Outcome Product UX Design Conference Chandigarh. Speaker is Simone Ehrlich

Simone Ehrlich

Manager, Content Strategy, Workday

Simone Ehrlich is the Manager of Content Strategy for Workday Design and formerly a Content Manager at Amazon. She leads a team of content strategists that is transforming how Workday creates enterprise applications by making content an integral part of the design process. She is also a leader of the UX Center of Excellence, which provides direction and strategy for Workday’s Design organization.

Simone's session details

Time: 10:30am to 11:15am

Show, Don’t Tell: Align through Vision Stories

Introduction: Go beyond the vision statement. Workday Design’s Simone Ehrlich will share a new take on the vision story–the narrative that brings the user’s experience of the product to life. Attend this session to learn how creating a strong vision story can help teams to create products that forge an emotional connection with the user.


20/20 vision is rare. At least, rarely can we maintain it in product design. Even with multiple tools–vision statements, jobs to be done, user journeys, and more, the vision can slip out of focus as priorities shift and scope gets cut. With a vision story, we weave a narrative that brings the user’s experience of the product, and their emotional connection to it, to life. We show, instead of tell, what we should create and why. 

At Workday, we’re using Content Early methods like vision stories to design with words. This lo-fi approach aligns teams and stakeholders and keeps the vision in focus throughout the design process.

Attend this session with Workday’s Simone Ehrlich and discover how to leverage vision stories for better design outcomes.

Your takeaways

  • When you need a vision story
  • How to create one
  • How to ensure that what you ship fulfills the vision

Simone Ehrlich answers...

What makes you so happy about the work that you are doing?

I love helping folks to shift their perspective and see things in a new light. That’s a big part of what I do in leading the Content Strategy team for the Workday Design team. We practice Content Early, an approach where we design, and analyze designs, with words. It allows people to take a step back from their product or feature and see it through the eyes of their users. And, happily, language is an inclusive medium. 

By using words to design, more of the team and stakeholders can participate. Content Early can be used at any point during the design process, not just at the beginning. That allows more teams to uptake it, because they don’t feel like they’ve missed the boat if they’ve already started designing. 

Vision story is one Content Early method that helps to unite teams and stakeholders around what the product will become.

When did you hear this term – “Vision Stories”, and why does it excite you?

I was using storyframe, inspired by Fabricio Teixeira, and one of the teams I was working with asked if I could help with the vision for their feature. We wrote an aspirational vision story that touched on multiple areas of the product. Since then, we’ve written many vision stories for new features and redesigns. It’s exciting to bring the future experience of the product to life.

What is the dream project in the world where you want to get involved in? 

Someday I’d love to use my background in International Relations and my experience in UX to work to improve access to education for girls around the world. Where you happen to be born shouldn’t dictate the story of your life.

What made you pitch to speak at the Outcome?

The way we’re designing with words here at Workday is different from how other teams at other companies are doing it. I introduced Vision Story and other Content Early methods as analytical design tools. It’s been exciting to see our product teams find immediate value them. I want to share these methods with folks, and Outcome seemed like a great forum since it promotes storytelling about design and product work. Where better to tell the story of the impact a vision story can have?

If you get a chance to have lunch with one individual (industry expert, leader) in your favorite restaurant in your favorite city, whom will you pick, and why, and for which restaurant?

Erika Hall has been a proponent of designing with words for years. I am an embarrassingly big fan. I’d love to meet up with her in New Orleans at Cochon. The Cajun food is amazing, and the ambiance is warm and casual enough to make conversation easy. I’d love to talk about anything design-related with her and eat any and everything on the menu.