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Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
Lift Conference Design Research
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Lift Conference Design Research

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Report on findings from the design research that frog design did at the 2010 Lift Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Report on findings from the design research that frog design did at the 2010 Lift Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

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  • @Caroline - that is such an excellent point...believe it or not, in our industry, there are actually many organizations that frown upon allowing the speaker access to their conference. And frequently I want nothing more than to keep the conversation going for long after the session is over!
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  • Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant! Wonderful presentation, thank you so much for sharing!
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  • There also seems to be a trend of speakers only staying for their designated hour of speaking and then they take off. You have to have some reallllly great content and delivery to be that arrogant. As mentioned, its the networking and interactivity that makes conferences great - otherwise you may as well just put on webinars. Where is the respect for other speakers and attendees that came to meet you not just see you. Are we all just conferenced out? How do you incent participation in everyone?
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  • story telling design........... david que fais tu
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  • Great research! I'd be curious - did you explore themes of how to incent speakers to give greater attention to quality and effectiveness of their talks? Many speakers are ill-prepared, 'mail it in' last minute with aspirational graphical slides that aren't well thought through, or haven't rehearsed or matured their content. Are there ways to incent / motivate them? Public twitter feeds where live discussion takes place? Overt and immediate evaluations / ratings / feedback mechanisms that they can expect?
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  • 1. Lift Conference Design Research Findings June 11, 2010 © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary.
  • 2. Contents Introduction 4 Networking Beats Content 11 Content Still Matters 17 Making the Workshops Work 22 Create Centres of Gravity 28 Do the Basics Really Well 30 © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 2
  • 3. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 3
  • 4. Introduction The Lift conference hosts a unique, diverse, and inspirational gathering whose success can be traced back to a mindset that challenges assumptions, dismisses the status quo, and asks questions others avoid. It is precisely this mindset that drove Lift to come to frog for a novel collaboration. Lift asked to be ‘put under the design microscope’ by using design research techniques to find out how attendees really perceive the conference and what they like – and don’t like – about it. Lift recognized that the results may expose flaws, but took the point of view that these presented opportunities. frog is honored to have been part of this initiative, and pleased to provide this detailed set of findings from our research on the Lift 10 conference in Geneva, Switzerland, in May of 2010. We hope these findings are useful for planning future Lift conferences. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 4
  • 5. The design research approach Design research is a primarily qualitative approach of using observations and interviews to discover people’s true behaviors, perceptions, and unmet needs. It is an iterative process of observing, analysing the data, coming up with ideas and hypotheses based on the analysis, and then repeating the process to further improve understanding. It involves spending time in an environment – in this case the Lift conference itself – and gathering large quantities of observations and anecdotes. These individual pieces of data are analysed and clustered into themes. The themes formed the basis of the frogThink workshop for generating new ideas about how to improve the Lift experience. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 5
  • 6. What we did frog carried out a number of parallel activities during the three days of the conference: •  Observation of attendees’ behaviors and of presentations and workshops •  Ad hoc interviews with attendees to get their impressions •  Experience diaries that 50 Lift attendees filled out on the first day •  Monitoring of conference Twitter feeds •  Analysis of photos emailed from Lifters’ camera-phones •  Conducted a frogThink ideation workshop with about 20 attendees © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 6
  • 7. Experience diaries 50 Lifters volunteered at check-in to fill out experience diaries to track their highs, lows, and networking experiences during the first day. Networking was tracked by noting the color of a new contact’s LIFT badge. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 7
  • 8. frogThink workshop frog invited about 20 Lifters to a one hour frogThink session on day two to generate ideas for improving Lift, using four themes from our research so far. We used an ideation activity called Random Entry to help participants make the leap from traditional thought patterns to creative, innovative thought patterns © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 8
  • 9. Our findings This document describes the collected findings and groups them into several themes: •  Networking beats content •  Content on the main stage still matters •  Making the workshops work •  Create centres of gravity •  Do the basics really well Throughout we include quotes, observations, Tweets, and ideas for improvements, shown as follows: frog observations and Tweets anecdotes Ideas, suggestions and food for thought At the end of some sections we also describe some of the ideas from the frogThink workshop (which didn’t cover all the above themes as they had not all been defined by the time of the workshop) © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 9
  • 10. The frog team Adam Richardson, Creative Director (adam.richardson@frogdesign.com) Elizabeth Roche, Assoc. Creative Director (elizabeth.roche@frogdesign.com) Eleanor Davies, Design Researcher (eleanor.davies@frogdesign.com) Till Grusche, Senior Marketing Manager (till.grusche@frogdesign.com) frog wishes to thank Laurent Haug and Nicolas Nova for their interest in using design research to study the Lift experience. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 10
  • 11. 1 / Networking Beats Content The ability to meet and share ideas with a diverse range of interesting people is the major reason people come to Lift 11
  • 12. The diversity of Lift is a huge draw Meeting a diverse range of people is a key goal, at least as important as the presentations themselves “I like the connecting of universes “The diversity at Lift is amazing.” and ideas.” “The people and the networking “Lift people are so inspirational.” are the powerful part.” “Relatively many female speakers at #lift10.” © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary.
