Yves Béhar talks at Cusp 2011 on his company’s projects including the Puma shoebox, NYC condoms, Herman Miller Sayl Chair, One-Laptop-Per-Child, and many others. With every project, Yves team strives to make long-term partnerships with their clients and are keen to strive for innovative, sustainable, and ethical designs.
Scott Farquhar, the co-founder and CEO of Atlassian talks about his experience growing the company to $100 million with no sales team. Nothing short of a must-see for entrepreneurs, Scott presents 10 commandments for startups at the Business of Software event. A few of the commandments are ‘Use your own product’, ‘measure everything’, ‘think long term’, and ‘build somewhere that you want to work’. For a full writeup, check out Mark Littlewood’s notes.
Hans Rosling, famous for his lectures which explore enormous amounts of public data and presents it in a storytelling fashion, presents data on 200 countries in 200 years. Weatherman and sports commentators can step aside as Hans presentation style is both exciting and engaging and for the first time steps it up with the use of augmented reality. In this video Hans shares the story 200 countries have moved from being poor with low life expectancy to wealthy and high life expectancy using over 120,000 data points in the process.
Salman Khan, renowned voice from the amazing library of 1,400+ online videos posted at the Khan Academy, speaks at GEL 2010. His talk focuses on how his accidental approach towards teaching online has struck a chord with students. While teachers are quick to say that classroom instructors can’t be substituted for by online videos, Sal wonders if that is really true. Among the many reasons discussed, perhaps the one that goes unsaid most often in classrooms is the intimidation factor. Peer pressure, eagerness to impress, and desire not waste others’ time can inhibit students from taking advantage of the benefits offered by personal attention. Several other factors Sal mentions that have led to success include him not appearing in the videos, keeping the video durations to 10 minutes, and the ability for students to pause, rewind, and jump around to topics in any order they desire.
David McCandless, award winning designer, writer, and author, speaks at TED on his passion for exploring data and creating meaningful visualizations that convey information in the form of a story. With a plethora of examples from his latest book, Information Is Beautiful, the talk is both facinating and inspiring. In one example he displays the carbon output from the Icelandic volcano that grounded thousands of flights over Europe in 2010. By comparing the carbon output that those flights would have produced themselves, the eruption was the first carbon-neutral volcanic event the world has seen. David posts his visualizations on his website and it is worth diving in to take a look.
Don Norman, one of the fathers of user experience (now 75 years old), gives an excellent talk at Business of Software 2009 on the ten rules for successful products. Throughout the talk, Don stresses the importance of creating positive experiences with many anecdotes and provides many tips along the way. For example, make sure to have a strong beginning and strong ending to an experience, because that is what people remember. By placing the undesirable or painful parts in the middle, even if that requires creating a false beginning or ending, people will come away with a more positive memory of the experience. And it is that memory that they will share with others and remember long after the actual experience.
The 10 Rules:
1. It is all about the experience
2. Design systems
3. Everything is a service
4. Everything is a product
5. Don’t be too logical
6. Memory is more important than actuality
7. Complexity is okay
8. Design for the real world
9. Design for people
10. It is all about the experience
Philip Zimbardo, the man behind the famous Stanford Prison Experiment, talks at RSA ( Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) about how people perceive time differently. This perception is sometimes faith based, geographically based, or may be indicative of one’s age. The result of which directs one’s behavior in the world. The presentation is fascinating to say the least and Philip recommends first recognizing how other’s perceive time and then take that into account to better understand where they are coming from. RSA has posted a brilliant 10 minute animated featurette, and the full 41 minute talk can be found after the break as well.
Time perspective is one of the most powerful influences on all of human behavior. We’re trying to show how people become biased to being exclusively past-, present- or future-oriented.
- Philip Zimbardo
Jesse James Garrett, president of Adaptive Path, speaks at UX Week 2009 on The State of User Experience. The field of User Experience has changed much over the years and Jesse does a good job at both finding insights into the past, such as its then narrow scope, as well as projecting forward with the incorporation of emotion. The talk is excellent for those practicing in the field and is one of the better talks out there discussing the current field of user experience as a whole.
Mark Baskinger, an associate professor in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, discusses the importance of Interaction Designers learning to draw better in order to better communicate ideas. With Interaction Designers coming from many different backgrounds to the relatively new field, it is rare that they have been classically trained in sketching like their counterparts in Industrial Design. Mark also talks about the advancement of Interaction Design as a discipline and how through confidence in purpose, Interaction Designers can build report in the business world.
