Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Design and Product Design

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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