Samantha Starmer is a VP of Design at Capital One and a great example of a leader emphasizing collaboration across teams and products.
She started out at Amazon in e-commerce, moving through Microsoft, Razorfish, and REI, the outdoor gear and apparel company. At this point in her career she spends most of her time identifiying the the priorities for her teams and finding the best ways for working better together and creating the best customer experiences possible.
Samantha is excited about “expanding the work and viewpoint beyond products, beyond screens, beyond the things that we often spend our days and into more intangible areas such as designing strategy, designing stories and narratives, or even designing organizations.” She feels that doors and opportunities that have opened up to her in her own career through attention to these more non-traditional areas for designers.
Samantha describes how her background with both product and design have informed much of her career. She talks about “getting rid of what’s often an us versus them tension between the groups. How do we work more closely together in a unified way in order to deliver products and experiences and services that serve the business needs and serve the consumer needs?”
You can meet Samantha and hear her talk about this and much more at the conference at her session Separated at Birth, Why Product and Design Belong Together. A take-away for conference attendees will be ways of working that Samantha has been able to test and learn from that optimize being able to do work better together.