Des Traynor

Des Traynor is the chief operating officer at Intercom.

Des has a long and illustrious career in the field of user experience design, moving effortlessly between the worlds of academia and practice. Until recently Des was the user experience lead at Contrast.ie, a company known affectionately (by us) as the “Clearleft of Ireland.” However in 2011 they were so excited by a new product idea that they decided to close down the agency and jump into the start-up world—and so Intercom was born

The last couple of years sound like they’ve been a rollercoaster ride, and one that’s tested much of the known wisdom around UX. So we’re really excited to have Des present a 3-hour master class on the lessons he’s learnt running a start-up, and how that’s fundamentally changed his approach to UX design. So if you’re a UX designer wanting to engage with the start-up community, this session is a must!

Where UX meets Business Strategy


As a UX designer, identifying the strategy driving a business is an archaeological process. You set out to work on a homepage re-design, but after many layers of what’s and why’s you find yourself immersed in business strategy rather than screen design.

Business insights such as knowing the difference between sustenance and disruption, the rules of two-sided-markets, or how to orient a company around a job-to-be-done, should heavily influence UX design. The better versed a designer is in business strategy, the better equipped they are to design products that embody it. As anyone who's been asked to “make it viral” knows, business strategy must be built into a product, not retro-fitted to tick a box. Similarly the stronger an understanding of UX design a product owner possesses, the better equipped they are to make trade-offs and identify new opportunities.

Steeped in practical examples and case studies this workshop covers the insights gained from sitting at both sides of the table, and highlights the multiplicative benefits from knowledge of both business strategy and UX design. Attendees will leave with detailed knowledge of business strategies that can be applied when planning new products, or improving existing ones.

Reasons to attend

  • 1Spend 3 whole days improving your UX skills
  • 2Meet your peers and share new ways of thinking
  • 3See world class speakers from the UX industry

"I came. I listened. I stayed. Great event, great crowd, great venue. Learn, network, enjoy."

Don Norman Speaker at UX London 2009