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.
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?
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.
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.
by Charles Ying
A surprisingly high percentage of entrepreneurs derail their startups because they fall in love with their idea. Emotional attachment to an idea leads to premature scaling and a number of other dangers. But, passion is a sacred topic among founders, who are often just as passionate about their passion as about their startups. Too often, we entrepreneurs equate rigorous scrutiny of our ideas with “negative thinking.” In this workshop we will transcend the false dichotomy between "positive" and "negative" thinking, and explore how entrepreneurial passion can bring danger along with its obvious benefits. Drawing on the latest psychological and business research, we will show how to scrutinize and strengthen your startup idea in a way that deepens your passion and confidence, and elevates your odds of success.
The prevalence of location-based services has been rising over the past few years, but they have yet to venture into the place where people spend 80% of their lives: inside buildings. Startups and large corporations alike are racing to build the infrastructure to make indoor LBS possible. Hear from a few of the players in indoor mapping and indoor positioning technologies as they discuss the future of indoor navigation.
by Andy Hume
In the early days of CSS the web industry cut its teeth on blogs and small personal sites. Much of the methodology still considered best-practise today originated from the experiences of developers working alone, often on a single small style sheet, with few of the constraints that come from working with large distributed teams on large continually changing web projects.
The mechanics of CSS are relatively simple. But creating large maintainable systems with it is still an unsolved problem. For larger sites, CSS is a difficult and complex component of the codebase to manage and maintain. It's difficult to document patterns, and it's difficult for developers unfamiliar with the code to contribute safely.
How can we do better? What are the CSS best practises that are letting us down and that we must shake off? How can we take a more precise, structured, engineering-driven approach to writing CSS to keep it bug-free, performant, and most importantly, maintainable?
At the heart of our conversation: the relationship between publishers of original content and the web’s most influential curators. Seems simple, right? Content creators get eyeballs and curators get work to share. But with some curators dwarfing publications in size and influence, and with some publishers investing heavily in curation projects of their own, that relationship is getting a little complicated. We’ll get our hands dirty and break down just how important curators and publishers are to each other, how money plays into things and how attribution has become a lost art. Other fun stuff you’ll learn: what makes a curator influential, how content-creators can be curator friendly (and vice versa), and the evolving distinction between curation and aggregation. This Future of Journalism Track is sponsored by The Knight Foundation.
Need to boost website conversion and sales? Want to accomplish more with fewer resources? You need to appeal to and engage your customer’s brain. The vast majority of your buyer’s decision-making is driven by emotion and unconscious processes, and if you are only selling features, benefits, and prices you aren’t maximizing your success. Learn how to apply cutting-edge neuroscience, neuromarketing, and behavior research in designing your site, crafting persuasive copy, and more. But don’t worry, this is a jargon-free presentation. The expert panelists, all from different backgrounds, will focus on techniques that produce bottom-line results.
The internet was supposed to allow media outlets not only to display the talent of their writers -- but to capture the intelligence of the audience. Remember that rhetoric? We've abandoned it; the most that publishers can claim is that their comments are not quite as bad as the competition's. Trolls and spammers are not the problem. They can be dealt with by brute-force moderation. The real tragedy: the triumph of mediocrity. People with time on their hands drown out more valuable contributors. We've all designed discussion systems with the most avid commenters in mind. We've given them stars and moderating powers and allowed them to develop cliques and a sense of ownership that shades into entitlement. They are not the only readers. They are not even the smartest of our readers. If we're truly to capture the intelligence of the audience, we need to design for the most intelligent of the audience.
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.
One of the great failures of any company - for that matter of a capitalist economy - is ecosystem failure. Great companies build great ecosystems, one in which value is created not just for a single company or group of industry players, but for partners who didn't even exist when the product or service was introduced. Many companies start out creating huge value. Consider Microsoft, whose vision of a computer on every desk and in every home changed the world of computing forever, and created a rich ecosystem for developers. But as Microsoft's growth stalled, they gradually consumed more and more of the opportunity for themselves, and innovators moved elsewhere, to the Internet. Internet innovators like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter have also created a rich ecosystem of opportunity, but like Microsoft before them, they are leaving less and less on the table for others. This is a bad trend. Wall Street firms, which got their start trading on behalf of clients, then began trading against them, then created vast Ponzi economies to drain the value from entire segments of the economy are even more dire examples of this trend. But this crisis of capitalism goes beyond individual industry segments. For example, the race by companies to eliminate labor costs has been a short term profit win but a long term loss. Since the cycle of capitalism depends on consumers as well as producers, and consumers are less and less able to find employment, at some point, we're going to have to start thinking about how to put people to work, rather than how to put them out of work. At O'Reilly, we've always tried to live by the slogan "Create more value than you capture." It's a great way to build a sustainable business and a sustainable economy.
Andrew McAfee, author of "Race Against the Machine," will engage with Tim about these ideas, and about how rethinking the economy becomes even more urgent in the face of the trend he explores in his book, in which jobs are being outsourced not just to low-wage countries, but increasingly to machines.
