Open source projects, in particular, have long skimped on presentation and packaging (basically, they are the equivalent of "she has a great personality!" in the world of blind dating).
This talk is on how designer (graphic, UI & UX, all deft ninjas of the visual and editorial) organize and contribute their visual hacks to open source projects, working in tandem with engineers. Specifically, we'll look at how designers can get involved with Mozilla's Creative Collective, as well as how developers can leverage some of lessons learned by Mozilla's workflow and community-organizing techniques to foster their own design communities and inspire individuals to contribute to other open source projects of all sizes.
People who have contributed to or are working on an open source project, do so in an effort to create and distribute free software (free as in “free speech” v. free as in “drinks on me tonight!”*). This is a great opportunity to get involved with a team and movement (or start your own) that making a better and more awesome internet. As a bonus, contributing to open source is also a great way to enhance your portfolio, discover the brightest people, and create career-inspiring opportunities for yourself and your peers.
Generally speaking, there's an assumption that casual games are a waste of time. What can playing a "meaningless" Facebook game for a few minutes really accomplish, anyways? Do I really need to "rescue" another "sheep"? Another point of view is that they're a little bit sinister, manipulating you into emptying your wallet, or giving up personal information. But perhaps both positions are missing the point. This new genre we call "Casual Social Games" represents a fascinating opportunity to better understand our own behavior, and to direct it, intentionally, for our own benefit, and for the greater good of society.
With over 700 fun and geeky custom logos adorning Google’s international homepages, "doodles" have become synonymous with the Google brand. Through a visual feast of never-before-seen high-res art and outtakes, this presentation will examine the history, popularity, and controversy of Google doodles from the perspective of the small team of artists and developers who create them. This being SXSW Interactive, we will highlight the ingenuity behind special doodles like the playable Pac-Man and animated Rube Goldberg/Fourth of July doodles. We also will take a look behind the scenes of the H.G. Wells mystery doodles, the week that the Sesame Street muppets took over Google, the action-packed Olympics series, and more ways we play on our homepage. Finally, we’ll touch on the feedback we receive, lessons learned, the Doodle4Google children’s art competition, what it takes to be a Google Doodler, and the future of Google doodles.
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.
by John McRee
It’s a cultural phenomenon that most of us didn’t see coming: baby boomers are taking over Facebook, while the millenials are abandoning it like crazy because it is so last year. After all, what 20-something wants his mom to see his status update about last night’s party?
This example signifies a trend in technology overall: the assumed late adopters are now joining early adopters as technology becomes increasingly easy and fun to use. Devices such as the Wii and the iPad have overwhelmingly been adopted by the older and less technologically savvy crowd.
The trend has significant design implications. As we’re designing for emergent devices, we need to be very aware that we’re definitely not designing for ourselves. User research will become even more critical, with particular attention paid to the more mature crowd as they have different needs from other generations. Security, privacy and ease of use are key attributes for this audience that we may have overlooked, thinking we were designing for younger users.
During this session, John will discuss specific case studies of companies that saw the benefits of conducting the necessary user research to understand the needs, goals and motivations of the boomer crowd as well as specific design techniques that appeal to a more mature audience. In addition, he’ll also explore whether there is one, common design language that speaks to the needs of multiple generations.
Displaying geography alone is easy: interactive maps are more and more a part of our everyday lives. Displaying time alone is easy: we are all familiar with charts and animations that show the passage of time. It is increasingly common to display time and space together in a single visual interface as well, but this combination has raised a number of new questions. There are few conventions or standards for geotemporal visualization, and we are still discovering which approaches are most effective for which datasets. Focusing particularly on historical data, this panel will explore issues in the modeling and visualization of geotemporal information, presenting existing approaches and discussing new trends.
As individuals and companies across the world rely more and more heavily on social media, data visualization has become sine qua non in not only displaying analytics and metrics, but also in understanding macro and micro trends by platform, network and individual.
This panel will explore information design, data visualization, relationship mapping and statistics -- and how they all fit together to create compelling infographics, data visualizations and dynamic dashboards in hot pursuit of the holy grail of information design: make it more digestible and more human. Proposed by well-known data visualization firm JESS3 (see especially: The Conversation Prism and The State of the Internet), the panel will not only share insights into what makes a good infographic or social media data visualization, but also seek to explore the significance of these graphics in relation to the expanding reach and uses of social media as not just tellers of social media stories, but part of larger content-based communications strategies.
