“Humans now have a shorter attention span than goldfish” was one of the memorable quotes gathered by AIGA Colorado member Cheri Dougherty while attending the HOW Design Conference in Chicago. She shares her impressions of the conference with us in recap of the event.
How does one describe an event as impressive as the HOW Design Live conference? Each person’s experience at a conference like this is quite individual, and this is a glimpse into my own.
It’s a valuable experience to attend conferences. Not only do you learn new things and get inspired, but you get to meet a lot of amazing, like-minded people. Let’s not forget about all the cool schwag you get from the sponsors (and since we’re in Colorado, I feel I should qualify that by saying I don’t mean crappy weed).
I’ve never been to Chicago, so I flew into town early to see the sights. Three hours at the Art Institute of Chicago didn’t even scratch the surface of the amazing art they have on display. If you haven’t done it yet, I highly recommend one of the Architecture Boat tours, even if you’re from Chicago.
After falling in love with the city, I still had five days of immersive learning and energy ahead of me. It was very difficult to choose sessions; there were six mini-conferences wrapped into one and attendees could choose from any of the categories. In an attempt not to bore anyone, I tried to summarize the sessions I did attend with a sentence/quote from each speaker:
- • “Even when you’re using a framework to speed up the web design process, STILL plan ahead—sketch the site out first.” —Kray Mitchell (@kraymitchell)
- • “The right content isn’t necessarily more content.” —Margot Bloomstein (@mbloomstein)
- • “Humans now have a shorter attention span than goldfish (8 seconds).” —John T. Meyer (@lemonly @JohnTMeyer)
- • “Stop waiting and asking for permission; chase what’s interesting to you and the rest will follow.” —Jeff Greenspan (@JeffGreenspan)
- • “The extremes are where innovation lies, not with the average.” —Dan Formosa, PhD
- • “If we’re going to learn anything in design, we’re going to have to start measuring.” —Dan Formosa, PhD
- • “You can’t skip the middle of the process—the messy bits are where life happens.” —Brené Brown (@BreneBrown)
- • “Leave less to chance and use science to create a sustainable [mobile] model and say ‘no’ where it’s necessary.” —Mike Greening (@RobotsNPencils @MPgreening)
- • “The two most important words are ‘thank you.’” —Tom Peters (@tom_peters)
- • “The word ‘instant’ is not congruent with ‘creative excellence.’” —Tom Peters
- • “Decide what you want to do and do it.” —Jim Krause (@J_Krause_Design)
- • “Think huge, but work small.” —Jim Krause
- • “You don’t NEED to choose what to do with your life.” —Sebastian Padilla (@antisebastian)
- • “If you’re digging a hole in the wrong place, digging it deeper isn’t going to help.” —Michael Bierut (@michaelbierut)
- • “The way you ARE in the world, informs your work.” —Irene Au (@ireneau)
- • “Form bridges and connections with people, even if they don’t like you.” —Irene Au
- • “Find the courage to abandon practices that made you successful in the past.” —Irene Au
- • “Be hyper aware of what you’re drawing comes from—don’t just regurgitate history.” —Karim Rashid (@karim_design)
- • “Touch is a powerful tool for how we make judgments.” —Dr. David Eagleman (@davideagleman)
- • “You’re not defined by your job.” —Mimi Valdés (@MimiValdes)
- • “Have confidence in what you have to offer.” —Mimi Valdés
- • “Is everybody else doing it because it’s good, or because everybody else is doing it?” —Denise Bosler (@DeniseBosler)
- • “Avoid having a style—anything you do well can become a curse.” —Rodrigo Corral (@Rodrigo_Corral)
- • “We need to stop checking our design brains at the digital doorstop.” —Jason Pamental (@jpamental)
- • “We CAN do better and we SHOULD do better.” —Jason Pamental
- • “Do thorough research and be historically accurate. Screw research. It works if it looks right.” —Matteo Bologna (@mrmucca)
- • “Work hard and love this shit.” —Aaron Draplin (@Draplin)
No matter how many times I hear “work hard, believe in yourself, and follow your dreams,” it’s always a good reminder—a way to recharge and remember why we chose this career. Now go ask your boss, or save up to go to AIGA Design Conference in New Orleans this fall.
This post was written by Cheri Dougherty, AIGA CO Member
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