The last two days I spend in Berlin at the fantastic Beyond Tellerrand conference. The talks and people there are great, you should definitely go to one of those events. I took some notes during the talks on my phone. Autosuggest errors may be included. Check out the recorded talks in case you want the full experience.
Yiying Lu · How to design for a global audience
The fail whale is the first error message that made users happy.
Looking at function. Especially the fun in there. Created the dumpling, takeout and chopsticks emojis. Crossed chopsticks at first, but that meant implied in China and Japan, so needed to change again.
Be ready to capture ideas anywhere and take care of them by executing them.
Give personalities to your products. Let's people resonate more with the product or service. Example: Wasabi warriors, a sushi chain that was struggling with the old branding but are doing very fine now.
Target market local customs should be recognized and integrated in the design. Research broadens the mind and the understanding of the world.
Robin Christopherson · Out with accessability – In with inclusive design
He’s blind. Hands up who love their smartphone – ahh, that's not going to work, I cannot see.
Everyone is temporarily disabled. The one hand struggle with the phone, coffee in hand. Accessability is for every one customer. It is a necessary thing.
Showing videos of Google Pixel Buds with instant translate, a Microsoft project with image recognition that reads what's in front to the blind person. Be my eyes which connects blind and sighted people to help out.
Ambient computing (Alexa, Google Home, …) is the next mainstream thing. Great help for disabled people.
Personas for design should include disabled people to include the needs.
With self driving cars the roads could be free floating again just like more than hundred years ago. No need for lights. Pedestrians are currently trapped on a few meters aside the street.
Lin Clark · The future of the browser
The web was slow and static. Then there came drop-down menus: the screen needed to be repainted. Now it's very interactive, but the future will be even more: VR goes up to 4k with 90 frames per second.
The future of the browser is parallel. Chrome started parallel, Firefox is doing it now, too. Parallelism is hard. Starting from scratch is easier than implementing it later in an existing codebase.
First Rust language needed to be introduced to make it safe to program multi threaded software with thousands of contributors. Servo was the test browser for parallelism.
Advantage of parallelism: as chip makers add more chips in the future, the browser gets faster automatically.
Firefox now uses the GPU for rendering the pages, just like games. Even running games in the browser is no issue anymore. All browsers shall adopt to parallelism to keep the web thrive and going.
Mina Markham · Styling Hillary …
Working on the design language for the Hillary Clinton campaign. The system is named pantsuit after Hillary's pantsuits.
Done is better than perfect. If we don't ship on time, the ship will have sailed.
With time the maintainability went down but the stability went up. If you don't have technical debt, you're not moving fast enough.
Wave tool to test accessability.
On relaunch the website was broken. Lots of hate, also very personal attacks on her skills. Why so much hate? Because of being black, a woman or a Hillary supporter? The internet is a wasteland.
The outside world made working for Hillary feel bad, Hillary made working for Hillary amazing.
A lot of fake sites that mimic the Hillary style, telling people to vote online or to vote via hashtag on Twitter. Didn't open source the code to prevent such things and more harm.
Elliot Jay Stocks · Now is always the wrong time
Part 1: I shouldn't be doing this.
Making music, even though he should do work. People like tactile things like magazines or vinyl. Treated making music like work, committed time. And to release it properly, he founded a record label and released it there instead of just uploading it to Spotify.
Cutting vinyl: the bass needs more space on the disk. Needed to rearrange the songs so they fit on the disk.
Part 2: Got into web design and typography. Launched 8faces by accident because there was unexpected demand. He had to fill multiple roles in the process of creating the magazine.
Started Lagom magazine with his wife. He enjoyed the non designer stuff related to the magazine like editor, ad manager, photography, …
What is work? What takes up most of the day or that provides most of the income. A friend of him switched from Designer/Photographer to Photograph/Designer and is now more known for photographs instead of design, even though his day job is design.
Part 3: Nothing will succeed if you don't give it the time it deserves, so you have to find a way. Everyone says you should be doing the work, not procastinating. But follow your passions, put something out there. The driving thing is not money. Success is not money. Do not wait for the right time to come, it's always the wrong time. Just do it now.
Paula Scher · Life lessons from the field
- Fall in love with something that was designed.
- Have heroes and / or mentors.
- Push back against something. Question it, fight it.
- Defy the career staircase.
- Go the distance.
- Be a neophyte. Go back to being in your 20s and not knowing what you're doing.
- Find a personal expression. Find something that helps you, whatever it is.
- Work for free. It's not giving something away. You should be getting something off it.
- Hang around with smart people.
- Do what you do best but change with the times.
I loved the Beatles cover and that was even before I did drugs.
Doing a book about my life? That's hard, I'm not dead yet.
Pip Jamieson · Creative ambition – it may not be easy, buy it will be worth it!
The Dots is a professional network centered around projects. Tag the people you worked together with on a project.
Currently many females on the platform, endorsing feminism. We need to push feminism if we don't want to live in Trumpland. Diversity is important to not build for a single group.
