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Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 with notes on Friday 9th March

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  • 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

  • The Future of Lifestyle Media

    by Grace Bonney, Camille Styles, Tolly Moseley and Andrew Wagner

    Lifestyle media is big business. And in a down economy, DIY culture (sewing, canning, etc.) has seen a trendy resurgence. But the lifestyle industry is rapidly changing. How can you break in? Once in, how do you stay current? This panel will first define the nebulous term “lifestyle media,” from national design magazines with full staffs to small, personal blogs headed by creative individuals. Who is the target market for lifestyle media? What do they want / need? How can you transition from being a lone, creative blogger to a nationally known resource? Second, we’ll discuss innovation in lifestyle media. Where is the innovation? How does the rise in online lifestyle media change the traditional media landscape? What’s the future of lifestyle media? Finally, we’ll discuss the nuts & bolts of lifestyle media. How do you hone your focus? Is your expertise more style-oriented? Are you a foodie? How can you channel your interests and knowledge in the right direction? Our panelists include the founder of one of the world's most popular design blogs, and editor-in-chief of a national lifestyle print magazine. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the relationship between print and online, and how major players in lifestyle media are working together.

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

    In Capitol E-H, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

    Coverage note

  • SoLoMo Redefined: Next Gen Social Local Mobile

    by Matt Galligan, Jeff Rohrs, Chris Messina and Scott Kveton

    The combination of mobile + social + local is a powerful, yet misunderstood, communication channel. When people hear about it, they often conjure up a “Minority Report” world where companies track their every move to inundate them with marketing. And so they resist. The next-generation of SoMoLo, however, will delight people by providing highly targeted, context-rich communications that keeps the control in their hands. New technologies will leverage newly accessible data gleaned from user app usage, local search results, social streams and location to speak with people on their own terms, in ways that add meaning and convenience. Panelists will share their experiences with and advice on how to leverage SoMoLo data to engage mobile users in ways that personalize content to keep consumers coming back time after time. They will review the spectrum of available channels, emerging techniques, and showcase a handful of savvy brands that are trailblazing and nailing it perfectly.

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

    In Salon FG, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Teaching Touch: Tapworthy Touchscreen Design

    by Josh Clark

    Discover the rules of thumb for finger-friendly design. Touch gestures are sweeping away buttons, menus and windows from mobile devices—and even from the next version of Windows. Find out why those familiar desktop widgets are weak replacements for manipulating content directly, and learn to craft touchscreen interfaces that effortlessly teach users new gesture vocabularies. The challenge: gestures are invisible, without the visual cues offered by buttons and menus. As your touchscreen app sheds buttons, how do people figure out how to use the damn thing? Learn to lead your audience by the hand (and fingers) with practical techniques that make invisible gestures obvious. Designer Josh Clark (author of O'Reilly books "Tapworthy" and "Best iPhone Apps") mines a variety of surprising sources for interface inspiration and design patterns. Along the way, discover the subtle power of animation, why you should be playing lots more video games, and why a toddler is your best beta tester.

    Questions answered:
    1. How should UI layouts evolve to accommodate the ergonomics of fingers and thumbs?
    2. Why are buttons a hack? Why aren't they as effective as more direct touch gestures?
    3. How can users understand how to use apps that have no labeled menus or buttons?
    4. What's the proper role of skeuomorphic design (realistic 3D metaphors) in teaching touch?
    5. How can animation provide contextual help to teach gestures effortlessly? How does game design point the way here?

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

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

  • A Crash Course in Becoming SuperBetter

    by Jane McGonigal

    In 2009, a mild traumatic brain injury changed the way that game designer Jane McGonigal thought about everything -- literally. She spent a year recovering -- struggling to think clearly, be physically active, and find a new sense of purpose. Her journey back to health led her to invent a new form of game design, aimed at having a measurable positive impact on players' real lives, and fused with scientific research at every level. In this talk, you'll see the first results of that process: a game called SuperBetter. You'll hear about the game's first clinical trials, and get a crash course in getting SuperBetter yourself: Find out how to turn weak social ties into allies. Learn how to experience "gain without pain" (or what scientists call "post-ecstatic growth"). Discover the secrets of "Lazy Exercise" and "Ninja Weight Loss". Find out what a two-minute "Future Boost" is, and why it's the most important thing you can do each week for your physical and mental health. From the mind of a game designer comes a radically disruptive model for integrating breakthrough science into our daily lives.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Friday 9th March

    In Exhibit Hall 5, Austin Convention Center

  • The Lean Startup: The Science of Entrepreneurship

    by Eric Ries

    The Lean Startup debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. This talk draws on stories and insights from the book, explaining the new science of entrepreneurship. Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business. The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counterintuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Friday 9th March

    In Ballroom D, Austin Convention Center