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An Event Apart: Jared Spool

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At An Event Apart – Austin 2013, Jared Spool spoke about why it’s great time to be an experience designer. Here are my take-aways:

  • Design = The rendering of intent
  • Imitation is:
    • less expensive
    • less risky
    • where design is not valued
  • On the flip side, innovation is:
    • more expensive
    • more risky
    • where design is valued
  • Businesses win when it is intentionally innovative/designed. Great business models are intentionally designed.
  • Design is about the visual business
  • Innovation is not about invention, it’s about adding value
    • Design for experience – this way it can be mapped/measured/designed
  • Innovation is about combining existing inventions in a new way:
    • think Instagram, where they combined taking photos with a social network.
    • think Apple’s support, aka Genius Bar, where they combined appointments with customer support.
  • Experience design = rendering intent within the gaps
    • When designing an experience, be intentional in the areas where others get it wrong. Just like Apple did with adding appointments to customer support.
  • The best designers are:
    • good story tellers
    • good critiquers
    • good sketchers
    • good presenters
    • good facilitators
  • How to become a great designer (or as he calls it, “a design unicorn”)
    • train yourself
    • practice your new self
    • deconstruct as many designs as possible
    • seek out feedback (and listen)
    • teach others


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