Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Design

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Friday 9th March 2012

  • Designing for Context

    by Andrew Crow, Leah Buley, Ryan Freitas, Ben Fullerton and Nate Bolt

    As designers take on new problems of convergence and ubiquity, we find ourselves facing new challenges. The products we create are accessed through multiple devices, different channels and a wide audience. How do we accommodate the context of use?

    Whether you design mobile apps, services or web experiences, you know that people have different needs and desires. Those issues are complicated further by a landscape of technology.

    This discussion will highlight these new challenges and offer solutions based on years of design experience. Topics include:

    • What should you be aware of when designing a product or service for use in various locations and environments?
    • How does motion and distraction affect interaction and content design decisions?
    • Do you provide for casual use vs. urgent need?
    • How does the form factor or input method of your device steer your design efforts?
    • What happens in an ecosystem of products?
    • How does social and cultural context play into the strategy of your design?

    At 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Friday 9th March

    In Town Lake Ballroom, Radisson Hotel & Suites Austin-Town Lake

  • SXSW ScreenBurn Workshop with TheArtDepartment.org and ConceptArt.org

    Join us for portfolio reviews, life drawing workshops, informal talks and more with TheArtDepartment.org and ConceptArt.org

    At 3:00pm to 6:00pm, Friday 9th March

    In Palmer Event Center

  • Design from the Gut: Dangerous or Differentiator?

    by Laurel Hechanova, Naz Hamid, Phil Coffman, William Couch and Jane Leibrock

    The internet is a never-ending data source. Through it we are able to monitor visitor activity, study traffic patterns, and use these analytics to help guide users in the directions we want. Usability testing gives us behavioral information which can either affirm design decisions or inform necessary changes. Research and analytics go a long way in selling a creative direction to clients who are focused on engaging with their customers and in how marketing dollars will impact their bottom line. But what about a designer's instinct—that moment when a designer just knows what they're building is right? When and how do their years of professional experience, inspirational collections, and life observations become deciding factors? Learn from a panel of design veterans, with experience that ranges from client services to product development, about past experiences and their personal stance on the subject.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 9th March

    In Ballroom BC, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • Faster Design Decisions with Style Tiles

    by Samantha Warren

    With responsive design designers need to rethink the process they go through to work with clients and developers to create successful visual designs. Rather than creating traditional comps, style tiles are a deliverable that help you to communicate with your client, establish a visual language and work iteratively with developers. In this presentation, Samantha will explain how to reinvent your process to leverage Style Tiles as a deliverable.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 9th March

    In Town Lake Ballroom, Radisson Hotel & Suites Austin-Town Lake

  • Unstuck: Get (and Keep) Your Creativity Flowing

    by Noah Scalin

    Has your creative engine stalled out? Don’t worry; you’re in good company. Everyone needs a creative tune-up from time-to-time and this is where you’ll get the tools for the job. Artist/designer Noah Scalin, author of 365: A Daily Creativity Journal and Unstuck: 52 Ways To Get (and Keep) Your Creativity Flowing at Home, at Work, and in Your Studio, will share the story of his own yearlong Skull-A-Day project and the benefits he gained from this daily practice – including becoming a published author & sought after corporate speaker, and yes even making an appearance on The Martha Stewart show. He’ll also introduce you to several easy ways to immediately start generating more creative energy that will benefit your life and work.

    At 3:30pm to 3:50pm, Friday 9th March

    In Ballroom G, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • View512

    Join interactive agency Tocquigny for View512, a party 17 stories above the action. You won't find a better view. http://www.view512.com

    At 6:00pm to 8:00pm, Friday 9th March

    In 17th Floor, Frost Bank Tower

Saturday 10th March 2012

  • Designing Experiences for Women

    by Jessica Ivins and Brad Nunnally

    Women have become the digital mainstream. In the US market, women make up just under half of the online population, but they spend 58 percent of e-commerce dollars. Women are online gamers, shoppers, bloggers, and social media consumers. And yet, we still don’t know how to design for them.

