PICK A PANEL! Build Your Ultimate SXSW Experience Now

12 Aug 2016

It seems like just yesterday we were presenting you with a selection of awesome panels for SXSW 2016. Turns out it was actually a year ago. Fancy that.

So even though it seems like we just wrapped up the madness that was last South By South West–which included nine never-seen-before projects–it’s time to start prepping for a bigger, better and more badass festival than ever before.

From intern tasing to digital dance parties and an app that notifies you when your fly is down, we’ve set the South By bar pretty high in the past, and to help us top previous years…well, that’s where you come in. While we can’t tell you what incredible (and, no doubt, borderline insane) projects our R&D team will be dreaming up and debuting in 2017, we can give you a sneak peek of the talks we’ve got on the ballot. And to ensure this year’s Interactive lineup is stocked with the best panels (if you haven’t paid attention that’s, uh, us), it’s up to you to cast your vote.

We’re sure you can handle that.


Presented by: Olof Schybergson, Founder and CEO of Fjord

The concept of Design Thinking has been around for a couple decades and we believe it’s ripe for reinvention. Companies are coming to us these days and asking, “How do I bring design in-house?” Many of them are building design organizations for the first time and the C-Suite is asking for direction on how to cultivate an organizational mindset (and structural) shift to Design Thinking.

At Fjord, we tell them that a good Design System is reliant on three key components: Design Thinking, Design Doing, Design Culture

Think of them as three points on a triangle with the Design System living at the center. To do design well, you must master all three components.

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Presented by: Kelly Baron, Design Strategist

Nudge theory is about hacking human nature using subtle, context-driven interventions. We all sometimes buy into the shampoo commercial dream that our products can make us into better people, but what if that were true?

Thanks to IoT, we’re designing products that make and break our habits. We applied nudge theory to our healthcare wearable, Under Currents, to solve billions of dollars’ worth of medical errors and save lives. When common sense fails, common sensors help us be the best version of ourselves.

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Presented by: Ross McIntyre, Director of Strategy

How has technology affected comedy? Why don’t narrative-driven user experiences have punchlines? What happens when a rabbi, a priest, and a chatbot walk into a bar? How does a chatbot walk? Why are you asking me so many questions?

Conversational interfaces are here. Well-designed chatbots have personality. Badly designed chatbots are like having teeth pulled at the DMV. What place does comedy have in their design? Will our future robot masters have any need for comedy?

This talk will explore human computer interaction, humanity, narrative, causality, context, risk-taking, microcopy, minutiae, facetiae, minimum loveable product, and minimum laughable product.

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Presented by: Ansa Antonishen, UX Lead; Sara Wells, Interaction Designer; Mike Edwards, Interaction Designer

If we look at what technologies succeeded and failed in the past, could it help validate our new ideas? If environments & culture are constantly changing, can past outcomes still predict future successes?

We’ll explore the role that history can play in our ideation process. Are there insights we can glean from past outcomes that stand the test of time? Should those lessons shape our strategies for future products?

At Fjord, we create innovative technology solutions, so we spend a lot of time discussing topics like this. Our varying perspectives have led to some interesting conversations. Join us!

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Presented by: Kristy Okada, Interaction Designer

Formal networking is dumb. It is impersonal, one-sided, and even a little awkward. Good networking comes from building awesome communities where it is a natural byproduct. A community should be a safe space where peers can communicate ideas, create lasting friendships, and empower others to break out of their comfort zone. These traits naturally occur in the presence of trust and inclusion, but are rare in impersonal communities. From local groups to national organizations to podcast communities, our panel of successful leaders will discuss how to create a community that people absolutely love.

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Presented by: Greg Carley, VP of Product Design Evangelism

Speech is the primary way humans communicate, so shouldn’t we communicate with machines the same way? We’re already comfortable chatting with Alexa about the weather, and the Echo’s stealth success–along with advances in natural language processing, the rising use of virtual assistants, and the highly anticipated release of voice-controlled home systems–indicates that this is a UI on the rise, and by 2018, 30% of our interactions with tech will be “conversations” with smart machines.

At its best, voice is a natural, seamless form of UI that allows us to step away from the screen, to work and live more effectively and efficiently. In fact, it’s safe to say that voice is the new touch… so get ready to speak up.

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Presented by: Bradley Dugdale III, Motion Design Lead

Leveraging creative technology with motion design from Chaotic Moon Studios on Vimeo.

Motion is the space between design and intention, and the language for how users interact with your products. Animation is a clear way to add dimension and a human element to an otherwise linear process. In this panel, I’ll address how motion design can be leveraged to craft a natural experience that both engages users and simplifies life.

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Presented by: Jake Zukowski, Fjord’s Interaction Design Director; Ed Doran, Microsoft’s Director of Product Planning; Alysha Naples, Magic Leap’s Senior Director of User Interaction and Experience; Greg Holderfield, Northwestern University’s Director of Segal Design Institute

The old way of building a business is dead. The top-down technique of creating a vision by consensus and disseminating it to leadership and investors is akin to moving a mountain one wheelbarrow at a time. Instead, we should be tilting the earth to move mountains, generating conviction in our organizations to more quickly unlock funding, speed up execution, and getting teams excited about the challenge. This panel of industry experts will explore the conceptual processes of design research, building empathy, and techniques on how to move organizations new and old from the habits of managing change towards inspiring change.

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Presented by: Chris Klee, Art Director

No matter the medium—from print to the world wide web—design presents an ever-evolving answer to meet the communication needs of technology. Now, with continuous advancements in arenas like AR and VR, design is faced with new needs and new challenges, and designers will be forced to adapt and grow along with the technology. How do we apply user experience principles designed for a flat screen to an immersive environment? Should we be designing 3D experiences in a virtual software? How should a user interface look and work in 3D space? While the answers to these questions are constantly being developed and created as the technology advances, this panel will serve as a discussion on current findings and how we can begin to address the future.

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