Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Design on Monday 14th March

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  • Neurons Sparking!: Design with the Brain in Mind!

    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.

    LEVEL: Advanced

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Monday 14th March

    In Salon D, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Touching Stories: Designing Digital Magazines for the iPad

    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.

    LEVEL: Advanced

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Monday 14th March

    In Salon K, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Transmedia: What's the Magical Formula for Successful Design?

    by Anthea Foyer

    Deep within our secret laboratory, The Labs team of new media scientists work incessantly to discover the secret ingredients of successful transmedia projects. With the recent acceleration of transmedia projects, there have been a lot of successes and failures. But what are the common elements that determine these outcomes? Is it possible to harness them for your own projects? At this session we will reveal our findings to you, our audience. As with any good experiment, however, this will be a participatory event with the audience having the opportunity to become contributors as well. We know you are a smart audience with much to add to the experiment. After the event, our joint findings will be shared online with the world.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:15am to 11:30am, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center

  • Comedic Communication: Designing for Pleasure and Play

    by Adam Frucci, Baratunde Thurston, Chelsey Delaney and Lisa Cohen

    Reaching disengaged communities usually doesn’t include building an app or a Web site but creating a more tangible experience—And, inspiring those who are long lost to apathy to even consider taking part in this experience is the first and most difficult step. Designers often end up using stereotypical and common forms of serious, logical argument in communicating pertinent issues.

    But many designers have failed to acknowledge a common tool as one of the most powerful rhetorical strategies for use in their work: humor. The majority of publications within the field of humor research have surfaced in the past decade. Design is the one field that has been barely explored as a humorous rhetorical genre. Neglecting humor’s potential eliminates the chance of mastering a method of communication that has an unlimited usage scope because of its cultural role and human value.

    There exists a need for humor to become better understood in communication design both in use and in evaluation. Humor in design, through this panel, can be explored to establish a way of communicating serious issues in a non-intimidating fashion. Discussions would provide advocacy organizations or individuals with new and more effective methods for deeper poignant messaging. The hope in furthering awareness of humor research in design is to significantly add to the area of design for social change using strong emotional approaches. As Mark Twain said, “The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow.”

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage sketch note

  • All of the fonts you'll ever need – "Design for Hackers" book reading

    by David Kadavy

    There are plenty of tools and tips available for technically applying design to an application or website; but the classical fundamentals that make websites and products beautiful and engaging remain a mystery. David Kadavy - freelance designer to Silicon Valley clients such as oDesk, UserVoice, and PBworks - will provide a sneak preview of content from his book, "Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty." David will explain important differences to be aware of when choosing fonts, as well as present "all of the fonts you'll ever need.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 14th March

    Coverage video

  • Behavior Design: Stop Being Neutral, Start Influencing Decisions

    by Nick Disabato and Chris Risdon

    Design traditionally focuses on creating products and services that recognize an existing behavior and work to support it. The next wave will be products and services that motivate and incentivize change. Design can help us be better at what we do and make us do better things.

    We are in the age of aware tech. People are receiving vast amounts of data about their own actions and patterns. We need to provide them with clever ways to act on that information. Moreover, companies and organizations are seeking out ways to influence customer choices and create social impact, but many designers are hesitant to pursue work that makes choices for people.

    Design has always had an influence, whether recognized or not. It’s time to start seeing that all design choices have an impact, and to start working towards changing the way we live for the better.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 6:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Capitol A-D, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

    Coverage slide deck

  • Critical Thinking for UX Designers (Or Anyone, Really)

    by Russ U and Christina Wodtke

    Love creative problem solving, but need something more practical - something specific to User Experience? Russ and Stephen will share with you the exercises they use to solve the REAL problems.

    You'll flex your critical thinking muscle through a series of jumpstarter activities. Even better, attendees will be encouraged to participate, if not embarrass themselves in front of a room full of their peers as they challenge themselves to see past the first, obvious - and often incorrect - answers, and start to flip problems on their heads to see solutions from a different view.