    The immediate impulse when designing for women is to “shrink it and pink it,” meaning products are splashed with the color pink, and content and messaging are dumbed down. But women want what’s relevant to them. They want products and online experiences that are intuitive, not insulting to their intelligence. They want function, not frills.

    This session reviews the historical and contemporary landscape of designing for women. We’ll review misguided, yet well-intentioned designs based on assumptions and stereotypes that have flopped. Likewise, we’ll review success stories of well-designed products and experiences that truly meet women’s needs. We’ll also look at when gender should factor into your design and when it shouldn’t. Ultimately, when designing for women (or men, or both), you’ll want to get it right.

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

    In Ballroom BC, Austin Convention Center

  • Mind Reading: Seeing Needs Users Don’t Articulate

    by Leslie Feinzaig

    When your product is facing serious competition, knowing what unmet need still exists is crucial to planning your next move. But in surveys you find that everyone is reasonably satisfied with all of the key features in your competitor’s products and they do not perceive that their experience could be better than it currently is. So how do you identify opportunities that seem not to exist? In this session, using Bing’s insight development practices as a case study, we will discuss techniques for gaining deep understanding of and empathy with customer’s pain to spur product innovations. We will share insights that we’ve identified that point to broad cultural shifts in how people think about knowledge that impact what is perceived as trustworthy and what is complete information required to make important decisions. We will share both how we were able to identify these needs and specifically what these needs are in an effort to encourage thinking about how to better meet them. This session is sponsored by Bing.

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

    In Town Lake Ballroom, Radisson Hotel & Suites Austin-Town Lake

    Coverage slide deck

  • AT&T Mobile App Hackathon

    Come join us at a special AT&T Mobile App Hackathon that will be focused on UI/UX designers and the like. We’ve lined up a special celebrity guest, Chicago Bears 7-time Pro-Bowl LB Lance Briggs, a self-admitted comic book fanatic. He’s looking for the best designers and devs to build him a mobile app. And where better to find the best than SXSW? Especially when the Official SXSW Hackathon is located smack in the center of the action at the Austin Convention Center for your convenience.

    Competitors will be given 24 short hours to blow Lance’s mind by taking the concept and transforming it into an awe inspiring design, which will be reviewed by Lance himself. Finally, to really make this crazy, we’ve got over $46k in cash and prizes.
    In short, this highly intense event will celebrate the unique contribution of designers and provide you with the opportunity to not only showcase your skills, but design an app for an NFL great with millions of fans and millions of potential users.

    Registration: http://mobileappsxsw.eventbrite....

    Event Schedule:

    6PM - Friday Evening - Kick off event with Happy Hour where our special guest partners will pitch the app concept you will be designing.

    10AM - Saturday Morning - AT&T Mobile App Hackathon. The fun continues with an all day hackathon. Work with the teams that you formed on Friday night to produce the app spec’d out the night before. Senseis will be available throughout the entire event to help you code up your solution. App submissions will be accepted throughout the day with a deadline of 7:30PM.

    7:30PM - Saturday Evening. Promptly at 7:30PM, teams will begin pitching their ventures. Pitches are limited to three (3) minutes per team.

    At 10:00am to 10:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Room 2, Austin Convention Center

  • Eve Blossom Book Signing

    Eve Blossom signs her book ‘Material Change: Design Thinking and the Social Entrepreneur’ at the SXSW bookstore

    At 10:05am to 10:20am, Saturday 10th March

    In Ballroom G Foyer, Austin Convention Center

  • Holo: Exploring the design of the Android user interface

    by Trevor Johns

    Learn about the design principles that went into Android's latest release and how to design beautiful applications for the next generation of Android smartphones. This talk will take you on a guided tour through the Android user interface design guide, including the rationale behind the creation of the new "Holo" theme introduced in Android 3.0, and will leave you with practical tips for your own Android apps.

