Explore the Future of the Web


Activism × Technology

What happens when the digital tools and platforms we make and use for communication and entertainment are hijacked for terrorism, violence against the vulnerable and nefarious transactions? What role do designers and developers play? Are we complicit as creators of these technologies and products? Should we police them or fight back? As Portfolio Lead for Northern Lab, Northern Trust's internal innovation startup focused on client and partner experience, Antonio will share a mix of provocative scenarios torn from today's headlines and compelling stories where activism and technology facilitated peace—and war.

Bob Dylan and the Interactive Future of Storytelling

Yoni Bloch

Yoni Bloch, founder and CEO, of Interlude will share what’s next for film and music in the world of interactive videos. Attendees will discover just what makes this art form so compelling, how technology can empower consumers by providing greater personalization and choice, and what powerful insights can be gained from understanding how users engage with the medium. As evidenced by Interlude’s “Like A Rolling Stone” for Bob Dylan, interactive videos offer entirely new possibilities for digital creatives in the post-MTV/YouTube era.

Creative LeadershipThe Value Design Brings to Business

Designers often have an uneasy collaboration with our “business” peers because, among other things, we focus on different types of value and we thinking of experiences in different terms. Designers have specific skills that are increasingly critical to business success and customer satisfaction, alike. In particular, designers understand and work well with qualitative value whereas most of our peers focus solely or mostly on quantitative value. Nathan will talk about bridging this divide with new perspectives and new tools so that designers can provide more strategic value to clients, customers, and leaders.

Design Anthropology 101

Anthropology is the study of humans past and present. Design is the skill of solving complex problems to create a better future. But can a discipline focused on the past/present merge with a discipline focused on the future? The answer is yes. Welcome to Design Anthropology 101. Design anthropology converges two powerful fields that can push design beyond just “innovation”. In this talk, you’ll learn what design anthropology is and what it means for the future of design. Most importantly, you’ll walk away with a basic understanding of how to use ethnographic methodologies and collaboration to make products that push humanity forward.

Designing for SustainabilityA Guide to Building Greener Digital Products and Services

Tim Frick

Over half the world's population is online as consumers continue to embrace the Internet of Things, virtual reality, and other emerging technologies. By 2020, it is estimated that there will be seven devices per person on the planet. Meanwhile, companies continue to migrate business processes online at breakneck speed. Knowing these things, we have to ask: “What is the impact of our data?” With electricity needs that rival a country the size of Germany, the internet has a larger environmental footprint than that of the airline industry and will continue to grow as more of the world’s population gets online. 

The Difference Between Being Cute & Being Creepy Is One EmojiMaking Work & Love on the Internet

Like many designers, Timothy Goodman is held down by rules and parameters that constantly stifle him. So how does he get his own sensibilities into his work? A couple of years ago, he decided to redirect his design career and push himself into new, scary, and unexpected territory through drawing, writing, and personal projects on the internet. He rather approach graphic design as a practice, not as a profession. Join Timothy has he reveals his way of getting away with shit.

Fonts. Everything is Changing. Again.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the font-water. On September 14th, representatives from Microsoft, Adobe, Apple and Google made a joint font announcement in Warsaw: OpenType 1.8 was unveiled, featuring variable fonts, a.k.a. OpenType Font Variations, based on an all-but forgotten Apple technology, GX Variations. Many type designers have long used such technology for font design, so there is a backlog of existing typefaces that could be adapted to this technology. But two previous axis-fonts technologies did not take off: Apple's GX/AAT Typography allowed it, and Adobe's Multiple Master did as well. Why should this be different?

Hello From the Other SideAdapting the Agile Agency to Clients’ Realities

Many agencies have become frustrated with over-specced sequential waterfall projects. Their inflexible methodologies have too often led to outcomes that didn’t realize their full potential. In contrast, agile methods like Scrum and Kanban have proven successful ways to build and run software. But how do you apply agile methods to the reality of an agency’s project based work? There are many challenges and the most crucial question is: what if our ideal work method and our clients’ realities don’t match?

Make Your Own Rules

Creative play is essentially a mindset where you allow yourself to experiment, fail, take risks, and make discoveries. I will speak about the value of  play and as a tool for creativity and innovation. Play was crucial to my own development as a designer, and I will share how it influenced my career path and how its a part of the process I do today. We all know the best games have a strict set of rules, and I think the same goes for creative work. I think rules and limitations helps creativity thrive. It’s difficult to do something great when the possibilities are endless.

OutsourcedThe New Future of Your Life?

Laundry, cooking, cleaning my house, walking my dog, shopping, driving a car...these are things I used to do. Now, I outsource my life. Technology has enabled me to do just about nothing. That’s awesome! Or is it? Let’s take a closer look. In this talk, I will share my experiences over the past year using apps like Instacart, Sprig, Washio, Lyft and Uber, Doorman, Shyp, and Wag (to name a few)—to do just about everything for me. How has my life improved? What new problems have these services introduced? And, who are these people doing my laundry? I’ll share the obvious, not so obvious, and totally hilarious themes that have come out of taking a closer look at my personal slice of the on-demand, convenience economy.

Scaling the Concierge Experience

Nate Clinton

While drones deliver our purchases and cars drive themselves, there’s something special about the personal touch that only a one-on-one interaction with a human assistant can provide. It’s special because humans have expertise, empathy, and insight that robots lack. Unfortunately, the “concierge experience” is expensive to offer, and scales slowly. In this session, we’ll discuss how technology can help businesses leverage their experts to scale the concierge experience cheaply and effectively, without losing the human qualities that make it great.

The Secret Lives of Drones

Drones are people too. Well, not really, but there are skilled, passionate people behind drones who want to make an impact in the world with the use of drone technology. Drones give people “super powers” of flight, thermal and multi spectrum vision, precision and efficiency to complete missions in construction, insurance, disaster relief and more. The possibilities are becoming endless! How do we capture the collaboration and coexistence between robots and people for the good of humanity? How do we tell stories to shift the focus and current way of thinking to showcase the process and people behind drones in order for the public and industry to understand the true value of drone technology in our society?

Tall Tales from a Large Man

Using scientific proof and state-of-the-art multimedia techniques, Aaron James Draplin of the Draplin Design Co. delivers a suckerpunch of a talk that aims to provide bonafide proof of work, the highs and lows of a ferociously independent existence and a couple tall tales from his so-called career in the cutthroat world of contemporary graphic design. Just a regular guy with a trajectory a little dirtier than yours, his talk is open to all oncomers brave enough to show up. If you are a youngster, you may find yourself inspired to attack your design future in a different way. If you are established, you may just leave feeling grateful you don't have anything to do with him. Hard to say. Be there!

There's No Such Thing As A UX Team

Gino Zahnd

Gone are the days when designers "illuminated" non-design peers about the value of design. High performance companies have repeatedly proven that if your entire organization isn't functioning through a UX lens, you're screwed. UX isn't a team in an organization. It is the organization.

What Does a Roll of Toilet Paper Have in Common with Product Design?

It's easy to picture a subject, say a toilet paper roll. But what if I asked you to design it? Questions start to come up: Is this the right design, why? Does anybody want this? Who's it for? Suddenly our initial confidence of knowing "toilet paper" turns into anxiety! In this talk, I'l give you a glimpse to how we answer these product design questions at Adobe and describe the tools that have helped us define products and product features to match user's needs.


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