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by Al Franken
Big budget games with ground-breaking gameplay can so often be let down by difficult user interfaces, cryptic menu systems and poor usability. User experience design and information architecture have become fundamental to the process of developing great websites and mobile experiences; could the same tried, tested and trusted techniques work for AAA games?
In the world of mobile gaming it's frequently the smaller independents’ who are the real innovators. Often coming from a web background, many independent mobile game developers are producing beautifully considered interfaces for a whole new class of intelligent contextual games, while the big publishers are still attempting to port console games to inappropriate devices. Have the web backgrounds of these independents’ given them an innate understanding of designing for user context or is it just never having been restricted by the sometimes stringent requirements for Gold Master and the limitations of the 10ft interface?
This is of course a two-way street. Some of the processes involved in game design for consoles have a far greater lineage than that of design for mobile and web, and as such there are techniques that deal directly with adherence to a set of constantly evolving industry standards that could certainly be considered by the wider developing community.
Changes to design, direction, UI can be costly if you are already in the development cycle. It is easier, faster, and cheaper to course correct on paper. Storyboarding your ideas allows you to rapidly think through the customer experience, pinpoint what’s really important to the customer, and scrap the ideas that won’t work.
At Intuit, we use storyboards to rapidly test our ideas with customers multiple times before spending time developing code. This enables us to define concepts that will delight our customers, so they buy our products and tell their friends. Storyboard development and testing is a method anyone can do—it doesn’t take an artist or researcher to get great feedback from customers.
In this hands-on workshop you will learn how to express your ideas in a story that will elicit valuable feedback from your customers. You will be able to iterate on ideas with lightning speed to uncover what works, what doesn’t, and unearth what will truly delight them (which is often not your first idea!). We will use frameworks to help you define what’s most important to your customer so you know you are focusing on the right things by the time you start to develop.
Imagine a no tailpipe future where cars roam free from fossil fuels. Just as textbooks show evolution as a progression of monkeys losing their tails over time to become apes and then humans, we could illustrate the evolution of automobiles as that of internal combustion engine-driven cars becoming hybrids and then becoming fully electric vehicles. But gradual evolution through technological innovation is not enough, we need a full scale revolution to bring about the new electric vehicle era.
We are building a social movement to jump start the electric vehicle revolution. The transition to mass adoption of electric vehicles requires solving serious policy, infrastructure, and social adoption problems, in addition to the need for further technological innovation. We will explore examples from other successful consumer-driven social movements and look at ways for green entrepreneurs to empower and collaborate with our customers not just as consumers, but as citizens, who take concrete action beyond “voting with their pocketbooks” to drive innovation, pressure policymakers to create an infrastructure for electric vehicles, and influence their peers to buy into a vision of a no tailpipe future.
by Brian Powell, Joe Hershberger, Eric VanWyk, Rebecca Philips and Tim Ousley
Students say it’s “the hardest fun you will ever have.” Just like “real world” product development, building a competitive robot requires diverse science and engineering disciplines and kids all over the world are doing it! FIRST Robotics inspires elementary through high school students with challenging competitions that use science and engineering to grow teamwork, interpersonal skills, and community responsibility. Mimicking the competitive global economy, these international competitions feature complex, multi-disciplinary problems under extreme time pressure to teach the real skills needed by tomorrow’s geniuses.
Our panel includes several humans and a few 5-foot-tall, 120-pound robots designed by teenage FIRST teams. Get the scoop on how supporting learning and competition programs develops the next generation of leadership. This panel includes experienced robot makers and mentors from Texas Instruments and National Instruments who can answer your questions and have you wishing you were still in school. The good news – you can still get involved!
by J.R. Johnson
This panel will champion the idea of “Power to the Content Contributor!” We’ll discuss who really owns the content shared by millions of contributors across the hundreds of different user generated content sites. It's among the best-kept secrets in UGC, and the implications here are huge. The seemingly logical means of UGC sites covering their legal bases has actually left open a very meaningful loophole for contributors. Turns out, they’re sitting on the goldmine of UGC… and it’s at their discretion where it lives, and consequently which sites it will benefit. When a site like Yelp is valued at $500 million dollars, it’s only reasonable for people to start considering how they could be benefiting from the content that others are profiting from. Contributors are starting to ask questions… thinking, hey! I just made that site worth millions, but what do I get out of it?
It’s only a matter of time until a new system emerges in the UGC space, allowing contributors to share some of the revenue being made off of their content. The question is… what will that future model look like? We’ll discuss how it could set up, and which players are poised to take the lead. In addition, we will cover how contributors can determine where their content gets the most benefit.
by Greg Marra
Twitter has proven to be an invaluable tool for communication during intense periods of political unrest and social suppression. When thousands of people tweet about oppressive regimes and violence against protesters, the outside world gets a chance to understand events on the ground.
