SXSWi Recap with notes


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SXSWi Recap with notes

  1. 1. SXSWi Highlights 4/2/09 Mark Logan 1
  2. 2. Spring Break for Geeks John Biehler, 2009 SXSWi has been affectionately called Spring Break for Geeks. This crowd is hanging out a large outdoor music venue not to hear a band, but to watch two guys on a couch argue about tech stuff. 2
  3. 3. SXSWi Sessions Involving Teledildonics Sessions in Presentation Sessions Attended Sessions Ne two rkin g Parties SXSWi is Parties, Networking, Keynotes, Core Conversations, Panels. I heard that over 12,000 people attended SXSW. There were oer 200 Panels alone in 2009. I saw about 20. Of those, I’m going to talk about 4 or 5. At best, I’ll spend 10 minutes on a great session that kept me interested for over an hour. So what I’m really saying is that I can give you a taste of the crack, but if you really want to get your geek on: - go to SXSW - check out the links I’ll provide at the end of the presentation 3
  4. 4. Alex Bogusky Sticking Your Nose Where it Doesn’t Belong One of the first panels I attended was a session by Alex Bogusky, of CP+B 4
  5. 5. Alex Bogusky Q: Can an Ad Guy bring bike sharing to America? A: “No” image credit: Andrew Duvall The fundamental question of the presentation was “Can an Ad Guy Bring Bike Sharing to America?” It was a question he answered in the second slide. And while he did go on to talk a lot about the bike sharing concept and the subsidiary that CP+B has created, he also talked a little bit about CP+B and his attitude toward advertising. 5
  6. 6. Alex Bogusky “I Hate Advertising” timesheets Which, he says he hates. He cited the painter Miro, who was often quoted as saying he wanted to “assassinate painting.” By this, he meant that he wanted to destroy the conventions and preconceptions that people have about painting, or in Bogusky’s case, advertising. He also talked about how they had done away with timesheets at CP+B and how he hoped that his legacy in the advertising industry would be the death of timesheets. 6
  7. 7. Making Ideas Happen 99% Scott Belsky CEO, Behance Creativity * Organization = Impact One of the most compelling presentations I saw was by Scott Belsky, of Behance. Their mission is to organize the creative world. We all know the saying that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, so why does every conference on creativity, every brainstorming session, every gathering of creative gurus focus on the 1% rather than the 99%. Behance’s mission is to focus on that 99%. Scott offered a formula for achieving impact: Creativity * Organization = Impact. This is something I felt had a lot of relevance for me, for interactive and possibly for Barkley as a whole. We have no shortage of ideas. We have lots of them. The challenge comes in making those ideas real. 7
  8. 8. Making Ideas Happen 3 Action Items Backburner Items Reference Items Scott shared some of Behance’s research into high-functioning creative teams, and one of the factors that distinguish highly productive teams is that they are organized with a bias toward action. Most of his presentation articulated how that organization plays out. For example, it’s a best practice for creative groups to focus on three important things coming out of meetings – Action Items, Backburner Items and Reference Items. It’s important to keep the three separate and to place an emphasis on the Action Items. 8
  9. 9. Source: In fact, Scott urged us to measure the effectiveness of our meetings in terms of those Action Items. How many are generated, how many are captured? Another best practice is to end the meeting by going around to each person and asking what are your action items coming out of this meeting. 9
  10. 10. Source: Another best practice from highly productive creative teams is to share ideas liberally. Share ideas with a lot of people. Share them before they’re fully baked. Sharing ideas helps make you more accountable for achieving them, and it can help make them better through critique and amplification. 10
  11. 11. Source: Scott also said that productive creative teams usually have at least one person who acts a as a sober moderator. Someone who filters the ideas and kills some off. Far from rejecting this negativity, great creative teams embrace it and value it. 11
  12. 12. Source: Productive Creative teams also value fighting. They have a low tolerance for apathy. There’s constant pulling and advocating for a solution, and when someone lets go of the rope, that section of the solution space ceases to be explored. 12
  13. 13. Source: Scott advocated developing a methodology for deciding where you’re going to focus your energies. Realize that you can only put one or two things at the extreme to high end of the importance spectrum. Lay them out visually and make sure everyone is aware of the priorities. 13
  14. 14. Source: Scott also recommended surrounding yourself with signs of progress. Don’t throw away your to-do list when it’s done. Put it up on the wall and celebrate the achievement. 14
  15. 15. More from Behance Obviously, this is only a small taste of an hour-long, inspiring presentation, so I’d encourage you to check out these resources from Behance: - offers a system and products to organize creative teams for action. - The 99% conference is an atypical creative conference. They’ll bring in top creative leaders, but ask them not to talk about their vision. Instead, they’ll ask them to talk about the ways they get things done. - Behance magazine is an online resource that showcases stories of creative productivity. 15
  16. 16. Search for a More Social Web Image credit: (CC) Brian Solis, and One of the most jam-packed sessions I attended was the Facebook session on developing a more Social Web. This was mostly dealt with the Facebook Connect API, which allows websites and applications to use your social network on Facebook, assuming you allow them, and to read and publish status updates, photos, videos, etc. There are over 6000 sites now using FB Connect, and they announced APIs for desktop applications and for the iPhone. 16
