Matthew Lavoie

UX Designer at NASA (ASRC)


Assumptions on the Road to Success or Failure
Product Design
Design Research

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Every day we make decisions that require assumptions. It happens silently, and so frequently we don’t even notice. Many are innocent. You may assume it isn’t going to rain, and perhaps it wont. But what about the assumptions made and built into your application? What about the assumptions your colleagues make they may not even be aware of?

There are many horror stories where a simple assumption in the design process has led to project ruin – we’ll even share some in this talk. But there is a better way.

In brief, defining assumptions, understanding their risk, and validating them can help greatly reduce the chance of a project to fail. This talk will teach a pattern of practice you can incorporate into your design and development lifecycle to reduce your chances of getting caught out in the rain.


Solve real problems for real people and inspire others to do the same. That is the goal that Matt Lavoie lives and designs by. At NASA, contracted through ASRC, Matt contributes to a suite of interconnected data systems used for launch and mission operations, enabling data to be leveraged to make informed decisions. Prior to that, he worked in industry for a SaaS policy management and accreditation platform. Outside of work, he co-organizes the DO UX Meetup, mentors, and enjoys sunny Orlando, FL with his wife and recently born daughter.