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AIGA Conference Notes #makethink: Friday 2.0 (Communities, Google, RGA, Facebook and Design Business) | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

AIGA Conference Notes #makethink: Friday 2.0 (Communities, Google, RGA, Facebook and Design Business)

Over the next couple of days I’ll be updating these posts with more contextual notes

Wisdom of Communities; Inspiring Communities: Jim Coudal, president, Coudal Partners; Liz Danzico, chair, MFA Interaction Design, School of Visual Arts; Jane Mount, product strategist, designer, entrepreneur and artist; Derek Powazek, web designer and consultant, MagCloud, and author and editor, Fray
wisdom of communities discussion from the back at #makethink

Before I sat down I wasn’t sure how applicable this topic was going to be for me as someone that publishes a blog. That might be a bit surprising considering I’m online and people can comment on what I share. However I consider online communities to be much broader than a one to many communication platform. When you start having multiple authors and people that come to the site having conversations back and fourth between each other, that feels more like a community to me. Other forms of community in a more obvious way would be the AIGA and how chapters talk to their members back and forth. So for a one member team like myself I was wondering what was going to be said.

· You never use your community. You only ask for things and they either help you or they don’t.
· An observation that one of them realized— people weren’t interested in what we had to say, the community wanted to share their own info
· proud source ideas—the community took pride in helping make the product better
· from the outside in it looked like we had 10,000 photographers—Coudal referring to asking photographers if he could place images on the site, and the photographers saying yes almost always
· different issue—how do you get your audience to shut up—too much feedback…
· with community based sites that are in the midst of a redesign, identify those that are going to cause quite a bit of flack, let the know ahead, let them see the beta pages, have a form on the bottom of each page so they can give feedback. Turn rager into promoter
· when people are voting, its not just to buy, but to take this problem and find a solution
· treat people as experts and they will respond as experts
· ask the community vs. use the community
· each element they tried feed into each other
· there isn’t the need for another place or forum, create something where they already are
· communities need some sort of exclusionary boundary



The Design of Google, Marissa Mayer
green and blue effect

marissa mayer

A couple strange facts from Marissa Mayer’s talk:
· Google’s slightly enlarged search box resulted in 1% more searches.
· There are more than 3 millions search requests per day when the search language is turned into Bork, Bork, Bork.
· They have a points system for the homepage, though I’m not sure what it is currently for them.


Nick Law (chief creative officer of R/GA North America)
my redrawn sketch from Nick Law roundtable talk

Me and about four other people got to talk with Nick early this morning about design thinking, operating systems for brands, relevance to interesting flow, online process, industry vs curiosity, dated models of ambush in contrast to fitting in, systems of behaviour, a bit about design education and messages to experience. He’ll be on the main stage Saturday—should be great.


Facebook Design: An Inside Look, Ben Blumenfeild
Ben Blumenfeld

Ben’s talk about Facebook was pretty solid without much fluff. His talk was broken down into three parts of impact: 1. ship & iterate, 2. data informed and 3. leverage. I like to talk about ship & iterate as agile design, but they’re both the same thing. What was interesting is that he showed an example that was more relevant to the traditional graphic designer. He shared the company’s internal push to get awareness for their internal hacker day. It was a good example but in terms of building product I think that example might have got lost on those that haven’t really worked in that kind of mindset. I would have liked to have seen something more akin to how they’ve been reviving up their news feeds.

Data informed rather than data driven. He showed a couple great examples of design helping reduce the number of people quitting Facebook and a couple samples of how they’ve sent recovery emails months later. In terms of leveraging existing tools it he showed an example of one person starting a Group page to protest FARC in Columbia. By the time of the protest there was 12 million people in the street.

There was some interesting Q & A questions that I’ll try to pass along latter…

The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage. Roger Martin (dean, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto)
path to understanding
Popular Quotes from Twitter:
· The enemy of innovation is two words: “prove it.”
· Mystery > Heuristic > Algorithm > Code. Get to the algorithm first for competitive advantage
· Design thinking is a 50/50 balance of analytical thinking and intuitive thinking
· The brightest CEOs at the brightest companies realize analytical thinking has gone too far

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