This week is a doozy for user-centered design, research and related topics. In Chicago, DUX 2007 will be in full swing, while over in Boston Jared Spool's User Interface 12 will be heating up. I'll be flying out tomorrow as I'm keynoting the last day of UI 12 with a modified version of The Fuzzy Tail. In addition to speaking, I'll be doing the usual coverage on Twitter and if my Lemonbook cooperates, you can expect some live video from CM's beta cam.
UI 12 has a solid line up of speakers including folks such as:
Luke Wroblewski, Principal Designer, Yahoo! Inc.
Joshua Porter, Director of Web Development, User Interface Engineering
Christine Perfetti, Director, Business Planning & Strategy, User Interface Engineering
Gerry McGovern, Gerrymcgovern.com
Kim Goodwin, VP Design and General Manager, Cooper
Kevin Cheng, Senior Interaction Designer, Yahoo!
Scott Berkun, scottberkun.com
Larry Constantine, Chief Scientist, Constantine & Lockwood
Rolf Molich, Founder, DialogDesign
Cameron Moll, Principal Interaction Designer, LDS Church
Jared M. Spool, Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering
Oh and one more thing—if you ever get an invitation to speak at UI 12, I suggest you accept. Jared and his very capable team seem to realize how much effort goes into speaking between the travel and prep. I've never worked with such a responsive group of folks. They really make it a pleasure to do these kinds of things and certainly have their act together. Anyway, both events should be great. Hope to see you in Boston!
Next week, I'll be teaming up with colleague David Stallsmith along with a few other CM citizens and we will be descending upon IIT's Institute of Design for Recruit ID—their Fall recruiting event. I won't be there Monday—but I will be there all day Tuesday and David and I will be co-presenting some insightful + fuzzy thinking combined with a dash of synthesis :)
My relationship with the school began in 2003 with my attendance of the HITS conference—for me, that was a transformational event. I felt a sense of belonging that I could not describe and directly related my experience in digitally based user centered design to the themes which emerged from that conference. Since HITS, I have attended every IIT strategy conference that has been put on—it's the one conference I never miss. It was at the '06 strategy conference when I first heard Bruce Nussbaum talk (video). His rally cry for innovation and the marriage between business + design struck a chord with me and has never left. This explains a lot doesn't it? In fact—to some degree it explains the purpose of this blog.
I've also met some great people who have graduated from ID. Many have blogs. Chris Bernard, Sara Cantor, Nate Burgos, Zachary Jean Paradis to name a few. And some who are new students—like Jon Campbell who I recently broke bread with a couple of days ago. Great guy.
Many of the students who go to schools like IIT's Institute of Design dream of careers in places such as IDEO, Apple and Google. All good. But sometimes innovation can happen even under the collective umbrella of marketing and IT. In fact, I'd argue that much of the innovation we are seeing in our time is coming from the Facebook, YouTube and Twitter creators of the world. In my professional experience—I've led the efforts for conceptual prototypes that broke the web page convention, interactions that come to your desktop and I've snuck video cameras in places you're not supposed to take them, just to get a better understanding of people and things.
Yup, I'm looking forward to chatting to some ID students. Always feels like a home away from home. Hope to see you there.
(The Critical Mass "Always in Beta" booth)
The best thing about being about being in a beta state of mind is that you learn by doing, and you get better. The Forrester Consumer Forum was an action packed couple of days for me—just ask Karl Long. Apparently the highlight for some was the improptu video interview we did with Ze Frank (yes I screwed up his name). But Weblebrities aside—I learned a great deal from our participation at Forrester's Consumer Forum. Here's a few thoughts:
The Best Buzz Comes From Great Experiences
We got some great buzz off the combination off our "Social Media Dashboard", our themed booth, the Age of Conversation Books, the Swedish Fish, and our "Beta Score" handouts. Bottom line is that we had an amazing team who busted their butts to make all of this come together and our intention wasn't to go "viral"—it was to provide a great experience for the folks who interacted with us. Word is that we did alright—and it took a heck of a lot of work to pull it off. The two photos above show just a few of the folks who made it all come together.
Life in Beta = Learning by Doing
Josh Bernoff made a simple but powerful point. He stressed the importance for marketers to understand the changes by digging in themselves. At age 48 Josh says, "if I can do it, anyone can". I'll take it even one step further—if we don't learn by doing we'll be limiting ourselves to a life of theory—and theory doesn't always lead to reality. I learned a great deal by working our "beta cam". In retrospect, I would have spent more time playing with Ustream prior to the event so I would have felt more comfortable recording interviews. I only got the hang of it by the second day—but that's what beta is all about. You do, you learn—then you do some more.
Imperfection is the New Perfection
"Don't expect too much from me
Perfection is no test for me
Because the best I'll ever be
Is just like you: A human being
You won't offend, I need to know
Please, my friend, show me your soul"
~The Red Hot Chili Peppers
That's Manish Mehta from Dell, Deb Schultz from the blogoshphere and The Age of Conversation. Dell's not a perfect company. Deb's not a perfect blogger (pretty close though :-). The AoC isn't a perfect book—but it's all good. Forrester's Groundswell Award winners aren't perfectly polished pieces of art. But they all have one thing in common. Each example serves a purpose. Each provides some form of relevant value to the user and the broader community. Each is meaningful in it's own way. Most likely, each example is also imperfect in some way—which is OK, because that's what beta is all about. As Marketers move forward in their desire to connect with consumers—they'll have to trade vanity for value. Customers will forgive an imperfect experience if they know the brand behind it really cares. What they won't forgive is being fooled.
We Won't Get Fooled Again
At the end of Charlene Li's presentation, she played a sound bite from "Power to the People". Good choice. But if it were my show—I would have chosen The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again". Nevertheless, one thing's for sure—when Forrester dedicates an entire forum to the topic of social media and related subjects, you know it's gone mainstream. We're not fooling around anymore... :-)
(screen grab of the Always in Beta "Social Media Dashboard" compliments of Mindblob)
What folks are saying about Always in Beta
Jeremiah Owyang provides amazing coverage on day 2
Jeremiah Owyang toured the CM Chicago office and took some snazzy video (and pictures)
Julie Fleisher wrote about our panel (no, I did not write her headline) ;-)
Floozy Speak wrote about our Always in Beta experiment.
Just a quick reminder that our beta cam is going live tomorrow and will be broadcasting from Forrester's Consumer Forum LIVE both Thursday and Friday.
