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Alister Coyne

Alister Coyne

Director of Product Design
Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Alister started his career doing experimental projects for Chupa Chups, Toyota and Adidas at Melbourne based startup Sputnik Agency. A broken heart led him to Edinburgh where he worked in design, film and theatre before heading down to London to work on websites and campaigns for audiences of up to 80 million people in multiple languages. He may be responsible for the downfall of Yahoo! by launching the biggest online advertising campaign ever, creating full page takeovers and interactive banners that were simply the most annoying thing ever made.

Alister moved into product design after a failed attempt to build a marketing automation platform for Affinity ID. He set up a brand new team of designers at Trade Me in Auckland producing work for Property, Motors, Jobs and Ads. He loves the vision that Auror strives for and solving real world problems in a transparent, collaborative fashion. He is also severely deaf, and relies on hearing aids and lip reading to get through the day.

Upcoming Talks and Workshops

Design team of one

It’s your first day at Company X. The company has a vision (or maybe they don’t?). The company has a deadline. They have a team ready to start work.

And we have you. Design team of one.

Welcome, we’ve been waiting for you.

It can be very daunting or very exciting to be a solo designer. And depending on where you’ve worked in the past, it can be very lonely.

My talk is about how I re-designed a startup platform from scratch, lessons learned along the way and how being a solo designer is the best thing in the world, until it’s not.

So where do you start?

I’ll work through all the challenges I faced in what I consider a healthy startup environment. My goal is to break down how to look at the big picture and look at how you can make practical shortcuts along the way.

Past Talks and Workshops

Design team of one


There is a strong backlash about the perceived failures of Human Centred Design (HCD) and its contribution to contemporary macro problems. There seems to be a straightforward connection: HCD and Design Thinking have been adopted by organisations and are increasingly a part of product/experience development, especially in big tech. But the full picture is more complex than that and HCD really does have some issues. In this talk we cover a little history to show where HCD came from and discuss the current context of use. But mostly we present a future of post-HCD. What is it? How is it different from today? We look at being post-human and a move away from anthropocentrism. Then we turn to post-centred and reconnect with systems thinking and assemblage theory. Finally, we question the very term ‘design’ and ask what post-design is required to be.

In this talk: