Apologies to John Hodgeman but sometimes it gets lost in the shuffle that Microsoft has some folks that are doing special things that sometimes go un-noticed. Our MIX Online Team is one of them. Here are some of the things they are working on. What’s wonderful about all of these efforts is that they are freely downloadable, open source, and immediately useable prototypes with no strings attached.
It goes without saying that most of us are doing a bit less traveling today. Those of us that get to go to conferences probably have to do a lot more dancing with the corporate bean counters than ever before and, truly, the value proposition of conferences are changing.
I’ve had to make some hard choices myself this year. Such as not going to Interactions 09—but please stop by the Cafe and say hi to Manifest Digital as I’ll be living vicariously through them (If you say something nice about me they might even give you a treat).
But there are two conferences that are pretty important to me personally this year. One is SxSW. I’m a relative virgin to SxSW and this will only be my third year attending, but this is the conference that energized me and restores my spirit. I’m excited that Microsoft has been able to play a part in it for the past few years and I’m excited that the PhizzPop finale will occur here.
SxSW is a great place to have a beer, reconnect with old friends and be stimulated by the diversity of discourse and get some of that special energy and mojo that I only seem to get when I’m in Austin.
But MIX is different. It’s certainly a more serious event—and there’s far more depth to the content that is delivered there. Like SxSW, it’s also a conference with serious, sometimes exhausting, fun.
But what makes MIX special is that it’s about things that are new and things that MIicrosoft has never talked about publically before. This year, if your passions fall to design, or you’re on the fence, or even past the tipping point, on stuff like Expression Studio and Silverlight, you’re going to want to be there. Not just for the content (which, let’s be honest, you can see online later) but because you get a chance to meet, talk, argue and a give feedback to the people that invent and build this stuff at Microsoft.
You also get the opportunity for outstanding networking with your peers, and let’s face it, your competitors—sort of like when James Bond has to partner up with the Russians to foil Spectre, stuff you just can’t do when watching a keynote from a Web Browser or even when you’re at the local pub eyeing your competitors suspiciously. In this economy it’s probably safe to assume that we’ve all got lots to talk about—and what better place to that than Las Vegas.
But in truth, the most important reason to GO to MIX is that your going to learn important exciting things about Silverlight and Expression Studio that are going to impact greatly the way we all work and the expectations that folks have around the classic iron triangle and what’s possible and expected within the constraints of time, money and quality.
You’re also going to see folks that you probably won’t see speaking at other events in 2009. This includes a keynote by Microsoft’s very own Bill Buxton and design standbys like Molly, Luke W., Dan Roam, Lou Carbone and Bill Scott.
If you’re still reading I’m gonna suspect your interesting so in the spirit of the Sham Wow guy I’m also going to offer up a special that we’re running at MIX. Register by February 13 and you can save over $400 bucks on registration.
Are you still here?
One more thing, if you can’t get to any PhizzPop events and you won’t be at SxSW you can still see videos of PhizzPop events at MIX and actually meet and interact with many of the PhizzPop teams in our PhizzPop booth. We’ll have teams and solutions from our 08 and 09 events.
A serious cold means this is a bit of a belated post about PhizzPop Minneapolis. If you’re not in the reading mood check the video above or look at deep dive videos with a number of players from the event.
PhizzPop Minneapolis occurred on one of the coldest days of the year in Minneapolis. Despite the minus 20 degree temperatures (and this is before we even start with that wind-chill crap) close to 300 folks came out to watch five digital agencies compete for a chance to go to SxSW.
The Minneapolis design challenge was to develop a proof of concept for a new retail concept entering the U.S. in two test markets. The assignment is to demonstrate how technology can be used both in a store environment, in physical branding and promotions both in the store and out of the store, and via experiences on the store’s web site and third-party online web properties.
Zues Jones, paired up with Sierra Bravo won the event, sweeping both the popular audience vote and by wowing our panels of judges, which included:
David Reynolds-Gooch, Group Manager, 3M Craig Yolitz, Vice President, Findlaw Mark Hines, VP Strategic Services, Ratchet Jen Klise, Innovation & Strategy, Target Andrew Banas, Director of UXE, Alliance Life Mike Gibbs, Group Creative Director, Fallon Kathy Swanson, VP Marketing, Piper Jaffrey
So, what’s next for Zeus Jones and Sierra Bravo? They get the privilege of doing it all over again at SxSW with the winners of the other regional PhizzPop Design Challenge events.
Starting with a post by Jason Calacanis we see that the hangover of our overinflated economy is starting to impact the lifeblood of innovation in our culture, the startup. I suspect things will get a bit worse until they get better but some of the best innovations of our time in business models and products have been borne of grim economic realities. Regardless if you’re in a start-up or not there are some important things to consider.
If you’re a startup it’s time to give up the bread and circuses approach to running the business. Provable revenues matter more that share right now and leveraging technology, frugality, and business acumen to get to them quickly are more important than ever. There’s still a lot of capital in private hands right now that is looking for a great place to be. If you can demonstrate that you’re a good place for that exciting things can happen.
If your a service based company or a larger company think about what kind of services can you provide that can help startups overcome many of the obstacles they face in technology adoption or business market validation. It will be interesting to see what companies to do address these realities and continue to enable startups. Startups that can leverage accelerators to get there businesses spun-up and generating revenue will be the only game that matters soon.