The Forrester Consumer Forum is just days away now and word is that it's attracted over 800 attendees. Can you tell I'm excited about it? We just finished editing a reel of our work which ties into our "Beta Theme" (be sure to check out end of video). You can see the reel here. We'll be turning on our live "Beta Cam" and from the hours of 9-5 while at the event on from October 11-12, so you'll be able to get a first hand perspective of the kinds of stuff we talk about at this kind of shin dig. In fact, if you are coming and want to be on the Beta Cam, please stop by—we're going to be asking folks the following question:
"What does always being in beta mean to you"?
Lastly, there will be some active participants from the social media space all under one roof. A few people that I know of right off the bat are:
Charlene Li + Josh Bernoff
I'm sure I'm missing many. So are you going? If so, speak up and I'll add your link to the list. Look forward to seeing you there!
We'll be turning on the beta cam on October 9th at 12:00 CST—I'll be doing an interview with Neil Clemmons
Talk with us at alwaysinbeta.criticalmass.com
Next week is Forrester's Consumer Forum in Chicago. I'll be moderating a panel with Manish Mehta of Dell and Stan Joosten from P&G. We're going to be talking about what it means to be "beta"—and how it's shaping our view of the way we connect with customers. Here's how the panel is billed:
"Innovation isn’t limited to R+D rooms anymore. The Web 2.0 movement—powered by scrappy start-ups such as Twitter, Malhalo and even YouTube have proven that innovation often happens in iterations. Build, launch, tweak, measure, and repeat. Techniques like Mash-ups enable faster development and more experimentation with a range of tools from mapping to community to data feeds. Digital experiences seem to be “always in beta”—learning and evolving along the way."
In addition to the panel, I've been working behind the scenes with a small team to launch our "Always In Beta" site. The site will contain a live video stream from the Critical Mass booth which will be broadcast from our booth on October 11th. Anyone from anywhere in the world can chat with us in real time. The chat feature is live now so feel free to stop by—you never know when someone will be there to talk to you.
In addition to the site, we're going to try something a bit different for the panel format. I will be inviting the audience to text messages to a visible screen during our discussion. Halfway through the discussion, I will start to address questions and thoughts from the screen which will be aggregated as they come in. (See below)
The point of both these experiments is just that—we're willing to
try some new things. We don't know how the formats will go down—if the
video will work properly, what people will say in the chat or through SMS on the
panel. But this is awfully similar to what's happening in the real
world right? People are going to talk about you and your brand in ways
you can't always predict. It then becomes our choice to either help
facilitate these conversations, or put our heads in the sand and
pretend that the world isn't spinning. Plus, we think it's just a good opportunity to try something out and learn from it.
I have the honor of speaking at two really cool upcoming events. First, I'll be the closing Keynote at Jared Spool's UI12. I'll be presenting a modified version of "The Fuzzy Tail", and I'm really excited about this one. Jared tells me it's a first having a Keynote invited from a design background. UI12 falls during the same week as Dux (November 5th), but honestly with speakers such as Luke Wrobleowski, Scott Berkun, Kim Goodwin, and Jared himself among others, I'm super happy about being in Cambridge that week!
Then on the heels of Thanksgiving, I'll be doing the closing Keynote at CanUX where I'll be talking about how user experience is transforming the agency. More on that one later. So some interesting stuff coming up as the leaves change their colors. Hope to see you at either.
Update: I just saw Bernard's slides and they ROCK.
Microsoft's User Experience Evangelist Chris Bernard and myself are teaming up tonight for a complimentary event at Chicago's Hard Rock Hotel. I've added some new slides at the end of my Fuzzy Tail preso and am ready to go. Here's how we've billed the event which is part of CM's "Spark Sessions:
Chris Bernard — User Experience Evangelist, Microsoft
"Marketing's Perfect Storm" — Technology, media and the user experience are on a collision course. Could this be marketing's perfect storm?
David Armano — Logic+Emotion blogger and VP Experience Design, Critical Mass
"Fuzzytail" — Collaboration 2.0 is messy business. We must define ourselves and what we do more broadly. It's about going from left brain to right brain and ending up on "light brain".
If you're writing a book—you might as well take the advice from someone who's already written a few. Louis Rosenfeld is considered one of the founding fathers of modern day information architecture and co-wrote the "Polar Bear" book titled "Information Architecture for the World Wide Web". I recorded a portion of his talk at the design research conference and found this bit the most interesting. Rosenfeld is currently in the process of publishing a new book through Rosenfeld Media. When I say he's in the process, I mean he literally unveiled the cover design for the new series at the conference. In fact, I held off at posting this video so he could inform the author of the decision as opposed having them find out via a blog.
But here's the takeaway from this clip. Rosenfeld's advice to others who are in the process of writing books is to hire an art director. His larger point was that while it's easy for consultants to point to "cobblers children" tendencies to our clients—we're just as susceptible to the same pitfalls and need to know when we might be heading in the wrong direction.
Rosenfeld compares his own art direction to the final cover design and admits that he got too close to it and needed some help to get it back in the right direction. As someone who's been a creative director—I understand exactly where he's coming from. Even if you're qualified to do something yourself—often times it's best to invest the time to find and direct the right resource and empower them to do what they are really good at. This isn't mandatory if you don't have the budget or resources—but if you do, sometimes it's better to bring in the right talent and a little objectivity.
Rosenfeld was also candid enough to share some of his own research in where he conducted a study to find out what was the considered the most well designed book in the user experience field. Can you guess what it was?
No surprises—one of my favorites: "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug. If he did the same study on brand building—I wonder if the result would have been The Brand Gap? (another of my favorites). Anyway, check out the video as it provides a good insight. This will be my last post on L+E related to the Design Research conference. I will do one last wrap up on Experience Matters. Oh, and on a related note—I will have the honor of co-keynoting CanUX 2007 along with Rosenfeld. That should be a learning experience. :)
It's day 2 at the deign research conference in Chicago. Steven Herbst of Motorola drove in interesting point home with a video from a focus group. You have to be careful when putting folks in a "lab environment"—essentially asking them for their opinions. Watch the video and make your own conclusions.
Here's what I did before putting this video up. I turned off the sound and watched the video a couple of times. This is just my own personal opinion as I am no body language expert—but the people didn't seem to move naturally. It's as if they were searching for right answers. The one guy who kept hunching over the table reminded me of an inspector—looking for flaws in something.