Kathy Sierra, famous for curating the website Creating Passionate Users, talks at Business of Software 2009. In the past companies have been able to out-spend each other to gain new customers. In today’s social media culture, Kathy is seeking to reveal a more algorithmic approach for gaining product adoption (‘Step 2: magic happens’ isn’t appealing to her). To do so, Kathy says to stop focusing on selling users upgrades and features, but rather focus on making users better in the overarching area your products exist within. Ultimately it is about getting users to say “I’m Awesome”. It is at that point, users will upgrade, and non-users will desire to be like the ‘Awesome Users’ and sell themselves on purchasing the product.
Ian Glass, of “This American Life” fame, talks about the aspects of storytelling. Incredibly engaging, Ian discusses the building blocks of storytelling (part 1), editing your story (part 2), pursuing ambitions of good taste (part 3), and some of the common pitfalls (part 4). It is 100% worth the time to watch all four parts. Enjoy!
Alan Siegel, a branding expert and a leading authority on business communication, stresses the importance of clear, concise, and simple language for use in government documents and literature directed at consumers. Armed with a research lab that specializes in measuring the comprehensibility of documentation, Alan has taken it upon himself to redesign several documents including tax forms, credit agreements, and healthcare legislation. He is a true savior and inspiration for anyone fed up with unintelligible legalese pervasive in today’s culture.
Richard Seymour, co-founder and director of Seymourpowell, shares two quick anecdotal stories about preparing people to receive new ideas. As much as people ask for new and innovative designs, they are often very resistant to embracing them unless they are well prepared to do so. The clip is wonderfully concise and does a great job at illustrating just how important storytelling is to the salesmanship process.
Juhan Sonin gives a brief talk at O’Reilly Ignite about creating a practitioner’s guide to UI Design. The fast-paced talk speeds through many great tenets such as “Let Data Scream”, “Repeat Users Rock”, “Bitch Loud and Often”, and many more. For a more detailed look, check out his longer talk given at O’Reilly OScon, and also be sure to check out his ever-expanding website of publicly contributed design tenets.
Luke Wroblewski speaks at Mix ’09 about the best practices of web form design. Covering everything from flow, layout, error handling, help, buttons, and more… Luke covers everything you need to know to design great web forms. And of course at the end he encourages people to not use forms at all. Overall, Luke presents a great practical guide backed up with lots of research and maintains the audience’s attention with the use of lots of great visual examples of both good and bad form design. Check out his book Web Form Design at Amazon.com.
In an on-stage interview at the San Diego Ad Club, Alex Bogusky of Crispin Porter + Bogusky provides a behind the scenes look at many of the campaigns his company has worked on and shares some of his thoughts on various aspects of marketing. From Coke suing itself to Volkswagon’s Safe Happens, Alex has been constantly looking for ways to bring authenticity to messaging by “showing”, not “saying”.
Lee Clow and Alex Bogusky discuss the trends in today’s marketing and brand building. Specifically they discuss how integrating today’s culture of gaming is becoming more prominent in advertising and how they have incorporated the use of multiple forms of media to communicate brand messages. Lee Clow had famously worked on Apple’s advertising for years and Alex Bogusky is a rising star who’s worked on campaigns such as the Truth campaign and the Burger King games for the Xbox.
Scott Dadich, Creative Director at Wired magazine, talks about the design processes behind Wired at the IDEO Know How Talks. The in-depth descriptions of the cover creation process, font designs, infographics, etc… are fantastic and wonderfully juicy. “Details matter. Evolution, not revolution. Constraint is freedom.”
Aaron Forth, VP of Product at Mint.com, speaks at UX Week 2009 about the importance of user experience as it applies to managing personal finances with Mint.com. Aaron talks about tying the user experience to business objectives and how it influences everything from the people they hire hiring, creating their business model, and all aspects of Mint.com. Through several anecdotes Aaron talks about building the brand, building trust, and how the emotion of personal finances has a large impact on how Mint approaches design. A few of the most important factors have included the name, the light color tones, and framing the topic of finance in the light of ‘hope’. One of the most interesting insights was hearing how Mint.com chose to no longer support Internet Explorer 6.0 after discovering they were spending nearly 20% of their time working specifically to support it.
Adrian van Hooydonk, head of design at BMW, sits down an in an excellent interview with Tyler Brûlé of car magazine Monocle. The conversation leads down many threads including how BMW’s design thinking has changed recently, how they are always working to meet customer’s changing expectations, and the relationship between the drawing board and the driver. Big pushes for the company are happening in the way of being more environmentally friendly, meeting more of their owner’s needs and their lifestyle, and creating story narratives around vehicles as part of the design process.