Lauren Hom’s «Stop Looking for Inspiration: Be Your Own Muse»
Our takeaway: Inspiration is everywhere, so have your inspiration radar on at all times even during what you see as a mundane task. Creative ideas can come from ordinary experiences (not just from adventure holidays and art galleries) and chances are, they’re relatable.
David Hogue’s «Simplicity is Not Simple»
Our takeaway: Things can easily become complicated, and we have to work to simplify them and find the balance between how much friction is ideal and how much ease is ideal? (Some experiences shouldn’t be so easy. Like stocks and shares.) If we oversimplify, the user might have no idea what to do and it won’t make sense to them like it does to us, because we’re so immersed in our design process. It can be confusing to some to state that we have to keep designing a product after its’s technically finished, because this is actually where product simplification comes in.
Naomi Bower’s «But I Thought We Had Buy In»
Our takeaway: You can’t predict a bad situation, but you can certainly learn the skills needed to understand how to navigate it. As designers, as well as being good at our talent, we are natural facilitators and negotiators. These are skills we truly need to become really good at, in order to advocate effectively for good design and UX. People skills help us to build trust, present work effectively, persuade, and gain valuable perspective on our work.
Sebastiaan Dorgelo’s «Unleash Design Thinking to (Re)Design your Business»
Our takeaway: Some may have the misconception that with corporate B2B clients, we don’t have opportunities to be creative. But if we figure out the bigger picture, there’s so much value to add in finding new solutions to what a company didn’t anticipate they needed. High level story maps are essential to mapping and scoping out a product. This technique will bring problems and solutions to the surface and prioritise them in order to have a clear pathway to designing the product itself.
Irene Pereyra’s «Getting Personal Projects Made»
Our takeaway: It’s not all about making money. Irene from Anton and Irene discussed how «satisfaction» takes a leading role along with «getting paid» in their business model and how they balance the two. For personal projects, you can take as much time as you need to play and be as creative as you like unlike client projects with strict deadlines. In order to fund it, you need to invest in it by putting down a strict budget or bartering your services for another creative’s services that you might need. In the end, as well as being hopefully re-inspired and gaining a whole lot of satisfaction from the personal project, they might even get bought, or lead you to other work in that similar genre. If you don’t have an audience for something, you can create one.
There were tons of other speakers that amazed us talking us through mini case studies such as Emily Oberman from Pentagram and Dutch design agencies Build in Amsterdam and Clever Franke.
Thanks for having us Amsterdam, and thanks for introducing us to Tony’s Chocolonely!
More photos from the event: