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Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Product Design

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Friday 9th March 2012

  • Fireside Chat with Vic Gundotra on Google+

    by Guy Kawasaki and Vic Gundotra

    Vic Gundotra will participate in a fireside chat with Guy Kawasaki to discuss the Google+ project. Vic will share how the product has grown since the initial launch, some of the lessons learned and the challenges the Google+ team faced along the way.

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

    In Ballroom D, Austin Convention Center

  • We Made This, and It's Not an Ad

    by Robbie Whiting

    What if agencies and marketers created products and services, not just ads? And what if they made these things for themselves, not just for clients? They do. But tackling things like product design, creating new businesses or building complex real-world experiences requires a creative, technical, managerial and entrepreneurial spirit more associated with Silicon Valley than Madison Avenue. It demands new roles, agile approaches, external partnerships, technologies, investments and compensation models that can drive even the most hardened finance director crazy. And in some cases, it may even require a complete reboot from the ground up. The ability to make something that isn’t an “ad” is no longer optional in modern advertising. But it's certainly not easy, either. So what can we learn from the makers, technologists and agencies already playing in this space? Turns out, a whole heckuva lot.

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

    In Capital Ballroom B, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

    Coverage slide deck

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

  • Does Your Product Have a Plot?

    by David Womack

    What makes an experience—any experience—compelling? A well–told story transcends any particular medium and this presentation will focus on principles of narrative—such as plot, setting, and point–of–view—as they apply to designing digital products, websites, social media, and apps.

    By the end of the presentation, you will have a solid understanding of the principles of creating compelling stories and will be able to apply narrative techniques to the processes of creating and analyzing interactions. We’ll talk about why some digital experiences take off while others fizzle, how to define systems without using site maps, and innovative uses for user journeys.

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

    In Ballroom BC, Austin Convention Center

Monday 12th March 2012

  • Rev Up Your Product Design, the “Concept Car” Way

    by Nancy Dickenson, Roseann Stempinski, Jake Cressman and Armando Gonzalez

    How can you encourage and facilitate innovation across your teams to come up with the best product? Come take a peek under the hood of a great innovation principle called “Visiontyping,” which promotes powerful collaboration across the board and propels creativity that can deliver big ideas and breakthroughs. This panel of thought leaders will discuss how applying a process of creative exploration - much like the "concept car" style of prototyping - can inspire and hone the vision of your product, allowing you to unleash the best of the best. This session is sponsored by Meebo.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Monday 12th March

    In Salon H, Hilton Austin Downtown

    Coverage audio clip