Mar 20, 2015

5 Key Takeaways from SXSW Interactive 2015

5 Key Takeaways from SXSW Interactive 2015

2015 was the 3rd time I’ve attended SXSW interactive. Although the crowds are getting bigger and it’s become a bit more difficult to navigate, it’s just as exciting from one year to the next. So what did I learn at SXSW Interactive? Simple, even in a more “interactive” world, the fundamentals of design still matter and haven’t really changed. The list below is partially app centric, however; it does resonate with all things design. Ok, here goes:

  1. Design should solve a problem.  It’s not simply the frosting on the cake. It’s a combination everything it takes to create, deliver and experience a great cake!
  2. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate across teams (development, design, marketing, stakeholders). Quality necessitates feedback.
  3. Meaningful content is still king. Keep it human. We are more compelled by the unpredictability of stories, stories that are imperfect, the sloppiness of it. When stories feel automated they are forgotten.
  4. Be willing to destroy. Good design is always related to its audience. Allow the audience to define it and be willing to destroy based on feedback. Your best ideas may not be your “best”.
  5. The fundamentals of design never really change.

I love SXSW Interactive. It recharges my batteries. I get to see various panels and speakers that I respect and am inspired by. Sure there were many “aha” moments during the conference but honestly, just about all subjects circle back to many of the core things I was taught in design school.

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