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Donna Spencer

Donna Spencer

Principal product designer
Melbourne, Australia

Donna Spencer is a product designer at MakerX. She has extensive experience in user experience, service design, workshop facilitation and information architecture. She has worked in government, education, with startups and much more.

She is a regular conference and meetup speaker, article author and has written 5 UX-related books. She was the founder of UX Australia and ran it for 9 years. She sews, weaves and knits, and is currently renovating an old house. Her cats are known around the world as they like to ‘contribute’ to all presentations and meetings.

Upcoming Talks and Workshops

Facilitating design thinking workshops


Workshops are a fantastic way to get a group to work together - usually to understand and solve some kind of problem. However, it can be hard to get people working well together and keep them on track for an extended amount of time.

In this (educational) workshop, you will learn how to plan and facilitate a design workshop that achieves great outcomes and actively involves everyone in the room.

It will cover:

  • Forming concrete goals for the session
  • Deciding on structure and methods
  • Running the workshop itself
  • Reading the room, managing people and making sure everyone is included
  • Neutral facilitation
  • Managing time and space
  • Helping people create - craft, drawing and storytelling

This will be a workshop within a workshop. It will be entirely activity-based, with learning embedded into activities and reinforced with theory and material to follow-up later. We'll focus primarily on skills for in-person workshops, but will also discuss how to modify methods for online workshops.

Designing for web 3

As more companies look at opportunities to use web3 to achieve business goals, designers will increasingly need to understand how to design for it. Of course, web3 isn't just one thing - you might need to design for the metaverse, finance applications, NFT projects and more. Will your existing design skills stretch to this new domain or will you need to work in a different way? In this session we'll look at the similarities and differences between web2 and web3, discuss what you might need to learn, what challenges you might face and what you might need to do differently.

Past Talks and Workshops

Presenting design work: And getting great feedback


As designers, we spend a large amount of time talking about our work - probably as much as doing the work itself. Sometimes our clients understand what we're talking about and know how to respond, but not always. Sometimes they seem to comment on things that aren't relevant, aren't in their expertise, and that we just can't do anything about.

In this talk, you'll learn how to present design work in a way that gets great (i.e. critical, not complimentary) feedback every time. It will cover:

- how to prepare the audience to focus where you want them to

- how to present the work so they understand it well

- how to teach them to give great feedback

It's super-practical and you will be able to walk out with tactics for your very next presentation.

In this talk:

The FAQ of IA

Information Architecture
In this talk: