Ben Sauer is a product and design leader, speaker, and author on the potential of design, possible futures, voice technology and team culture.
From 2018 to 2020, Ben worked at Babylon Health, first as a Director of Design, and then Director of Product where he led a large team of 100 designers, clinicians, data scientists, and engineers on AI-based products worth $100m+.
Having previously worked at Clearleft, Ben has worked with organisations like the BBC, Pearson, Tesco, and TCS to raise their product game.
Some of his achievements include –
- redesigning the social network of a $100 billion dollar company with 400K employees (TCS)
- designing an app that won Apple’s Newsstand app of the year (Evo)
- designing a ground-breaking science journal (eLife)
- worked at the award-winning, design-changing agency Clearleft
- used information architecture to help a city save decades of time, and procure millions of pounds for digital transformation (Brighton and Hove City Council)
Ben has been speaking and training people all around the world, with a focus on voice UI for several years; particularly in how to rapidly design conversational experiences. Teams at Amazon and the BBC use his methods, and through O’Reilly, he’s trained folks at NASA. He’s also spent many hours at home removing the ridiculous things that his kids have added to Alexa’s shopping list.
Ben find ways in which digital products can better meet the needs of people and has advised teams across the world on what and how to design. Ben has also created voiceprinciples.com so designers can find all the best voice design principles in one place.
Bens first book “Death by Screens: How to Present High Stakes Digital Design Work and Live to Tell the Tale” was published in 2023.
Ben Sauer has spoken at dozens of events and companies around the world (The Economist, NEXT Conference, VW / Audi, UX London, Penguin Random House, UX Scotland, Reakt Breakpoint Helsinki, Smart Voice Summit, amongst others). His speech topics include –
- The Potential of design
- Possible Futures
- Team Culture
- Voice Technology
Some examples of recent talks include –
Always Be Creating Clarity: daily habits for strategic storytellers
The secret of gaining strategic influence isn’t what you say about design, it’s the story around it. From mindful metaphors to hard-hitting headlines, Ben will share some of the skills you need to become an engaging, clear communicator, taken from his book Death by Screens, how to present high-stakes digital design work and live to tell the tale.
Mind Your Metaphor
Is the iPhone really a ‘phone’? Is Alexa really an ‘assistant’? Humans love to communicate by analogy. The way we describe new ideas both unleashes and limits their potential at the same time. In this talk, Ben will take you through the unexpected use of metaphors in our strange technological history. He’ll show you how important they are when you’re creating change or making new things, and how to strengthen your ideas with a better choice of metaphor. This talk is for anyone involved in innovation who is interested in framing their ideas successfully.
Slow down to speed up: how efficiency is killing true innovation
Organisations making software have become obsessed with speed. Methods like Lean and Agile have been adopted dogmatically: efficiency is the rule, and business leaders are lapping it up. What we may have forgotten, is that many of the innovations we rely on every single day weren’t created this way. In this talk, Ben will examine the problems of the modern production process, recap how some of our most important innovations really happened, and propose a way forward.
Principles of Voice Design – Consumer behaviour is changing faster than organisations can keep up: smart speakers have grown faster than smartphones. As we move towards a voice-driven future, what should designers be doing to stay relevant? In this talk, Ben will give some practical advice on being a part of the voice future.
Ben Sauer is a very engaging speaker. He combines great story telling with clear lessons, providing an audience with very different backgrounds with solid ideas on how to raise their game.
— Monique van Dusseldorp- Event Curator, NEXT Conference
Ben is engaging, clear, got the audience involved, and explained the topic of voice really well.
— Chris Gathercole - Financial Times