David Dylan Thomas

David Dylan Thomas speaking at UX Copenhagen 2023

The Content Design of Civil Discourse: Turning Conflict into Collaboration

In the current political climate, it seems like we’ve all but given up on productive, respectful discourse. However, there are simple design and content design choices we can make that encourage collaboration over conflict, even when dealing with hot-button issues. In this session we’ll look at real-world examples of how the way we phrase a question or design an interaction can have a huge impact on the quality of conversation, and the three rules they share.

David Dylan Thomas, author of Design for Cognitive Bias, creator and host of The Cognitive Bias Podcast, and a twenty-year practitioner of content strategy and UX, has consulted major clients in entertainment, healthcare, publishing, finance, and retail. As the founder and CEO of David Dylan Thomas, LLC he offers workshops and presentations on inclusive design and the role of bias in making decisions. He has presented at TEDNYC, SXSW Interactive, Confab, An Event Apart, LavaCon, UX Copenhagen (several times now!), Artifact, IA Conference, IxDA, Design and Content Conference, Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise, and the Wharton Web Conference on topics at the intersection of bias, design, and social justice.

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE HERE: https://uxcopenhagen.com/#tickets


Dave will also be hosting a separate, full-day workshop on March 21, 2023, on “The Inclusive Design: Creating a Bias-Informed Practice”. This one is not to be missed! We had an online version of it in 2022, and are super excited to host it once again, but live. 

The Inclusive Design: Creating a Bias-Informed Practice workshop is intended to help organizations come up with systemic ways to mitigate bias in their design processes. It begins with the acknowledgement that our users have biases and so do we and asks how might we use design and content tools and methods to reduce the harm those biases might cause (or even use some of our mental shortcuts for good). 

The outcomes are practical: 

  • Give participants experience using some of the methods (red team/blue team, ethical goal-setting, etc.) that lead to less-biased outcomes

  • Give participants a game plan for making changes within their organization to gradually implement increasingly inclusive design

  • Ultimately, change not only hearts and minds but budgets, and help participants understand the value of making these practices standard operating procedure in a way that is reflected in project plans and budget allocations. 

Summary agenda:

The first section gives attendees a grounding in how bias works and focuses on the biases our users have and how to use design and content strategy to mitigate or leverage them for good. 

    • Exercises focus on techniques that impact the believability of content and design approaches to reduce the opportunity for biased decision making. 

  • The next section focuses on internal, organizational biases and how they impact design. 

    • Exercises focus on mitigating bias in measurement and bias-informed approaches to turn internal conflict into collaboration. 

  • The final section focuses on our own biases as practitioners and establishing processes to mitigate those. 

    • Exercises give attendees practice in applying these methods to the design of a hypothetical product.


“As designers and technologists, it’s our responsibility to recognize bias and be more intentional about the products and services we introduce to the world. Dave’s workshop on understanding cognitive bias has been a tremendous step for our teams on the path toward making better, more enlightened decisions. By equipping us with new information, well-researched examples, and actionable techniques, we are now better prepared than ever to identify cognitive bias and make more effective decisions that benefit our customers, business, and brand.”   
– Brian Beaver, VP of Design at Turo 

TICKETS TO THE WORKSHOP ARE AVAILABLE HERE: https://uxcopenhagen.com/product/workshop-on-site-on-march-21st-inclusive-design-creating-a-bias-informed-practice-with-david-dylan-thomas/

Connect with Dave:
Dave’s talk from UX Copenhagen 2018: Design for Cognitive Bias
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