Many of us who are in search of innovation like to use the phrase "unarticulated or unmet needs"—meaning that a user may not always be able to tell us what they really need, and we have to read between the lines. So I'm liking Steven's position here that it's best to be "cautious" in this context. I intepret this to mean that we don't throw the lab environment out with the bathwater—but using caution is a good thing. By the way—whenever I would observe user testing behind a 2 way mirror—I often times would plug my ears and watch people's body language. Sometimes what people don't tell us in a test setting speaks volumes.
What do you do?
Day one of IIT ID's Design Research conference is done and I'm already looking forward to day two. Couple of observations right off the bat:
1. Design and research go hand and hand.
2. Design Research, like any research can be manipulated.
Let's start with point one. The above video was from Stuart Karten's excellent presentation. Stuart talked about a technique his teams use called "ModeMapping". As far as I could tell, ModeMapping starts off with spending considerable time with actual users (not in the focus group or interview setting). After qualitative research is conducted in the field with multiple users, their "modes" are mapped out. Modes are kind of like the "mindset" a person is in during a specific event or period (think, "I'm in shopping mode"). The Maps are then compared and analyzed for patterns, "shared experiences" etc. Stuart also stressed that his teams spend at least an entire day with an individual before a map could be visualized.
The thing that impressed me most about Stuart's presentation was that at the end he showed the actual design solutions which were informed by the research and ModeMapping process. It was evident right off the bat that the solutions were closely tied to the research. When I asked him what he attributed this to, his answer was simple and direct.
"It's because our designers do all of the research"
Fair enough. In digital design—it's often times interaction designers etc. who conduct studies in the field as well as usability tests etc. But in other areas such as marketing, Planners are the ones who do this type of research. But Planners aren't typically the ones who end up designing the solution (in most cases). So here's an interesting scenario—are these two different models with distinct benefits? Or is marketing so fundamentally different that the people doing the research shouldn't be the ones designing the solutions. Or are there overlaps? What do you think?
Now to point #2. First you have to watch the entire video before reading further. Don't question why—just do as I say! There, are you done? OK, Dan Saffer of Adaptive Path gets us thinking about how research can be abused. Design research—despite the mystique is still—guess what? Research. Which means that like all research, it can be skewed to meet the needs of the researchers. Dan's presentation was funny and engaging and it made an important point—designers can fall prey to the same temptations as any researcher, framing their findings to support their own agendas. I thought it was a point worth making, and the delivery was as fun as it was thought provoking. But what do you think—are designers immune to these temptations? Oh wait, did I just asked a loaded question?
If you were at the conference, (or not) feel free to speak your mind—it's your turn to talk back. I'm looking forward to day 2.
My last few posts on the state of advermarketing have made me feel like I need a shower. ;-) So, I'm really looking forward to attending the IIT Institute of Design Research Conference happening in Chicago next Friday and Saturday.
Wait a minute—what the heck is design research anyways? OK, well let's take a look at how the folks at IIT are billing the conference:
"The linear business model is in question under the stresses of the current competitive landscape. If ‘business as usual’ embraces silos, roles, and hierarchy, what should ‘business by design’ be? The capability of user-centered research to solve wicked problems, deliver superior and differentiated offering, and win market share, continues to expand. Among corporations and business schools, people are beginning to understand the potential of design in research and across the organization, to develop strategies for addressing the nuances that differentiate markets from one another."
If you read between the lines, what this is saying is simply—"there is another way".
Designers approach problem solving a bit differently than the business world. Intuition plays a big part of it—much of what Dan Pink wrote in his book "A Whole New Mind" captures the spirit of how designers look to frame opportunities, define strategies and solve problems. Pink describe the process as "recognizing the patters" and "seeing the big picture" through "meta abilities" such as "systems thinking", "gestalt thinking" "holistic thinking", and in recent years—we have come to know it by another name:
Whatever we want to call it, this kind of ability is gaining traction outside of the design world—as is the demand for individuals and organizations who work this way. When I wrote my "are you a synthesizer?" post, a lot of folks picked it up —most likely because in their gut, they know there is something to this that needs further investigation and development.
Some of the speakers at the conference include Dan Saffer, Lou Rosenfield, and Alec Bernstein of BMW Group to name a few. I'll be doing some blogging about the event and most likely spitting out some pithy takeaways via Twitter. I hope to see some of you "marketers" at the event. Might be a nice change of pace.
Have confirmed the following panelists for MarketingProfs Business-to-Business Forum, 2007
Todd Andrlik, Director of Marketing and PR, Leopardo Construction
Matt Lohman, Director of Business Development & Research, KnowledgeStorm
Chris Yeh, CEO, Ustream.TV
Rick Murray, President, me2revolution (Edelman)
Sept. 19th The Promo Event (Chicago)
Description: Social Media: Evolution to Execution
I'll be joining a panel including Rohit Bhargava, of Olgilvy PR and Noah Brier of Naked Communications. The panel will be moderated by Herb Sawyer of Carmichael Lynch.
October 2, MarketingProfs Business-to-Business Forum, 2007 (Chicago)
Type: Presentation and panel
Description: How B2B Marketers Can Leverage the Power of Emerging Media
I will be presenting some thoughts around this topic and facilitating a panel. The panel is still being organized, but creator of the AdAge power 150, Todd Andrlik should be on it as well as Mario Sundar of Linked In. The conference will also feature author Chip Heath of Made to Stick. Other speakers include:
Karen Breen Vogel
October 24-25, Forrester's Consumer Forum (Chicago)
It's unclear of I will be on a panel, but I'm working behind the scenes with folks from Critical Mass who are a Gold Sponsor of the two day event. Critical Mass has agreed to purchase 250 copies of The Age of Conversation, so if you are coming—you might be lucky enough to get one for free. If not, you can always purchase a copy for yourself (all proceeds of the book go to Children's Variety Charity).
November 5-7 2007 DUX 07 (Chicago)
Not participating in this one, but really looking forward to it.
February 4-6 The Conference on Marketing (Naples, FL)
Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin will be keynotes here and I'll be participating on a separate panel (details yet to be determined).
March 7 SXSW (Austin)
We've proposed a panel that will be moderated by Jared Spool. Don't forget to vote and hope to see you there.
I've also got a couple of other possibilities cooking, but these are the ones to bank on. If you are attending any of these events, I hope to see you there!
