Designing with Intuition

Vicki Tan
19 min readMar 7, 2019

This is a transcript of my talk to 800 designers and product managers at the Front Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah in May of 2018. My comments have been lightly edited by Front for readability and clarity (Read: We removed the um’s and like’s).

Hello. Hi! I’m Vicki and I’m a product designer at Headspace. I’m so excited to be here. I’m a little nervous, so just please play along if I ask you any questions.

A quick show of hands — how many of you have heard of Headspace?

Wow! That’s a lot. I wasn’t expecting that many.

And who here has meditated before? It doesn’t have to be with Headspace.

Okay, so maybe half as many.

For all of you who didn’t raise your hand, who are new to meditation, you might think meditation is something like this, right? Like monks sitting serenely on mountaintops. Just no thoughts, completely zen, whatever that means…

Serene monk. Stacked rocks.

Or maybe you think of these stacked rocks, or pools of water with ripples in them. I don’t actually know where these images come from, but somehow they are what you think of when you think of meditation. And maybe this all makes you think,

“Meditation isn’t for me. I don’t do yoga. I’m not zen. I’m fast-paced and just not the type to meditate.”

But that’s not what meditation is! As I understand it, meditation is just about being aware of your thoughts. You’re not trying to turn them off. You’re not trying to have any feelings. Those are totally okay. You’re just trying to observe them without judgment.

Trying our best to observe thoughts without judgement

So, I thought it would be great if we could do one of Headspace’s three minute mini-meditations all together.

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Vicki Tan

Light sleeper, heavy dreamer. Design @Pinterest. Prev @Spotify @Headspace, @Lyft, @Google