Design & Product


Chris Linnett
VP of Design @ Typeform

Chris is VP of Design at Typeform supporting both the product design and communication design teams. He's created award-winning products and services on mobile, web, and desktop at giants and challengers including Spotify, Nokia, and Microsoft. He's led globally distributed organizations and nurtured user-centered thinking beyond design teams.

He's a frequent speaker and judge--sharing ideas and recognizing the great work of others. He has a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, which he describes as a truly deep dive into Human-centered thinking. This aligns perfectly with Typeform's vision of making things a little more human. He's based in sunny Barcelona which is warming his L.A. roots after extended and enjoyable stays in London and Seattle.

This is his first visit to Tallinn and he's excited to be speaking at Refresh.


Can You See The User in This Experience?

You can see his slides here.

Like the viral photos, it's not always obvious that a user is anywhere to be found. Discover secrets to increase your chances of seeing the user. Learn tricks for including them in your experience. Unlock the power of HX. And join the movement of making things a little more human.



Willie Tran
Growth @ Dropbox

Willie does Growth at Dropbox primarily focusing on building out the self-serve upsells growth engine. This essentially means he comes up with crazy ideas, implements them, analyzes user behavior data, and repeat. Prior to that, Willie was one of the first employees and the Head of Product at Testlio. Every so often he'll write about how to implement growth experiments correctly on his blog. Oh and he thinks "growth hacking" is total bullshit.

Follow Willie on Medium and Twitter.


How to design experiments that don't suck

You can see his slides here.

Over the last five years, we’ve seen a rise in companies starting to incorporate A/B testing as part of their Product Development process. Between using tools like Optimizely or building your own A/B testing system, the ability to setup an A/B test is available to almost any company. Bad experiments aren’t experiments that don’t win. The vast majority of the experiments you run are not going to be winners. A/B tests are learning opportunities, and a well designed experiment takes full advantage of that. This talk is going to go over what I think about when setting up an experiment at Dropbox. This will range from gathering ideas to analyzing results and next steps



Inga Chen
Product Manager @ Squarespace

Inga Chen is a Product Manager at Squarespace in New York leading the user-facing analytics team, which turns data into actionable insights to help Squarespace's millions of website owners make better business decisions.

Previously, Inga was a Product Manager of Data Insights and Fleet Telematics at Automatic Labs, a connected car startup in San Francisco leveraging machine learning and data science to empower drivers with knowledge about their driving behavior and car health. Prior to Automatic, Inga was a technology investment banker at Jefferies.

She is a Bay Area native and holds bachelor's degrees in Environmental Economics & Policy and Technology, Energy & Society from the University of California, Berkeley. Inga enjoys hiking, ballet, and squash in her free time.

You can follow Inga on twitter and check out her webpage for more information.


Machine Learning from a Product Perspective

You can see her slides here.

The trends of big data and cost-effective computing power have given way to an unprecedented focus on developing machine learning algorithms and open source tools, making machine learning more accessible and powerful today than ever. But building machine learning products is about much more than picking the right algorithm or library. It's a product manager's job to use machine learning for the right problems, and to make sure the end user experience solves those problems and fosters user trust. This talk will illustrate machine learning concepts through applications in products, provide a framework for determining problems that are good for machine learning to solve, and talk about how the product development cycle for machine learning-enabled products might differ from traditional software.



Una Kravets
UI Engineer @ DigitalOcean

Una Kravets is a speaker, technical writer, open source advocate, and UI Engineer on the Front-end Infrastructure team at DigitalOcean. She’s written for various online publications such as A List Apart, Smashing Magazine, and Sitepoint. Una also co-hosts the Toolsday podcast and started both the DC and Austin Sass Meetups. She's a performance nerd, loves the open source community and listens to way too many audio books.

Follow Una on Twitter and her blog.


The Power of CSS

You can see her slides here.

Description: CSS and HTML alone are much more powerful than people tend to give them credit for. This talk will go over some of these superpowers. From fauxtoshop to recreating common UI elements and querying for browser information via at-rules, CSS gives you a lot of control. This talk will go over some of those patterns and capabilities, keeping accessibility in mind along the way. You’ll definitely learn some tricks and hacks and why you should or shouldn’t use them.



