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SXSW Interactive 2009 Report


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SXSW Interactive 2009 Report

  1. 1. SXSW INTERACTIVE FESTIVAL Conference Notes Lori Marino March 26, 2009
  2. 2. AGENDA <ul><li>WHAT IS SXSW? </li></ul><ul><li>HOW TO SPEAK GEEK </li></ul><ul><li>MAKE YOURSELF MORE INTERESTING </li></ul><ul><li>BRANDING IN FOUR DIMENSIONS </li></ul><ul><li>THE SEARCH FOR A MORE SOCIAL WEB </li></ul><ul><li>UX TEAM OF ONE </li></ul><ul><li>JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF DESIGN </li></ul><ul><li>SOCIAL MEDIA TO CONNECT WITH CUSTOMERS </li></ul><ul><li>WIREFRAMES FOR THE WICKED </li></ul><ul><li>WEB STANDARDS PROJECT </li></ul><ul><li>UNIVERSAL BY DESIGN </li></ul><ul><li>TRENDING TOPICS </li></ul>
  3. 3. WHAT IS SXSW? <ul><li>South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSWi) is part of a larger festival that also includes Music and Film. The interactive festival is an event that celebrates the best minds and the brightest personalities of emerging technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Features five days of exciting panel content that consist of approximately 490 sessions. </li></ul><ul><li>SXSW Interactive Festival has a reputation as a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies. </li></ul><ul><li>Attendees range from hard-core geeks to web designers, content creators, and new media entrepreneurs. </li></ul><ul><li>The notes in these slides are limited in scope and based on the sessions I attended. They are not intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the conference. </li></ul>
  4. 5. HOW TO SPEAK GEEK <ul><li>Memescape (noun) – the collection of all things currently existing or becoming massive cultural phenomena on the web, and the underlying pattern that connects them (LOL Cats) </li></ul><ul><li>The Cloud (noun) – a world existing in part or in total on the Interwebs and/or via electronic/telephonic/cellular communication, such as texting </li></ul><ul><li>Grok (verb) – to understand something so intuitively and with such empathy that you internalize it </li></ul><ul><li>Whuffie (noun) – “social capital” or the currency of the future </li></ul><ul><li>Crowd-sourcing (transitive verb) - for a blogger, crowd-sourcing is just outsourcing your research. For example, pose a question on Twitter and wait for the responses. The CEO of Forrester does this. </li></ul><ul><li>Microformats (noun) - a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards for developing better structured web microcontent publishing </li></ul>Source: The Austin Chronicle -
  5. 6. MAKE YOURSELF MORE INTERESTING <ul><li>Lane Becker, Get Satisfaction and Founder, Adaptive Path </li></ul><ul><li>Kristina Halvorson, President, Brain Traffic </li></ul><ul><li>DL Byron, Publisher, Bike Hugger </li></ul><ul><li>Amit Gupta (Founder, Photojojo) </li></ul><ul><li>Brian Oberkirch, Small Good Thing </li></ul><ul><li>Experiment – avoid measuring and analyzing </li></ul><ul><li>Apprentice yourself to great work </li></ul><ul><li>Give side projects front and center time </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on “delicious details </li></ul><ul><li>Find stuff you think is cool and share it around – this is how you develop reach and influence </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable awesomeness – Plan – Create – Publish – Govern (the care and feeding of your epic stuff) </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to people like they are human beings </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing is now a 2-way conversation </li></ul>
  6. 7. BRANDING IN FOUR DIMENSIONS <ul><li>Jamie Monberg, Interactive Director, Hornall Anderson </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive is not just about digital. </li></ul><ul><li>Successful brands empower their users through interactive design. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s our responsibility to help brands become more interactive, whether it’s through a digital form or otherwise. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s more important than ever to connect with consumers in a meaningful, relevant way and to interact in a way that creates or supports a relationship. </li></ul><ul><li>When it comes to design, consider the cognitive load. In other words, make sure the tools aren’t too complex. </li></ul>Podcast download
  7. 8. BRANDING IN FOUR DIMENSIONS <ul><li>Jamie Monberg, Interactive Director, Hornall Anderson </li></ul><ul><li>“ Transparency is the cost of entry. It’s not a choice.” </li></ul><ul><li>Brands that embrace transparency not only can develop a more authentic dialogue with consumers, they can also stand to profit more as a result. </li></ul>Dialog Interactivity Authenticity
  8. 9. THE SEARCH FOR A MORE SOCIAL WEB <ul><li>Dave Morin, Platform Manager, Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Computers have largely been </li></ul><ul><li>antisocial - it was only with the </li></ul><ul><li>advent of the computer that </li></ul><ul><li>we’ve been playing games </li></ul><ul><li>with ourselves. Only in the last </li></ul><ul><li>few years have computers </li></ul><ul><li>really started to become social. </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook Connect allows users to make their identities portable. </li></ul><ul><li>It allows us to see what our friends are up to – he jokes “If your friend does something on the internet and nobody knows about it, did it actually happen?”. </li></ul><ul><li>TechCrunch comments have become more authentic than ever before because users can log in with real names, which are linked to their Facebook accounts (using Facebook Connect). </li></ul>