This is a talk I gave in Dallas in October of 2007. It covers a lot of the territory I cover with other talks and I've reposted the presentation in a downloadable format. It's kind of a collection of my all-up views and thinking on design and innovation.
Again, some of it won't make sense without the words and I'm working on a ScreenCast of the presentation.
To be honest my speaking opportunities at SxSW are only going to be one part of the excitement. Between PhizzPop and some other things we are doing with are doing with SxSW we are going to have a surprising and fun presence at this event. But...even though I'm a designer I'm still a bit of a geek too and that's why this panel that I've submitted to SxSW is so exciting to me.
Hollywood and Design and Literature: Just who is inspiring who?
Gattaca, Minority Report, Children of Men, Battlestar Galatica. Cinema and television inspire technologists and vice versa. Who’s driving who these days? Join interaction designers and some of Hollywood’s best special effects artists and story tellers and discover how convergence in these two worlds is already happening.
A review of Hollywood inspiration.
A debate on what’s really coming in the future.
A discussion on how science fiction and Hollywood inspires us.
So MIX is probably my favorite event that Microsoft hosts all year. This year the 72 hour conversation gets far most interesting with the additional of a focused MIX UX track that will feature folks like Lou Carbone, David Armano, the fine folks from Adaptive Path and designers from our Office, Surface and Media and Entertainment teams.
In addition, I'll be moderating a panel at MIX called:
Touch Me: Where are interfaces going?
The Keyboard and Mouse are aging input devices. For the future of computing and UX where are interfaces going? Are these enough? Is touch-screen Surface/iPhone/iPod Touch just a gimmick? Where should Man Machine Interface (MMI) go?
Seat are filling up fast at MIX and this is a conference that is selling out fast. Click the pretty picture below to get signed up.
So this is the conference I've been most interested in all year. It's got an absolutely outstanding line-up of speakers and I'm humbled to be one of them.
Interaction 08 will be held from February 8-10, 2008 in historic and festive Savannah, Georgia, on the campus of The Savannah College of Art and Design. Join several hundred Interaction Designers from around the world as we address the design of interactive systems of all types: applications (web and desktop), mobile, consumer electronics, digitally enhanced environments, and more. Start your year off with stimulating talk, fun parties, and smart discussions about our growing field.
On Sunday I'll present a lightning round of a longer talk I gave at Web Master Jams last December, those of you that know me well will recognize that this subject is one of my passions and it should be interesting too as many of the contemporary luminaries that I call out will actually be at the event!
Classic Design Movements and IxD: Kissing Cousins?
De Stijl, Bauhaus, Futurism. The short history of design is filled with a lexicon of terms and movements that inspire designers of today. What do these classic movements in design history have to do with User Experience and Interaction Design in the creation of software, Web sites, products and services design?
See how much our past is influencing present and future conventions around form, function and simplicity in design and how and why you should incorporate these principals into your own work. This session will highlight the most influential design movements that impact our work and give a foundation of the language and patterns that emerged from these movements.
There will be blood. Why Web 3.0 will feel a lot more like Web 1.0 than Web 2.0
A perfect storm is brewing in the world of technology that will profoundly impact how social media and community marketing continue to evolve and radically impact and alter how we use technology and electronic media. There will be winners, there will be losers. There will be blood. Why? What trends around Web standards, defacto standards, social media, marketing, advertising, design, development, technology, journalism and business are going to profoundly shape how we continue to create, consume, share, distribute and archive media and content.
This talk will build off of memes I've spoken about last fall around digital marketing but will be greatly expanded.
On January 17th I'll be partnering with the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association to conduct an event will have Lou Carbone of Experience Engineering and Collin Cole of Frog Design at the Grand Hotel in Minneapolis. Here's what we'll cover:
Brand Canyon: A Mandate for New Thinking Hear examples of companies bridging the “brand canyon” to create ongoing emotional connections with their customers. Understand how successful businesses find and manage experience “clues” and differentiate between brand management and experience management. Learn how to make the dynamic shift from making-and-selling to sensing-and-responding. Through illustrations from Fortune 100 clients, Lou Carbone shares how to create and execute a systematic design and delivery of experience clues that will have immense impact on customer value, loyalty, and the bottom line.
Creating Digital Connections to Customers: A case study of interactive marketing at Microsoft.
Delivering a Consistent User Experience Through the Development Cycle: Strategies for bringing the designer and the developer together.
Differentiating Brands With Innovation: How to drive business opportunities by leveraging new technologies.
Here's some background on some of the speakers, I'll also be joined by Jamey Tisdale, a Microsoft peer from our strategy team that will help enlighten us about some of the challenges we all face as digital marketers.
Lou Carbone, founder and chief experience officer, Experience Engineering Author of the best-selling book, “Clued In – How to Keep Customers Coming Back Again and Again,” Lou is the chairman of the American Management Association Sales and Marketing council. Prior to founding Experience Engineering, he was the vice president of Global Marketing at National Car Rental. He has also worked as a senior executive with major advertising agencies in New York, Detroit, and Minneapolis.
Collin Cole, senior vice president, frog design, inc. Collin currently leads and manages teams in the company’s US and European studios, and works extensively with Fortune 500 and global customers such as HP, GE, Yahoo!, Disney, AT&T, Cisco, and MTV.