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Wayne Miller of ExxonMobil talks about speaking at Big Design

How many Big Design conferences have you attended?
This will be my third Big Design conference. I like the new venue!

Can you briefly tell me what your talk is about?
Ever wonder why some people are great with people, but terrible with details – or someone else might do high quality work, but they take too long because they are lost in the details?  It turns out that there are some pretty fundamental behavioral patterns for people, and we’ve found that the DiSC behavioral model (a tool that’s been in use for decades) helps us understand the core behaviors and adapt our approach to teams and individuals.  I want to share how DiSC has helped us learn about our differences, understand why some teams gel, and how we’ve used DiSC to make our teams stronger.

Why that topic?
Building great teams and interacting with people is the core of what we do.  A big part of making teams gel is thinking about harmonious personalities on teams, how to recognize and respect our differences, and interact dynamically with others. The DiSC model equips people with tools to do that well and has changed how we approach getting teams to gel.

Why did you choose to speak at Big Design?
I really enjoy being a UX professional at ExxonMobil. I think we are working on really hard, interesting problems. It’s important for us to share that with others; especially if they might be interested in the kind of work we do also. I think it’s important for companies and practitioners to talk about what they are doing and share with others. Big Design is a great place to do that because it’s a local community where connections can be more lasting and easier to maintain.

What are you looking forward to at Big Design, other than your talk of course? Why?
The expo is my favorite part of the conference. I really enjoy networking with others at the event. We are looking to meet designers, researchers, agencies, suppliers, students, professors, and leaders that might be interested in sharing with us or working with us. The conference has a nice-sized mix of all those kinds of people; we’ve gotten a lot out of meeting with them. Hope others will stop by our booth and say hi!

What keeps pulling you back to the conference year after year?
ExxonMobil has been growing its UX program a lot in the last couple of years. We are looking for great UX professionals who are looking to solve tough, technical design problems that have an impact on the world. Big Design is one of those places where we get to meet them. We’ve enjoyed the opportunity to meet with potential candidates at the job expo.

For someone who is trying to pitch the conference attendance to their boss, what would you say is the biggest selling point of Big Design?
I suppose that really depends on the boss! I’d probably mention that Big Design has a very low cost for ticket and travel for the quality of the conference. One of the days is a Saturday, so you aren’t even missing work that day.

For our out-of-town guests, what is the coolest thing about the DFW area? 
I’m also an out-of-towner! I don’t know the DFW area very well.

What is the best way that people get in touch with you?
I’m @wcmille on Twitter. Also go to for my company’s information.

Is there anything else you’d like to add about Big Design? 
I’m pretty excited about the Enterprise track of talks forming up this year. It’s nice to see a good blend of Enterprise speakers in the mix; those are talks and speakers I always feel I learn a lot from.

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