    At 11:00am to 11:25am, Saturday 10th March

    In Rainey St

  • HTML5 APIs Will Change the Web: And Your Designs

    by Jen Simmons

    HTML5. It's more than paving the cowpaths. It's more than markup. There's a lot of stuff in the spec about databases and communication protocols and blahdiblah backend juju. Some of that stuff is pretty radical. And it will change how you design websites. Why? Because for the last twenty years, web designers have been creating inside of a certain set of constraints. We've been limited in what's possible by the technology that runs the web. We became so used to those limits, we stopped thinking about them. They became invisible. They Just Are. Of course the web works this certain way. Of course a user clicks and waits, the page loads, like this… but guess what? That's not what the web will look like in the future. The constrains have changed. Come hear a non-nerd explanation of the new possibilities created by HTML5’s APIs. Don't just wait around to see how other people implement these technologies. Learn about HTML APIs yourself, so you can design for and create the web of the future.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

  • The Complexity Curve: How to Design for Simplicity

    by David Hogue

    Interfaces and devices are providing more and more power and functionality to people, and in many cases this additional power is accompanied by increasing complexity. Although people have more experience and are more sophisticated, it still takes time to learn new interfaces, information, and interactions. Although we are able to learn and use these often difficult interfaces, we increasingly seek and appreciate simplicity.

    The Complexity Curve describes how a project moves from boundless opportunity and wonderful ideas to requirements checklists and constraints then finally (but only rarely) to simplicity and elegance. Where many projects call themselves complete when the necessary features have been included, few push forward and strive to deliver the pleasing and delightful experiences that arise from simplicity, focus, and purpose.

    In this session, David M. Hogue, Ph.D. - VP of Experience Design, applied psychologist, and adjunct faculty member at San Francisco State University - will introduce the Complexity Curve, discuss why our innovative ideas seem to fade over the course of a project, explain why "feature complete" is not the same as "optimal experience", and offer some methods for driving projects toward simplicity and elegance.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Ballroom BC, Austin Convention Center

  • Tech Career Expo

    Land a new (or better) job at SXSW. Chat with over 60 hot companies, from startups to established firms. Openings include development, design, engineering, management, marketing and sales. http://TechCareerExpo.com/

    At 12:00pm to 7:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Austin Music Hall

  • Design for Social Innovation and Public Good

    by Barbara Brown Wilson, Suzi Sosa, John Peterson and Jess Zimbabwe

    A new movement is gaining momentum in the design world— a movement to expand the applications of high design beyond its elitist client base to solve complex social problems. This panel will engage an array of leaders in the public interest design movement who use design thinking in various ways to address global challenges and engender social innovation at different scales. John Peterson will bring his experience developing the largest interactive matchmaking database for pro bono design services between top architecture firms and deserving nonprofits to the discussion; Jess Zimbabwe’s contribution will be informed by work empowering civic leaders to use design thinking to solve public problems; John Bielenberg will bring his perspective on the influence of graphic design campaigns to bring awareness to complex social problems; while Barbara Brown Wilson will draw from her work in higher education to discuss the role of active learning and interactive online project evaluation to empower students to become social innovators. Suzi Soza, from the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service’s Dell Social Innovation Competition, will moderate the panel.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Room 9ABC, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • Designing for Content Management Systems

    by Jared Ponchot

    The job of a web designer these days includes designing for content that changes, is highly dynamic, and often does not yet exist. Gone are the halcyon days of static, 5 page websites that are just as rigid as a printed brochure (let's be honest, we don't miss that). This reality has created a great deal of debate within our industry and a fair amount of difficulty in our design processes.

    In this session we'll cover some basic design concepts and principles that can be applied when designing for CMS-driven websites. We'll also outline some tips and tricks for your design process, and explore some of the biggest hurdles and potential pitfalls in designing for yet created and ever-changing content.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Ballroom BC, Austin Convention Center

  • Hunt or Be Hunted: Get the Design Job You Want

    by Whitney Hess, Jason Putorti, Gina Bianchini and Amy Jackson

    ”Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch…”,lyrics from Fiddler on the Roof about finding a perfect partner. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have someone to guide you towards what is a match for you, advise you in your career life, help you weed through the losers to find the fabulous ‘one’ that will make you whistle on your way to work AND whistle on the way home?
    In Hunt or Be Hunted - How to get the Design Job you Really Want, you will be privy to the insights and success stories of three of the industry’s most respected representatives in their knowledge domains. You will also hear from a leading expert in the placement of designers. Each will relate real-world experience, guiding audience members through the maze of questions a designer has in this frenetic job market.

