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2011 SXSW Panel Picker

The South By Southwest Panel Picker has launched for SXSW Interactive in Austin, TX from March 9-13, 2012! Happy Cog and our panelist partners are thrilled to offer nine panels for your consideration. From design to project management and client services to user experience, there are wonderful conversations across a broad range of topics waiting to be had.

User voting has a tremendous impact on the panel selection process. Our panel proposals are outlined here for your consideration. If you see something you’d love to explore more with us and our panelist partners in March, please follow the links provided and let the Panel Picker know what you want! Voting ends 11:59 CDT on Friday, September 2.

Go Forth & Make Awesomeness: Core Values & Action

Leslie Jensen-Inman
Jeffrey Zeldman Happy Cog Founder

Passion. Purpose. Promise. Pursuit. These are the 4 P’s that create a Map for Awesomeness. Discover how to: embrace your passion, define your purpose, foster your promise, and engage your pursuit. Find out how to do this in a creative environment that encourages collaboration.

How to Build and Evaluate Ideas

Kevin Hoffman Happy Cog User Experience Director
Aarron Walter
Andy Budd
Dan Mall
Kim Goodwin

Before the code, before the design, before the architecture, there was an idea. Some digital design professionals consider their ideas to be a major portion of their currency. But where do ideas come from, when are they ready, how do they evolve, and when and how should they be shared? And when don’t they matter at all?

Web Project Management Lessons from Darth Vader

Sam Barnes
Brett Harned Happy Cog Project Manager
Ani Moller
Cola Richmond

Many web designers and developers do the unthinkable and join the dark side, they become Web Project Managers! However, most underestimate its powers… Web project management is dark art and there’s no better master to teach us than Lord Vader himself. In this discussion, a council of battle-hardened Web Project Managers will look at what tips we can take from Darth with regards to the processes and challenges we face every day when planning, designing and delivering both small and large websites and web applications. Working with internal senior management and Emperor-esque clients, managing Stormtrooper productions armies like a boss, dealing with Bounty Hunter contractors and making brave decisions based on mystic instinct – this guy has all the skills. Not to mention the job that must have been the sitemap, wireframe and functional specification that resulted in the launch of the Death Star v1. Join us in the digital Jedi temple to find how web projects can be delivered smoothly.

OMG Your RFP Is Killing Me

Joe Rinaldi Happy Cog Director of Business Development
Rawle Anders Happy Cog Director of Client Services
Rebecca Sherman
Jen Oliver
Todd Ross Nienkirk

There has to be a better way. In this panel, business development professionals will speak to the RFP process and other options. Ways to circumnavigate an RFP will be discussed. Creative alternatives will be outlined, and the strengths and weaknesses of RFPs will be analyzed. If you are building an RFP now, this is your intervention. If a project looms on the horizon, learn about your options. If you like a good war story, we’ll be comparing scars like Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss in Jaws. Let’s start architecting a better process.

Getting Good: Practical Tips for New Designers

Yesenia Perez-Cruz Happy Cog Designer
Allison Wagner Happy Cog Developer
Meagan Fisher

Being new in a rapidly changing industry is scary. Luckily, as young designers in the web industry, we have access to boundless tutorials, resources and mentors willing to share their knowledge. Actually, the abundance of information out there can be overwhelming! This session is about looking inwards for improvement, not outwards. We’ll talk about understanding your work habits, setting realistic goals and building upon them, how to ask better questions, and the never-ending experiment that is your personal process.

Bootcamp for a UX Team of None

Fred Beecher
Russ Unger Happy Cog User Experience Director
Todd Zaki Warfel
Brynn Evans
Krista Sanders

This workshop will introduce you to affordable user experience design methods for getting user input and feedback throughout your design and development process. These methods, like guerrilla research, gamestorming, and progressive prototyping, will allow you to do just enough UX design to get you started in the right direction. They will help you get in touch with your users efficiently and use their feedback and insights to influence your design decisions. But why should you care? Your code is gold. Your business model is solid. You should care because having a good UX is no longer a differentiator; it’s an expectation. What you need is a good UX designer. Of course, they’re rare and expensive right now. Is it possible to fix your UX without one? Yes. You won’t go home from this workshop with your own UX designer, but you will be armed with the knowledge that will enable you to enable your users to make you next year’s most sought after angel investor.

Dealing With The ‘F’ Word: Feedback

Brett Harned Happy Cog Project Manager
Sam Barnes
Whitney Hess
Cassie McDaniel

You’ve poured your heart and soul in to your work and proudly presented it to your team or your clients, and the response you got back was…not what you expected. Maybe you didn’t miss the mark, but they did? Maybe the feedback you got was a little confusing? Maybe you did suck, and you need to go back to the drawing board. It’s okay, it happens. Reviewing, filtering, understanding and responding to feedback on any type of deliverable can be a rough experience. This cross-disciplinary panel of web design professionals from the UX, Design and Project Management communities will discuss The “F” word and how to deal with it.

Designing Experiences for Women

Jessica Ivins Happy Cog User Experience Designer

Women have become the digital mainstream. In the US market, women make up just under half of the online population, but they spend 58 percent of e-commerce dollars. Women are online gamers, shoppers, bloggers, and social media consumers. And yet, we still don’t know how to design for them. The immediate impulse when designing for women is to “shrink it and pink it,” meaning products are splashed with the color pink, and content and messaging are dumbed down. But women want what’s relevant to them. They want products and online experiences that are intuitive, not insulting to their intelligence. They want function, not frills. This session reviews the historical and contemporary landscape of designing for women. We’ll review misguided, yet well-intentioned designs based on assumptions and stereotypes that have flopped. Likewise, we’ll review success stories of well-designed products and experiences that truly meet women’s needs. We’ll also look at when gender should factor into your design and when it shouldn’t. Ultimately, when designing for women (or men, or both), you’ll want to get it right.

Guerrilla Research Methods

Russ Unger Happy Cog Director of User Experience

This hands-on session will cover a number of low cost, yet powerful research methods to help you make better data-driven design decisions. We’ll provide a number of techniques for recruiting research participants, creating better research questions, and what to do with your data once you’ve conducted your research. Topics Covered: How to sell guerrilla research into a project from the start How to recruit better participants How to form better research questions A number of inexpensive, quick, but highly effective research methods when time and/or budget are limited Valuable “how-tos” to execute the research.

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