  17. 17. Search for a More Social Web The biggest buzz was around FB Connect for the iPhone. Many of the app devlopers who announced apps at the session indicated that their apps had just been approved on the iTunes App Store that morning. One was approved five minutes before the presenter took the stage. These games allow you to play on your iPhone against your Facebook friends. 17
  18. 18. Why Do We Play Games? [Why We Play Games] They’re fun! source: Another one of my favorite sessions was Interface Design Lessons We Can Learn from Games. In particular, panelist Nicole Lazarro from Xeodesign presented some compelling research on how to tap into emotion in game design. 18
  19. 19. The 4 Fun Keys 30 emotions from gameplay Hard Fun Easy Fun Fiero Curiosity emotion < choice < mechanic > choice > emotion People Fun Serious Amusement Fun Relaxation source: Source: The 4 Fun Keys is a PX model for how games create the emotions people most like. Game designers cannot design the emotions that players feel directly. Instead they design the mechanics that offer players choices (in the center of the diagram). It is in the making of these choices that players feel the emotions coming from gameplay. It is this new way of creating emotion that separates games from other media. What is most important here is designing the center to create emotion in at least 3 of the 4 quadrants. Turns out that by watching people play there are over 30 emotions that come from the choices that players make in games. Designers who understand the relationship between their game mechanics and these emotions can craft these emotions as early as the concept stage rather than waiting for the end of design or even production where changes are harder to make. At XEODesign we can track how players really react to the game in context. We looked at what create emotion in players and mapped that to what they liked the most about games. There are seven emotions in the face and more in the body. We look at these emotions and match them to game mechanics 19 to hack the “what’s fun?” problem from the player’s perspective. Watching emotions as people play we find that emotions are fluid and braided over
  20. 20. Hard Fun: Fiero source: Source: Hard Fun: The opportunity for challenge and mastery For example there is no word in English for the feel you get from winning the Grand Prix or beating the boss monster. At XEODesign we use the Italian word Fiero: personal triumph over adversity. In watching players for Fiero we often see the arms and legs punch out/jump in victory. During play gamers often start bored, then become frustrated, experience fiero and then feel relief. The emotions stream one into the other. How many look for Fiero during play testing? How many have changed a design to get more Fiero? 20
  21. 21. 1. Hard Fun: Mastery Creates Fiero choices player choice rewards effort • goals • challenge • obstacles • strategy • power ups • puzzles • score • levels • monsters feelings • fiero • frustration • boredom modified from “Flow” Csikszentmihalyi source: Source: Let’s look into how games create Hard Fun and more emotions like Fiero* for players. Hard Fun: Emotions about choices from mechanics in the game. Emotions about choices made in the game. Several game features and mechanics enhance a player’s sense of Fiero and progress in the game. Hard Fun is the perfect balance of player skill with game difficulty. If the game is too easy the player quits because they are bored. If the game is too hard players quit because they are too frustrated. On the right are the choices and emotions players feel from the Hard Fun activities in a game, such as working towards a goal or scoring points. I first knew we were on to something new when I started seeing patterns in game players not predicted by Csikszentmihalyi’s model of Flow. First of all, emotional states for good games had to vary over time, not just get harder. So we added a wiggly line. Secondly, we saw a lot more emotions than boredom and frustration (anxiety). For example for Fiero to occur players had to become so frustrated that they were about ready to quit. To get Fiero, the player must 21 succeed just when they are on the verge of quitting. When they achieve at
  22. 22. Social Patterns & Anti-Patterns “ Proven solutions to common problems in specific contexts. ” Anti-patterns: • Ex-boyfriend bug • Sock puppets • Underpants gnomes Another useful session was Social Patterns and Anti-Patterns. This was based on an upcoming book, Designing Social Interfaces, and it was really an introduction to the concept that there are already well-established solutions to common interaction design problems. Many of these successful solutions are getting codified, so that interaction and interface designers don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The URLs here point to two really useful sites. One is specific to patterns in social media settings. The other is the Yahoo developer patterns library, a more general case interaction design pattern library. Both are really, really good resources for UX and interface design. 22
  23. 23. Making Breakthroughs Happen Probably my favorite presenter of the entire show – Kathy Sierra. She has a blog called Creating Passionate Users, and she speaks about ways to really engage people. I sat in on two sessions by her. 23
  24. 24. Why Don’t Breakthroughs Happen? She first asked the question, “Why Don’t Breakthroughs Happen?” And the obvious answer is that we keep hitting brick walls. So one of the ways to get through walls is with super powers. 24
  25. 25. Picture It On The Suit image credit: And one of the recommendations Sierra had was to picture it on the suit. What power are we trying to give our users? What can they do now that they couldn’t do before? Or what can they do better or faster? The closer it comes to a real superpower, the bigger the breakthrough. The lamer the superpower, the less interesting the breakthrough. 25