  • 13. Lift feels like a family reunion with new family always joining People like the mix of newcomers and old faces. They expect to see some past Lifters, and to connect with Lift newcomers. People new to Lift can feel like they are not yet members of the family. “As a newbie, #lift10 feels like a gathering of a family you don’t know yet. Let’s see if 3 days can make you part of it.” One woman in her 50’s observed that Lift is a great way to get inspiration from “#lift10 #meet #like younger people. @faveeo @encoreungeek @kian @genckas having lunch great ideas about aggregation curation and tagging.” Is there more Lift could do to help seasoned and new Lifters connect? © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary.
  • 14. Networking at Lift has some unusual challenges Lifters are not the “usual” business crowd. They may not have business cards, making remembering who you’ve talked to and staying in touch di cult. They are from many countries, and speak many languages. This can make striking up conversations intimidating, and people often cluster by language. Is there more Lift could do to help people of di erent languages and nationalities connect? Or maybe encouraging people to overcome their hesitancy is part of creative serendipity? The Lift community/profile networking tool is one way of helping people connect after the conference. But a more immediate, tangible alternative for people who don’t have business cards may be useful. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 14
  • 15. Lifters rely on each other for advice during the conference Using in-person as well as social-networked conversations, Lifters ask for and o er advice on which workshops to attend, and logistical information such as what the wi-fi code is. “Looks like there’s no pressroom but found a couple of desks between rooms 13 & 14 so I set up my own. Come join me.” © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 15
  • 16. frogThink Idea: Lift Family Tree Some ways to help people make their first introductions with the Lift family: Create a buddy system that pairs up Lift old-hands with newcomers. The veteran Lifters can show the newcomers around them, introduce them, and in turn maybe meet some unexpected people. Require people to register and get food in pairs (can be separate from the buddy system idea). Encourage people to break the ice of starting a new conversation by giving them a reason to connect. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 16
  • 17. 2 / Content Still Matters While networking is very important, the quality of presentations is still a big draw 17
  • 18. Keynote presentations People still have high expectations of being informed, inspired and seeing something compelling and new from the keynote presentations (such as Russell Davies, below). There seemed to be a feeling that the main presentations this year were not as consistently good as in past years, especially on the first day. “# lift10 very deceptive “#lift10 has relaxed presentation on old media. previous years' design A lot of videos I have aesthetic for speakers' already seen. No analysis.” slides of more graphics, fewer bullet points: a disappointment #dislikes” © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary.
  • 19. Audience engagement varied hugely Some speakers really engaged well with the audience, others did not. With so many distractions available (email, web, Twitter…) the speakers have to work much harder to keep an audience’s attention. Could Lift help speakers with ways to better engage with the increasingly sophisticated and demanding audience? Is the burden all on the speakers, or should there be expectations about attention span from the audience to? © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 19
  • 20. Open Stage talks well received Open Stage talks were the small jewels in the program. Lifters really seemed to respond well to them and very much liked their diversity. The short talks had an energy, focus, and emphasis on personal work that was sometimes lacking in the “big” talks. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 20
  • 21. frogThink Idea: Content Mash-Up Allow the audience to visually mash-up slides from various speaker’s presentations, together with live Twitter chat to create new presentations that link ideas together. This encourages audience interaction to be more reflective on a session rather than just reacting to single presentations. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 21
  • 22. 3 / Making the Workshops Work Lifters really enjoyed the workshops that were well-run and engaging. But this was probably the least consistent aspect of the conference, leading to some disappointments. 22
  • 23. Workshops were most successful when hands-on The workshops that were interactive, hands-on, and which broke groups into small teams to work collaboratively were the most successful The Mobile Apps workshop Participants praised the (shown here) was a eBook workshop for its success: hands on, content and ability to prototypes to work with, connect with people inside small groups, speaker had and outside the eBook run it several times before arena. A self-described eBook expert said that even she learned something © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary.
