Layer's Header

A design conference
for the mac+iOS community

June 13–15, 2016
San Francisco

Layers is a 3-day conference during WWDC to talk about design, celebrate our industry, and eat snacks.

Like a party, but for learning.


look at these people.

Graphic Presenters
That Is All
Wire & Twine
App Camp 4 Girls
Khan Academy
Michael B.
Universal Mind
Buttons and Lights
Delicious Monster

🚧 Schedule subject to change (but only for the better) 🚧

Monday, June 13

5-9p: Registration party at Jins

Tuesday, June 14

9a- Coffee & Pastries
Enjoy pastries from Mr. Holmes bakehouse, and delicious all-day coffee from Flywheel.

10a- Jesse Genet
Once upon a time, Jesse was a typical model high school student enrolled in AP classes and varsity sports. Frustrated with building her school career instead of something that’d outlast her senior year, Jesse fixed up a 1969 Lincoln, convinced her parents to let her skip the rest of school, and drove herself to Los Angeles to study product design. Jesse is now the co-founder and CEO of Lumi, a creative company fueled by technology.

10:30a- Linda Dong
Linda is a freelance designer specializing in prototyping. During her 6 years at Apple, Linda was part of design teams for Final Cut Pro and iMovie, and was on the team that explored and prototyped UI for Apple’s future hardware and technologies. After having spent the last year travelling around the globe, Linda’s recently landed back in San Francisco where she is continuing her incredible work in prototyping.

11a- Techies
Helena Price cut her teeth in the tech industry working with companies like Photojojo, 1000Memories, and Skillshare before striking out on her own as a [very successful] photographer. In April she launched Techies, a portrait series casting a light on the underrepresented working in the tech. Joining Helena is a panel of featured Techies: Ana Arriola (Minimalisms), Jeany Ngo (Airbnb), Tim Quirino (Facebook), and Chanpory Rith (Mixmax).

11:45a- Snack Session
Spring rolls from Freshroll

12:15p- Windy Chien
Windy is a San Francisco-based artist designing objects that elevate the daily rituals of life. Before launching her studio in 2015, Windy was at Apple for 7 years where she managed iTunes Essentials, iTunes promotions, and App Store editorial. Previous to that, she was the sole proprietor of Aquarius Records, San Francisco’s oldest and most well-respected independent record store. Windy knows how to live life.

12:35p- Chris Glass
Chris is a designer from Cincinnati whose projects include work on identities, websites, applications, and apparel. He’s currently embarking on a year-long civic sabbatical exploring photography to encourage being a tourist in your own city. In his spare time, Chris devises schemes to create spare time.

1p- Lunch Break
Break time! Go out and enjoy one of the many wonderful food options in downtown San Francisco.

2p- Emoji Academy
Parakeet was founded in 2015 by prolific designers Alexa Grafera and Louie Mantia. Since joining forces, Parakeet’s been busy with recent work for Nike, June, and the release of their own Parakeet Primaries icon set. When not in Portland drawing and designing beautiful emoji and icons, Parakeet can be found making productive use of their Disneyland passes with the organizers of this very conference.

3p- Snack Session
Live-spun cotton candy from Sugar & Spun.

3:30p- Adobe Sneak
Talin Wadsworth is the lead product designer for Adobe Experience Design, a new design tool for UX/UI and mobile app design. As part of Adobe Design, Talin has lead many 1.0 product initiatives, including the launch of Creative Cloud and Adobe Sketch for the iPad.

4p- John Hodgman
John is a writer, comedian, and actor whose impressive body of work includes three NYT Best Sellers, contribution to The Daily Show, performing for President Obama, multiple TED talks, and the Ragnarok comedy special on Netflix. Quite a list, but perhaps his seminal role as the lovable Personal Computer in Apple’s long-running ad campaign is what our internal nerds connect with the most.

4:30p- The Late Afternoon Show
Nelson Murray once wrote Ms. Char a thank you letter just for being a friend. He has since traveled down the road and back again, and now works as a creative producer for Square. When we asked our pal and confidant if he’d be willing to moderate a panel, he joked about always wanting to be Jimmy Fallon. We take jokes very seriously, so naturally we gave him his own one-afternoon-only show at Layers, where he’ll be interviewing the incredible Lia Napolitano, Jared Erondu, and John Hodgman.

Wednesday, June 15

9a- Coffee & Pastries & Typography & Fonts - Live from WWDC
Streaming Session: Typography is essential to an app's form and function. Learn principles of good typography and techniques to apply them to your work. Make the most of the advanced features in our system fonts, and learn best practices for using custom fonts.
Watch this live stream from WWDC while enjoying pastries from Flour+Co, and delicious all-day coffee from Flywheel.

10a- Jean MacDonald
Jean is a Mac industry veteran. After 8 years as a partner at Smile, Jean founded the nonprofit App Camp for Girls in 2013 to encourage girls to explore software development. App Camp for Girls addresses gender imbalance recognized in the software community by giving girls the chance to learn how to build apps, be inspired by women instructors, and introduce them to software development as a career choice.

10:30a- The Care and Feeding of Programmers
She’s East Coast, he’s West Coast. She has two dogs, he has three cats. She works for an agency, he runs a product company. Rebecca Slatkin and Wil Shipley have their differences, but they have one thing in common: they both work as developers who interface... with interface designers. Are they up to the challenges of a joint presentation, or will their differences present challenges? There’s only one way to find out.

