March 18, 2011
SXSWI Part 12 min read
Martin and I just returned from our adventures in Austin, TX for the Interactive portion of South by South West. It. Was. Epic.
Here are a few tasty nuggets of advice/info/random thoughts, etc from some of the presentations that we attended.
M Jackson Wilkinson (User Experience Lead at Posterous) gave a presentation on “Designing for Silence: Using Email for Good”. His overall presentation was okay, however, it was one of the first things he said that was most valuable for me.
In regards to his daily routine, he said, it starts with getting up and going strait to his chair. Then he starts out by learning one new thing. Something simple and not too time consuming. Whether that means going to wikipedia and doing a random article search or reading up on a new tech, learning a new word, whatever doesn’t matter, just start your day off with learning. Seems like a pretty valid strategy. Instead of starting your day with email, twitter or facebook, (read: distractions) start your day with something valuable to your brain. Your brain is a muscle. It noms on tasty bits of info. Feed your brain.
The second thing he did was to reflect on the previous day. Think about the accomplishments for that day. The work that was done or wasn’t done. The day’s conversations, arguments, thoughts, goals, decisions, etc.
And finally the last thing he did to start his day was to think about how he could improve upon the day before.
I’m going to see if I can’t try this for a bit. I’m pretty good about starting cool new “daily inspirational” things, but they last for about a week max. This one is pretty simple though and I think the reflective nature of it will be a little easier to be consistent. The last one I tried was a freezing cold shower every morning. That lasted about three days. Let us know if you have some kind of daily ritual that works for you.
Shane Pearlman moderated a panel on WordPress, called Making Money with WordPress. So here’s a few tidbits of wordpress related tips. Some are no-brainers, but were still new to us, so we figured we should share.
1. WordPress updates every 3-6 months. Sometimes these updates may cause issues with your clients’ sites if they update on their own. You need some kind of statement in your contract that says, “If you update your wordpress to the newest version and it causes your site to bug out, we’re not liable.” We actually had this happen to us, luckily it was a simple fix but it’s definitely something to add into your contract just to be on the safe side.
2. WordPress runs 12% of the interent. (This was something Shane Pearlman said, however I wasn’t able to find anything online to verify that percentage.)
Mike Kruzeniski gave a really good talk about how print design is the future of interaction design. Basically he linked the principals and theories of print design to how we should be approaching design for all these new technologies. One thing I wanted to leave with you is something he said in regards to communicating, which I think applies to more than just web UI.
“An arrow is only an arrow if people understand it to be an arrow.” – Mike Kruzeniski