Explore the Future of the Web


Keynote Sessions

Design and Happiness

In “Design and Happiness,” Sagmeister discusses the various events in his life that have made him happy, and how most of them are tied to good design. He explains that there are two ways design has made him happy: either by happiness in experiencing design, or happiness in creating design. He goes on to discuss examples of design projects that provided happiness not only to him, but also to the public as a whole, and what he perceives as the reason behind their success. Many of these projects use wit in their design, and as such elicit an emotional response from attendees. Sagmeister asks how we can create our own happiness by doing more of the things that make us happy, and less of the things that don’t.

Accessibility as a Driver for UX

We all know first-hand that good user experiences lead to loyalty behaviors, like repurchase and recommending. We all have products we love because they are so enjoyable to use. Yet user research and usability are often secondary concerns to other attributes. For example, security and privacy are widely held as crucial to software and online services, in part due to their accompanying legal obligations. Can accessibility, with its legal imperatives, provide a driver for closer attention to user experience?

Articulating Instagram’s Voice, or, How I Got a Bunch of Visual Storytellers Excited About Language

Instagram is all about using photos (not words) to tell stories and share moments. So, how did I, as their first content strategist, get everyone excited about capitalization rules and voice attributes? Setting or revamping content standards and voice guidelines are vital to developing a polished experience. But getting buy-in and support can be a real drag. I learned a lot articulating Instagram’s voice and writing our content standards, including that making words everyone’s business is the key to creating standards everyone can’t wait to use.  

A Brand New Day For BrandsRe-thinking The Brand Experience

Noaa Ilani

Every day, customer expectations are let down as they experience disconnected journeys. From simple product design fails, to disjointed websites or a bad customer service call center, these disconnects raise barriers between consumers and the brand. How can we as user experience designers guide and turn these disconnected experiences into cohesive, joy-inducing stories and moments? 

Burn Down the Blocks!Sparking Collaboration Through Creative Play

There’s no shortage of inspirational mantras, but these sayings offer little advice to surmounting departmental silos, generational gulfs, intimidating power distances and other communication roadblocks that stymie creative collaboration in the workplace. These barriers exist because the roles we play in a team environment provide us with a set of rules for interacting with each other. Ironically, these rules often prevent us from doing the very thing we’ve come together as a team to do: Collaborate!

Can Art and Interaction Change How We See the World?

W.e.t. is a new-media art project that explores the emotional impact of climate change using digitally mediated audience participation. Using w-e-t.net as it's base, the project invites people to imagine what their future will be like in a world where extreme climate change has shifted humanity's base from earth to water. The project shifts between the location agnostic web space w-e-t.net and hyper-localised, reactive installations such w.e.t. in Venice, a show held earlier this year at Spazio Ridotto. Margot's talk will review the movements of the project, exploring how the use of new media and current hyper-pessimistic or climate change denial visions of the future affect humanity's opportunity to express genuine optimism or hope in its future.

Can Design Be an Excuse to Start a Conversation?

During this talk, Gastón will expose his thoughts about the importance of the visual image and how the use of technology and new devices have changed today's life. His goal: to hack the environment, bring happiness and mix surprise with spontaneity with design. He'll discuss how to use technology and design to connect brands with people and explore how these methods have been used by Unofficial Report to give a voice to audiences, offer quirky and alternative views, and unveil an "unofficial", behind the scenes view of events.

The Design Thinking Transformation in Business

The definition of design is shifting from being a noun to a verb. We see it moving away from arts and craft into a methodology of delivering value. Adapting to this shift, designers and changemakers are forming a new way of design thinking. In this session, we want to explore what business design means. How to use what we know, as designers, to build stronger businesses? As we continue to adapt design methodologies and systems thinking to a business context, what other manifestations that will evolve? How can design thinking be leveraged in even the most straight-laced silos of a business such as Human Resources and Finance? How do we give design thinking the space it needs in the face of traditional business practice? And most importantly, how do we use our existing design thinking knowledge, to design businesses?

Excuses, Excuses, Excuse Personas

Mona Patel

As one of the integral parts of the What If Technique™, Mona Patel, Founder/CEO of Motivate Design, will ask you to reflect on and question your behaviors and attitudes when it comes to ideating and thinking in a creative space. Do you hesitate to strive for the impossible? Is that hesitation rooted in fact or belief? Are you just creating excuses?

Mona will walk you through the six Excuse Personas that are preventing you from getting what you really want in not only your personal life but in business and beyond. She will cover how we all have personality barriers and that each can be overcome through self-reflection and a commitment to action. Expect to leave the session with a sense of self-realization that will motivate you to embrace the white space and start training your creativity muscle.

Happy People Do It BetterA Look at Work-Life Balance and Long-Term Productivity

"Yeah, you can get a lot done in a 40-hour workweek. But imagine how much more you could do with a 90-hour workweek!" That's the sound of the tech industry buying into the Overkill Cult. And in 2013, Jason Lengstorf was guzzling the Kool-Aid. He was on the computer for 13 hours or more per day, 7 days a week. He was working so much that his health and happiness were noticeably declining. 

How to Be the Best Web Designer in the World

If you are a freelance web designer, or a small studio, you certainly know these feelings: mastering a new technology only to realise that there are six newer ones waiting for you; trying to test your interface design decisions while on a ridiculously low testing budget; wanting to optimize loading times and shave some milliseconds off, but the deadline is tomorrow. We all strive to produce better work, but time and money are always scarce in our freelance world. 

Stories From the Agile Agency

In his talk, Robert shows some recent projects and shares the methods and tools that he and his colleagues at Edenspiekermann have found to be useful in their daily work. His agency works with multidisciplinary teams and agile methods in a user centric way. Robert will share some insights and anecdotes and talk about all the good things and the bad things that can be. 

Trust Me, I'm a Designer9 Principles for Creative Credibility

A study by Demos called Truth, Lies, and the Internet found that a third of teens polled in the UK believe any information they find on line is true without qualification. Even more staggering is that a 15% of that group admit to making their decision about the truthfulness of the content of a Web page based on appearance alone. Design serves one primary purpose: to gain the trust of its intended audience. Within the first second of viewing a design — before even reading a single word — we have already determined our opinion about the quality and likely trustworthiness of what we are looking at. Once that basic line of trust is established, it is only then that design can clearly work to help turn data into knowledge and knowledge into understanding. In this session, Jason will present the 9 principles of trust for design, and look at how you can use them to help clients understand often obscure design decisions.

A Unified Innovation Process

Tae Won Ha

Agile, Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and whatnot: How can we combine these powerful principles and methods to achieve faster improvements and innovations? More and more organizations are adopting agile development practice. To be agile is all about iterations, continuous improvements and self organization, just to mention a few principles. However, most of the times the whole value chain remains in a water fall structure which is the main obstacle for faster innovations. Having a working agile team is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for the product and, for that matter, the whole organization to become agile.