  26. 26. Don’t Ask Kathy also said that focusing on users is a guarantee of incrementalism. People cannot tell you what they can’t imagine. If you want incrmental improvements, she said, ask your users. If you want breakthroughs, ignore everybody. BTW, Hugh MacLeod’s book comes out in June of 2009. 26
  27. 27. Change the EQ Source: Another tip for achieving breakthroughs is this notion that Sierra calls changing the EQ. This diagram represents the options for managing your product within a typical market. 27
  28. 28. Change the EQ Source: In most product development scenarios, companies fiddle with the sliders to differentiate their products or brand. So a high-end product might look like the red sliders, and a low-end product might look like the blue sliders. 28
  29. 29. Change the EQ Source: Sierra drew an example from her own publishing efforts. She said that had they relied on the standard sliders, their work may not have been terribly competitive within their industry. 29
  30. 30. Change the EQ Source: However, by adding sliders that nobody else had, and by touting them, they were able to create a successful publishing brand. 30
  31. 31. Presenting Straight to the Brain Present to the brain, not to the mind. Image credit: But my favorite session of SXSWi was presenting straight to the brain. Sierra was a panelist in this session, and the moderator was someone I met through the SXSW runners group. BTW, if you have a chance to do that kind of sweatworking, I highly recommend it. We ran for an hour or so at a time, and I had the chance to have three or four really good conversations as we ran. Sierra’s primary thrust is that too many people present to the mind, but the brain is really in control. The brain and mind are locked in an epic battle. The mind wants to control what is retained and wants you to be able to pay attention to abstract, theoretically important and useful things, but the brain is in control. The brain basically still thinks we’re living in caves, and it cares about pretty basic, primitive stuff. Basically, the brain only cares about chemistry. When something causes it to give a little jolt of neurotransmitters, that’s what causes us to be able to pass information from short term to long term memory. So the Key Point of Sierra’s presentation is this: Present to the brain, not to the mind. So what does the brain care about? 31
  32. 32. Image credit: Faces, for one thing. We’re hardwired to read faces and understand what they portend. 32
  33. 33. Image credit: We also care about innocence, things that need protecting, like babies. 33
  34. 34. And also, puppies. Image credit: And also, puppies. Interesting to note that the puppy gets a bigger reaction than the baby. Not sure what that says about us. 34
  35. 35. The brain also cares about mystery. Things that are obscured or partially obscured. 35
  36. 36. The brain cares very much about things that are scary. 36
  37. 37. Image credit: And about people that look like they’re scared. 37
  38. 38. Image credit: The brain also gets a jolt from things that are unusual or unexpected. 38
  39. 39. WTF? Source: Creating Passionate Users In fact, Sierra calls this the What the Fuck Learning Principle. Surprise brings powerful learning. Predictability stifles retention. 39
  40. 40. Think Sexy If you want to create passionate users, you need to understand passion. . . . But we can't just study it; we have to feel it. . . . The brain cares deeply, profoundly, passionately about survival of the species. And that means sex. Source: Creating Passionate Users Most of all, the brain cares about sex. The brain is most definitely concerned with survival of the species, and that means sex. Which is a really good seque to the promised section on sex and teledildonics. 40
  41. 41. “Intimate Computing” Some of you will recognize this as the Orgasmatron from Woody Allen’s Sleeper. As you know, Woody Allen is a famed technological visionary, and he predicted in 1973 that we would eventually use technology as an intermediary for sex. Well, I’m happy to report that based on what I saw at SXSWi, that glorious future is now a reality. 41
  42. 42. Source: Whisper[s] Research Group But before I get to the the sex part of the panel, I will say that there were some interesting, non-sexual applications of touch technology. The Whisper[s] project is one example of this. These are wearable computers, clothing that includes embedded sensors, transmitters and haptic devices that allow wearers to transmit their sensations, movements and other environmental data to other wearers and to display systems that become part of an environmental art project. 42
  43. 43. Tune In. Turn on. Source: But enough of that high-minded art stuff. Let’s get to the sex. This device is an iPod-linked personal massager that uses the beat and volume of your playlists to provide stimulation. Here’s the inventor of the doing a work-safe demo: 43
  44. 44. Teledildonics Virtual Sex Machine The Real Touch Of course, interactive sex devices aren’t just for the women. Guys, there are interactive sex toys for you too. The Virtual Sex Machine hooks up to a video and reads cues from a specially recorded audio track. So the action of the device is synched to the action on the video screen. The signals control up and down motion, pressure and suction. The Real Touch is a sex machine that plugs into the USB port of your computer. While the VSM is synched with video, The Real Touch is intended for use with software or virtual words. It synchs to the movements of your virtual lover’s avatar. I would show you a video of these devices, but I’d certainly get fired. There’s absolutely nothing work safe about any of these. But if you really want to see a sex machine in action, I recommend this video: 8%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial%26cl&feature=player_embedded 44
  45. 45. Back to School SXSW Podcasts Behance: Kathy Sierra: Xeodesign: Social Patterns: Yahoo Patterns: 45
  46. 46. And also, puppies. Image credit: 46
  47. 47. 47