Design Practices Lead,
ExxonMobil, USA

As Design Practices Lead at ExxonMobil, Nick Cochran’s mission is to promote understanding of human centered design, to make design work in ExxonMobil, and to make designers more impactful. He leads a central design operations team focused on enabling design through education, careers, community, & practices.

Nick’s passion for design started back in the 80’s with Lego and then found a more practical outlet in the 90’s with web site design. After working as a developer for several years at ExxonMobil, he realized his passion for crafting great experiences had a formal home and a future in the world of design. In 2015, he turned this passion for design into a role as head of the fledgling User Centered Design team.

About 4 years later, the design discipline has grown to over 100 people, the UCD mindset and practices have permeated the culture of the IT division, and the principles of design thinking and human-centered problem solving are making significant inroads into all major business units. Nick Cochran now has his sights on an even larger goal: teaching people the proper way to pronounce GIF. Nick currently resides in Spring, TX with his incredible wife and their three delightful children.

30 min Case study

Targeted to ELITE – Expert

Growing Enterprise Design Through Making Connections

Designers are known for their ability to make connections—to take in a wide variety of diverse data points and find meaning through patterns and associations. As designers in enterprise, we can use this ability to be more effective partners and leaders. In his journey with design at ExxonMobil, Nick Cochran has thrived on finding and making these organizational connections. This talk will highlight how he has used this ability, featuring examples of connections made and some he wished were made sooner. He will also share some practical methods to collect these data points so that more valuable connections can be made.

Track 2: Design Leadership & Influence

Three key takeaways

1. Finding & making connections can help to cut through the chaos of working in large companies.
2. Making connections is hard work, so some strategies can be helpful.
3. As a leader, I need to encourage my teams to be connection makers and provide spaces for this to happen.

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