Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Design on Saturday 12th March

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  • Designing Stuff Kids Will Use and Love

    by Silvia Lovato, Rick Pinchera, Dan Willis and Chris Bishop

    PBS KIDS has been designing non-commercial websites and interactive games for kids for over 10 years. Making an interactive product that appeals, engages and is usable by a child is not as simple as using Comic Sans and replacing an “S” with a “Z”. Children's abilities change rapidly and producers need to ensure that products are developmentally accessible. This session will focus on designing for two audiences: pre-readers (3-5) and readers (6-8), through four case-studies revealing how and why design choices were made based on experience, user testing and informed guesses.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom B, Austin Convention Center

  • iPad Design Headaches (Take 2 Tablets, Call Me in the Morning)

    by Josh Clark

    The iPad and its entourage of Android tablets have introduced a new style of computing, confronting designers with unfamiliar aches and pains. Learn the symptoms (and fixes) for a range of new-to-the-world iPad interface ailments, including Greedy Pixel Syndrome, the dreaded Frankeninterface, and the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" bait and switch. Explore practical techniques and eye-opening gotchas of tablet interface design, all grounded in the ergonomics, context, psychology, and nascent culture of these new devices (both iOS and Android). The presentation inoculates you against common problems with close-up looks at successful iPad apps from early sketches to final design. Genial bedside manner is administered by Josh Clark, author of the O'Reilly books "Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps" and "Best iPhone Apps: A Guide for Discriminating Downloaders."

    LEVEL: Advanced

  • It's About Time: Visualizing Temporality

    by Joanna Wiebe

    Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. I agree about the banana, but I'm not so sure about the arrow. What is the shape of time? Our online calendars, clocks and other models of time often are designed with the understanding that time is a forward-moving arrow. This sounds logical to the Western, English-speaking scientific mind. However, not everyone conceptualizes time as a relentless hurtling forward. Some cultures understand time as a fractal, a spiral, a mandala, a cycle. And a child, playing with the same toy over and over again, lives in a single seamless moment from dawn to dusk. Visualizing temporality is a fundamental issue in interaction design today. For example, we are looking at a future where our work must be useful for both Eastern and Western audiences, who differ in time-oriented cultural traits such as long-term vs. short-term orientation. We also need to be able to provide tools to differentiate the personal, bodily-felt experience of time from clock time. We may want to expand our customers' perception of time, to invite them to stay in the Deep Present. Our beliefs about time and its passage profoundly affect the design of software and interactive media. It's time for interaction designers to understand deeply how our customers know time, whether as an arrow, a spiral or a squiggle. How people slice and dice nature into concepts is fundamental to designing tools people can use to successfully live on the earth, for a long time.

    LEVEL: Advanced

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom C, Austin Convention Center

  • "It's Nature's Way": Innovative Tech Design Through Biomimicry

    by Kathleen Zarsky, Michael Dungan, Chris Allen and Holly Harlan

    A social network that functions like a colony of ants. A database that manages and shares information like a slime mold. What can we learn from the obvious? Millions of years of royalty free R&D embedded in nature holds the answers to many of today’s human centered design challenges. In this presentation, co-facilitated by Chris Allen of The Biomimicry Institute and Michael Dungan of BeeDance LLC, learn how a systems approach that mimics nature’s lessons and resiliency can be adapted to technology design. Biomimicry is a proven design process that asks nature for advice. The application of biomimicry is responsible for the development of successful products ranging from Velcro™ and photovoltaic solar panels to advanced seawater desalination methods and more efficient Japanese bullet trains. Bringing a biologist to the design table to explore innovation in IT application development and optimization can unlock new discoveries. The teachings of specific champions in nature that will lead to break-through design thinking will be offered during the presentation. When approached as mentor, model and measure, organisms and whole systems found in the natural world become powerful collaborators. As B2B and B2C users continue to seek out more robust, fast and reliable forms of technology, the answers may not be in the room, but right outside the window.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

  • Ordering Disorder: Grid Design for the New World

    by Khoi Vinh

    Everyone's using grids, and grid tools and frameworks are everywhere. But do you truly understand the ins and outs of this powerful design principle, and how it's changing along with new media and platforms? Chances are most digital designers have only a cursory knowledge of the grid's concepts and best practices, overlooking the tremendous value that truly smart grid usage brings.

    In this expansive sequel to his famous 2006 SXSWi talk "Grids Are Good," designer and grid expert Khoi Vinh (NYTimes.com, Subtraction.com) will give a bracing tour of the many ideas packed into his forthcoming book "Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design." This solo talk will span the history of grids, take a brass-tacks tour of best practices, and look ahead at some of the most enlightening and innovative thinking that's shaping grid thinking in the future.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

  • Metrics-Driven Design

    by Joshua Porter

    For every design change you make affecting your user’s experience, do you know if you’re having a positive or negative impact? Are you adding to your organization’s bottom line or eroding it? Are you sure? Or, are you like most design teams who release work through a ramshackle process made up of politics, prayer, and paralysis?

    The health of the business must be the highest priority for designers. With a plethora of fast and cheap analytics tools available that bring us the ability to measure almost anything, we have no excuse not to be measuring every design change we make. From a/b testing small interface tweaks to measuring time-on-site for new users to measuring user satisfaction over long time periods, we can know more about the people who use our software than ever before.

    In this talk, Joshua Porter will provide you with a simple, easy framework for metrics-driven design. By using a combination of research methods as well as powerful new tracking tools, Josh will show you how to align your design priorities with what keeps you in business. You will come away from this talk with a clear idea of what metrics are most important, which ones to focus on, and which ones to ignore. So don’t drive blindly: use metrics-driven design to make sure the impact you’re having is a positive one.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

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