But what if none of those thousands of people were real, and the events never happened?
Previous research has shown that Twitter bots can build up a following, garnering hundreds of emotionally invested followers who are fooled into believing the bots are real. A single puppetmaster could create hundreds of Twitter bots, letting them live perfectly normal and believable lives for months while they build up followers. Then one day, a careful crafted false story unfolds on the stage of social media, played out by a single director with hundreds of actors. Incidents like Balloon Boy demonstrate that powerful stories can become widespread before there is time for fact checking. Before anyone realizes all the TwitPics of the massacre are faked, the fake event will have made international headlines.
This presentation will discuss the technical feasibility of such an attack on the global media infrastructure and discuss the implications of a news system that trusts "recent" over "reputable".
Film geeks, political buffs and gossip lovers may argue, but nowhere has the impact of blogging and podcasting been more dramatic in the past few years than the sports world. In a space dominated exclusively by those with access to the field, the press box and the locker room, the audience has grown completely accustomed to stories being broken by a fan with little more than a phone and a Twitter account almost overnight. Fans and voices outside the velvet rope of media credentialing are not only reporting on the stories of the day, they're making and breaking stories with increasing frequency. They're also emerging as some of the most important influencers, connecting directly with one of the most coveted audience demographics filled with young, passionate adults.
How has this democratization disrupted the existing models for big sports leagues, teams, players, coaches and media outlets? What can other industries learn from the creative and technical innovators in sports media today? What challenges and advances within are other industries and communities ignoring at their peril?
After seeing the backlash over Instant Personalization from Facebook, many people have been nervous to approach the subject. But invariably, as we move forward into an increasingly data-driven society, personalization will need to become a larger and larger part of how we communicate with customers, site visitors, and consumers of online content. So the question is, how do you personalize content without making people feel violated and uncomfortable? Is it just a question of people’s preferences changing over time as they "come around" to the idea of personalization, or is it an implementation question? What's the degree of personalization that is acceptable to most consumers? This panel will look at how to preserve users’ trust while personalizing content to them. It will also discuss some acceptable practices for personalizing content to individual users' data, and shifts in the societal acceptability of content personalization over time & by demographic.
As 3D and online games become more film-like in terms of their development and distribution, game developers need to be more concerned with procuring appropriate rights of 3rd party content and contributions from others. A legally sound game will attract more funding and more interest than others that carry a significant risk to studios and investors. Moreover, having one's legal ducks in a row at the outset, will protect the independent game developer and the licensing studio or development company from undue legal risk. Entertainment attorney, Larry Waks of Austin firm, Jackson Walker LLP, and Intellectual Property attorney, Erik Metzger of Intel Corporation, will provide a "from idea to distribution" overview of the legal concerns behind modern 3D and online game development. This panel is intended for the online and 3D game development community.
by Bruce Smith
Social media applications encounter messy user-generated data in blog posts, status updates, tweets, user profiles, etc. These documents contain free-form text that obeys no particular rules of grammar, punctuation or spelling.
If the data is so messy, how can a computer program recognize adult content or hate speech or spam? How can a computer program tell the difference between an advertisement and a product review? How can a computer program distinguish between a positive and a negative product review?
Machine learning offers some solutions. For example, given sample tweets labeled (by people) as spam or non-spam, machine learning tools can generate a program (or model) that attempts to duplicate the human judgments. You could use this kind of model in your application to filter out tweet spam.
In this talk we will describe
•Some common machine learning algorithms
•Machine learning tools – free and commercial
•Acquiring and managing training data
•Extracting useful features from your documents
•Choosing the right technique for a problem
•Measuring quality and improving your model over time
•Integrating a machine learned model with your application
Coming out of this session, you will know where you might use machine learning in your applications, and you will know how to get started.
When organizations use Twitter to promote themselves, it's largely about playing a role. The person tweeting is tasked to be on message as the voice of the organization while creating a unique and engaging personality to draw an audience in. At the theater, we gladly accept this fake-me-out, but in social media where do we draw the line between being the playwright and playing a character?
Imagine, if you will, that Shakespeare was on Twitter. Would he tweet as his organizational-self, or as one of the many "voices" he created? Would the context of his 140 characters be different depending on "who" says it, even if the source is literally the same? And how could his underlying message consistently reflect the goals for tweeting in the first place? Welcome to the murky world of defining organizational identity with social media.
During this (overly) dramatic session, we will pick the brains of people who live this challenge daily in the non-profit sector, and learn what the Bard's immortal words can teach us all about brand, messaging and creating a compelling voice on Twitter.