    Who are you as a designer? What do you want to do, and how do you know it's the right thing.

    What's your story? How to present yourself, your portfolio, and where you want to be.

    Where should you be full time or freelance? What that means to your life, your career and how you are viewed.

    When is it right? To look, to change, to know if this is the one.

    How do you get there? Choosing the right company, assessing/selling to what they need, closing the deal.

    Don’t be left in the dark. Don’t make blind decisions. Be informed, be guided, then be sure. Listen to these respected resources to help yourself to, “…find me the perfect match.”

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Ballroom D, Austin Convention Center

  • Responsible Design and the Ethics of Influence

    by Dennis Kardys

    We can't excuse ourselves from responsibility for the things we create simply because we work as part of a team, or because we have bosses and clients telling us what to do. Behind every web page, process, and product are the hands and minds of the designers who planned them. We study users, create scenarios, and develop workflows. We set the mood and fine tune the tone. We design, analyze, and optimize. This is all done to provoke actions from people who have no idea the extent to which each button-press has been planned for. As our influential methods reach further into the disciplines of psychology and behavioral science, we must ask ourselves exactly where the ethical boundary lies between persuasion and manipulation.

    The purpose of this talk is not only to inspire you to take your work more personally, but also as a reminder of how important it is. As the hands the shape the digital world, and it's up to us to determine just how radically awesome or terribly sucky it will be.

    At 12:45pm to 1:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Texas Ballroom 4-7, Hyatt Regency Austin

  • Upgrading Your Android App For Tablets Code Lab

    Come participate in these free, interactive programming classes. Roll up your sleeves and get waist-deep in code. Whether you’re learning a new platform or are a seasoned hacker, these hands-on sessions will help you apply your knowledge.

    This guided lab will take you through the process of upgrading an existing Android application designed for phones into a hybrid phone+tablet application. You'll learn about designing layouts for multiple screen densities, using Fragments, implementing an Action Bar, and using the Android Support Package to maintain backwards compatibility with older phones. Attendees should have at least a basic familiarity with the Android SDK. This is a free code lab and available on a first come first serve basis due to limited space.

    At 3:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Rainey St

  • How Meaningful Design Can Save the World

    by Eve Simon

    The mission: To create a visually impactful, cutting edge online user experience that encourages people to take action for your cause. No sweat, right?For designers working in the non-profit sector, this is the challenge we face everyday. Organizations who don’t see the true cost of bad design, or those distracted by the low-hanging fruit of mere eye candy (i.e. “wasted pretty”) can make it even harder to achieve this ambitious goal. In this core conversation, we will share the secrets to designing award-winning visuals for your cause that both look amazing and propel an audience to engage. Through real life examples & some unorthodox client/boss management techniques, you’ll walk away with strategies to conceptualize, curate and create work that really can change the world.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Room 8A, Austin Convention Center

  • Physical Architecture Meets Interaction Design

    by Leonard Souza and Sean Coulter

    Physical architecture is about how environments interact with people. Interaction design is about the mind moving through abstract spaces. Somehow the two must intersect.

    This session is aimed at taking two design disciplines (physical architecture and interaction design) and finding where they relate, and how they can learn from one another. Interaction design has taken a lot from the field of architecture's creative and scientific process. For example, wireframes are very similar to blueprints (construction documents). These similarities are ever present between the two. Truly, both fields blend art and science, as well as both sides of the mind. Expect to come away with a high-level understanding of how phenomenology influences our interactions, tangible and intangible, and how cognitive science can be used to manipulate perception. This talk will be a lot of fun, so come down with an open mind and a lot of questions!

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Ballroom BC, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

Sunday 11th March 2012

  • Gabe Zichermann Book Signing

    Gabe Zichermann signs his book ‘Gamification by Design’ at the SXSW bookstore.

    At 10:45am to 11:00am, Sunday 11th March

    In Austin Convention Center

  • Tracy Fullerton Book Signing

    Tracy Fullerton signs her book ‘Game Design Workshop’ at the SXSW bookstore.