    Session Takeaways

    • Gain a better understanding of what critical thinking is, why it is important in the world of User Experience Design
    • Identify ways to evaluate the visual and verbal messages in your work
    • Spot artificial constraints to focus on the root problem(s).
    • View problems from a different perspective and remove yourself as a consumer/user.
    • Learn how reframing problems can lead to radically different solutions.
    • Dissect problems to uncover solutions you may have previously overlooked.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage slide deck

  • Design Intersection - Cultural Sustainability, Activism, Social Entrepreneurship

    by Peter Hall and Beth Ferguson

    Our focus is the designers’ role in combining cultural sustainability and social entrepreneurship to find creative solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems. Innovative strategies, systems thinking, distributed production, open design and creative risk-taking are yielding meaningful outcomes regarding climate protection, clean mobility, renewable energy, waste reduction, and social equality.

    Effective utilization of social media, web based maps and the internet have made much of the world dependent on mobile communication devices, which need a constant supply of power to keep roaming. Balancing their impact, new tools such as the Kill-a-watt, energy monitor mobile apps and solar charging stations visually link users with their home/work energy consumption. Others, such as Green Map, livingprinciples.org or Treehugger, put an environmental and social perspective on local resources and developments, motivating action that benefits the commons.

    Designers and social entrepreneurs are forming strong communities of practice and collective identity as desire shifts toward sufficiency and well-being. Entities willing to take a creative risk and a leadership role in adopting holistic design processes are becoming the leaders of our future development. Providing tools for educators to restructure the pedagogy is essential for preparing future creators to face the challenges with sanguine, innovative solutions. Join with us on a journey towards redesigning design.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Room 8A, Austin Convention Center

  • My Title Is Web Designer, Now What?

    by Val Head and Chris Cashdollar

    As agencies and professionals become more entrenched in their processes for creating sites, the role of the web designer has become more nuanced. The skillsets of people who call themselves web designers can vary greatly from one to the next. One may never touch code; one may have their hands in every step of building out their designs; others may be somewhere in between.

    These days it's hard to know what kind of things you should be expected to do as a web designer. Should we continue to add skills outside of the traditional realm of design to our toolbox? Do we focus on becoming design experts? The way we answer questions will affect our careers and how we work.

    In this panel we will discuss what we, as web designers, need to do to adapt to the new trends and ever-changing demands of our craft. We'll talk about what skills a web designer should have in their design toolbox and tackle questions like: should designers know how to code? Where do the skills of a graphic designer and a web designer overlap and where do they differ? And how does the differentiation of role expectations effect design processes?

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Rio Grande A, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

    Coverage transcript

  • Designing for Mobile Web

    by James Pearce

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 4:00pm to 4:15pm, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center

  • Anatomy of a Design Decision

    by Jared Spool

    What separates a good design from a bad design are the decisions that the designer made. Jared will explore the five styles of design decisions, showing you when gut instinct produces the right results and when designers need to look to more user-focused research. You'll see how informed decisions play out against rule-based techniques, such as guidelines and templates. And Jared will show you the latest research showing how to hire great decision makers and find opportunities that match your style.

    Of course, Jared will use his unforgettable presentation style to deliver an extremely entertaining and informative presentation.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom D, Austin Convention Center

  • New Media vs Print Media, Who's Launching Today's Designer

    by Tina Shoulders

    Exploring traditional media vs new media when it comes to launching the career of a designer. Fashion designers and product designers have the ability to be small time rocks stars and household names once their name hits print, so we explore which mode of print media is doing it faster and more effectively. If your name is passed around the web often enough it moves faster from country to country but does that beat being in the style section of a national acclaimed magazine like Vogue? Do people respect tangible media more than they do new media. We will weight the pros and cons of pitching both new media (blogs) and print media all the while arguing that any press is good press.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Hill Country AB, Hyatt Regency Austin

  • Designing for iPhone

    by whurley (william hurley)

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:45pm to 6:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center