SXSW day 1, morning adventures

Fighting off a fuzzy head from very little sleep, I headed over to the BarCampAustin site at 7am today to slap together an audio solution for the three ‘zones’ of the room. It’s always a challenge to wire up a room you haven’t seen before, but a few spliced cables later, I think they’re set up for the day! I’ll be headed back over in the afternoon to check in and hang out, but had to cut and head over to the main SXSW site for the first set of panels at 10am.

Coffee has sunk in, and I’m now in my first SXSW panel – “Traditional Design and New Technology” – chaired by AIGA’s Liz Danzico and featuring panelists like Mark Bolton (BBC), Toni Greaves (Razorfish), Khoi Vinh (New York Times Online), and the always-dangerous Jason Santa Maria (who recently supplied the logo/branding for social bookmark newcomer Ma.gnolia).

I’ve been out of the design world for quite a while on a personal level and find this panel very intriguing as a look into new media design from the perspective of ‘traditional designers’. Having worked in conjunction with traditional design/marketing groups I know I’ve had to take a ‘print design’ and graft it onto a site/online experience more times than I care to count. In the instant-gratification world of web design & development, it’s become all too common to multipurpose design like this to speed up delivery of online assets/experiences, but this ‘shortcut’ process doesn’t necessarily realize the potential of the interactive/online medium.

Mark Bolton summed it up well for me- we’re not necessarily engaging the emotional response and connection with a viewer by leveraging the potential of motion, audio and interactivity as core tenets of the design process as well as we should. It’s really interesting to hear varying opinions on this subject- great first session.

That being said, I’m going offline to listen more closely to what’s being said. Back a bit later…