Steve Selzer
Steve Selzer
— Design & Product Strategy

Hi, my name is Steve. I’m a designer, product strategist, and creative leader.

I believe in the tremendous power of design to shape behavior and transform lives. My work explores how we can do this responsibly, and how friction, confrontation, and human-centered design play a critical role.


Selected Talks

Designing for Friction

In today’s increasingly frictionless world, it’s easier than ever to live a life of convenience and ease. But at what cost? (24min)

Adobe 99U
New York, Jun ‘17

Design for Confrontation

The products and platforms we love are tearing us apart. But what if they could help us come together? Here’s how. (48min)

New Orleans, Sep ‘18

On Vision & Values

OKRs, metrics, and goals guide us when we’re optimizing our product. But what about vision? And what happened to values? (19min)

Google’s “Design is” Series
San Francisco, Nov ‘17

Selected Writing 

A Muggle’s Guide to Product Design

My dear muggle, what I’m about to share with you is neither profound nor true. But then again, things aren’t always what they seem.

Read on

The Fiction of No Friction

When we remove all friction, we remove moments for serendipity and self-reflection. At scale, this can erode our social values and increase our tendency toward intolerance.

Read on

Human-Centered Design: Why Empathy Isn’t Enough

The human-centered design process demands more than just empathy with others; it requires a deep understanding of our own selves.

Read on

A Designer’s Guide to Gift Giving

The best gift I’ve ever given was a 1940s Parker 51 fountain pen. These are the 5 principles I used to give the perfect gift.

Read on

Hosting an event?
Let’s chat.

talks this year


IDSA SF Chapter
San Francisco, CA
January 2019

UX London
London, England
May 2019

Past talks


New Orleans, LA
September 2018

UCSD guest lecture
San Diego, CA
April 2018

Austin, TX
March 2018

San Francisco, CA
February 2018


Google Design is Vision
San Francisco, CA
November 2017

San Francisco, CA
October 2017

Adobe 99U
New York, NY
June 2017

Forum Creative Industries
Linz, Austria
June 2017

UCAN Alibaba
Hangzhou, China
April 2017

Austin, TX
March 2017

2016 and earlier

CIID Impact Minds
Copenhagen, Denmark
September 2016

Semi Permanent
Auckland, New Zealand
August 2016

Warsaw, Poland
April 2016

Austin, TX
March 2016

Designers + Geeks
San Francisco, CA
May 2015

UC Berkeley guest lecture
Berkeley, CA
February 2012

TEDx Alva Park
Alva Park, MI
November 2011

Mayo Clinic Transform
Rochester, MN
September 2011