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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
Writers from BusinessWeek, Harvard Business Review, Wired, and even Rolling Stone have all pronounced that design thinking - the process of developing products and services that are both feasible and meet user needs - is the key to successful innovation. And they're right. What they don't tell you is that all the design thinking in the world won't help your company unless your innovations serve a higher purpose. But the vast majority of businesses have no higher purpose. As a result, their products and features are disconnected from their goals. Their marketing is focused on value-adds rather than value propositions. Their message has no message. There's no there there.
That's where experience strategy comes in. Experience strategy is design thinking for your whole business. It tells you which ideas will help and which won't. It tells you if that new product will lead to a unified brand or a disjointed one. It's what turns a shoe store into Zappos, a car company into MINI, and a software company into Apple.
In this session, Robert Hoekman, Jr - author of Designing the Obvious (New Riders) and Designing the Moment (New Riders), and Web Anatomy (New Riders) - presents the essential elements of experience strategy. He reveals the five steps to developing a great UX strategy so you can stop navigating your way through the trees and instead start designing the forest.
by Barry Diller and Poppy Harlow
Barry Diller currently serves as the Chairman of Expedia and the Chairman and Senior Executive of IAC, a leading internet company that houses more than 50 businesses including Match.com, Citysearch, The Daily Beast, Vimeo, CollegeHumour, Electus and Ask.com.
Prior to founding IAC, Mr. Diller served as chief executive for a number of companies engaged in media and interactivity including ABC Entertainment, Fox, Inc., QVC, Paramount Pictures Corporation and Paramount’s Entertainment and Communications Group which included such companies as Simon & Schuster, Madison Square Garden Corporation, and SEGA Enterprises, Inc.
by Dan Shust
It's been a crazy year and it's pretty safe to say that convergence has arrived and maybe even blown past our expectations. We'll take a fast-paced look at the advancements of the past year and set the stage for even more blurring of the lines in 2011.
The Internet is a community of communities, all filled with conflict and drama. Social justice and activism are as filled with these clashes as any other group, but the wounds inflicted can be more than difference of opinion or personality discord: in “safe spaces”, tensions can be particularly fraught
These incidents can often be instructive and valuable. Conflict clarifies loyalties and solidifies friendships; conflict can reveal humility and pride. Controversy can teach anti-oppression activists about how to avoid unintentionally inflicting harm upon folks who do not share their privileges.
But while call-outs can be essential to honest discussions of inequality, drama is just as often destructive. Conflict comes at a price, sometimes with little payoff. Internet drama cost emotional energy, physical resources, time, and relationships. Blogwars, 500+ comment threads, and 140-character fights are rarely in anyone’s best interest – they are usually costly to the attacker, the target, and those reading on the sidelines.
Drama and conflict in online social justice is usually best minimized and carefully managed. This presentation, which will focus more on examination than instruction, is not just about how to check your privilege. It’s about when to call out, and how to avoid abusing others. It’s about how to respond, when to check out, and how to take care of yourself in a community that demands everything of you.
by Chris Morris, Chris Petrovic, Rob Dyer and Steve Carlin
As we’ve seen with the music industry, more and more entertainment services are transitioning from physical goods to digital distribution. This panel will focus on the video game sector and how the growing acceptance of digital distribution is impacting both traditional video game publishers and retailers.
Art, education, economics, propaganda. Games are arriving at the forefront of media to become an important way to engage entire generations of people. What's different from before? Five billion people are replacing the most common communication device, the simple cell phone, with a full-fledged gaming system in their pocket. There are multiple ways to publish and distribute games over the Internet and to the masses. For many, game creation is becoming a regular activity, as tools become both easier to use and more powerful for people without programming knowledge. This panel will cover unique perspectives on how games are becoming more meaningful forms of expression and a significant tool for communicating ideas.
by Ruben Bos
The Netherlands is ranked third in the world when it comes to broadband access per capita. Mobile internet is available in nearly every corner of the country. The penetration of social media is huge. For example, 60% of the Dutch population is a member of Hyves, the biggest social network in The Netherlands. The web is very dominant in The Netherlands. Politicians know this. Nearly the whole parliament is active on Twitter. Something really exciting is starting to show in The Netherlands. The traditional gap between politicians and people is getting smaller. How can we get beyond Twitter? In this presentation, Ruben will explain how we can help politicians to make this gap even smaller. He will explain how he helped transforming the Labour website into an awesome personal blog. He will explore what political parties can learn from websites like Good.is on how they use info graphics to tell their story. Politics don't have to be dull and impersonal. Don't be scared, this presentation won't be either.
