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Entries in Travel (56)

Tuesday
Mar112008

Rohdesign Podcast 05 - SXSW Roundtable Discussion

rohdesign-podcast_144.jpgI've now recorded and posted Rohdesign Podcast Episode 05 in Austin, a little longer 16 minute roundtable discussion on the patio at SXSW interactive. It's posted as an MP3 and as a web-based flash player:







In the fifth episode of the Rohdesign Podcast, I talk with Ashe Dryden, David Overbeck and Carlos Ortega about their impressions of SXSW Interactive, favorite sessions and why you should consider attending SXSW 2009.

Saturday
Mar082008

Rohdesign Podcast 04 - SXSW Interactive Edition

rohdesign-podcast_144.jpgI've now recorded and posted Rohdesign Podcast Episode 04 in Austin, after 2 days at SXSW interactive. It's posted as an MP3 and as a web-based flash player:







In the fourth episode of the Rohdesign Podcast, I talk about networking at SXSW, excellent design sessions I was able to attend, sketchnotes progress and plans for Sunday's activities.

Thursday
Mar062008

Off to SXSW Interactive 2008!

ia-header.jpgWow. in a few hours I'll be on the plane to Austin, Texas with my Web414 buddies, ready to experience everything SXSW has to offer.

I'm excited and a little bit nervous, as I have no idea what to expect. SXSW seems overwhelming right now, but I'm sure I'll settle in and enjoy myself once I'm in Austin with my friends.

From Friday the 7th through Tuesday the 12th, I'll be enjoying SXSW, and therefore reading mail sporadically, so you may not get a reply for 24-48 hours.

Talk to you all again in a day or two! :-)

Thursday
Feb072008

Attending SXSW Interactive 2008!

ia-header.jpgFor the past few years, I've been very intentional about attending thought-provoking conferences and events, to learn, grow and meet new people.

In 2007, I attended BarCampMadison, UX Intensive, SOBCon07, BarCampMilwaukee2 the SEED Conference and excellent monthly Web414 meetings through the year.

For several years I've heard great things about SXSW (South by Southwest) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. Many of the people I admire attend yearly, I've enjoyed podcasts from the event, but it's never worked out for me to attend.

That will change in 2008. On March 7th, I'll be heading down to Austin, with fellow Web414 members Ashe Dryden and David Overbeck. We're all excited to see first-hand, just what all the SXSW buzz is about.

Thanks MakaluMedia!
I've been given the opportunity to attend SXSW as art director and designer from MakaluMedia. I'm very thankful for this opportunity, and I plan to make the most of my time in Austin. I'll attend multiple sessions, take notes and capture sketchnotes similar to the ones I did at the SEED Conference and UX Intensive.

Advise the Newbie
Since this is my first time to SXSW Interactive, I welcome tips and ideas from seasoned veterans. I'm also open to Austin tips and suggestions from any Austin dwellers out there who would like to share. Just leave a comment below. :-)

Contact Me SXSW-Goers
I also want to meet old friends and new people while I'm at at SXSW. If you're attending SXSW Interactive 2008 and would like to meet for a coffee in Austin, drop me a line with the subject SXSW. I'd love to connect before I head down to Austin.

Resources
As I prepare for SXSW Interactive, I've compiled a selection of resources to share with other SXSW attendees, and those interested in the event:

SXSW Interactive 2008 — The official site.
SXSW Interactive 2008: Panels (Time) — SXSW Panels, time schedule.
SXSW Interactive 2008: Panels (Day) — SXSW Panels, by day.
SXSW Interactive 2008: Panels (Category) — SXSW Panels, by category.
SXSW Registrant's Guide — Registrant's guide.
SXSW Registrant's Mobile Guide — Mobile registrant's guide.
SXSW '08 Insider's Guide — Information and forums on Ning.com.
SXSW Baby — Un-official Weblog and forums for SXSW.
Ze Frank Explains SXSW Interactive In Under a Minute — Classic Ze Frank humor!
SXSW Core Conversations — Directory for informal conversations.
SXSW Past, Present, and Future — Great podcast interview with Hugh Forrest, Director of Events for SXSW Interactive on the history, culture and future of the event.
SXSW Geeks Love Bowling — Bowling with SXSWers, Sunday, March 9th.
Airbag: Hampton — Greg Storey's Guide to SXSW Newbies.
John Phillips — Beginner's Guide to SXSW.

