SXSW Interactive has come and gone once again. After several jam-packed days of innovative panels and discussions, we’ve gained a variety of insights into the latest technology trends that will be leading the way in 2015. Each year, SXSWi hosts an assortment of innovative speakers and this year was no exception.
Jessica Alba’s Model for Work Culture
Work culture was a hot topic and Jessica Alba, actress and founder of the Honest Company, shared some tips on how to gain a competitive advantage by focusing on your team and making it great. This is crucial for any business as it provides a solid foundation to build a team that will invest in your company’s vision.
Advice from the Yik Yak Founders
Breaking into the market is challenging for any business and the founders of Yik Yak had something to say about the importance of starting small and working your way up. They initially focused on colleges and slowly began progressing from there. Finding a smaller niche for your product or service and gradually climbing the ladder towards a bigger market is crucial for the success of any business.
Driving Innovation with Megan Smith and Eric Schmidt
Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, and Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, took the opportunity to talk about innovation, helping the next generation of innovators and changing the way we welcome women in tech. How can we achieve this? It’s all about diversifying our approach.
Our CEO always says to “ think outside the box” in order to drive innovation as a collaborative effort. By working together and always learning, we allow ourselves to come up with new ideas.
Airbnb, Eventbrite and the Importance of Teamwork
When it comes to tackling larger design tasks, and especially an entire web redesign as a team, Airbnb and Eventbrite know a thing or two as they both successfully underwent major redesigns of their websites in 2014. None of it could have been done without teamwork.
They spoke about the importance of gaining different perspectives on a particular issue, and even went so far as to break up into teams to solve the same problem. Doing so helped their teams establish a shared vision to create processes that enabled their efficiency.
Google’s Design Sprint Session
At Google, design sprints are one of the most important tools for handling UX designs. Design sprints are used to compress a typical design cycle into a week or less, which is very helpful when you’re on a tight deadline or if your backlog is high and you want to take on some smaller, faster projects. Google follows a design sprint layout that consists of:
With an appointed sprint master and having that person delegate, keep track of time and controlling the sprint, Google is able to significantly speed up their design process.
Put Our SXSW Experience to Work for You
At Imagine It Studios, we try to get the most out of SXSW Interactive so that we can apply it to our own projects to better serve our clients. This is just a small sample of our takeaway from this year’s festival. Our next order of business is to review and extract everything we’ve learned to take proper action.