Samantha Sumpter

SXSW 2018: Vote For Your Favorite Fjord Speaker Sessions!

We had a blast in Austin last year at South by Southwest, where we showed off our latest innovations, hosted a massive bash, and presented talks on topics like Living Brands and Fjord Trends. Now we’re gearing up for next March and an even more exciting SXSW 2018 — and that’s where you come in!

Fjordians from around the globe have submitted proposals for official SXSW sessions on subjects ranging from artificial intelligence and motion design to using design principles in parenting and implementing data to add some (much needed) empathy online. Now it’s up to the public to vote for their favorites.

Fjord’s proposed sessions can be found on the official SXSW PanelPicker site and are listed with descriptions below. We’ve also listed all the proposed sessions from Accenture Interactive! Check out our pitches (there are corresponding videos available for many as well, available via the link), and if anything strikes your fancy, go ahead and give it a vote.

As for us? Well, we’ll see you in Austin! (Votes willing, of course…)

Chatbots, AI & Conversational Singularity

Thanks to technology and mass adoption of smartphones, voice conversations have given way to texts, emojis and gifs to deliver information and emotion. Now, as voice-powered interfaces become more integrated into our services and daily lives, we’re on the brink of another communication shift. Mark will draw on history and the rise of chatbots and AI to explore the future of conversation and how brands must adapt now that conversations are the interface and personalities are the user experience. Vote now!

How to Win Parenting Using Principles of Design

In our work, we understand implicitly the value of empathy, iteration and A/B testing, but when we face an irate, unpredictable toddler, these instincts often fall by the wayside. However, the same problem-solving strategies we use in design can also be used with kids – not just pushing the right button to stop a tantrum in its tracks, but increasing understanding and working towards a resolution. In this session, we’ll discuss how to win at parenting using principles of design. Vote now!

Motion: Fjuck Yeah!

Previously, motion design was similar to sculpting with clay: You could come up with an awesome finished product, but exact replication would be inefficient at best, impossible at worst. There has never been a way for designers and developers to easily express ideas and implement this important practice— until now. In this session, we’ll present a new set of tools and a language for communicating and creating fast and flawless UI animation, a key unifying element of the experiences users love. Vote now!

The Impact of the Privileged Designer

We are made up of the experiences of our lives. How we perceive and understand the world shapes the way we, as designers, see and approach problems. One important yet unspoken factor of how we perceive our world is privilege. Many elements of luxury are becoming commonplace, changing the meaning and experience of privilege. During this session, we will dig into the meaning of privilege to us as individuals, as a society, and the consequences of privilege in the products and services we design. Vote now!

The Love Index: Measuring Brand Love

Most companies trying to improve customer or employee experience create journey maps to try to understand the moments that matter. That’s a start, but what really matters is how customers and employees are feeling at any given moment. This is hard to measure and understand, but what if you had a barometer providing an emotional read of each moment and experience? We’ll discuss Fjord’s Love Index and how a human-centered, emotional approach can help you navigate a plan to improve experiences. Vote now!

Hacking the Hackers: Data & Adding Empathy Online

Brexit. Trump. Boaty McBoatface.

Democracy relies on an educated electorate, but lately good sense seems to have been shoved aside, resulting in unintended consequences both hilarious and horrifying – and it’s all due to data. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The same technologies that allow us to hyper-personalize experiences have been hacked and used to misinform and mislead the public. We’ll discuss this development, ways to stop it, and how these techniques can instead be used for good. Vote now!

‘100 Days of Innovation’ is the New Bacon!

At the Economist’s Innovation Forum, Matthew Bishop famously said, “The pace of change will never again be as slow as it is today.” Today, companies can’t just talk about innovation, but must practice it as well. Meaning we need to evolve the way we generate ideas, prioritize and refine concepts, and develop them into new service offerings that users will love. In this session, you’ll be inspired by our revolutionary ‘100 Days of Innovation’ model and learn how to apply it to your organization. Vote now!

Uncurated: The Side Effects of Personalization

Recommendation engines increasingly determine the digital and physical spaces we inhabit. The personal silos these engines create limit us to people and places that we already like. If we really want to know the souls of our cities—and avoid segregating different peoples or ideas—we need to expose ourselves to places an algorithm or friend wouldn’t suggest. We’ll see how various digital projects are pushing back against our personal bubbles, and helping us discover the true spaces around us. Vote now!

Hygge and IoT: UX for Cozy Smart Homes

Hygge, a Danish term for well being, suggests a feeling of comfort and contentment – something we don’t often associate with, say, the Internet of Things. However, hygge can provide a much-needed warmth and people-focused perspective in today’s often cold and fast-paced tech world, and can truly improve and inform UX design. In this session, learn how to implement the idea of hygge to go beyond the screen or cylinder and develop touchable — and touching — interfaces that elevate home life. Vote now!

Designing Ethical Machine Intelligence for Humans

Profound tech makes big data knowable, but not without implications. As tech evolves from tool to partner, experience and data become intertwined. It’s not enough to add user interfaces to algorithms. As unstructured content evolves from machine intelligence, so does its bias. Although the design and tech community is talking about these risks, we haven’t determined an actionable way to manage it. We must challenge convention and influence machine intelligence with human knowledge. Vote now!