I've submitted a panel idea on behalf of Critical Mass for the upcoming SXSW conference taking place in March 2008. It's a panel concept based around my "Fuzzy Tail" POV. We thought it would be interesting to assemble a distinguished group of individuals from different types of professional service firms to mix it up on this topic. If the panel gets picked, and all goes as planned—we will have Jared Spool moderating a panel composed of myself, Dan Saffer of Adaptive Path and author of Designing for Interactions, as well as Collin Cole, SVP of Interactive for Frog Design. Who knows—maybe we'll add a fourth?
Here is the description:
"Times have changed. We can no longer afford to over-analyze our challenges. We must try to get things launched -- learn and refine. We must define ourselves and what we do more broadly. It's about going from left brain to right brain and ending up on "light brain". We must become "fuzzy."
Critical Mass will be sponsoring this year's Forrester Consumer Forum in Chicago and it should be interesting. Here's a snippet from how the two day event is billed:
"Fueled by cheap devices and pervasive access, individuals are increasingly taking cues from one another rather than from institutions — a phenomenon that creates chaos for traditional brands, sellers, and media outlets. Evidence of this new social structure is everywhere; for example, only 53% of consumers in 2006 believed that ads were a good way to learn about new products, down from 78% in 2002. At the same time, consumers are increasingly seeking each other out for information — 31% of online consumers buy or sell products online from and to other consumers, 26% contribute to discussion boards or submit product ratings, and 11% publish their own blogs or personal journals."
We've got a few things planned which I'll be talking about more as we move closer to the the October date. In the meantime, feel free to subscribe to our Twitter feed. Starting today—I will be sending updates and links there that fit into the theme of "winning in a world transformed by social technologies", and when the event is in progress—I will be live-Twittering from my trusty Sidekick.
Hope to see you there—but if you can't make it in person, stay tuned...
"Blogs are odd resources that sprout up around conferences. They usually take a back seat to the main activities, but they can sometimes provide a good place for more conversation.
In order to get this blog going, we have surveyed the illustrious list of speakers -- and a variety of other favorite creative leaders -- on a simple question: "What role does creativity play in design strategy?"
We present our findings here in this space, and hope that we might all think together about these 3 words: creativity, design, strategy.
— John Maeda + Becky Bermont (MIT Media Lab)"
Let the conversation begin. Oh, and speaking of conversation—I recently found out that Helen Walters from BusinessWeek will be there. Helen did the editing for my BW article titled "It's The Conversation Economy Stupid". Looking forward to meeting Helen and hopefully connecting with some L+E readers as well (I know you're out there...). :-)
Also, see IIT's Institute of Design's blog called D log—it's chock full of visuals.
Quick update on SobCon '07—you know that blogging conference happening in Chicago on May 12? We just got word that Andy Sernovitz, the guy who literally WROTE the book on Word of Mouth Marketing is going to be featured as a speaker. Andy is also co-founder of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association.
Guess the action doesn't always happen on the coasts. See you there!
I'm finishing up a Webinar presentation I'll be doing for Marketing Profs on March 29th. Here's a brief description:
"It’s 2007. Your Mom has a blog, your kid is uploading videos to YouTube and your boss just added “must create something viral” to your performance goals. On top of all this, you’ve still got a Website that looks like something from an 80’s music video and is barely usable. What’s a marketer to do?
Get the basics right—then deliver a memorable experience.
Sound simple? It’s easier said than done, but as mainstream brands such as Dell, Budweiser and Nikon push the boundaries of emerging media, the way we leverage technology to grow brands and relationships effectively is becoming ever more critical. In this seminar you will learn why it’s so important to get the basics right in any of your interactive touch points whether it be your traditional site—or that blog you’ve been experimenting with. You’ll find out what works and what doesn’t illustrated through case studies. And most importantly—you’ll get tips on how you can leverage the power of smart design and “conversation architecture” to help make your initiatives stand apart from the crowd (in a good way)."
Here's what I'm looking for. If you feel that you've seen a site, (either "1.0 or 2.0") blog, or any other social media experience that "get's the basics right and takes it to the next level", please leave a comment with a link and I'll review it.
It's a good chance to get your stuff in front of a qualified audience. Please send stuff no later than Sunday if possible.
Quick SOBCon '07 Update:
There's an Unconference going on right NOW over at Successful Blog. Check it out. Basically you use the comments area to pose question and the "speakers" use comments to answer your questions. Kind of like a slow chat. Also, you can save $100.00 on registration if you sign up today. Here's the info on the Unconference and who's going to be accessible:
8:00 AM - Robyn McMaster on Laughter and Mistakes
9:00 AM - Sandra Renshaw on Graphics
10:00 AM - Mark McGuinness on Creativity
11:00 AM - Joe Hauckes on Navigation
12:00 PM- Rodney Rumford on Videoblogging
1:00 PM - Chris Garrett on Blogger Blunders
2:00 PM - Ellen Weber on Sleep and Music
3:00 PM - Wendy Piersall on Blogging Beyond the Blogosphere,
4:00 PM - Mike Wagner on Branding
5:00 PM - Terry Starbucker on What to Look for
6:00 PM - Chris Cree on Business Blogging
7:00 PM - Phil Gerbyshak on Being a Relationship Geek
8:00 PM - David Armano on the 4 Cs of Blogging (actually, I'll be missing this)
You can grab your seat for the live event on May 11-12 at a special price: $250 ($100 savings). The deadline for the special price is Monday night at 9:00 pm Central.
OK, so I'm lame and I won't be at the SXSW conference where apparently EVERYONE will be. But at least I can try to be there in spirit. Robert Scoble is scrambling to try to get Twitter Club T-Shirts printed up, so here is a mock up (I made the visual extra big so you can read it on your screen). I have the source file (Photoshop). If you can think of a few short "Twitters" to go in the box—I'll make a batch and send them over to Mr. Scoble so he can hunt down a 24 hour printer (that is if he thinks the idea is worthy). Have fun!
Digitas colleague Dave Marsey and I just wrapped up a joint presentation at Chicago’s Loyola University. It was great to get the invite and we had a blast presenting to an energetic group of well dressed grad students who gobbled up the information as quickly as we could spit it out. There were lots of excellent questions about how marketing is being impacted by empowered consumers and how social media is affecting our behavior. In short, we were pleased to be interacting with such a bright group of people.