Sean Li
Co-Founder @ Kitematic

A co-founded Kitematic - a desktop app making Docker more accessible to everyday developers. After gaining some traction, Kitematic was acquired by Docker. Sean was the design lead there for two years, responsible for bringing their technology into the enterprises, widening the top user funnels, and introducing design as a key function within the company.

Check out Sean's home page.


More Than Meets The Eye

You can see his slides here.

There are many misconceptions about what design is - it’s not always about what you see on the surface, such as UI and aesthetics. There are many more deep-seated, “invisible” design principles and techniques that can help drastically elevate your company’s brand and user experience. In this talk, I’ll be sharing some of them that have made many users very happy while using products we built at Docker and my previous ventures.



Martin Salo
Co-Founder @ Realeyes

Martin co-founded Realeyes and has led the product development of the platform to become the tool of choice for many of the fortune 500 companies to optimize their video content and media buying based on true emotional reactions of the audience.


Emotional experiences that sell: lessons from the advertising world

Creating an experience that makes people happy and care passionately about a product is at the top of the agenda for many designers and product leaders, but building the kind of an emotional connection that brands like Apple or Spotify have done is also extremely difficult.

Realeyes has measured how millions of people around the world react emotionally to tens of thousands of advertisements from some of the top brands in the world. Those brands are spending billions on advertising and the best of them have learned how to use emotions in story-telling to make people feel better, engage more, and grow their market-share faster.

Can we use the lessons we have learned from measuring advertising and content to design products that create a deeper and longer lasting emotional connection with the users?

Kair Käsper
Head of Engagement @ Pipedrive

Kair is the Head of Engagement at Pipedrive where his team works on making users fall in love with the product. He’s also a cat enthusiast, co-founder of QualityKitten - a QA tool for support teams and loves to travel the world.

Converting interest into $

You can see his slides here.

We’ll look at the user retention graph of a typical SaaS business and experience what is known to many first-time founders as the WTF?! moment.

The majority of the hard-earned new users leave your product long before their trial runs out, many of them already on the first day.

But why do users who looked around on your website and took the time to sign up leave so quickly?

Usually it’s one of the following:

  • they didn’t understand what they should do in your product
  • they didn’t understand how to do it
  • they didn’t think it was worth the effort (they thought your product sucks)
  • your product actually sucks

During our 30 minutes together we’ll look a frameworks, tools and practices that help to solve three out of the four reasons.

And you’ll also learn the shocking answer to “Where are all the baby pigeons?”


Jonn Galea
Lead Product Designer @ Lingvist

Jonn is the Lead Product Designer at Lingvist, where he spends his days dreaming up and executing experiences tailored for users with a desire to learn. His other roles within the company include Chief Pho Eater and Head of Basketball Highlights.

Follow Jonn on Twitter and LinkedIn. He also has a home page.


Designing for learning applications

You can see his slides here.

Designing a good user experiences is tough at the best of times, it becomes even more challenging when the interface you are creating is an educational platform. During this talk, we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to approach UX for learning and take a peak at how we do it at Lingvist.

Ruth John
Web Technologist

Ruth is a web technologist and Google Developer Expert. She likes to educate people about new web technologies and inspire them to try them, coming up with exciting and engaging ways to use them. She’s a founding member of { Live: JS }, a collective of audio and visual artists that solely rely on JavaScript to create their performances. Her favourite things include interactive audio/visual installations and 80s cartoons, usually at the same time!

Follow Ruth on Twitter and check out her homepage.


How to be a Web AV Artist

Come and be fascinated by the world of audio visualisation in a browser. This isn't just about creating stunning data vis to music! We see how we can pipe data realtime into custom properties to enhance our visuals. The speaker re-addresses how we analyse sound via the Web Audio API and proposes a better way of processing the data to better suit music, and, to top it all off, we harness the Web MIDI API for full hardware control as well. You may not think it, but this really is a talk with a great deal of take-aways and new techniques for you to consider in your coding life.


Serg Hospodarets
Lead Front-End Developer

Serg is a Lead Front-End Developer / Engineering Manager based in Dublin. He loves the Web and shares his knowledge in his blog. Being a big fan of moving CSS and JavaScript forward, Serg participates specifications debates and discusses new features with the community. He likes to stay on top of the latest Web technologies and browser additions, participates their development, standardization, and enhancement.