Have a resource to share? Email me and let me know!

Tuesday
Oct302007

SEED Conference Thoughts & Sketchnotes

SEED Conference: Sketchnotes 17Whew! I'm back from Monday's excellent SEED Conference in Chicago.

What a great event! The Illinois Institute of Technology and Rem Koolhaas' Tribune Student Center building, was an incredibly cool venue. Funky lines and the architectural space provided a unique backdrop for the sessions of the day.

Carlos Segura
All of the sessions were very good, though the most interesting for me as a designer was hearing Carlos Segura speak. He talked about taking risks and thinking deeper for clients and going beyond only what they ask to figuring out what they really need.

I was especially inspired by the Corbis Stock Photo case study, where Carlos' team changed the stock agency's overall approach to consider their clients (designers) and in doing so, changed an entire industry.

Segura also stressed keeping small, working on projects and with clients you really want to work with. Good work comes from these situations, and by staying small you aren't constantly taking jobs you dislike just to keep everyone busy. In fact, this turned into a thread that connected all of the talks of the day.

Jason Fried
Jason spoke very briefly, so he could open the floor for lots of Q&A time. He recommended these 5 items:

  • Watch out for red flags
  • Keep your team small
  • Make sure your staff has alone time
  • Keep meetings short and focused
  • Make tiny decisions instead of massive ones

Jason also recommended a small team size, though his perspective focused a little more on communication issues with small vs. large teams and scaling projects to fit your team size rather than scaling your team to fit scope.

I resonated most with Jason's call for alone time. I work remotely, but even though I work alone, there is always a temptation towards IM, email or phone calls, and I find that blocking out chunks of alone time makes a difference. I know this may be a tough one for the multi-tasking generation, but I think it really can help your focus.

Jim Coudal
I loved Jim Coudal's candor and relaxed approach, and especially his openness in sharing his firm's successes and failures. He shared several stories and films, and drew ideas from them. My take away:

  • Be curious
  • Choose people on their taste
  • Don't be afraid to fail

Jim talked about his curiosity and how many of the things he's been curious about have turned into business ideas. Curiosity helps with client work, since you can get to speed quickly and often see a problem from a different perspective than the client.

He also talked about identifying people and hiring them on taste over technical talent. Not untalented people with taste, but rather if you had to choose between two people and one had good taste, go with taste over talent.

Coudal suggested that failures are OK. They're learning experiences which often create opportunities that might never have happened otherwise. You have to learn to identify and capitalize on unexpected opportunities that often grow out of failures.

Discussion Session: Segura, Fried & Coudal
The most interesting of the sessions was the final hour or so of open discussion time with Carlos, Jason and Jim at the front of the room. They fielded all sorts of questions from attendees about their ideas. Questions about small teams, marketing, simplicity, community, building products while still managing client work, questions about creating apps that rely solely on other platorms (Facebook), and more.

Of all the sessions, this was the one I and the 4 other guys I met, thought was the best of all. Why? Because they had a chance to respond immediately and candidly to random questions. I also enjoyed hearing them discuss and explore ideas in depth that hadn't come out in their talks. Finally, it was interesting to hear their similarity of thought and subtle differences of approach and opinion on the same questions.

Sketchnotes
As mentioned last week, I took my pocket Moleskine sketchbook along and captured 17 pages of sketchnotes, from the entire day's talks and discussions, including Carlos Segura, Jason Fried, Edward Lifson and Jim Coudal.

I didn't try to capture everything said during yeterday's event, since others were probably doing that.

Instead, I took time to listen and analyze the talks, distilling and capturing the main ideas I was hearing. By doing a bit of on-the-fly processing, it forced me to boil down what was being said, then express it in ink on the page in a way that would be meaningful to me and to others who might read my sketchnotes later.

To make the notes interesting, I played with typography and images with the sketchnotes, to provide a little texture and depth beyond pages of gray text.

SEED Sketchnotes on Coudal Partners
Seems my notes have struck a chord. Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners emailed about my sketchnotes on Flickr and made mention in their Fresh Signals feed. Thanks Jim!

SEED Sketchnotes on Signal vs. Noise
Awesome! 37signals noticed them too: Mike Rohde's SEED Conference 2007 sketchbook notes. Thanks Matt!

Pretty cool to have speakers and sponsors mention notes taken during the event. :-)

Overall, SEED Conference was well worth the time and price to attend.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

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