But there were a few surprises, at least for me. With the exception of the Jet Blue YouTube apology, I brought up a couple of noteworthy events/names that symbolize some of the changes we see in our industry. And was surprisingly met with with a few blank stares. Here are some examples:
• When I asked if they had heard of Jeff Jarvis/Dell Hell, not one student raised their hand or had a clue who Jarvis is.
• Very few students had heard of the AOL/Vincent Ferazzi “I can’t cancel my policy” audio
• Almost no-one had seen or even heard of the Comcast “sleeper” video
• No one heard of the Agency.com/Subway “viral video”
• No one had heard of Ben McConnell + Jackie Huba/Citizen Marketers
It is to me. I can see not knowing about Agency.com/Subway, but to not have a clue about Jeff Jarvis or Dell Hell? I was really impressed by the professionalism of the students and especially their enthusiasm. Most seemed interested and asked great questions. I only have one to ask them back. Are you mentally getting outside of your School walls on a regular basis? I ask this question respectfully and sincerely.
Students out there, hear me out. If you can come across as smart, professional, enthusiastic and optimistic—all these things will help you career wise. But also know what’s happening (in detail) both inside and outside of our industry, and have an opinion about them. We are witnessing seismic shifts in terms of how we define marketing, advertising, and PR. It’s not good enough to know that the shift is happening—you need to know about the everyday milestones which serve as telltale signs.
If you’re a student reading this and you find yourself relating, I’ll give you the same advice I gave them. Go out and read Citizen Marketers for starters (we included a slide with the book on it). Basically, keep up with what’s going on in marketing-related spaces in addition to what’s on your curriculum. And to the school and organizers, thank you for having us, it was an honor!
Look. The rules have changed. Anyone can blog. Anyone can have a voice. But having a voice and being heard are two different things. You have a blog—but is it "remarkable"? Is it breaking through the clutter? You want to take it to the next level. You want to break through. You want conversations to convert into relationships. You want to bring your business or brand closer to the people who matter.
SOBCon 07 is happening in Chicago on May 11-12 and I'm speaking at it. It's the brainchild of Successful Blogger Liz Strauss and a few of her friends. Here's how it's billed:
An evening and a day of community, strategy, and information about the art, technology, and science of relationship blogging for 250 experienced bloggers.
We will demonstrate to 250 bloggers how to take their existing blogs to the next level through interactive presentations on publishing, design and branding, tools, analytics, social networking, marketing, and coaching, from the perspectives of the blogger and the audience.
Attendees are bloggers with a serious intent to improve their blogs. Seating is limited to 250 sold seats, plus guests.
You'll learn the secrets of success from professionals who have made their blogs "remarkable". Liz Strauss has dubbed us the Brat Pack of the blogging world. We're not Seth, Scoble, Steve, Sierra, Searls or any other big time bloggers with an "S" in their name. OK, fine we do have Sansone, Strauss and Starbucker—cut me some slack will ya? :)
Point is, we made our own rules—and blogged by them. Here's who's speaking:
Now here's where it gets pretty cool. On Friday night there will be an open mic and live performance by singer/songwriter Christine Kane and Rumor has it that Sansone is bringing the likes of Mike Wagner and Drew McLellen among others. I'll FINALLY get to meet some of you.
And here's a shout out to my friends in the Design & User Experience worlds who only go to AIGA and IA conferences. Get out of your sandbox and mix it up with people who don't do what you do. I come across plenty of design/UX blogs out there that seem "dead". No signs of life. Nada. Skip the AIGA event and try something different for a change. Find out how developing relationships both inside and outside your discipline can help amplify the contributions you make to your profession.
If we only talk to our peers, then it's like talking to ourselves. And talking to ourselves is a one way conversation.
The two gentlemen in this picture are the Heath brothers. Chip and Dan Heath to be more specific. I met them briefly on this chilly February evening at a bookstore where they were promoting their first book—Made to Stick. They hosted a quick chat and signed some books (I bought a copy on the spot and got it signed). This post obviously is not a book review as I haven't read their book yet—but bear with me...
Why was I there?
I opted to skip coming home and seeing Chip and Dan in person primarily because of this, this, and this. And it was worth the detour. The first thing I noticed while taking my seat, was that the small audience at the bookstore was surprisingly diverse in age. There were folks in their 20s right up to folks in their 60's and 70s (and even a couple of toddlers!). The next thing I noticed was how effective their communication and storytelling was especially to this group of people ranging in ages. There's a lesson here for all aspiring writers and communicators (connecting with your audience regardless of age or background).
Ironically, this is the core subject matter outlined in their book—getting ideas to stick. Much of what they discussed in the bookstore had to do with the use of effective storytelling in our messages in order to get them to stick—to resonate and become memorable. This is how they outline the key traits of sticky ideas:
The book actually begins with the well known urban legend of the "Kidney Thieves"—making the point that successful urban legends contain these qualities. As I watched and listened to the brothers speak and entertain questions—I couldn't help but think about Roger von Oech's headline to his related post:
And while I don't have the answer to the suggestive headline—I will say that Chip does appear to have "it". What is "it"? "It" is hard to describe, but you know "it" when you see "it" and he's got it. I'm looking forward to digging into the book.
Clay over at Exit Creative has been kind enough to kick start Coffee Mornings in Chicago. I'm there. You should be too. You don't have to be a blogger to come. You just need to be interested in the digital media renaissance, good coffee and great conversation.
Here are the details:
When: 8:00 AM, Friday, November 17, 2006
Who: Anyone who wants to chat about a really wide range of topics, meet people from the blogosphere, etc.
Chris Thilk will be there too. Come one. Come all.
"Today, I am off to Nielsen BuzzMetrics' clients-only CGM Summit 2006. The agenda is cram packed with sessions covering all aspects of Consumer Generated Media (CGM) including an overview of where we are today, why people do this stuff, where CGM is going in the future, and how exactly marketers can leverage and measure this powerful channel. Ironically, the confirmation email I received for the event includes this warning:
"Off The Record: the CGM Summit is off the record, so please no blogging, reporting, recording or broadcasting."
Now after recently going to a Forrester conference where blogging was encouraged, this puzzles me. I'm assuming that they have a good reason, but as Greg states in his post:
"So how can you host an event about consumer generated media and not let your consumers, um, generate media?"
It is a valid question I think. How is it that a fairly conservative entity like Forrester can open themselves up but Nielsen BuzzMetrics won't? Again, there might be a good reason, but this is a fair question. When I invited bloggers to the Digitas Blog's Eye View conference I explained to our PR people that they could not control what would be said in the blogosphere. And it was a bold move having our employees mix it up with bloggers from all different walks of life.
