Daily Learnings from SXSW - Day Three
#SXSW Day Three
Coming from a very design oriented business, we’re kind of entertained by how designers are the new IT kids of tech… they’ve always been the IT kids for us. Hipsters unite!
Today’s Blog is all about DESIGN… more than pretty pictures these days.
By: Stephen Brown and Lane Buie
Mobile Is Driving a Design Revolution
Some really important takes on the importance of design – great design – that’s transforming the digital and tech industries. John Maeda, from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers spoke on #DesignInTech. He had some great stats which we’ll share… but let’s start with two big brands that were started by designers: Pinterest and AirBnB.
Two of the biggest success stories of the past few years weren’t founded by engineers or coders… but by the “pretty pictures” people. Five years ago Mint, a design firm in Seattle, was acquired by Intel… and since, the VC’s have started acquiring, hiring and learning from the best in the design community. This is a significant shift from the not-too-distant-past where designers were brought in at the later stages to “make it look pretty”.
To design a winning product today, design needs to be at the table at the start.
The biggest influence is the proliferation of mobile. Because of mobile, tech is no longer just for techies… it’s for the everyday man and woman. But the size, scale and universality of mobile requires the best of design principles to make our tech inventions relevant and usable for everyone. The transformation the tech industry is going through with design is similar to 1950’s auto industry… GM hired their first VP of Design (Harley Earl) to help elevate their product above utility and more aligned with consumer appeal. Sound similar?
This stat sums up this shift: The designer to engineer ratio at most startups is now around 1:5… which is massively higher than even 5 years ago.
Key Take Away: Stop panicking if your kid says they want to go to art school… your retirement years might be pretty pampered after all.
Data and Design… A unique marriage in Storytelling
Michelle Silvestri - EVP Global Design, Team Detroit informed us that more data has been collected over the past two years than in the history of time. In fact data collection is outpacing digital storytelling and people don’t know what to do with it all. Everyone is undergoing data overload (“Big Data”… not popular words right now). People want to know how to make the overload simple.
Enter our friendly designers to the rescue – our new BFF (always a BFF of FUSE of course… just the tech and data industry catching up). Why? Visual presentation affects decision making. Using design intelligently and in a way that is unique and emotional drives recall – the holy grail of advertising.
Analyst + Designer + Strategist = One Hot Threesome
This is the trifecta of digital storytelling. Best way to throw gas on the value they can produce is by ensuring that each role understands what the other is doing. That way they feed into each other and build on each role’s input to producing the best story possible.
What’s the power of good design?
- Design visualizes the abstract
- Design explains the complicated
- Design stimulates dialogue
- Design solidifies mutual understanding
- Design creates emotional connections
- Design aligns a way forward
- Design improves outcomes
And finally, when you’re designing always keep in mind that:
1. Data, without insights, is just noise
2. Insights, without comprehension, don’t drive action
3. Comprehension is to a great extent, dependent on how well those insights are visualized
People connect with hearts first, then their minds. Good designers use this to their advantage. We think this example sums it up pretty well:
JOIN THE CONVERSATION!
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS BELOW OR FIND OUT HOW FUSE CAN HELP!
Lots happening in Austin today… the city is bustling with a bizarrely entertaining cross section of tech nerds and hipsters. However much of a juxtaposition it may be, it seems to work perfectly.
Four FUSEites go to Austin TX for the South By Southwest (SXSW) Digital Conference. Over the next few days, we’ll update you with some of our best learnings and findings as we go along this journey… and maybe a few fun social facts as we uncover the best that Austin has to offer.