At the intersection of video gaming technology, open government and citizen science are new applications making it easier and more fun for the public to explore space data. Get an inside look at virtual environments incorporating real-time spacecraft data and images. Become an armchair astronaut and travel through the cosmos from your personal computer. Ride along with NASA spacecraft, hazardous asteroids and distant planets, or just experience the vastness and beauty of space. All these worlds are yours... including Europa.
by Sarah Nelson
A search on Amazon shows 62,000+ books on leadership but almost nothing to help creative team leaders build and sustain a creative environment. Creativity and innovation can be delicate and emotionally fraught processes. Leadership theories are helpful, but what do you do when your star designer suddenly starts mailing it in? Or a project team is frozen in infighting? Or one of your designers just can't find their footing in a new project? When you got your big promotion for being an amazing designer, no one told you that you needed an entirely new skill set. Sink or swim, baby.
For this session, Sarah B. Nelson gets practical on the topic of creative leadership. From vision development to team alignment, from bottom-up empowerment to top-down intervention, Sarah will inspire you with practical ideas to motivate your team and rouse them to greatness. She will draw on her extensive experience leading creative teams at Adaptive Path and Hot Studio -- and inform the discussion with research and interviews from organizational psychologists, experienced managers, and successful creative leaders.
Agile is broken. With large corporations rapidly adopting agile, it is crucial that these teams include designers to create great products. Agile, by its nature, shortcuts the design process without considering the value that design brings, not only in providing on-the-fly design solutions but also crafting the vision of a product that the team can work towards. In the agile framework available to larger companies, there isn’t structure in place that takes into account the work style of design team members. Why is this important? Because design needs more than 5 minutes. How can designers help teams deliver high quality products while grappling with the excruciating constraints of agile? We are designers on an agile team in the corporate world. These are our stories of triumph and tragedy. Come hear what worked for us and share your own war stories.
Some of the most important design decisions happen in code.
In 2009, I gave a talk at the Build conference in Belfast with what I thought was a fairly uncontroversial premise: web designers should write code. Since then, the subject has sparked more than a few debates, including a particular heated pile-on when Elliot Jay Stocks tweeted that he was "shocked that in 2010 I’m still coming across ‘web designers’ who can’t code their own designs. No excuse."
In a recent interview, Jonathan Ive said "It's very hard to learn about materials academically, by reading about them or watching videos about them; the only way you truly understand a material is by making things with it." He's talking about product design, but the principle is just as relevant to the Web (if not more so).
"The best design explicitly acknowledges that you cannot disconnect the form from the material--the material informs the form.... Because when an object's materials, the materials' processes and the form are all perfectly aligned.... People recognize that object as authentic and real in a very particular way."
As our industry grows and roles get more specialized, it's possible to become a "web designer" without more than a cursory understanding of the fundamental building materials of the Web: the code.
Is this just the price of progress? Are the days of the web craftsman soon to be in the past? Or is a hybrid approach to web design and development something worth preserve?
Solr is an open source, Lucene based search platform originally developed by CNET and used by the likes of Netflix, Yelp, and StubHub which has been rapidly growing in popularity and features during the last few years. Learn how Solr can be used as a Not Only SQL (NoSQL) database along the lines of Cassandra, Memcached, and Redis.
NoSQL data stores are regularly described as non-relational, distributed, internet-scalable and are used at both Facebook and Digg.
This presentation will quickly cover the fundamentals of NoSQL data stores, the basics of Lucene, and what Solr brings to the table. Following that we will dive into the technical details of making Solr your primary query engine on large scale web applications, thus relegating your traditional relational database to little more than a simple key store.
Real solutions to problems like handling four billion requests per month will be presented. We'll talk about sizing and configuring the Solr instances to maintain rapid response times under heavy load. We'll show you how to change the schema on a live system with tens of millions of documents indexed while supporting real-time results. And finally, we'll answer your questions about ways to work around the lack of transactions in Solr and how you can do all of this in a highly available solution.
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.
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.
After many years there now appears to be agreement from traditional software vendors to web-based companies that we are now shifting from the desktop to the cloud. Is there truly harmony in the industry or are there still disagreements over how the cloud is delivered and utilized? This panel of cloud pioneers and experts will debate the state of cloud computing and where its future lies. Where does the cloud stand for consumers vs. the enterprise? How do mobile, social and open trends impact the cloud? And what is the future of the cloud – will one cloud win out over all others or will there be seamless data sharing across multiple clouds of a customer’s choice?
by Jon Wiley
Cloud computing is finally coming out of the trough of disillusionment along the hype cycle. Is it really possible to live your life in the clouds? Can you ditch the desktop? Can you buck the backup? Come learn about the state-of-the-art in untethered cloud computing services that will lighten your life and make any computer personal.
