes
  • Selected themes that were woven throughout the experience

Designer, Writer, Researcher

  • Wrote most communications that went out before, during and after the event
  • Designed and handled logistics for swag and signage
  • Designed and built website
  • Worked with researchers to conduct and analyze participant surveys

Project Manager

  • Lead organizer and coordinator
  • Managed a large budget
  • Managed a large budget
  • Wrangled volunteers, AV, and content providers


  • Selected Vendor Partner: Tangible UX
  • Photographer
  • IT and Workplace Services for AV, room and catering setups
  • Senior leadership team
  • Administrative assistants
  • Design team volunteers
  • Brand designers

My Approach

Decisive Leadership

I drafted the RFP, evaluated proposals, and selected a vendor, Tangible UX, for help with programming and logistics. I obtained support for the proposed program and executive approval on the budget. Leveraging my IXDA network and experience, I made programming decisions, prioritizing in-person participation and selecting an ideal location.

Design Thinking and Collaboration

From concept to execution and beyond, I navigated every stage. Audience feedback guided decisions, while research and collaborative sessions shaped the theme and branding. Working alongside the vendor, I crafted all content and oversaw logistics seamlessly.

Being Inclusive

Established a volunteer committee to drive collaboration. Led creative exploration sessions, empowering team members to take on roles as presenters, facilitators, and content designers. Enlisted a DEI expert to ensure inclusive content creation.

Project Goals

Strategic Content Themes

I was fortunate to partner with Sudha Darling as part of our engagement with Tangible UX. She wrote about the difference between event planning and experience design in the context of Unity Design Summit.

Themes were woven into each aspect of the event from initial planning to post-event activities.


Pre-Summit: Building engagement

An interactive “hype-week” Figjam board allowed participants to connect and learn about one another before arriving. A website was created to boost excitement, and provide logistics and information. A series of Slack prompts encouraged participants to upload selfies during the event and evening activities.

Day 1: Kicking things off with lunch and bocce!

Getting things started by connecting and having fun.

Day 2: Workshops facilitated by industry experts

Interactive workshops led by industry experts fostered inspiration, skill building and creativity.

Day 3: Our own “Experts Among Us” took the lead

Workshops and lightening talks led by our own team fostered bonding, diversity, belonging and leadership development.

Post-Summit Survey Results

Results from a participant survey, showed that in almost unanimous consent, people felt they were able to connect with their peers in meaningful ways. Here's a selection of survey comments:

“The simple sketching workshop has transformed the way I approach content.”
“Love the special attention to detail and care for a wonderfully inclusive conference.”
“Feeling more united and connected than ever!”


Designers from our amazing marketing team developed an incredible brand that truly captured our themes of connection and belonging.


  • Events like this are a lot of work and totally worth it.
  • Include other teams like Product Managers.
  • Find ways to extend the glow -- it was difficult to keep the momentum when everyone has to get back to work.
  • There is never enough budget.