  9. 10. UX TEAM OF ONE <ul><li>Leah Buley, Adaptive Path </li></ul><ul><li>This session focused on tips for working as a user experience team of one. Leah recommended a process to come up with several ideas before deciding on one. As ideas are refined, the best ones begin to emerge. </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm (without using the computer) – instead, using paper and pen and various brainstorming tools: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>6-up template: use to sketch ideas. You’ll hit a wall after two. Keep going and fill out all 6 sketches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conceptual frameworks: spectrum, 2x2’s, grids, word associations, inspiration library </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assemble an ad-hoc team (project managers, developers, etc.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organize a workshop with populated sketchboards using butcher paper on a wall </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Host open design sessions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give them a problem and ask them to help solve it </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. UX TEAM OF ONE <ul><li>Leah Buley, Adaptive Path </li></ul><ul><li>Pick the best ideas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Come up with 5-7 pithy statements about what you want the experience to be </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Define the “Quiddity” of the experience (e.g. Google Calendar) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Fast, visually appealing and joyous to use” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Your whole life in one place” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Wireframes are obsolete </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Move from sketches to interactive prototype </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add sketches to PPT and include hyperlinks to simulate interactivity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Helpful tools & Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adaptive path workshop: “From sketching to prototyping in two days” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slides for this presentation at </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Concept Share” – tool for sharing creative concepts remotely </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF DESIGN <ul><li>Jared Spool, User Interface Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Discussed concepts of “self-design” (37 Signals) vs. “user-centered design” (Don Norman) </li></ul><ul><li>There is no evidence that user-centered design has ever worked </li></ul><ul><li>Apple doesn’t do much usability testing anymore. Microsoft does thousands of user tests every year. What does that tell you? </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t always do things the same way. Methodologies can be too limiting. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s about good teamwork. If everyone works together toward the same end, you’ll be much better off than people working alone and complaining. </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of “voodoo” techniques like eye tracking and analytics. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s about time we replaced the user-centered design dogma with informed design. </li></ul>
  12. 13. JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF DESIGN <ul><li>Jared Spool, User Interface Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Three core user experience attributes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feedback Loop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Three questions for implementing informed design: </li></ul><ul><li>Can everyone on the team describe the experience of using your design five years from now? (Vision) </li></ul><ul><li>In the last six weeks, have you spent more than two hours watching someone use your design (or a competitor’s)? </li></ul><ul><li>In the past six weeks, have you rewarded a team member for a major design failure? (Intuit has a culture that accepts mistakes and learns from them.) </li></ul><ul><li>Resources: , , UIE tips newsletter </li></ul>
  13. 14. SOCIAL MEDIA TO CONNECT WITH CUSTOMERS <ul><li>Hosted by Chris Boller, Digital and Social Technology Lead, Razorfish with panelists from H&R Block, J.C. Penney and Carnival Cruise Lines </li></ul><ul><li>H&R Block: Customer connections build a lifelong relationship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They use Facebook, MySpace, widgets for Blogs with latest tax news </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube as a showcase for TV commercials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Client Community – populated year-round with content related to events, health benefit enrollment time, school enrollment, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On Twitter since 2007 (@HRBlock) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Superbowl campaign – Cyclops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo answers – tax questions