When you're designing for the web, you have to think about identity and authentication. This has always included the nuts and bolts of login fields and passwords, but now also includes 3rd-party authentication services like Facebook Connect, OAuth, OpenID (and more!). Amidst this complexity, creating good user experiences has gotten a little weirder and a little harder.
This talk presents a pragmatic approach to designing identity and authentication on the web, focused on best practices and a reality-based understanding of user behavior.
- How users really handle accounts and passwords, and what that means for your site.
- Best practices for account creation, password selection, and login/logout.
- How to handle shared accounts, shared computers, and other messy realities.
- What designers needs to know about OpenID, OAuth, Facebook Connect, and other identity platforms.
- What might happen next: future-proofing your design without a crystal ball.
To conclude their trilogy of successful presentations at SxSW about the analysis of interfaces in science fiction, the authors of Make it So will invite a collection of production designers who have been responsible for on screen interfaces to share and discuss their work. (This panel had to be canceled last year. Consider it a comeback.)
In the US, 75% of students graduate high school. Our national college graduation rate is even lower at approximately 54%. And those students who aspire to go to college are faced with a rising tuition cost, which has increased more than any other major good or service for the last twenty years. Looking ahead to the next 20 years, students will pay $221,722 to drop out of a state school, and close to $450,000 to try their luck at a private school in hopes of getting a higher education. These unfortunate statistics don't even begin to describe the current university system's neglect to harness experiential and digital approaches to open-source educational models.
We are facing an education crisis in the United States. This panel will explore the future of education, examining the roles of design, technology, and human beings in reshaping the way we teach and learn. While the panel is diverse, the speakers all share unconventional views of learning, a passion for design and creativity, and an entrepreneurial commitment to driving change through both action and technology.
Indisputably, algorithms and user interface (UI) are both crucial to any software’s success, but many companies struggle to find the sweet spot where back end meets front end development in a perfect balance of product success. The age-old battle of function vs. fashion emerges when resources need allocation, road maps are determined, and the fate of a startup hangs in the balance.
Algorithms crawl the internet, digesting tons of data to spit out content that is valuable for users, while UI attracts, retains and instills trust in users to delivering that value to the masses. But in the end, drives innovation and success, the algorithms or the UI? If you’ve got funding for 6 hires, who are they?
This informative discussion will be led by Aaron Patzer, VP/GM of Intuit’s personal finance group and Founder of Mint.com, an algorithms engineer with several patents at the core of his product who also recognizes the value that perfectly pixilated, easy-to-understand charts and graphics brought to Mint. Panelists, including a UI designer, algorithms expert and CEO of company that has successfully merged the development of both, will discuss how to combine different types of expertise into a winning formula; what’s necessary to create complex technology and dense data into simple information for users, whether product innovation should be driven from the product’s front end or back end, and how an organization’s structure changes the way product development takes place.
by Jeff Gothelf
Traditionally UX has been a deliverables practice. Wireframes, sitemaps, flow diagrams, content inventories, taxonomies etc defined the practice of UX Designers (IxD, UX Design, whatever, etc). While this work has helped define what an UX Designers do and the value the work brings to a business, it has also put us in the deliverables business - measured and compensated for the depth and breadth of their deliverables (instead of the quality and success of the experiences they design). Enter Lean UX. Inspired by Lean Product and Agile development theories, Lean UX is the practice of bringing the true nature of our work to light faster, with less emphasis on deliverables and greater focus on the actual experience being designed. This talk will explore how Lean UX manifests in terms of process, communication, documentation and team interaction. In addition, we'll take a look at how this philosophical shift can take root in any environment from large corporation to interactive agencies to startups.
by Jenine Lurie
“You have to start with the most complex, and find a simple solution. Then you have to make it work.” – IM Pei
The critical path to excellent usability design begins with a fundamental understanding of how an application or interface is broken. In a variety of ways, UX designers take their cues from organizations like Consumer Reports which for example, use machines and robotics to repeatedly pound luggage to test for durability with the overall objective to try to make it rip, tear or break. UX engineers persistently attempt to ‘break’ the application, by often pushing it to its most extreme edges in order to find a solution for the fix. This presentation will extend beyond the physical design, Web or digital application interface and venture out into the world of human interactions and interpersonal communications, the original source where all interaction is based and inspired. The presentation will use video clips from the comedic series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, where Larry David, the protagonist of the show is shown to persistently test, provoke and extreme push society and conventional behavior to humorously illustrate where human interactions are broken and ways that they can or (why bother?) be fixed.
11th–15th March 2011