Yesterday was the first day of SXSW Interactive and we attended some awesome sessions.
Designer Christina Herrin on the creative process
Designer and Adobe creative resident, Christina Herrin shared her creative process and personal experience with how to tackle overthinking by “balancing the bursts of inspiration with the discipline of following through.” Christina highlighted the importance of starting and maintaining momentum because “you can only get better by doing.” There’s also the value of bringing others into your creative process. Channeling encouragement from others is a great way to keep momentum with projects as different perspectives bring new insights and feedback is a valuable driver for projects.
Gary Vaynerchuck on the value of listening
We also attended a live Q&A with entrepreneur and influencer Gary Vaynerchuck. He covered many topics, but a few common themes emerged, including the value of listening and the need to focus on what’s capturing consumer attention. He also stressed that insecurity is a killer, so it’s important to find ways to build your security and not care what people think, regardless of what you do. Gary also believes that in every industry, creativity is still the variable to success.
Ken Tabor on Programming with Purpose
Yesterday, we also caught Ken Tabor’s presentation on Programming with Purpose, where he discussed how and why programmers should work with designers and the best ways to learn what users need. Ken asked us to think about the real reason we make software – to make another human feel a certain way, and recommended using empathy as a tool to make purposeful decisions when coding and designing. He also reminded the audience that designers and programmers are both problem solvers, and we should use that common ground to work better together. “The definition of ‘design’ is ‘to formulate a plan. The goal of design is to make something useful, and beauty is just a side effect.”
Cory Richards on Action & Consequences
We wrapped up the day with SXSW keynote speaker, Cory Richards. Over the hour, Cory shared his personal experience and relationship with climbing, photography, struggling with addiction, and surviving PTSD. A compelling view he shared that resonated with us is that today, rules are arbitrary. He also shared how photography is his way of “using non-verbal communication to bring us together. To open the door to talk about the things that we need to talk about.” After telling his powerful story, Cory left the audience with his personal discovery and a reminder that all actions have consequences.