And not everyone is going to say wonderful things about you. Noah Brier was one of the bloggers in attendance and respectfully challenged my vision of "Influence Ripples". He brings some good food for thought to the table and I personally see value in this.
So again, there may be a very good reason behind their move to keep the event off the record—but I personally think the question that Greg raises is worth asking.
Well, today I got to attend the Forrester “Humanizing The Digital Experience” event. Actually, Margaret—one of my colleagues couldn't make it today, so I went in her place. That’s right, I was the guy with the dark hair, rectangle specs and “Margaret” on my name tag. Yeah, I got a few looks. Well, only in the morning—the kind folks at Forrester reprinted a nametag for me.
The one session today that stood out to me was from Jeff Hicks, President and CEO of Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Jeff had a few interesting things to say, and of course Crispin does wonderful work, but what really encouraged me was that he stressed the strong linkage that advertising needs to have with the product. He cited Burger King as an example where Crispin is doing a lot of messaging on the packaging itself (talk about getting close to the product). I especially liked this line:
“Make the product the advertising”
“We want to embed marketing within the brand”
Of course there was still talk of the big idea leading the way (after anthropological rersearch to inform those ideas), but no mention of big bloated strategies. And this was a nice simple thought as well:
“Some brands have momentum, some don’t. We create momentum for the brands we work with”.
Maybe not the exact words, but pretty close. So as far as marketing and storytelling goes, that’s a nice way to summarize it. And I have to say, I was really impressed with Peter Kim’s performance (that's peter in the pic, over on the right). Peter provided a great set-up and came across really relaxed and professional during the Q+A.
Now, earlier in the morning Harley Manning took the stage and talked “Human Centered Design”. I guess this ends the debate about using the term “user”, “consumer”, or “customer”. We’re designing for humans dammit! :) Actually, I have no problem with the phrase human centric—but I still like using the other labels when appropriate as they help me define design challenges:
Harley was highly energetic and inteligent. He’s immensely engaging and makes a great case for smart interactive design and the benefits of this to business. I have to say that whenever I hear the case for great digital experiences it always makes me think of this whitepaper from Kevin Mullet of Macromedia.—I highly recommend printing it out and giving a read (don't let the 2003 date fool you). It’s a nice synopsis of taking principals from books like The Experience Economy and making them applicable to Digital Experience Design in a practical way. The visual below is from the whitepaper:
Useful, Useable, Desirable—these all came up at the conference (I've referenced Kevin's criteria before as it's a pithy way to capture the key ingredients to a successful experience. I would also add sustainable to it).
And lastly but certainly not leastly I got to have breakfast with two wonderful people and bloggers (they blogged at the official Forrester event blog). Christopher Carfi and Marianne Richmond. Further proof that bloggers are real decent folk (and just plain real). Chris and Marianne were more than happy to share a good chunk of their morning with me over a cup of coffee. They could have been out and about doing the networking thing, but we all just hung out instead. Christopher and Marianne, thank you both for the great conversation and company (Chris, don't forget to say hi to Mom for me).
Well, those are my brief highlights from a brief day. Thanks Margaret, and thanks Forrester for a putting on a good show. Oh , before I forget... one thing that absolutely blew me away. I kind of suspected that Chris and Marianne might have known of me, but I was astonished at how many people in the industry actually follow L+E. So there may be a new dynamic at these kinds of conferences: The hosts (Forrester), The Sponsors, The Attendees, and the Attendee/bloggers all mixing it up both digitally and physically. Maybe you'll be blogging at your next event?
Forrester gets it right at Forrester's Consumer Forum 2006 conference titled "Humanizing The Digital Experience". How?
They are running a blog of the event where notable bloggers such as Christopher Carfi - the author of The Social Customer Manifesto blog and co-founder of Cerado, along with Marianne Richmond the author of the Resonance Partnership Blog have been invited to guest blog the event.
Of course Forrester also has their own employees blogging as well. So why is this significant? Other conferences have done this many times before. I was a guest blogger at the IIT's Strategy '06 conference for example.
The answer is simple. Because it's Forrester. Despite how cutting edge marketing has become, Forrester is still the percieved as "The Source" among millions of office dwellers. The reports, data and studies they produce quickly become "Holy Grail". So, you can bet that when they open up a significant conference like this to bloggers—us corporate office dwellers will take notice.
Here's another anecdotal. I blogged about the last Forrester event I attended, and had a brief but interesting conversation with senior analyst Moira Dorsey before doing so. I think the lightbulb has gone off for Forrester where they figure "our conferences will be blogged anyway—why not invite folks to do so on our turf?"
On a side note, the conference blog is taking shape rapidly. Go and check it out.
I wish I was at this conference as it is right up my alley, but we had
to send some other Digitas folks. However, at least I have the blog to
follow. I'll leave you with this little gem written up by Chris:
2) What is a humanized digital experience?
"An interaction in which the human benefits are more visible than the technology"
- "we feel part o the community"
Three building blocks of a humanized digital experience
- "Useful"...offers value
Good example: VW online car configurator
- "Usable"...provides easy access to value
Good example: Netflix, desktop widgets
- "Desirable"...appeal to emotions
Happy to share that Digitas and Modem Media have kicked some arse at the recent Mixx Awards held in NYC. The Mixx awards are positioned as follows:
"The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Adweek Magazines culminated the MIXX Conference and Expo with the Interactive industry's annual MIXX Awards. The MIXX Awards celebrates the teams and talent that push Interactive to unprecedented levels, across the full spectrum of Interactive platforms"
We won in the following catagories:
GOLD: Digitas for American Express, "Tribeca Film Festival"
SILVER: frog design for General Electric, "Picture a Healthy World" (very cool campaign BTW)
BRONZE: MediaVest for The Coca-Cola Company/Evian, "Evian Detox"
GOLD: McKinney for Oasys Mobile Inc., "Pherotones"
SILVER: Mira Design Studio for Holiday Inn Express Hotels, "Showerhead Campaign"
BRONZE: Modem Media for Delta Airlines, "Delta Q3/Q4 - delta.com"
GOLD: Digitas for Pontiac Motor Division, "Pontiac Solstice Early-Order Program"
SILVER: Modem Media for Delta Airlines, "Delta Direct Response"
BRONZE: Media Contacts for Vonage, "Vonage Acquisition Campaign"
Best in show went to RPA for Honda's "A Different Animal" All winners can be seen here.