Be not afraid of greatness - don't miss this panel! Quill optional.
by Rana June
10 years ago, using a laptop to DJ was seen as an abomination. No one knew what these machines were capable of and their use was considered a mechanism for “cheating” because they appeared to do the work for the musician. Now this is no longer the case, as the advent and deployment of DJ technology such as Serato has infiltrated even the most niche of genres in DJing and live music production.
Apple’s latest shiny object, the iPad, represents a beacon of hope for many industries. Publishers, record labels and television networks all marvel at the revenue potential from a sleek lifestyle device that users can’t wait to spend money to augment with applications downloaded from the App Store. More powerful than an iPhone yet smaller than a laptop, the iPad is an evolution from the computing paradigm we have come to know with the advent of the PC. No mouse. Touch screen. Sleek and simple.
So, can the iPad be the catalyst to shape the future of music production and DJing? In this discussion, Rana Sobhany, the world's first iPad DJ and producer, walks us through the history of this nascent space, complete with a first hand account of what it is like to witness and influence this century's first major paradigm shift in music performance and production.
If too much stress at SXSW has you a little uptight, then the solution is simple -- relax and let it go. Start your day mindfully with an hour of light, meditative stretching. Yoga was developed thousands of years ago as a way to prepare the body and mind to be more receptive to enlightenment. What better way to prepare for all the new people and ideas you will encounter every day at SXSW Interactive?
The debate surrounding music piracy versus the so-called collapse of the music industry has largely been bipolar, and yet so many other processes of music distribution have been developing. From online “sharity” communities that digitize obscure vinyl never released in digital format (a network of cultural preservation, one could argue), all the way to netlabels that could not care less about making money out of their releases, as well as “grime” networks made up of bedroom musicians constantly remixing each other, there is a vast wealth of possibilities driving music in the digital world. This panel will present key examples emerging from this “grey area”, and discuss future scenarios for music production and consumption that stand proudly outside the bipolar box.
by M A Greenstein
**Are you curious about the new brain game design industry?
**Have you explored the options of including a neuroscientist on your team of interactive and immersive media designers?
Today, interactive and immersive media design draws on contemporary neuroscience to leverage the best odds of playing "somatosensory," "memory," "dopamine reward” and “inhibitory control” systems in the human brain and extended nervous system. From animated narrative scripting to skill building brain games or “apps”, functional knowledge of the human brain gives the 21st media designer an edge in working across the spectrum of interactive and immersive game media.
This session starts with two simple, critical questions: What does neuroscience and cognitive science hold for the future of interactive and immersive media design? How can media designers prepare now for a future where "brain smart" games will be the means by which we learn, play, invent and transform lives through interactive media? Join us and find out.
At first, Social Media was simple. It was about you and your voice as an individual. Today is different. Do companies, organizations or even individuals spend time on social media which could be much better spent on other activities? Yes!
But how do you outsource your "voice"? Will it damage your brand or credibility? Can you control your message? What will your customers say? Can it be done at all? Yes!
You need to change your mind set about how social media is done, leave the Silicon Valley way of thinking behind and start thinking like a professional.
This panel will give you an insight into how to be a pro at social media outsourcing while staying in charge. We will discuss the do's and don'ts and how to make sure your voice is authentic. You will learn about the importance of systems and documentation, hear about tools to manage your activities with partners and which aspects of your online presence you should never give away.
Also we will share best practices and real life examples, as well as take a look at working internationally. No matter if you want to outsource your social media activity, or you are an agency or virtual assistant who works with clients, you will leave the panel with a better understanding of how to utilize partners and worker bees without breaking the bank or selling your soul.
Now, social is personal. From finance site Mint.com's anti-immigration blog post gaffe to YourTango CEO Andrea Miller's "How to Date an Indian (Advice for the Non-Indian)," social media fuses personal with public in a way never seen before.
Whether sharing taste in hiphop, dating preferences, provocative political ideas, or insider information about a soon-to-be-launched business, social media strategically develops personal and professional reputations. Stories can build audiences, grow support for campaigns and change mainstream ideas about social issues. They can also alienate various communities, compromise business information confidentiality or damage brands.
If social media has shown us anything, it's that stories still matter. This panel will be a concrete conversation on how successful online personalities have managed their personal and professional lives using social media: telling authentic stories about our experiences, and using those stories to build powerful, engaged communities.
by Frank Barry
Come spend an hour listening to leading social media technology providers like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare discuss social media's impact on the world. You'll also hear from non-profit organizers as they interact, discuss and challenge us to think differently about how technology enables impact.