  • 24. Lecture “workshops” were not well received Workshops that primarily consisted of lecture were not considered successful or as useful This is a user-submitted photo of one lecture-based workshop “Enabling Spaces workshop is coming to an end. Had expected more. Can Lift “curate” workshop Too much lecture, too little formats to help ensure interactivity. Way too many consistency and quality? slides.” © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary.
  • 25. Workshops need a critical mass of people to be successful “Critical mass” in workshops is important – having a good density of people (ratio of room size to number of people). Helps the workshop feel vibrant and energetic. The VJ workshop (shown here) was more lecture than workshop, and had very few Can Lift balance the attendees. Low energy & quantity of participants engagement. People perhaps across the workshops more afraid to leave because it proactively to help create would be “obvious” in such a the necessary density and small group. group sizes? © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary.
  • 26. Furniture in workshops helps – or gets in the way Easily movable chairs and desks really helped the workshop dynamic and let groups collaborate easily. Fixed furniture, rows of desks, and built-in equipment made it harder. The rows of desks and the microphones and headphones hindered the dynamic group interactions that we saw in rooms where chairs and tables could be moved. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 26
  • 27. Workshop presenters benefit from guidance Presenters of workshops, especially those running them for the first time, appreciate guidance from Lift about what to expect in terms of facilities and audience, and how to best run their workshops. The presenter of this eBook workshop felt like he was well prepared by Lift and understood what the room set-up and audience was going to be like. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 27
  • 28. 4 / Create Centres of Gravity There are multiple ways to create centres of gravity that give people opportunities and excuses to meet and exchange ideas 28
  • 29. Food is an enabler of networking Food helps people network: Tables give places to congregate, chance encounters happen when getting food, and refreshing a drink or plate gives people an excuse to leave one group and join another. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary.
  • 30. Food is an enabler of networking (cont.) The co ee tables during the breaks were too small, only allowing about 3 people to talk. Discourages bringing new people into existing groups at the tables. On the first day the co ee/food stations were out at the edges of the room which dispersed the crowd, while on the second day they were more evenly distributed which helped the crowd mingle better. Day 1, co ee and food at Day 2, lots more co ee and the edges of the room food, and all over the room © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 30
  • 31. The CICG building poses some challenges to networking The lobby in the conference center has thick pillars that made it hard to scan the room for familiar faces, find a specific person, or find a new group to join. The long ledges and benches in the building encourage people to string out in rows, focusing on their laptops rather than each other. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 31
  • 32. Help Lifters connect with speakers before and after their talks People want to follow up with presenters after their talks, but given the large space and crowd, finding them can be di cult. People also wanted to know more about the talks and workshops before they occurred, and get a feel for the personality and topics of the speakers beyond bios/descriptions on the Lift site. Is there more Lift could do to help promote each talk and workshop, and connect speakers to audience even before the presentations? Photos of speakers will help Lifters identify them ahead of time. Presenters could go to a Teach Me To Make did designated area after their some self-promotion for talks so that Lifters could their gadget-making demo know to meet them there. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 32
  • 33. Mingling networking, relaxing, and working is di cult Networking, getting “real work” done, and relaxing or decompressing are all activities that need to occur for di erent people at di erent times at a conference as large as Lift. Having them all occur mostly in a single space (the lobby) is problematic. Consider a “decomp- ression” or “quiet” zone where people can work or just relax, away from the noise of networking © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 33
  • 34. Hot gadgets are centres of gravity Hot gadgets (e.g. iPad, below) brought by Lifters are themselves excuses to strike up a conversation with an unfamiliar person. Gadgets and cutting-edge technologies brought by vendors showing at Lift are also e ective, but at Lift 10 were too removed from the main crowd. “Playing with Microsoft Surface at #lift10 #like. The device is super neat! They should put at least 5 in the lobby.” © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 34
  • 35. Demos create crowds New product and vendor demos and hands-on interactions drew small crowds, however they were somewhat isolated from the main gathering space. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 35
  • 36. Badges can work harder The name badges could do more to help people connect by providing more information about the person (interests, language, etc.). The word stickers supplied by Lift were a fun idea but not widely used (exception below), many people did not see them in their bags or understand what they were for. The Lift 10 badges had the person’s first name in small text, last name in large text. Switch to make first name readable at a glance, especially given international crowd and accents. (Especially embarrassing for women who have people staring at “#lift10 has relaxed their chests trying to read previous years' design their names!) aesthetic for speakers' slides of more graphics, fewer bullet points: a disappointment #dislikes” © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 36