Adtech is coming to Chicago next week and I’ll be facilitating a panel discussion (July 25th) focused on the different kinds types of Experience Design as seen through the eyes of three distinct creative professionals.
“More than ever, empowered consumers desire delight. And increasingly, digital experiences are becoming the most effective way to facilitate meaningful interactions that “touch” consumers lives. But not all experiences are created equal. Hear an uncensored discussion from three of the leading experience designers who take distinct approaches to designing for digital media.”
I’m really looking forward to it as Adtech draws a very influential crowd from all corners of the marketing world. And I’m excited to be talking about this topic—as it’s not a fad.
While others will be hyping up the latest in Social Media, WOM, RSS, and using other fancy acronyms—we’ll be discussing the value of providing a good 'ol fashioned experience and how important this is in bringing customers and brands together. So if you are in Chicago next week—come find me at the event and please do say hello. The lunch panels are open to the public.
Update: As of now, Jaffe and I will definitely be recording a Podcast this weekend. We had to re-schedule a couple of times. So, I need to be prepared to discuss two topics of my choosing. Or is it OUR choosing? I have a few ideas—but maybe you do too? Below are a few topics I have in mind:
1. Agency 2.0: Advertising agencies are scrambling to stay relevant and evolve their offerings. Colleen DeCourcy’s departure from i-shop Organic to JWT symbolizes the move. Draft and FCB merging is also related. Lines are being blurred between above the line and below the line agencies and internally, lines need to be blurred even more as a new breed of multi dimensional creative thinkers is needed to drive creative strategies across a plethora of touch points and channels.
2. The Power Consumer + The Customer Experience: Customer experience matters. That’s what AOL and Comcast were all about. Poor customer experiences that ignited an empowered consumer to take action. Do advertising agencies even get customer experience? What about marketing firms, or even PR firms? What role will the customer experience play in advermarketing as the media shift continues?
3. Building Communities through the Social Media Network: People are connecting, sharing information, ideas and dreams in ways that never existed before. Consumers are looking to the “influencers” for credible information and "straight talk". The bloggers, vloggers, and “micro celebrities” are individuals that they relate to. Scoble, Hugh, Kathy, etc.—we want to know what they think because we trust them more than we do traditional marketing. The names aren’t totally mainstream yet—but the people who read the thoughts are often time influencers themselves. What does this “community of influencers” mean to the future of marketing/advertising—and can this community go mainstream?
4. The Role of Design + Creativity in Advermarketing: Design and creativity have taken brands like Target, Apple, and Nike to new heights. Companies like P&G have re-invented themselves by incorporating design innovation as part of the fabric of their culture. But what does this mean to the advertising or marketing agency? Do agencies even get design and innovation? What about usability? What is the role of design in today’s agency. Is it more than good looks? And how do we define creativity as we move beyond the 30 second spot (and even “traditional” interactive)...
So these are my thoughts so far. Let me know what YOU think.
I'm doing a little bit of moblogging this morning at Forrester's breakfast series titled "The ROI Of Web Redesigns Made Simple". Here are some high level take-aways hot off the press: (Note, as with everything on L+E, this is my personal perspective)
Moira G. Dorsey, Senior Analyst.
Slide: Its hard not to get a return on investment with a competent website re-design.
“Companies don't think enough about designing for their users.”
Some quick first impressions of the event. Forrester knows what they are talking about in this area, they interview scores of professionals and companies to gather data and they use metrics, charts and graphs to make the case for the value of human-centered design as it applies to the business world.
I only wish the presentation had a little more oompf to it, maybe a little story telling to go with all of the great charts and graphs. While the rational part of my mind was nodding in agreement--the emotional part of my head was like "hey, where's the Starbucks?"
No offense to Forrester. I use their services and they themselves offer a great customer experience between their own site and customer service people. I just don't know why ROI through Web design has to be such a snooze fest (a little exaggeration here).
20 minutes later: OK, it's picking a little bit, Moira is talking about Design Personas now and there is a simple visual which represents three re-design options/approaches.
1. Rip out and replace entire site.
2. Roll through site one section at a time.
3. Optimize individual applications and pages.
That's a fairly pragmatic way to Summarize a variety of approaches. Each of these seems well suited for large, complex websites. And interestingly enough, I did a presentation last year with similar points illustrated with a “home improvement” theme. You can download that deck here: Re-decorating, Renovating, and Re-building Web Sites.
Ok, I just asked a question:
D. "In an agency/marketing setting, what are the disciplines that should heavily influence things like Personas and Ethnographic research."
M. "There are two options: Ideally an individual trained in Ethnography and things like observation. Or another way is to bring customers in and talk to them, but that also involves skill as customers will not always articulate their true needs"
(Note: these may not be exact words, I jotted the response down as quickly as possible—but it's very close)
Not surprised by Moira's response—but it does beg the question:
"Who is qualified?". Most agencies/companies don't have a resident anthropologist on staff. So then who has the right credentials here? Planner? IA? Designer? A combination of the three? Who??
Victoria Bough. VP of marketing and strategy practice.
The energy dial just got turned up a notch. Makes sense though because this part of the presentation is meant to promote/sell a service provided by Forrester.
So here is Forrester's methodology for the consulting services.
Analyze, Plan and Execute (three chevrons). No big surprises here. The good thing about this service is that I believe them when they say they are objective. Agencies should also be objective with our clients, even if we have longstanding relationships (all the more reason).
Decent presentation overall and I’m glad that Forrester is articulating the ROI of user-centered site design. I only wish it were a little more lively, and in-line with the great research reports that Forrester provides. To be fair, I spoke with Moira afterward and pointed out my observations. She was very receptive (and nice) and thought it was valid commentary. She went on to discuss how difficult it is to work client anecdotal info into these types of presentations for client reluctance to “go on the record”. Moira was curious about my blogging of this and I’ll be sending her a note letting her know about this post. She is free to discuss further.
Last tidbit. I ran into an old colleague from The Chicago Tribune. Royce Vibbert, Product Manager, Chicago Tribune Interactive. Royce is looking for some highly talented Interaction Designers and skilled Project Managers for chicagotribune.com, metromix.com, and chicagosports.com. If you are int andc qualified, you can contact Royce.