The startup rollercoaster. From happy to sad to hell and up again. Almost broke while looking for investment. Don't take money from people you don't trust and have a good feeling with.
Built a business in Australia, then sold it, relocated to London and started the same business from scratch on a house boat.
Surround yourself with smart people. You are the average of those you hang out with.
KPI’s are the death of innovation as they kill creativity because they are achievable.
If you shoot for the stars, at least you'll land on the moon.
Don't burn the team out. It doesn't lead to better work to put in too many late nights or weekends. Celebrate wins.
Keep learning, read books. The most insightful books have nothing to do with what you do. They spark creativity.
I'm not telling you it's going to be easy, I'm telling you it's going to be worth it.
Dave Rupert · Vague but exciting
Renamed talk: Prototypen. Arm aber sexy.
Seeing Star Wars with his son: there come in names and names and names. How the f*$k did they do this? The answer is prototypes.
First stop Pixar: Making a movie requires a plan, the capturing and edit. An animated film has a loooot of planning and then animation. The prototype of an animated film is sketching out the timings and keyframes.
Proposing a new revolutionary prototyping technique: sketching. If you cannot even sketch out an ambitious idea, don't do it. Make a plan before going to the expensive part.
Don't create a minimum viable product. That just means putting the maximum amount of shit in a two week sprint.
Find out a dumb idea as fast as possible.
Nintendo built Mario 3D on machines that cost thousands of dollars to be run on machines that cost 200 dollar – sounds familiar? That's our job! They almost threw together the game after they figured out the basic function.
For the game Splatoon Nintendo built a prototype to see if it is fun. Miyamoto-san makes games that come from function. The design comes afterwards.
Prove ideas before committing to them.
He has Codepen for testing out stuff. He built a whale that tells insights. Fun, not useful, but he learned VR, 3D and speech in the browser.
Nintendo used not a physics engine but a chemistry engine for the new 3D Zelda. They tested that engine in a 2D prototype.
The experiment showed us how great the title could be, but also the amount of work required to make it.
Value prototypes. Anyone can prototype. Prototypes, not PowerPoints.
Yves Peters · Type with character(s) – reclaiming control over Opentype fonts
How do we interact with written language? Calligraphy, lettering and typography.
Typography is writing with prefabricated letters. Invented in China, modernized by Guttenberg. The typewriter changed typing from getting what you see to getting what you know will be there (pressing A, getting a).
Interaction is now more difficult as many letters are hidden away, not visible in the lettering box.
The accessability of the font glyphs in Adobe products is more of a proof of concept. This will improve in the future.
Variable fonts for the future. All the weights in one file. Complete freedom for choosing the style of a font. Already in Adobe products. Chrome is the first browser to support this. Axis praxis is a playground for the variable fonts.
Vasilis van Gemert · Exclusive Design
Designing interfaces. Responsive design brings him in the loop: ohhh, it moves!
The web is built for everyone. Example is beadz, a drum machine that works with a keyboard, too.
Some water page with bubbly buttons and animations. We need more bubbly buttons! Who doesn't like bubbly buttons! But what will that experience look like for one single blind person?
Prothesis for kids done with a choosable colorscheme so the kids resonate and identify faster with their new arms.
Broaden your horizon by listening to people with a different background.
A person born deaf has different issues to deal with than a person turning deaf. There is no group of deaf as there is no group of non-deaf people.
The only pleasurable experience of filling out tax forms is getting out with friends drinking beer.
How to convince people to do inclusive design? Minimum accessable product. A manifesto is needed!
The things we make are:
- build for everyone
- build by everyone
- start with everyone (have a good reason to exclude people)
- feel better
- spark conversation
Alla Kholmatova · From purpose to patterns
A design system doesn't start or end at building a pattern library.
There are many design systems. They can be strict or loose.
Airbnb has a strict design system. The Sketch files have an equivalent in code and they are in sync, having the same namings. Adding new things is hard, but desired. Components should be reused.
TED has a loose design system. Brand feel is more important than the strictness of the design. It's not because they have a small team, it's just not necessary. Timeless is more important than cutting edge.
But both have a team that is very familiar with the design.
Systems can be modular or integrated. Modular are suited for projects that shall scale and have a lot of repeating parts. Integrated approaches are for a specific need, won't be reused.
Either centralized or distributed are structures for design systems. It depends on who takes the ownership for the components.
A teams culture is reflected in the system they produce. The right system for you is not someone else's system.
Jonathan Snook · Success
Hiked Kilimanjaro. Was ill prepared, living in a flat area. Thought he'll try it as far as he can make it. Getting up the conditions changed. It got way colder and steeper. But after thinking of giving up he reached the peak. But he had to get down. Made it as fast possible to get off the mountain. Worst idea ever.
So what is success?
Don't measure success by external markers as these goalposts can easily move. Success is liking yourself, liking what you do.
How to be successful?
It is important who you know and who knows you. Be visible. You don't need to be an expert. You need to share your experience.