OFFF Festival 2015 Barcelona

Posted 2 years ago by Mallory Hite No Comments

The OFFF festival celebrates its “Finally Fucking Fifteen” years in the Museo del Disseny — with an outstanding signage made by Atlas studio —in Barcelona, Spain. The festival is all about showcasing good ideas, inspiring and exchanging experiences, from graphic to motion design, and even UI/UX design. All attendees are given an amazing book that summarizes the event, designed by Vasava.

The whole concept lives in an esoteric world where the reality meets the fiction, taking us on a journey through the design and how it can live together with art and still be used for business purposes.

Here at Tekzenit, overall, we stay pretty much on top of “now.” Everything happening micro or macro wise, even niche movements in each of our fields, we get a good grip on it.

But what is this conference about? Three hasty days, two main rooms and one common hall populated with rising designers, showcasing illustrations, jewelry, books, interacting platforms and even a tattoo pop-up station. The relaxed and informal mood spreads throughout: grabbing a coffee is easy and fun — exchanging a post-it note with a phrase or a drawing brings some color to the inner white walls. Outside, amazing food-trucks fill a balcony with locally made food.

How do we break it down? It all comes down to experimenting, learning, keeping an eye for social media, and a multidisciplinary posture. Also putting faces to names whose work we all admire and getting to know a bit more of some of the personal sides to some work is always interesting.

  • The typographer Gemma O’brien shows how it is possible to just have fun with trying new things and use instragam to fuel it up, resulting in amazing typographic murals.
  • Gmunk, the cross media genius, are an example of how sci-fi experimenting meets business on design and advertising
  • Anton & Irene voice their frustration. The UX/UI dynamic duo was an eye-opener on what comes to the work process and attitude before the clients. “Be nice to people, it’s easier this way” and bad moods didn’t ever helped to make great projects.
  • Jan de Coster is an example of how a robot-engineer can have such a deep connection that fuels his work and how we can connect with design artifacts
  • Steven Wilson as an honest example of evolution and how adapting to the times is crucial in the creative business. There is no room to say no, say yes and push yourself to make good design
  • The American stop-motion animation studio Laika gave us an insight of the team and multidisciplinary work: more than 400 people work for 3 years, from carpentry to animation.
  • Pat Perry, a distinct example. His references transcend his work: it’s all about living and being in frequency with yourself. Camping, the woods, random lakes and good and humble friends.
  • AKQA shared some content from behind the scenes of some of their latest advertisement work, such as the Ice Kings campaign for Nike. With high-end interactive technology used, it brings a breath of fresh air to some big brands, such as Nike, working as a team to set them afar from the rest of the brands.
  • Mirko Borsche has a particular approach to design, with his sense of humor/attitude, taking interior design to an interpretation of screen-saver interaction.
  • Foreign PolicyDesign with this awe-inspiring work, leaving an entire audience mouth opened.
  • Rick Banks, an example of a presentation with real content. Went all the way from the source of inspiration until execution. It is curious how, in general, presentations are incremental to how we truly perceive someone’s work. The same applies for 310.
  • Sagmeister always brings interesting perspectives, reiterating how beauty truly is function. He showed a typographic slow-motion video of textures, revealing how we are attracted to the aesthetics of something.
  • In conclusion, inspiration can literally come from anywhere, as long as you can keep an open mind to it — always look for rich and contextual experiences.

    However, as part of the audience at OFFF 2015, the queues and some poorly designed presentations, which didn’t really show anything new, left a bitter aftertaste.

    A brilliant presentation takes more than a showcase of great design. Being honest and vulnerable on stage is one of the most admirable aspect. It’s all about the process.

    The community is definitely not stagnant: glimpses of avant-garde style are deductible – motion studios trying to move into film, pushing their visual excellence and experience to narrative driven pieces, or lone designers making the best of their personal exploration and learning process.

    OFFF, or any other event that gathers a good selection of designers, should be interesting to get something more everlasting out of the work we aspire to match.

    Keeping that in mind, the amount of above par designers and artists make the whole experience worth it.

    “Stay humble,” do what you love,” question the conventions,” and “Have fun.”

    André Guerreiro
    Andreia Marques
    Carlos Amaral
    Diogo Louro
    Kasia Kaczmarek
    Pedro Sousa

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Getting Buy-In for UX

Posted 3 years ago by Debi Terry No Comments

A common thread that ran through this year’s Big Design Conference was the need for collaboration between team members on design projects. One aspect that was particularly interesting was that of “buy-in”. The term, as it was used by multiple speakers at the conference, means the agreement to support a decision.

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Don’t Forget You’re Human

Posted 3 years ago by James Utley No Comments

Technology has undoubtedly changed the way we perceive and interact with the world. Communication has moved to the digital space, as have the tools we use as designers. There was once a time when creatives were true craftsmen, spending hours in front of an art board or a typesetter. Collaboration meant working face to face, hashing out ideas and grinding out work as a team.

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The Post PSD Era doesn’t want to kill designers.

