Concept, Create and Sell | Generate New York 2017

May 10, 2017 in Conference
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As we mentioned before on the previous post, the first day of Generate 2017 was an all-day workshop held at TKP New York Conference Center. We chose Irene Pereyra’s Concept, Create and Sell track.

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_column_text]First, Irene gave an introduction on the project; concept and propose a new app for the travel/back-packing guide company, Lonely Planet. We were to do this in groups of four to five people and create something based off the demographic information and pain points provided to us. She then elaborated on some tips on how to successfully pitch projects to clients. Then we were off to the races and creating our apps![/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_column_text]

We were allowed to ask Irene any questions and for help and everybody did at least once. She helped my group narrow our focus on one or two pain points and we were much better prepared to present our concept at the end of the workshop. We didn’t end up winning best concept, but it was a good and informative experience.

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We learned how to defend ideas and to be more assertive in public speaking. Above all, I learned that doing one or two things very well was better than trying to do everything at once, 100% of the time.

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”38486″ img_size=”large” qode_css_animation=””][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_column_text]The second day of Generate 2017 was a series of talks held at the New World Stages. Some of the talks I chose to attend included, Mina Markham’s “Styling Hillary”, “Creative Solutions for Creative Design Challenges” with Sara Soueidan and Jen Simmons’ talk on CSS Grid.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_column_text]

Mina Markham’s talk on building a front-end design system for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign site was probably the most memorable for obvious reasons I won’t go into here. Politics aside, it was informative to see how a design system was built, who and how many stakeholders were involved and the process that went into designing, iterating and testing the entire system, repeatedly.

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Sometimes people outside the tech world think digital systems and designs are built with just a few button clicks. This is not the case; sitting in on Mina’s talk and listening to her detail the weeks and weeks of work that went into redesigning Clinton’s site (including digital marketing materials, information sites and donation sites) proves it. Design did not get easier in the digital space, it just got faster.

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Speaking of design, before Mina Markham, there was Sara Soueidan and her talk called “Creative Solutions for Creative Design Challenges”. Soueidan went through certain design challenges when building a strong front-end foundation for Smashing Magazine’s site redesign, particularly in regards to communication to the user. She described these as “hacks”, or workarounds to get a desired visual or interactive result. One example was for text with underlines that didn’t cross hanging characters (“y” or “p” or “g”), instead skipped them like this.  Another example was boxed previews of posts with several nested links while also allowing the user to go to the article by just clicking on the title.

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Later in the second day, was Jen Simmons’ talk was a great intro to CSS Grid, which rather than completely replacing techniques like Flexbox, works beautifully in conjunction with it. As someone who is used to having to combine clear and float, Flexbox and now CSS Grid allows for more flexibility and creativity in site layouts. I can’t wait to test it out on future projects! You can check out examples of both Flexbox and CSS Grid and learn more about both on Simmons’ site here.

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This post is only a brief taste of what we learned while at Generate 2017 in New York City. I highly recommend going to a Generate conference because it certainly ups your knowledge game!

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A Cultivated Mindset & Generate New York 2017

May 8, 2017 in Conference, Cultivate, Design

Hi folks, this is Katie McCarthy, Design Architect at A Cultivated Mindset, here to talk briefly about my experience at Generate 2017 in New York City!

The Generate conference in New York City was two days long this year; day one on Thursday April 27th was an all-day workshop at TKP New York Conference Center and day two was a series of talks that also lasted all day at the New World Stages. Lunch and breakfast were provided at both locations and were very good.

So, all in all, I would definitely recommend going to a Generate conference to anybody in the digital creative space. The next conference is taking place June 9th in San Francisco, so get your tickets soon!

The conference on the second day was a lot more low-key. Industry professionals gave talks organized into two tracks in two different theaters at New World Stages. I bounced between the two tracks, depending on which talk I thought was more interesting. The talks I went to included: Sara Soueidan’s talk entitled “Creative Solutions for Creative Design Challenges”, Mina Markham’s “Styling Hillary”, Jen Simmons’ talk on CSS Grid, and Mindy Alyse’s “Designing for Conversation”. I go into detail about some of these talks and what I learned over here.

The conference itself was informative and attended by people from all over the world; I talked briefly with a product designer from New Zealand whose company had sent her and other teammates to the conference.

The workshop on the first day was a bit grueling! This was because I had picked Irene Pereyra’s Concept, Create and Sell workshop where you were divided into groups and tasked with coming up with an app concept for an existing company, Lonely Planet. The groups received demographic information, current pain points and also used whatever could be found on the internet (which depending on your wifi connection, which was spotty at best, unfortunately). I ended up learning quite a lot at this workshop, which I go into detail about here.