NBC.com creates unique content and interactive experiences that enhance/support NBC's on-air television programming. From Chuck's Mission: Chuck Me Out to The Office's Subtle Sexuality webisodes, the staff at NBC.com builds relationships with the shows to create compelling content and communities for users to engage with beyond the standard 30-60 minute time-slot on-air.
by Matthew Carlson and Matthew Davis
The launch of the iPad signaled the start of a new era for magazine
publishing. A single device that delivered the fidelity of print and
the interactivity of the Web, all wrapped up in a fun and easy-to-use
form factor gave the industry new reason to hope. There was one trick:
no one had designed for this brave new medium yet. Editorial teams
suddenly needed to consider multi-touch gestures, multiple
orientations, dynamic layout and the integration of rich media into
the design of their issues. Ink-smudged print teams had to reach out
to the pixel-based life forms in charge of the company Websites, and
engage a new breed of Cocoa developers as well. Whole new models of
information design and user experience we're launched at high velocity
into the App Store.
Both speakers were involved in designing some of the first digital magazines that launched on the iPad on April 3rd, 2010. They've spent the last year exploring new ways to experience and engage with magazine content on this exciting new platform. Together they've worked on iPad editions of magazines such as Spin, Dwell, National Geographic, Car and Driver and many others. In this session they'll share hard-earned knowledge and useful insights on how to design for gestural interfaces, how to integrate interactivity smoothly into digital magazines and what it takes to build an issue for the iPad.
At kids soccer games around the country, hyperconnected Dads tweet about trivia to pass the time. Meanwhile, as you walk into a supposedly social event, people all around you pull out their devices to "check in" on Foursquare or Gowalla. Through the night, people continue sharing their real feelings and thoughts not with the person in front of them but to their audience of "followers" on Twitter, making a real life social event feel decidedly ANTI-social. Sound familiar? As technology allows us to share every moment instantaneously online, are we missing out on what is right in front us? And if so, is the only solution to turn our gadgets off, or is there some imaginary line of balance that we can strike? This session will explore those questions, and the anti-social path that our always-connectedness may be leading us towards. Most importantly, we’ll try to uncover how you might fight back and reclaim your humanity from the social media bubble around you.
2011 will mark the 10th anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001.
Since that day, the world has changed in significant ways socially, politically and technologically. Consider recent natural and man-made disasters - earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Iceland's volcanic ash cloud - as well as politically divisive events in Iran, Tunisia, Egypt.
Facts, opinions and speculation for each new event spread faster than the last, through online social networks. More and more people are getting news of current events from sources like Twitter, and network and cable news outlets are sourcing material from tweets and Facebook updates.
This panel will explore the emerging and historic role of social networks in disseminating news and information during disasters and other significant events. It will also attempt to assess how differently historical events such as 9/11 would have been reported if Twitter and Facebook had been introduced to the world ten years earlier.
With smartphones and handheld video cameras in the hands of thousands of people on the scene, would conspiracy theories and unanswered questions still swirl around Ground Zero? Would the events have changed at all, or their aftermath be different? In the context of these and other questions, we will speculate on how future disasters will be reported.
by Paul Boag
Many believe the secret to a successful ecommerce site is to copy Amazon. However, that rarely works.
Your website is not Amazon. Instead it has a unique offering that caters to a specific audience. Once you realise that you can achieve unbelievable things.
In his talk Paul explains how he took one ecommerce website from relatively successful beginnings to unbelievable heights. In only 5 years he and the team at Headscape increased sales on the site by a staggering 10,000%. What makes the story even more unbelievable is that the average customer is over 80 years old!
This single example will act as a case study that guides you towards better understanding your audience and growing your online sales significantly.
The Web has changed your life, your death and what you leave behind. Your heirlooms like photos, videos and letters are now stored in digital form and - in many cases - on servers that you don't own like those of Flickr, YouTube and Gmail. What should happen to your "legacy" data? With over 285,000 Facebook users set to die this year, you really should think about it.
The Internet generation is coming of age and this issue is only growing. We have to respond with new legal frameworks and standards to support this change. The good news is that entrepreneurs, attorneys, archivists and scholars are already working on solutions. Join us to learn what happens to your digital life after you die and what's being done to give you a say in it.
Kristofer Layon will be stopping by the SX Bookstore to meet registrants and sign copies of his new book, The Web Designer’s Guide to iOS Apps: Create iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps with Web Standards
by John Oliver
John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show is live at SXSW. In anticipation of the Season 2 premiere on March 24th, John will host a special evening with a few of his favorite comics from his eponymous Comedy Central series.
Evan Carroll and John Romano will be stopping by the SX Bookstore to greet interested registrants and sign copies of their new book, Your Digital Afterlife: When Facebook, Flickr and Twitter Are Your Estate, What’s Your Legacy?
11th–15th March 2011