Last Monday, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) invited Duarte, a design firm in the Bay Area, to train us on how to make better presentations. The training session took an entire workday, but it was an eye-opening experience to learn brainstorming techniques, visualizing techniques, and how to help the audience understand your thoughts and messages.
Avoid teleprompter slides
I tend to create “teleprompter” slides, which is a slide that has about 50 words. A long bulleted list slide can be considered a “teleprompter” slide. They’re easy to make, but these slides are more for you, the presenter, rather than the audience.
Presentations are glance media Since the audience looks at slides rapidly and process them immediately, the presenter needs to ensure that the slides don’t have a lot of noise—too many images, excessive animation, and random transitions—and have a clear signal or focus point.
Be audience empathetic
Understand your audience’s problem, spend more time on how you can help your audience. Focus on the WHY (why should your audience care?).
Powerpoint tip: If you are using Microsoft’s Powerpoint, you can use the selection pane to reorder the layers in your slide. This feature is similar to the layers panel in Photoshop.
For the past year, I was a design contractor at Book Riot, an independent book review company. I was fortunate enough to be referred to by a friend, and I gained a new perspective being a remote designer.
My primary responsibility was to create marketing creatives to boost audience outreach, which was mostly creating graphics for various social media platforms. I also had the opportunity to design t-shirts, which allowed me to flex my illustration skills.
One of the last events of #SFDW was eBay and StubHub’s Marketplace Panel (and After Party). On Thursday, I left work around 2:15 to catch the 2:55 Caltrain in Sunnyvale. I arrived at SF Caltrain station around 4, met up with my friend, and we walked to StubHub’s HQ.
The panel featured Katie Dill, Head of Experience Design at Airbnb; Christine Fernandez, Sr. Design Manager for Global Expansion Products at Uber; Dave Lippman, VP / Executive Creative Director at eBay; and Karlyn Neel, Director of UX Design at StubHub.
The topics they covered included how their companies build trust, diversity, what they look for in designers, and leading a design team.
Some key takeaways:
Transparency builds trust. Have a reputation system and a way for people to communicate who/where they are to set expectations before transactions. People tend to embrace those who are like themselves.
Diversity optimizes design because it brings many different perspectives.
Selling an experience vs. selling a product: selling an experience takes in consideration human-centered problems and the end to end experience (i.e. everything is interconnected and happens at multiple touchpoints)
As part of SF Design Week (#SFDW), a couple friends and I decided to attend Google Sprint Workshop Tuesday evening. Unfortunately, my friend and I were late due to rush hour traffic, so we missed the ice breaker and food.
Anyway, this workshop was an opportunity to learn and experience what a sprint is like at Google. The challenge was to design an app to connect designers to non-profits. We learned methods like “How Might We” and Crazy 8’s. “How Might We” questions reframe insights and allow room for trial-and-error (i.e. not restricting team to one solution immediately). Crazy 8’s is a method where you fold a paper into 8 rectangles and sketch an idea in each rectangle within 8 minutes.
They were promoting Sprint,written by Jake Knapp with the help of Braden Kowitz and John Zeratsky, which discusses these methods. You can learn more about the book here and here.
It was an enjoyable time collaborating and brainstorming with designers from around the area, and a pleasant surprise bumping into many of my former classmates. #roughcut2015
Yesterday my coworker, friends, and I attended ZURB Soapbox to hear Katie Dill, Head of Experience Design at Airbnb, share her experience working at a consultancy and in-house, and how designers can improve the experiences of their audience.
Some key takeaways:
Watch Making the shopping cart video
Triforce: Product, Design, and Engineering. If these three have equal power, then the experience of the product will be great.
Designers should inherently be good communicators.
Storyboarding supports your voice because it brings an emotional reaction when you can visually see the human interactions. It helps us understand what’s happening in that moment (context, environment, etc).
Watch Joe Gebbia’s TED talk on trust
Users traverse between the on and offline world. Experience Design is different from Product Design because it considers the offline component.
My User Experience (UX) professor asked us the other day “what can students do to experiment more in the classroom?”, to which I asked, “Shouldn’t the professor facilitate an environment that allows failure?”
He volleyed, “How?”
I conceded with “I don’t know.”
“How would you do it?”
My professor then said that even if teachers facilitate that environment, students should change their mindset from getting good grades to a mindset that’s willing to explore. He said, and I’m heck paraphrasing here (i.e. I could be off), if students only aim for that “A,” their mindset is narrowed to only achieving that “A” level and they don’t realize their other potentials.