Jury Member

Nicola Ralston

Senior Director of Design, Experiences and Devices Group, Microsoft

Seattle, United States

An accomplished Designer and Design leader with extensive experience building and leading Design, Research & Product teams for global consumer brands. Nicola is at the forefront of driving creative and strategic design thinking, integrating & positioning this across complex global business environments, distilling complexity to deliver what’s right for the customer. With a solid focus on enabling and delivering rich product experiences, she works across research, physical, digital; overall UX to also help brands reposition and transform.  Having had a Design Career in Automotive design working for brands such as Ford, Hyundai and Kia she then moved on to Nokia inspired by their global reach and their ambition for connecting people.   For Microsoft Experiences and Devices group Nicola leads a human centered design team and approach that works to articulate disruptions, product and experience opportunities. Focusing on edge devices and looking to Ambient Futures, she is inspired by ambient computing, machine learning and our relationship with AI.

Having built, reshaped and led design teams across Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and the US, she has considerable experience leading multidisciplinary teams and maximizing on the diversity this brings. A passionate advocate for the human, she believes Design is a rich and diverse asset with the capacity to transform businesses, environments, products and experiences. Enrich and improve people’s lives.

Nicola has worked and lived as a design professional in the UK, Italy, Germany, Finland & the US.


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