SXSW: Lessons Learnt

I had a most wonderful time at SXSW this year. It was a phenomenal being surrounded with so much buzz and intelligence. I realize I made a huge mistake by showing up on Sunday afternoon, damn it .. the sessions on Friday & Saturday were awesome.

Top aha ideas

  • Detailed wireframes are dead. Instead lo-fi wireframe and move to mockup/prototype stage. This was a view that was shared by many of the sessions
  • Gamestorming & 6-8-12
  • Firm center – soft periphery
  • Think of the elevator pitch in sections.. miss a beat, skip to the next section

Notes to self

From various talks, in no particular order…

  • Be a listenoholic
  • There’s no wrong answer
  • Being surrounded by super smart people is phenomenal
  • Simplicity is in – not a new view, but was happy to see it reiterated!
  • Design for different media – your users are everywhere
  • Iterate, iterate, iterate!
  • Feedback, feedback, feedback. Knowing how to ask for feedback & giving it is equally important
  • Design & code for good is good! Since then I have explored both Code for America & Design for America – both meaningful ventures.
  • Typography obsession is still in, and Helvetica is still in too (I am quite certain it was the most frequently used font on the presos)
  • Wear comfy shoes
  • Plan the sched ahead of time – this was a huge dilemma since they were so many wonderful powerful sessions
  • The most popular session is not always the best
  • Go the after party .. but always go with friends
  • The “Damn, why I didn’t think of that” is still a beautiful thing. Live & learn.. live & learn.
  • I am useless “swag-getter”.. one bandana & a lot of paper is all I got.
  • Hot sauce is good – in food & in your app 🙂
  • Don’t go for a session if you’ve read the book.
  • SXSW site & calendar suck! They must do something about it.
  • SXSW needs to go more green – less paper please!!
  • Do more bonding with engineers on my team!

My top moments

  • Meeting Anthony Bourdain.. actually I should say accosting him for a photo while he had his morning coffee.
  • Meeting Austin Powers – o yeah baby
  • Hanging with my buds Brett & Dave and eating fusion burritos every day.
  • My favorite text message – “Dude, no tofu!”
  • Being in the same space with my heroes like Krug, Zeldman, and more!

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