    At 11:00am to 11:15am, Sunday 11th March

    In Austin Convention Center

  • Design and the Mobile Startup

    by Mike Krieger, Ron Goldin, Alexa Andrzejewski and Alex Rainert

    In the evolution of a product, ideas are the seed but the execution is key, and what happens between those two stages can make or break a product's success. Designers are trained to think on their feet, be flexible, and not be afraid to start over or make mistakes. Similarly the key tenets of today's startup culture are to be lean, move quickly, and iterate often. In this environment, where risk and competition make innovation critical, companies must leverage design thinking to help define products, often by adapting the design process. In this multidisciplinary panel of technologists, designers, and entrepreneurs, key players in some of today's most successful mobile products will look at the "textbook" creative process in delivering user-centered results and delightful outcomes. Then, we'll talk about examples of what actually happens in the less black-and-white world of startup culture, and discuss what can be done to leverage design in the making of great products.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Salon A, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Design. Build. Transform.

    by Emily Pilloton

    Emily Pilloton is a designer and builder, disguised as a high school teacher. In this session, she will tell the story of Studio H, a high school design/build curriculum based in Bertie County, North Carolina, the poorest, most sparsely populated and racially divided county in the state. In one year, her students design and construct a full-scale piece of architecture for their hometown (last year, a 2000-square foot farmers market, along with 3 public chicken coops). This session will make the case for bringing back new, design-infused models of vocational learning as a means to engage students in hand-to-mind creativity, and real-world progress in their own backyards.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Ballroom EF, Austin Convention Center

  • Liberating Data with Interactive Charts

    by Ross Perez

    Data has been freely available on the web since its inception, but it has always been difficult to access and even harder to digest. Recently, a small but growing group of intrepid data geeks have been scrounging the web for data and turning it into something useful and comprehensible: an interactive visualization! This presentation will show you some of the most intriguing visualizations that have been published in the past year and even how to create your own. Perhaps most importantly, you will leave understanding why these visualizations and their creators are so important to the future of the web.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Texas Ballroom 1-3, Hyatt Regency Austin

    Coverage audio clip

  • White Space: Shaping Nothing for Clean Design

    by David Kadavy

    There is little compliment for a design greater than saying that it "looks clean." But clean design is much more than just a look. To make a clean design, you have to know how to communicate clearly by using white space wisely. In this solo presentation, David Kadavy, author of the #18 Amazon best-seller "Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty," breaks down the invisible forces that shape white space and make a design look "clean." Using fascinating examples that have explained mysteries such as "Why You Hate Comic Sans," Mr. Kadavy illuminates how geometry, typography, and the grid all work together to shape white space, communicate clearly, and create clean design.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Ballroom BC, Austin Convention Center

  • Design for Your Audience Not for Yourself

    by Tom Censani

    With Dribbble, Forrst and other curated sites, the designer's attention has shifted focus to impressing his fellow peers and mimicking influences rather than who we should be focusing on: our audience. We're beginning to lose sight on delivering content in a meaningful way to the people who regularly traffic our sites.Design is beginning to look homogenous and more like a pattern of trends within the design community. Original design should be presented in a way that resonates with the audience and helps the designer grow without losing his own identity in the community.

    At 4:15pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Texas Ballroom 4-7, Hyatt Regency Austin

    Coverage audio clip

  • How Great Design Can Ruin Experience

    by Jon Bell

    Why do some of the most high quality designs have trouble finding an audience while poor design is celebrated? How can aspiring designers make things that they're proud of but also make a real impact in the marketplace?

    Jon Bell, interaction designer on the Windows Phone design team, provides a fast-paced, irreverent survey of the field, comparing a range of examples from Lady Gaga to Arrested Development, fancy furniture to La-Z-Boy Chairs, Android to Transformers, and Helvetica the Documentary to Windows Phone.

    At 4:30pm to 4:45pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Texas Ballroom 4-7, Hyatt Regency Austin

    Coverage audio clip

  • David Kadavy Book Signing

    David Kadavy signs his book ‘Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty’ at the SXSW bookstore.

    At 4:45pm to 5:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Ballroom G Foyer, Austin Convention Center

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