11:15a- Snack Session
Who doesn't love sandwiches, especially ones from Proposition Chicken?

11:45a- Jessica Collier
Jessica is a designer's writer: She uses language to build products people love. Currently Jessica leads content and design at and is an advisor at Copper. She started out consulting for various startups, including Medium and Delicious Monster, that all had one thing in common: word problems. She later joined the product design team at Evernote to establish UX writing there. As an English PhD, Jessica takes words pretty seriously, but mostly she's just thrilled that we're all starting to care about the words that make apps work.

12:15p- Christa Mrgan
Christa Mrgan is co-founder and VP of Design of Civil Co., makers of Civil Comments®, the world’s first user-moderated content platform. She believes we can improve the way people treat each other online and designs software with this goal in mind. She lives with her family in Portland, Oregon, where she also volunteers with App Camp for Girls, a summer camp that teaches teen girls how to design and build iOS apps.

12:35p- TJ Usiyan
A writer and musician interested in crafting interesting and artful things, TJ is the developer of iOS app Chordal Text and AU Additive Synthesizer Partial. He’s working to create innovative and intuitive solutions to musical problems and is a graduate of Eugene Lang College and Berklee College of Music.

1p- Lunch
Break time! Go out and enjoy one of the many wonderful food options in downtown San Francisco.

1:40p- Live from WWDC
Streaming Session: To-be-announced UI session.

2:40p- InVision+Sketch
Join Tom Giannattasio and Pieter Omvlee for a conversation about the state of design, moderated by Brian Lovin.

3:10p- Snack Session
Snack on fresh mochi from Simply Mochi.

3:40p- May-Li Khoe
May-Li invents new ways for humans to interact with computers by learning about people, sculpting pixels, and playing with code. In 2014 she joined Khan Academy where she’s directing design and long-term research. She is exploring ideas to empower learners through curiosity, creativity, and play. Previously, while at Apple, she designed and prototyped UI concepts that pushed hardware innovations such as Force Touch, the Taptic Engine, face tracking, multi-touch, location tracking and more. May-Li enjoys dancing, DJing, dancing while DJing, blurring the line between art and computer science, and daydreaming about joyful ways to subvert the status quo.

4:00p- Michael B. Johnson
Dr. Michael B. Johnson has been with Pixar for 20+ years and today serves as Pixar’s Pre-Production Architect. He's led teams involved in Story, Art, Production Management, and Review, and worked with directors, producers, designers, and artists who bring stories to the screen. Michael has written storyboarding, pre-viz, layout, animation, modeling, lighting, rendering, and editorial tools that were used in many of Pixar’s shorts and all of their feature films. And he hasn't just influenced projects at Pixar; remember the evil IT guy in Jurassic Park? His workstation was inspired by Michael's offices at MIT and Thinking Machines.


Layers is a 3-day design conference in San Francisco from June 13—15, the same time as WWDC. It’s an opportunity to come together in downtown San Francisco during the biggest Apple developer event, experience meaningful and entertaining content dedicated to design, and meet industry peers.

Passes to the conference are $850 (transferable but non-refundable) which allow access to all conference events. Transportation, lodging, and meals must be provided separately.

Just 2 blocks from WWDC, we're just steps away from cool hotels, awesome restaurants, and top-notch nightlife.


Westfield San Francisco Centre
835 Market Street, San Francisco
Level 4 / Under the Dome


Sign Up Graphic View Layers’ Code of Conduct

Hi, this is Jessie Char and Elaine Pow and we're the organizers of this conference. You may be asking, "Jessie and Elaine, what are you doing in the code of conduct?" and that's a great question. We're here to explain our behavior policies at Layers.


Layers is committed to providing a harassment-free event for everyone. Harassment doesn't only take place as a result of intention; it can also happen when we don't stop to think about how our choices may make others uncomfortable. Let's go over some common forms of harassment:

🚫 Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, etc.
🚫 Bullying of any kind
🚫 Sexual images in public spaces
🚫 Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
🚫 Sustained disruption of talks or other events
🚫 Uninvited and/or inappropriate physical contact
🚫 Unwelcome sexual attention
🚫 Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviour

If any Layers attendee engages in one or more of the inappropriate behaviors listed above, we reserve the right to take any action we deem necessary. This includes, but is not limited to: issuing a warning, complete removal from the conference without refund, and contacting the appropriate authorities.

In the unfortunate case that anyone is made to feel uncomfortable at our event, notify us or one of our volunteers directly (we'll be highly visible at the conference). Whether it's a full-fledged complaint, or a "hey, that person could have handled this better" comment, we are dedicated to providing a safe space for everyone to discuss their experience. If you are uncomfortable approaching us in person, email us at or submit an anonymous form.

You may be thinking "This isn't as much code of conduct writing as I'm used to seeing. How are these two princess emoji really going to handle a broken conduct situation?" As working women who've experienced all sorts of behaviors directed toward us in professional situations and environments, harassment will not be taken lightly.

💗Jessie & Elaine 💗
👸OFFICIAL princesses and rulers with iron fists of LAYERS👸

Thanks to Geek Feminism for the list of what qualifies as harassment. We welcome feedback on our code of conduct; if you believe we have missed an important qualifier of harassment, please let us know at