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AIGA HIVE design conference notes

Here are my notes from yesterday’s HIVE conference presented by AIGA’s Seattle chapter. This is the first design conference that I’ve attended. I enjoyed the emphasis on design. This is a bit of a brain dump, I apologize that I did not take the time to write a shorter post.

Hillel Cooperman – Professional Software Design. Don’t Try This at Home
  • Creative ideas are by definition novel. Novelty can trigger feelings of uncertainty.
  • The goal is to create an emotional reaction that brings users back.
  • Design is an opinion that you test with users.
  • In order to “put design at your core” (as so many companies want to do these days), you must give your designer the power to push their opinion all the way through.

Jay Greene – Design is How it Works

  • design is how it works, not how it looks
  • an iPhone is not a product. it’s a manifestation of a culture
  • … good products address pet peeves

Kim Obbink – Tribal Instincts

  • designers & developers – we share a common god – to create something new

August de los Reyes – The Myth of Design Education

  • I love shipping
  • civilization is fragile
  • zombies embody the current age because they are both living and dead
  • the 21st century is about learning to live with the ambiguity of constant change. (embracing change).
  • teaching is not necessary for learning.
  • mechanistic model of teaching: learning, goal is to get it.
  • environmental learning: constraints and freedom, play as tension, failure acceptable
  • design within the world instead of designing for it.
  • collectives (as opposed to communities) are embodied in digital ways
  • collective: flat, horizontal, decentralized, democratized
  • peer-to-peer learning (made me think of github)
  • derive their strength from participation.
  • cannot be driven or controlled
  • unlimited scale
  • belong in order to learn
  • 21st century: handmade digital to machine made digital
  • moving from mouse and touch to algorithms
  • code as a design tool (not necessarily replacing developers)
  • Algorithmic VCD (visual communications design) with processing language
  • construct an environment with carefully chosen constraints, and allow freedom with
  • encourage peer-to-peer learning
  • encourage use of algorithms to produce stuff
  • in the future, illiteracy will not be the problem, it will be the person who cannot know how to learn

One thought I had through August’s presentation was that in our society, we draw way to strong an separation between producer (corporation) and consumer. Technology offers the ability to blur the line – and blurring the line leads to better learning.

Robbie Ingebretsen – Developer/Designer Workflow for Non-zombies

In the workplace you want…

  • leaders not heroes
  • chemistry not characters

Scot Berkun – Feedback Without Frustration: How to Run an Effective Design Critique

1. if you make something. take responsibility for feedback. own the critique. your own terms. I want to make a great thing, I’m proactive.

2. have a designated facilitator (or grab the whiteboard to become the faciliator)

3. have critique goals. customer needs. project goals. pros and cons.

4. separate like/hate from good/bad.

Good Bad (does it meet the goals)
Like Dislike

5. Avoid too many cooks in the kitchen

  • 5-6 people is the maximum size of people that can carry on one conversation.
  • if there are more attendees, it’s a dog and pony show, don’t mistake that for a critique.

Jon Bell – Make it Relevant

  • Art is a thing done well. Quality is relative (to the viewer’s enjoyment).
  • Design is about being relevant (to the subject perceiving it).
  • Design is communication. Unfortunately, communication is political.
  • “Nobody every changed the worlds dropping PSDs in a folder at the end of the week.”
  • you have to learn how to sell your stuff
  • Bill clinton got good at editing
  • prove your relevance as quickly as possible, ideally with in 1 minute

Matt Brown – Stop Filling Buckets: Better Design Through Content

  • explain your business to me as if you were talking to a 5yo
  • SWAT analysis???
  • most important part of writing is editing.
  • framing: mobile first (squint test)
  • design a “screenful”
  • users read with their own perception (of what they want?)
  • copy is what makes design work

Kelly Smith – Mobile Design: The Next Wave of Opportunity

  • embrace constraints
  • change how you think
  • get more technical
  • plan for faults
  • prioritize
  • iOS HIG: development guidelines are important
  • instagram button tab bar is 7 days extra work
  • Consider minimum tap size

Enrique Allen – The Future of Designer Founders in Tech

  • mitch kapoor software design manifesto
  • the look and feel of a product is just one part of it’s design
  • like an architect

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  1. Its good to go to such conferences and have some new and interesting information to learn. Its keeping you fresh and creative.

    I wish I was there 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing your note. It’s very informative and full of ideas. I’ve learned a lot. It’s really great to be in a conference with such great learning environment.

  3. Nooo, sadly I could not attend the HIVE conference. All I can say is thank you for sharing the notes.