Whew! I can’t believe that this conference went by so quickly! If Saturday’s sessions were all about design strategy and thinking, then Sunday’s were about innovation and inspiration. Some quick thoughts:
Adobecadabra With Rufus Deuchler
This short, little, morning session just highlighted some simple tricks/tips for using any of the latest Creative Suite software. Most notable for me were the Content Aware features in Photoshop: can’t wait to play with those.
Where Ideas Come From and Where They Go
Presented by Stephen Doyle, this session focused on his own work and life observations: very inspiring. Some key thoughts of his that I loved:
- You can’t own ideas. Rather, ideas come from others and from mash-ups of our past experiences.
- A lack of logic in your approach can lead to something logical. (Making as a way of thinking)
- It’s important to convince your clients that your ideas are their ideas.
Power of the Package
Kevin McConkey of Grip Design is one big ball of energy: this was definitely one of the most dynamic sessions I attended. His presentation dealt with packaging trends, with a focus on how to gain more packaging clients. Some of my key take-aways from this one:
- At the intersection of necessity and design is opportunity: great time to be a packaging designer right now.
- Understand your product’s cost margins and the value packaging will add. Then tell a story.
- We can’t design in a vacuum: it takes teamwork to make the dream work.
Publishing to Digital Devices with InDesign CS5.5
Rufus Deuchler also presented this session on behalf of Adobe. The talk centered around producing eBooks on the .epub format and using Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite to create magazine apps for the iPad. I was mostly just amazed at how powerful InDesign is becoming. The only downside that I could see if you could call it that, was that these features seemed to be rather Flash-heavy. Unless I was mistaken?
The Un-Guide to Creativity and Brainstorming
This session with Disney’s Chris Chapman was perhaps my favorite of the entire day. Full of energy, Chris jam-packed the session with studies on how the brain works, how that relates to developing a creative culture, and brainstorming techniques for your creative team. Some key thoughts:
- Wrong answers are the basis of discovery.
- There is a time for brainstorming and a time to be logical: know when to use each.
- Rules [in an office] can create structure, but too many stifle creativity.
Developing Addictive Experiences for the iPad and Other Interactive Tablets
David Link’s session focused on outlining his team’s process for creating both magazine apps and other apps for tablets. It seems that most magazine apps are linear in nature, and as such are being created on InDesign right now. While most other apps are still developed using the established development process. Some notes:
- Print designers making the transition to designing apps need to know and understand how UI works.
- Keynote is surprisingly great for prototyping app functionality.
- There are not enough tablets in consumer hands to make it worth designing for more than one platform. Users with an iPad dwarf the competition.
Today’s schedule on the other hand was a short one: just two panel discussions and the closing keynote. The first panel discussion on fringe trends in the mass market was interesting, but lacked a conclusion. The second one, called Making Your Way in the Digital World, was a lively debate and packed full of good tips and insights into transitioning to interactive design. Finally, the keynote was an energizing talk on how to use your personality traits to influence others, further your career, and sell to/for your clients.
What an amazing weekend! And let me tell you, I can’t wait to do it again!