Legendary visionary Ray Kurzweil will join writer Lev Grossman from TIME Magazine for a mind-expanding keynote conversation about our future.
by George Ishii and Sizhao Yang
The consumerization of the enterprise is an emerging concept transforming the look and feel and intent of the software we use to run our businesses. It’s lowering the barriers of adoption, flipping the top-down model on its head and integrating consumer-friendly features we’ve grown to know and love in our personal lives. Gone are over-priced and complicated solutions catering to big companies with deep pockets. In are solutions that are based on an uncluttered user experience common in consumer websites, are customized for individuals, adopted bottom-up, can cater to small initial teams, yet scales as a business' needs grows. Salesforce, Dropbox and Yammer are examples of consumerized enterprise products that address small and medium business needs in customer relationship management, storage and internal communications. In this session you’ll learn how we got here, principles guiding new product design and development, and how these products impact your bottom line and culture.
As the rise of iOS, Android, and the Mac App Store brings more web developers into the world of native applications can our existing processes and best practices survive the transition? How can we release early and often in an environment where each update must pass through a review process? How do we aggressively refactor code when outdated clients must be supported? Can we iterate efficiently on features when design changes require more than a stylesheet update? A group of experienced web, mobile, and native app designers and developers will discuss our experiences working on native applications. We will explain what unexpected challenges we encountered coming from a web background, what strategies have helped us design and develop native applications, what did not work, and what we should learn from experienced native application developers.
by Jimmy Schulz
Jimmy Schulz attended SXSW in 2011 and announced during the panel session „Make Citizens Social: Digital Participation in Public Services“ that next year he would report the results of the implementation of “Adhocracy” in the German parliament. The Inquiry Committee “Internet and digital society” has been experimenting with the application of Liquid Democracy ( www.demokratie.de ) this last year. New forms of democratic participation thanks to technical innovation can help reduce public dissatisfaction with politics. Significantly, these tools can improve transparency, which is important for political legitimization and helping people better understand and identify with political decisions. Jimmy Schulz would like to report on the initial results of the application of these tools in the German Parliament.
On Thursday, June 2, 2011, LulzSecurity.com registered for CloudFlare — a service designed to make any website faster and more secure. One hour after they registered, they published 3.5 million usernames and passwords allegedly stolen from Sony Pictures' website.
For the next three weeks, LulzSec claimed to hack organizations ranging from the CIA, to the US Senate, to the Arizona Immigration Police. In the meantime, law enforcement, cyber vigilantes, and rival hackers worked to unmask LulzSec and launch major attacks of their own to knock LulzSecurity.com offline. CloudFlare watched it all from the heart of the crossfire.
We've received permission from LulzSec to tell exactly what it's like to be one of the most notorious hacking groups of all time and how to keep your site online when the whole world is trying to shut you down. This is the inside story.
How we work is changing. But where we work isn’t.
Over the last ten years a new way of working has emerged, along with some people who live it every day. They’re available 24/7. They network endlessly, and then plug their skills into others’ in surprising combinations. They choose when and how they do what they do, on their terms. They don’t want job security – they want career fluidity. We call them free radicals. And they’re creating the future of work.
But when they look for a place to do all that, the options are weirdly outdated: office, home, or on the go – say, a café. Those are actually poor choices. Offices mean fixed cost and daily routine. Home is isolated and full of distractions. And cafés get old after the second latté.
Be transported by this panel of experts into the future of work, as they walk you through their vision of the ideal work experience for free radicals just like you.
Usability testing is an interaction designer’s bread and butter, but applying it to the study of mobile applications and websites brings considerable challenges. Which device should we use for testing? Can we use an emulator? How do we prototype for mobile? Can we just recycle the tasks we use for desktop software tests? Do we test in the lab or in the wild? How do we record screen, fingers and facial expressions?
We don’t intend to answer all those questions in just one session: that would be madness! We’ll focus instead on the last one.
Follow us in our quest to set up a mobile usability testing environment on a tight budget. We’ll show you how others do it. We’ll roam around electronics and professional video stores searching for brackets and webcams. We’ll put our DIY skills to the test and waste a lot of silicon trying to build our mobile recording device. We’ll scour the Internet for free software, and we’ll finish off building the lab and running a usability test in front of your eyes.
If we can do it, so can you! You’ll come out of this session knowing exactly what you need to do to run and record usability tests with mobile devices.
The digital world is changing too fast to let the industry label its roles with yet another buzzword. Remember digital ninjas? Social media mavens? Twitterholics?
One moment, you are a self-proclaimed "guru" -- hey, it doesn’t make it less real -- and the next, you discover that you are not the only one.
Younger marketing & advertising professionals are entering the workforce in social media-specific roles and finding that they must expand outside of their niche or risk becoming obsolete. As social media becomes more commonplace within organizations, it is evolving into another platform that good digital strategists and planners can handle with ease. More importantly, it reveals a schizophrenic situation in the industry. We want our developers to code in different languages, but we pigeonhole our strategists – people who are, by definition, entrusted with “big picture” – into smaller and smaller areas of specialization.
And what about the people who started out as Social Media Coordinators and moved onto Community Managers and eventually Social Media Strategists? Where will they go from here? Or is there still room for specialization as strategists?
Join us as we duke it out in a battle over the future of digital engagement jobs from the POV of people who have had all sorts of social media job titles, abandoned those titles, never had those titles and still proudly wear them.
9th–13th March 2012