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DI Reactions From SEGD XLab Conference

November 12, 2014
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From Brett Posten, Chief Brand Officer:

I left this year’s Xlab in NYC with two distinct feelings: we’re doing great work and we need to push to do even better work. At any conference like this you see stuff that is truly luxurious, where brands are spending money on experiences that are high on the “image building” scale and low on the revenue generation scale; but you also see designers solving real business problems with novel ideas. I was inspired by both. As Rick mentions below, there are peers doing projects that help all of us advance towards the same goal: great experiences matter. For those of us who care about curiosity, who love to surprise and delight, and who build experiences that help people go deeper, Xlab delivered.

From Rick Smith, Senior Creative Director:

I leave XLAB with two feelings, Inspiration and Validation. Inspired by the great work that is happening in our field. Hush studios and Local Projects are doing cutting edge design and are leading the way with incorporation of technology and immersive experiences. While these two companies leave us striving to be better, I feel equally validated that we are on the right track and are doing amazing work.

From Curtis Walker, Head of Technology:

There wasn’t a new technology that blew my mind at xlab. Nothing of iPhone level, life changing proportions, or talk of software that will solve all of life’s problems. Because of that, it was one of the more informative and useful tech events that a technologist could attend. Based around the themes of Insights and Content, the speakers hit on the science of why we do what we do. How to make a lasting impression and making digital experiences for people rather than technology’s sake was a key point of discussion.

The fact that a user remembers something better, if they’re not taking pictures of it, but are instead asked to “actively solve the problem or engage” is a great takeaway. It seems simple, but is lost sometimes in execution and makes total sense. That fact that you have to zoom in and out to explore a digital experience, is certain to make that information stick in your head. But, be on the look out for that life changing technology, as it appears as always, to be just around the corner. This conference did further the notion that rooms will soon be reacting to us rather than the other way around. With use of proximity beacons and subtle prompts from wearables, users could potentially be guided around a room, campus, or city.