  • 37. Badge colours As part of the design research approach, we introduced the suggestion to attendees that the colours on the badges may be of significance, to see if this a ected behavior and networking. The experience diaries asked people to track which colours of people they networked with. We found that attendees did start to assign meanings to the colours, which were in fact randomly assigned. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 37
  • 38. Badge colours (cont.) We asked people to suggest what colour they felt like after a day of networking. Though colour assignment was random, this encouraged participants to engage with the diary and become more conscious about the connections they made. Results showed that though some people chose to believe they belonged to a particular group, most believe and wish to be an individual. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 38
  • 39. frogThink Idea: Gravity Zones Create di erent zones for di erent types of activities: High-energy zone with centres of gravity to attract people. For example, a Lift trampoline for people who need to get rid of some extra energy. A Wi-Fi-free zone where Organize the attendees into the shape of the Lift network connectivity is logo, photograph it as a memento. Gives people unavailable, encouraging a fun activity and also encourages serendipitous people to network in person meeting. rather than virtually. A power-nap zone where people can take quick breaks from the noise of the main event. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 39
  • 40. 5 / Do the Basics Really Well Even if the content and networking are great, the basic logistics and infrastructure still need to be taken care of 40
  • 41. Way-finding in the space was problematic The CICG space is strangely di cult to navigate given that it’s just a loop. Room numbers seem randomly distributed on floors. Maps of the Lift rooms were not plentiful enough nor where people expected them to be. The balloon signage was fun and on-theme, but the balloons twisted and shrank over time which made signage change or disappear from view. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 41
  • 42. Comfort and networking were good The CICG main hall was comfortable to sit in for long periods, and the tables with power outlets convenient for keeping laptops on. The wi-fi stability and bandwidth were highly appreciated. “#lift10 #like wifi robustness” © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 42
  • 43. Improve the check-in experience As the first interaction with Lift, the check-in helps create a mood for the first day. There were some frustrations over it taking too long and having to wait in line. “Rough start to #lift10 - Queuing for registration, no time left for co ee, now in a workshop on #innovation enabling spaces...” “At check-in there were too Think like Disneyland: What many people and too-few can Lift do to keep people desks” – Journal entry entertained/informed while they are waiting in line? © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 43
  • 44. Create a greeting experience Once checked in, there were not enough obvious centres of gravity and way- finding mechanisms to help people feel at home and find their way around. What could Lift do to help people start networking the minute they get past check- in, and in the first break of the day? © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 44
  • 45. frogThink Idea: People Previews After people check in they record a short video introducing themselves, their interests, and what they are planning to see at the conference. These videos are then immediately played back on screens lined up where people are queuing to check in, giving them a sense of who else is attending, and keep them occupied while waiting to check in. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 45
  • 46. Themes Summary 46
  • 47. Themes Summary Networking The ability to meet and share ideas with a diverse range of interesting people is the major reason people come to Lift Beats Content Content Still While networking is very important, the quality of presentations is still a big draw Matters Making the Lifters really enjoyed the workshops that were well-run and engaging. But this was probably the least consistent aspect of Workshops Work the conference, leading to some disappointments. Create Centres of There are multiple ways to create centres of gravity that give people opportunities and excuses to meet and exchange ideas Gravity Do the Basics Even if the content and networking are great, the basic logistics and infrastructure still need to be taken care of Really Well © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 47
  • 48. © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 48
  • 49. About frog design frog design is a global innovation firm. We work with the world’s leading companies, helping them create and bring to market meaningful products, services, and experiences. Our multidisciplinary process reveals valuable consumer and market insights and inspires lasting, humanizing solutions. With a team of more than 500 designers, technologists, strategists, and analysts, we deliver fully convergent experiences that span multiple technologies, platforms, and media. We work across a broad spectrum of industries, including consumer electronics, telecommunications, healthcare, media, education, finance, retail, and fashion. Our clients include Disney, GE, HP, Intel, Microsoft, MTV, Qualcomm, Seagate, Siemens and others. Founded in 1969, frog is headquartered in San Francisco, with studios in Amsterdam, Austin, Milan, Munich, New York, Seattle, and Shanghai. Contact: Till.Grusche@frogdesign.com © 2010 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 49

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