Transformation: Are You Sure You Want It?

As service designers, we’re bought in to transform and re-center big companies’ business around their customers. In Australia, many companies are digital laggards who’ve had few competitors and have used customer inertia as a primary retention strategy. The story to shareholders is a warm, fuzzy one – “Look at our shiny new service designer investment!” – but the reality is often different. We’re here with survival stories from the service-design trenches, with a uniquely Australian slant. Vote now!

Why We Love Civic Design and You Should Too!

We believe the most important design challenge we face today is improving citizens’ interactions with their government, and we hope to convince you to join us in this quest! In this session, we’ll explore the most interesting public-sector design opportunities out there, along with what we learned working with one of the biggest health care exchanges in the nation. Attendees will leave this talk inspired to get involved, with strategies to break into public-sector design and have maximum impact. Vote now!

The Pen is Mightier than the Laptop

In a world of ubiquitous devices, most things we consume and use to communicate are digitized, but it’s a far more personal process when we write by hand, imprinting our memories onto a physical document. (Your childhood diary wouldn’t be the same in a Google Doc!) Despite our digital world, it’s essential to stay in touch with handwritten forms and recognize their power. We’re bringing it back to analog and analyzing the power of the original form of communication: handwritten visualization. Vote now!

Setting the Standard for the Autonomous Driving

We’re all dreaming of the day we can stop driving, and it feels like we’re inching closer to a future where autonomous cars are widely available. However, it’s not just about tech. If drone debacles have taught us anything, it’s that agreed-upon regulations are required, and their current absence allows for varying interpretations of what’s safe and acceptable. To prevent crushing (and crashing) our self-driving dreams, we need a set of agreed-upon standards – but what are they? Let’s discuss! Vote now!

We Don’t Need a Boss?! Org Design for the Future

Chances are that you have complained about your organization’s bureaucracy, policies or workflows – even if it is your own organization. But how would it look like? The brave new organization that allows the collective to perform while not restricting the individual? We’ll discuss trends in organizational design ranging from sociocracy to ‘trust falls’ and explore how you can be the one to spark change. Vote now!

Car-As-A-Service Model & The Role of Design

With every car – from Audi to BMW, Mercedes to Tesla – designed a different way, drivers are forced to quickly adapt to a new experience and re-learn how to perform simple actions each time they take the wheel. The change and unfamiliarity of the new car can be inefficient, frustrating and sometimes even dangerous. We’ll address the changing expectations of drivers and the need for design innovations centered around the driver experience – particularly in the case of vehicle non-ownership. Vote now!

Designing for Equity: Promoting Mindful Methods

While Design aims to improve outcomes, it can also yield unintended consequences that reinforce health and social inequities. Designers in any field must identify potential repercussions and their root causes in order to create ethical and equitable products and services. In this conversational session we will explore the social determinants that shape how we work, live, and grow, and discuss methods for building a mindful design practice that aims for equitable outcomes. Vote now!

Embrace Being Irrationally Annoyed

People are too tolerant of their daily frustrations. I’m not. I’m a New Yorker and a Designer; I’ve a unique ability to get annoyed over almost anything. Frustration fuels creativity and propels one to take action. Learning to recognize and embrace feelings we’re taught to ignore takes effort and patience but it’s worthwhile. It’s important designers and entrepreneurs alike embrace the pressure of frustration, so that they may employ one of the most impactful and under-utilized design tools. Vote now!

The Impact of the Privileged Designer

We are made up of the experiences of our lives. How we perceive and understand the world shapes the way we, as designers, see and approach problems. One important yet unspoken factor of how we perceive our world is privilege. Many elements of luxury are becoming commonplace, changing the meaning and experience of privilege. During this session, we will dig into the meaning of privilege to us as individuals, as a society, and the consequences of privilege in the products and services we design. Vote now!

PLUS! Our friends at Accenture are also serving up some awesome session ideas. Check them out below!

A New Way to Eat an Elephant

40% of large business won’t exist in 10 years. 45% of new products fail. The old way of working is broken and for large brands to grow they need to act more like startups. Accenture Interactive adopts lean startup principles and liquid prototyping to prove new business models fast. We favor experiments, user feedback and iterative development to realize our innovative ideas. See how starting small leads to big results for our clients. Vote now!

Why There Are Benefits to Being in the Friend Zone

The brand and customer relationship is more connected than ever. Brands must discover and focus on new ways to interact with customers. As technology evolves, so does the brand perception to customers. Again and again, customers compare brands to people they want in their lives; they are honest, reliable, familiar and relatable. So just as someone would expect these attributes in a friend, a brand needs to share their own personality that’s authentic and consistent across interaction. Vote now!

Mommy Brain: Success After Maternity Leave

New York Times senior correspondent, gender issues editor, and working mothers book author moderates a conversation on how to succeed post-maternity leave with an Accenture partner and “MoM’s group” ‘Mother of the Year’ who is disrupting corporate America one bottle of pumped milk at a time, a Columbia University women’s health psychiatrist who treats and writes for the NYT about the brains of panicked mothers, and a visionary making motherhood an asset by changing culture in Silicon Valley. Vote now!

Samantha Sumpter

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