I’ll be co-hosting the next ATS Podcast with Joseph Jaffe next week. We’ll be recording on the eve. Of Sunday June 25th. I have no idea what we’ll be talking about, but something tells me it should be interesting. Jaffe’s been thinking a lot about the future of advertising and I’ve been thinking about the future of creativity. Tune in.
Wow. I just finished up the first day at IIT’s Strategy 06 Event. At some point I’ll probably summarize a take-away, but for now I’d like to break down what makes this event special. Here goes...
Started off the day walking past the world-class shops on Michigan ave. The Apple and Nike Store were a fitting precursor to the days events. After walking through the door of Chicago’s MCA I quickly registered and moved on into the “e-lounge” where I grabbed a quick cup of coffee, checked e-mail on one of the 21-inch iMacs and engaged in small talk with design legend Clement Mok. Turns out he’s building a new home and thinks the whole new construction process needs to be re-designed from the ground up.
The day then progressed into a series of presentations and discussions in MCA’s well equipped auditorium. In between presentations we could grab snacks back in the lounge, post comments in real time on the event's community blog and stroll through the museum where Andy Warhol’s work was being featured. The day ended with a wonderful reception including cocktails on the MCA’s second level.
The combination of the venue, speakers, community blog, photos, podcasts, all add up to a great experience. If you plan on hosting a conference, you should check out how the IIT turns conference into experience.
I’m a true believer in reflecting on the past as much as looking to the future. I was recently rummaging through some old materials and came across a deck I put together capturing some choice highlights from the AIGA Risk Reward Conference (.pps) back in 2000. There are some nice insights in the deck that I took away from the event. I recommend taking a quick look through it—as much of the thought is applicable today. What’s remarkable about this is that the conference had the same creative energy levels that we are seeing in the industry now. Back then anything seemed possible. There was so much going in between the traditional creative worlds and what we were seeing online. It was both a special and kind of crazy time.
We all know what happened shortly after 2000. The internet bubble burst, global terror reared it’s ugly head, and recession hit pretty hard. So temporarily, many of us had to put survival in front of creativity. Creativity never went away, it just took on a different shape for a while. Ironically, right after that conference, Risk became a dirty word. No one wanted to take risks. It was all about ROI.
Fast-forward to 2006. The internet is a finally a respectable business model—and many brands understand this. Advertising is being turned on it’s head—the 30 second spot is slowly losing it’s grip. Product Design has experienced an all out renaissance. Consumers control how they choose to interact with brands—they now have the power. Technology no longer drives—it enables. Design has gone mainstream—companies like Target and Apple have seen to this. I could go on...
Wow. It’s 2006 and I can’t believe I survived those years in between 2000 to the present. And I’m glad I did. Looking back to the AIGA conference—I’m even more excited about creativity, innovation, and design then I was back then. Hard to believe.
Next week is going to be an exciting one in Chicago if you are into customer experience, brand strategy, experience design, innovation, creativity and business. On May 16-17, the IIT's Institute of Design is holding a two day conference, titled Strategy 06. Here is the description:
“The Institute of Design Strategy Conference is an
international executive forum addressing how businesses can use design
to explore emerging opportunities, solve complex problems, and achieve
lasting strategic advantage.”
And right on it's heels is Beyond Usability 2.0, (May 17-18) featuring Adaptive Path:
"Are you involved in building interactive products? If you are a business owner, designer, technologist, or information architect, you will benefit from taking these four deep dives into essential aspects of digital product design: company insight, user research, information architecture, and interaction design.
This is a hands-on workshop. At the end of these two days, you will have the confidence to practice these methods in your work life."
I'll be attending the IIT Strategy conference where I'll be hosting a lunch round table discussion around the following topic:
“Playing In, Around and Outside of Your Sandbox
An Ad agency designs an experiential retail store in Times Square.
A Product Design shop creates an interactive marketing campaign for a global company.
A Marketing firm designs the interface for a leading gaming device.
What’s going on here? Why are some organizations “playing outside” of their immediate disciplines?
There seems to be an evolution going on before our very eyes. Organizations that understand how to plan, architect and design customer experiences are now doing work that may have previously been outside of their immediate offerings in the past. So what does this mean to the industry? Will skills become more specialized or generalized? Are walls coming down or is this just a natural progression? And how does this influence interdisciplinary teams positioned on the front lines?”
—The IIT event will also feature Bruce Nussbaum from Businessweek (view video from last year).
Bruce has become one of the most effective design/innovation
Evangelists to bridge the creative and business worlds.
Should be an exciting week in Chicago!
Here's the scoop (at least for 10 minutes before Mark Hurst gets it up on his blog). Winners are Google, TiVo and a tie between del.icio.us & Heifer. Google's Marrisa Mayer, fresh from the Washington Correspondents Dinner, is in NYC to accept the accolade for what is clearly one the world's most innovative companies. The awards, of course, went for the best consumer experiences. cX.
Need proof that the Business world is playing catch-up in regards to creativity, innovation and design? The prestigious Kellogg School of Management is hosting an event this month. Think it will be focused on ROI, numbers and metrics? Guess again. Here's the program content:
Introduction to Product Development
Strategy in Design
Recognizing Gap Analysis in the Design Process
Customer-Focused New Product Research
Innovation and Creativity
Essentials of Industrial Design
Managing Intellectual Property
Communication Challenges in Product Development
Management and Metrics for Product Development
Need a reason to visit Chicago? Here’s two.
The Illinois Institute of Technology is hosting a two day conference, titled Strategy 06. Here is the description:
“The Institute of Design Strategy Conference is an international executive forum addressing how businesses can use design to explore emerging opportunities, solve complex problems, and achieve lasting strategic advantage.”
It’s the third year that the IIT has hosted this type of conference, and it’s one of the few venues where attendees from diverse fields such as Product Design, Interaction Design, Brand Strategy, and Business have an opportunity to mix it up in-between a variety of solid presentations. At Last year's Design Strategy event, I facilitated a lunch round-table where a group of attendees discussed this topic: Are Interaction Design and Industrial Design not-so-distant relatives? The informal and interactive round-tables are another reason why this event is so special. The two day format is fantastic, as is the venue (Chicago's MCA) and it’s one of the rare forums where you’ll have attendees ranging from firms like Frog Design and IDEO to IBM and Motorola.
The event will also feature Bruce Nussbaum from Businessweek (view video). Bruce has become one of the most effective design/innovation Evangelists to bridge the creative and business worlds. His presentations are always insightful and forward thinking. This year's event takes place in May—if you are in town, I highly recommend attending.