Siteworx Design Co-hosts a Screening of Design Disruptors

Cecily Mullen, an Experience Architect at Siteworx, recaps "Design Disruptors" and its impact on designers today.


On August 11th, Siteworx co-hosted a screening of Design Disruptors, a documentary film produced by InVision. Design is at the forefront of every business, now more than ever, and InVision’s film set forth to provide a look into how the leaders of design are “disrupting” billion dollar industries daily. Siteworx and Brllnt worked together to host the screening at the Wonderbread Factory in DC. Designers from WeWork and across the DC area gathered together to think critically about their craft, view the film, and of course, eat delicious popcorn. 

WeWork Wonder Bread Factory
The crowd gathers to watch "Design Disruptors" at the WeWork Wonder Bread Factory.

Before the screening began, our DC design team mingled with the gathering audience. The crowd consisted of other eager designers and UX gurus, many of whom were attracted to the event to see what InVision’s production was all about.

Corey Jones was one such attendee. He works as an Art Director at Forum One, a digital agency located locally in Alexandria, VA that focuses on the non-profit space. He was specifically attracted to the event because he and his team work daily with InVision. “We use InVision all the time, I actually introduced it to our company, and we’ve adopted it into our workflow […] We saw the advertisements for [the film] and we decided it was a great thing for our company to come out and to view and actually see how these other companies are using InVision and being productive design agencies."

Corey James
Corey Jones

Vianka Aloras and Sabrina Ritacco were also excited to be part of the screening event. Both are recent graduates of General Assembly’s User Experience program, and are passionate about the design community and the design process. Vianka said, “I’ve come to the event to hang out with more design oriented people, to network with the DC area, and to check out the documentary." Sabrina continued, “This felt really different. I feel like a lot of times you go to these meet ups to talk to people, but […] the trailer gave me goose bumps, it feels exciting. I feel like it has built excitement within the community that is cool to share."

Left: Sabrina Ritacco. Right: Vianka Aloras.
Sabrina Ritacco, left. Vianka Aloras, right.


Please stop reading now if you hate spoilers! If you like spoilers, or have seen the film, proceed at will. 


"Everything is designed. Few things are designed well.”Brian Reed

Design Disruptors is a beautifully crafted film. The documentary begins by laying out the design scene at various top tier companies and agencies. We are brought behind closed doors into inspiring spaces where incredible design teams work daily to innovate on and evolve their products. We hear from designers at Lyft, Google, Netflix, Airbnb, and Dropbox, just to name a few. All share their passion for user-driven design intertwined with business strategies.

The film focuses on the definition of design - it must make sense, it must be functional, and it must meet the needs of the user. Well-designed user-centric products make users happy (whether consciously or not), and ultimately make businesses stronger. Teams that adapt to navigate disruptive moments in history have and continue to create great things. Businesses that allow the design to flourish win in the end.

“It takes monumental improvement for us to change how we live our lives. Design is the way we access that improvement.” Mike Davidson

All in all, the film is a great overview of the design field. It not only reveals how product designers create their work day-to-day, but also reminds us why they became designers in the first place through inspirational quotes and nostalgic peeks into the past. While the film didn’t dive as deeply as I would have liked into the nitty gritty details of any specific product, objective, or industry, it was inspiring to see how many product companies have placed design at a higher level of priority for their business. It was also refreshing to hear designers' share their desire to create a positive impact in their users’ lives by crafting the best product they could.

After the credits started rolling, I found my new friends Corey, Vianka, and Sabrina. I was curious to hear what aspects of the documentary spoke most to them, which ideas resonated with their day-to-day design lives, and how they would in turn describe the film in their own words.

Corey found common ground in both his take on the design field and his day-to-day job. “For me, design has always been about solving problems. Just because you haven’t seen it done before doesn’t mean you can’t do it. I try to practice that in my design every day at Forum One.”  He continued, "It was actually kind of refreshing to see that we are already doing similar things as what a lot of the other companies were talking about, even though they are such different organizations than ours. And I think it’s just because designers tend to think alike and they want to do these things naturally and try new things."

Vianka, who is passionate about user experience design, brought it back to the users. “It comes down to the users, so the people. It is about being in tune with who you are designing for, which is crucial. I see day to day that that is the number one thing that should be top of mind. You are designing for others, not yourself, not even your team; it’s for those that will be using your product."

Sabrina boiled the film down to change. “Design supports change. Evolution. These changes are going to happen and design is right alongside of those things, making it happening."

WeWork Wonder Bread Factory


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