Posted 3 years ago by Trevor Connolly No Comments

In fact, it needs them more than ever.

As an interactive designer, I am of a dying breed. I am one of the many interactive designers who is slowly being nudged (pushed, shoved, tossed) out of the digital design process. And I have the Post-PSD Era to blame.

The Post-PSD Era is a product of the successful web. Due to the rise of mobile and constant innovation in our development standards and processes, it is becoming increasingly outdated to provide PSD Mock Ups for each screen of a website or app, or even to provide more than a handful. In some cases, PSDs can be avoided altogether. This is to the benefit of clients, developers, businesses, pretty much everyone — even, in fact, the designer. Learn how all designers can adapt in the Post PSD Era.


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Smart is Seamless: How UX Leverages Edward Tufte’s Principles of Visual Information (Part 2)

Posted 3 years ago by Kyle Averack No Comments

In the excavated necropolis of Beni Hassan (Figure 1.0), an Egyptian archaeological site dated from the 21st century BC, twelve out of thirty-nine tombs, carved into limestone south of the city Al Minya, bear the remains of wall paintings and inscriptions brilliantly depicting the artistic talent of the time and of an idealized record of life (LeSuer 2012). Among these, the tomb of Baqet III stands out because of its size, extensive scenes, and of the notable fresco paintings illustrating about 200 wrestling positions (Figure 1.1).


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Communicating the User Experience

Posted 3 years ago by igor geyfman No Comments

You know that wonderful feeling when you’ve created the perfect prototype. You’ve done everything by the book. Personas, check. Customer-journey map, check. Task-flow analysis, check. Usability studies, check. You’ve dotted every user experience i and crossed every customer delight t. Now, it’s the moment of truth, you’re presenting your uber-prototype to your cross-functional team and expect that they will all bask in your user experience brilliance—except they don’t. In fact, if you didn’t know better, you might think that they all hated it—probably because they’re all stupid and just don’t get it. The truth is: They’re probably not stupid. Most likely you’re right that they don’t get it—but that’s your fault. (more…)

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UX Resources: Part 1-Usability

Posted 3 years ago by Ulfa Octaviani No Comments

The Nielsen Norman Group defines usability as a quality attribute that evaluates how easy an interface is to use. It is comprised of five basic elements: learnability; efficiency; memorability; error ratios; and users’ overall satisfaction.

“Early and constant testing brings design flaws to the surface so they can be addressed before other dependent design elements are added and before the design gets too far down the road to easily change.” – Christian Kraft

The following resources contain useful information about usability, its methodologies and best practices. (more…)

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The Web of Trust

Posted 3 years ago by Trevor Connolly No Comments

How to overcome your user’s privacy concerns in the age of Big Data, the NSA, and Cyber Warfare.

We live in an age of opportunity. Technology is pushing forward in pursuit of making everyday life simpler, more convenient, and more informational. Behaviors once reserved for only SciFi movies — such as remotely controlling our home security or A/C systems, talking to a robot-voice on the Internet, or wearable technology that informs us about the environment around us in real-time — are no longer of the future, but rather, Today. Our web services have enabled us to make big changes in the way we interact with our world. The opportunities that technology affords us are endless.

Yet, there is a threat. Despite these opportunities, people are growing increasingly leery of how they allow their personal information to be shared online. Privacy issues have been widely chronicled over the past year: Edward Snowden & The NSA, how Google and Facebook view your rights in their collection of data for marketing, and just recently, Heartbleed. As more and more of our life is moved online, our distrust, our vulnerability, to the Internet is multiplied. This is the biggest threat to our age of opportunity.


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Smarter UI

Posted 3 years ago by James Utley 1 Comment

I’ve seen many UX designers create thorough work that was very user friendly, but somehow fell flat after development. While I was at the SXSW interactive conference, Gabe Martin and Robby Grant from archer>malmo pointed out exactly what was missing in their work and often in mine—rich animations. Animations are often an afterthought for a UX designer, who has a long list of considerations for their work. As Robby Grant, Director of Development at archer>malmo pointed out in his presentation at SXSW, “Animations can add life.” In Grant’s presentation, titled “Animation a Smarter UI: Tips for Motion on the Web”, he laid out the golden rule of animations and six key reasons to use them on the web. (more…)

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We Can’t Afford to be Fan Boys

Posted 3 years ago by Trevor Connolly No Comments

How being brand loyal is holding us back

I’ve always been incredibly brand loyal. I find a product that fits my needs and provides a good experience and I’m a fan for life. Why? Because I now trust the brand. As an example, my favorite pair of shoes were Converse All-Stars I had a few years back. They were black and white, fit perfectly, and I could wear them with any outfit. Finally, as all shoes do with years of use, they gave out. I loved those shoes, and immediately sought out to buy another pair, exactly the same. But herein lies the problem: by so loving the shoes that I already had, I was missing out on shoes that were less expensive, more comfortable, and that would hold up longer. My brand loyalty had made me blind.

This is why you can’t afford to be a fan boy. (more…)

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