Serg highlights all this and the browsers/DevTools additions on Twitter as @malyw.

CSS Houdini - from CSS Custom Properties to JavaScript Worklets and back

You can see his slides here.

Today CSS Custom Properties are supported in all the major browsers.

Now it’s time to do the next step- to have an ability to register new Custom Properties from JavaScript and setup the browser how to work with them (e.g. real CSS polyfills). They should work with the same performance as the native CSS properties, being animatable and aligned with CSSOM.

Custom Properties can be used as a bridge between CSS and JavaScript.

Houdini Task force introduces specs and JavaScript Worklets to expose the interaction with previously fully internal browser rendering mechanisms (during Paint, Layout, Composite stages).

All this brings Front-End development to the next level, parts of which are already available for the developers.

Umar Hansa
Web Developer

Umar Hansa is web developer based in London. He runs a mailing list focussed on DevTools. Speaking at conferences around the world, Umar is also a technical writer, video course creator and a Google Developer Expert. Having previously worked at Shazam for 5 years, he now works at Sitepen as a JavaScript Engineer. 

You can follow Umar on Twitter as @umaar, sign up to his Dev Tips Mailing list or check out his DevTools Video Course

A Modern Front-End Workflow with DevTools

You can expect to learn hidden DevTools secrets but also how to adopt a modern development and debugging workflow. This talk is important for any web developer or designer who wants to understand and debug the internals of a webpage quickly and with ease. It will also cover a few CSS tools, performance profiling and debugging techniques, all with the goal of mastering your authoring workflow to ensure your development workflow is highly optimised.

Jana Beck
Software Engineer

Jana took the long road to web development with a significant delay as a Ph.D. candidate in linguistics doing a lot of scientific computing in Python. Today she creates data visualization applications and tools, typically with a stack including D3, React, and Redux. When she's not coding or sleeping, there's a high probability that Jana is sweating in a gym or a dance studio.

Read more about Jana from her homepage.


Generating therapy in JavaScript

You can see her slides here.

JavaScript got generator functions in ES2015, but perhaps—unlike other ES2015 features you haven’t used them yet. The disruption of the “normal” control flow that occurs with generators can feel a bit like turning your brain inside-out, but generators are worth learning. For example, it’s necessary to write generator functions when using redux-saga, a popular add-on for performing side effects in apps that use redux for state management.

In this talk, we’ll seek to understand generators through the metaphor of conversation, modeling the relationship between a generator function and its calling context as a turn-taking relationship, just like a (good) conversation. We’ll also find that we can take our metaphor literally and have a lot of fun with it: chatterbots are a natural application for generator functions. After starting with a simple gibberish bot that responds to user input, we’ll expand to a generator implementation of Eliza (everyone’s favorite therapist chat bot), so that JavaScript can provide not just our livelihood but our therapy too.

Sam Bellen
Front End Software Engineer @ madewithlove

Sam is front-end developer at madewithlove, a small app development company based in Belgium, but with employees all over the world.

For his day to day job Sam is in charge of creating challenging user interfaces and make applications nice to work with.
After office hours he likes to play around with the web-audio API, and other "exotic" browser APIs. One of his side projects is a library to add audio effects to an audio input using JavaScript.

When he is not behind a computer, you can find him playing the guitar, having a beer at a concert, or trying to snap the next perfect picture.

You can follow Sam on twitter or read more about his thoughts on his blog.


I didn’t know the browser could do that!

You can see his slides here.

The times when a browser simply had to parse and show some markup are long gone. These days they are full of interesting APIs exposing various information and behavior to web developers. This talk will walk you through a few of these APIs, some of which you might know, some maybe not. I will show a quick example of what the API can do, and how to use it.


Russell Smith
Head of Paid Social @ TransferWise

As one of the first marketing hires, Russell has spent the last 3 years at TransferWise helping the business grow via Facebook and other Social Media.

You can follow Russell on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Mission Driven Marketing

You can see his slides here.

Learn how TransferWise's mission drives it's marketing & growth