answered, powered by 100,000 H&R Block tax professionals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>J.C. Penney </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Created the “Doghouse” viral video to create awareness around jewelry stores in J.C. Penney </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video created by Sachi & Sachi and DeBeers. New Media Strategies did the seeding, banner ads, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4.1 million views, 60% completion rate </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. SOCIAL MEDIA TO CONNECT WITH CUSTOMERS <ul><li>Hosted by Chris Boller, Digital and Social Technology Lead, Razorfish with panelists from H&R Block, J.C. Penney and Carnival Cruise Lines </li></ul><ul><li>Carnival Cruise Lines </li></ul><ul><li>Cruising is inherently social </li></ul><ul><li>Social media team consists of: strategist, community manager and two specialists </li></ul><ul><li>Created a community in 2005 around a group planning tool that included forums. The planning tool didn’t take off, but the forums did. </li></ul><ul><li>On Twitter since 2007 (@carnivalcruise) </li></ul><ul><li>One of their cruise directors, John Heald, has a very successful blog </li></ul><ul><li>Like branding, social media is difficult to measure. If you don’t use it, you run the risk of alienating the younger generation. </li></ul>
  15. 16. WIREFRAMES FOR THE WICKED <ul><li>Michael Angeles, Nick Finck, Donna Spencer </li></ul><ul><li>Reviewed six types of wireframes: </li></ul><ul><li>Reference zones, high fidelity, story boards, standalone, specification, sketch style </li></ul><ul><li>Each project may require a different process, depending on needs. Sketches? Wireframes? Interactive prototypes? </li></ul><ul><li>Helpful resources and tools: </li></ul><ul><li> – mockups </li></ul><ul><li>Viseo stencils available on Nick’s personal site. Viseo has a sketch style? </li></ul><ul><li>Omnigraffle sketch stencils </li></ul><ul><li>Protoshare – prototyping software for creating interactive prototypes </li></ul><ul><li>Slides of this presentation with details of each type of wireframe available on slideshare. </li></ul>
  16. 17. WIREFRAMES FOR THE WICKED Moving from Sketching to Wireframing
  17. 18. WEB STANDARDS PROJECT <ul><li>Derek Featherstone, Accessibility Consultant and WaSP Team Lead; Glenda Sims, Stefanie Sullivan, Adobe Task Force; Aaron Gustafson, developer, A List Apart </li></ul><ul><li>This session was the annual meeting of the Web Standards Project (WaSP). The Web Standards Project is a volunteer, grassroots coalition fighting for standards which ensure simple, affordable access to web technologies for all. </li></ul><ul><li>Microsoft and IE8 </li></ul><ul><li>WaSP has a joint task force with Microsoft to work collaboratively on IE8 </li></ul><ul><li>The entire rendering engine for IE8 was re-written, and is the first browser to be fully compliant with CSS 2.1 specs. </li></ul><ul><li>IE8 has a compatibility list. It will list your site if it is not standards compliant. Molly Holzschlag refers to it as a “black list” </li></ul><ul><li>We need to make sure that is compliant </li></ul><ul><li>WaSP has started an educational organization to aid in the adoption of standards: </li></ul>
  18. 19. WEB STANDARDS PROJECT <ul><li>Aaron Gustafson, developer, A List Apart </li></ul><ul><li>This is where the term “Progressive Enhancement” originated, which is sometimes referred to as the “three layer cake”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Build it so it doesn’t break </li></ul><ul><li>from the ground up.” </li></ul>Learn more on this topic from Aaron’s article on A List Apart
  19. 20. UNIVERSAL BY DESIGN <ul><li>James Craig, Apple, WaSp, WC3 </li></ul>Universal Design - “ Design that is so thoughtful, it works for everyone.” Things that now being worked on to accommodate the disabled will be cool for everyone (eg: hatpics). <ul><li>Examples of universal design: </li></ul><ul><li>Cuts in the curb to accommodate wheelchairs </li></ul><ul><li>Closed captioning </li></ul><ul><li>Text messaging, which has replaced TTY machines </li></ul><ul><li>The future: </li></ul><ul><li>Haptics – receiving feedback based on the sense of touch </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Navy’s tactile situational awareness system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Haptic radar headband </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. TRENDING TOPICS <ul><li>Using GPS and location to enhance social networking </li></ul><ul><li>Interoperability of various social networking apps. For example, many are beginning to gravitate to “O Auth” for authentication. Move toward openness and sharing. </li></ul><ul><li>Games on the iPhone, especially Facebook games using their new API (Facebook Connect). Playfish launched Facebook games on the iPhone during SXSW. </li></ul><ul><li>Web Fonts - The technology is available to display custom fonts in the browser using an embedding method (@font-face). There are issues with type foundries with regard to licensing, but since Thomson Reuters owns its corporate font, this should not be an issue for us. For more information, see: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> : describes how to use @font-face to display custom fonts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> : much info on @font-face embedding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>