How Are Designers Changing Cities?

Yelp Design Team
Yelp Design
Published in
2 min readAug 8, 2018


For San Francisco Design Week 2018, Yelp hosted a lightning talk and panel event centered on the impact that designers have on urban landscapes. It was inspiring, as evidenced by this standout quote from Airbnb’s Jenny Arden:

Ultimately, what I think designers do is design for trust…. Users are no longer willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. You actually have to earn this.
— Jenny Arden

Without further ado, here’s the full video:

More standout quotes:

Cities are incredibly complex. Anytime you insert anything into a city, you dramatically change the underlying patterns.
— Michael Gough

Our ability to impact cities stems from understanding the people that work, play, and live in these streets.
— John Abernethy

This is a really amazing point in time for designers. We’re thinking not just about the pixels, we’re thinking about the business and the communities, about real people and how we’re impacting them. Design is a catch-all phrase now. It’s not just the beauty, it’s what we’re actually making for real people.
—Jenny Arden

Michael Gough, VP of Design at Uber
Anne Mercogliano, VP of Growth at GoodEggs
John Abernethy, Product Design Director at Greenfield Labs
Jenny Arden, Design Manager at Airbnb

Moderated by:
Simon Smith, Head of Design at Yelp

Hosted by Yelp
San Francisco Design Week
June 12, 2018

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