Hub-and-Spoke Systems for Open Museum Technology will focus on how museums, science and technology centers, and the like-minded community can benefit from an active model designed to promote collaboration, information exchange, and the adoption of open-source applications and technologies. That model is MOSCAR (Museum Open-Source Code and Application Repository), an initiative spearheaded at Liberty Science Center. The presentation will be divided into two sections: the first will explain the disconnect between the stature of museums and their implementation of emerging and socially relevant technologies; the second will focus on devising models for engaging target communities, with our particular instance (which leverages two collaborative platforms: github and forrst) as a demonstration of this multifaceted learning process. We will present relevant examples stemming from this project, which showcase how users can take advantage of its resources: code, applications, tutorials. The presentation will conclude with a call to action, imploring the audience to use and/or contribute to this and other similar endeavors, regardless of technical proficiency or background. Part thesis, part demonstration, and part community discussion, this presentation will contextualize the dearth of museum resources and offer an outlet for reusable, fully distributable content and a support network for conversation and, ultimately, better work.
Make the coffee, check the RSS, groom the avatar, freshen the blog, make nice with the Twitter, now it's time to ... do the same thing again. Meanwhile your job/project/spouse/story sits there, staring at you with big cow eyes and wonders if you will ever leave the grid and do something real, something productive, something that will yield cash money and not just more followers on Twitter. Most of us work alone in a room, armed with a desktop that is more powerful -- and distracting -- than entire offices a decade ago, and yet the actual throughput of an average day can be negligible. Let's talk to some people who have actually done things -- written books, built businesses, created technology -- about their process. Do they have a clear, bright line between consuming media and producing it? Is it best to have multiple streams on one screen or toggle between to stay on task? Do they have a day part when they are off the grid? And why do great ideas come in the shower? Let's figure out whether the Web is the greatest productivity tool ever invented or a destroyer of initiative and long thoughts.
In the old days it was DJs, A&R folks, labels and record store owners that were the gatekeepers to music. Today, we are seeing a new music gatekeeper emerge... the developer. Using open APIs, developers are creating new apps that change how people explore, discover, create and interact with music. But developers can't do it alone. They need data like gig listings, lyrics, recommendation tools and, of course, music! And they need it from reliable, structured and legitimate sources.
In this presentation we'll discuss and explore what is happening right now in the thriving music developer ecosystem. We'll describe some of the novel APIs that are making this happen and what sort of building blocks are being put into place from a variety of different sources. We'll demonstrate how companies within this ecosystem are working closely together in a spirit of co-operation. Each providing their own pieces to an expanding pool of resources from which developers can play, develop and create new music apps across different mediums - web, mobile, software and hardware. We'll highlight some of the next-generation of music apps that are being created in this thriving ecosystem.
Finally we'll take a look at how music developers are coming together at events like Music Hack Day, where participants have just 24 hours to build the next generation of music apps. Someone once said, "APIs are the sex organs of software. Data is the DNA." If this is true, then Music Hack Days are orgies.
Rohit Bhargava will be stopping by the SX Bookstore to meet registrants and sign copies of his new book, Personality Not Included: Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity- And How Great Brands Get it Back. Visit http://www.readpni.com/ to see a visual introduction to the book.
Is your legal team hindering your social media success? Is someone redlining every blog post, tweet, and comment you compose, costing you valuable time, sterilizing your messages, and taking the “social” out of “social media?” In a court of law, is there really a difference between the words “I’m sorry” and “I regret?” Join a panel of career apologists and apologetic lawyers to understand what the legal risks of saying “I’m sorry” really are, how companies like Southwest Airlines get away with it every day, and how to craft an air-tight apology.
The United States consumes more energy than it produces and is the second biggest emitter of CO2 in the world (behind China). If the United States truly chooses to become a greener country, then major improvements in our infrastructure (buildings and transportation) will have to be made. The green movement in the United States has yet to reach a tipping point. Companies either do not know how to lower their energy consumption and carbon footprint, or they are not implementing the projects fast enough. Fortunately, there are signs that we are now more green than ever. This panel will highlight three companies that you probably haven't heard of that are implementing green strategies. You don't want to miss learning about how these innovative companies got started and what they're doing to make our country a greener place to live.
There’s no topic with more buzz around it than the “cloud.” However, for all the aspects of our social and commercial lives we entrust to the cloud, at the same time we surrender our data, and increasingly our memories and finances, to others. Who controls that data, who protects it and who ensures our privacy? There are however possibilities for creating one’s own cloud, and retaining a measure control over off-site data and services, both software and hardware based. We’ll explore a number of solutions to the notion of a personal cloud, and the trade-offs inherent in that choice.
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.
11th–15th March 2011