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UXPA International Conference.

In June we braved the heat in Scottsdale, Arizona, to join other user experience (UX) professionals, including designers, researchers and academics, to exchange techniques, tools, trends and beyond at the UXPA International Conference. Here are a few takeaways:

Gen Z and Millennials are not the same

Gen Zers were raised differently than Millennials – one study suggests that the average attention span for Gen Zers is 8 seconds, compared to 12 seconds for Millennials. They seek authenticity and are clear/choosy about where they post and look for content. They are impacting the way we spend, the way we make decisions and the way we seek information. Which raises the question “What can Gen Zers tell about you in 8 seconds?”

Universal/inclusive design is helpful to all

With the rise in the use of technology among consumers, the opportunity to enhance the user experience is greatly increased but must be done with care and intention. By designing with inclusion in mind, not only do we enhance the experience for some, but we also can be helpful to all.

Develop individuals, as well as the team

The conference offered insight into trends and tools as well as included sessions on personal development and the importance of diversity and inclusion within the workplace. We learned that in order to retain the best talent, it is important to cultivate and protect an inclusive culture.


| Research

First Day of School.

Do you remember the night before the first day of school? The nerves start to settle in, excitement about meeting your new teachers rises and you can barely wait to debut your new school clothes.

At 15 years old, you are most likely entering the 10th grade. You know where the best lunch spots are, school dances are familiar, and you’ve found the best shortcuts to your classes. But throughout the year, the feeling of more responsibility comes upon you.

The questions of “Where do you want to go to college?” “What do you want to study?” and “When are you taking the ACT?” start to consume your free time. We remember those tough conversations and the unfamiliarity of what lies ahead.

We turned to our good friend Annie, whose advice to her younger self speaks volumes about the possibilities that lie ahead for all 15-year-olds.

“Push yourself to dream BEYOND the boundaries of the impossible!”

Our project has gifted us with advice that is valuable not only for every 15-year-old but for all ages. If you have a nugget of wisdom to share with us, visit our Quote to Self website to participate. We want to hear from you!

Follow our Quote to Self Instagram and Facebook pages to see other advice we’ve collected thus far.


| Creative, Culture, Quote to Self Project, Research

A Big Trip for a Big Mission.

Normally, travelers to India avoid the rainy, humid monsoon season that runs from July to September. But our principals, Kerry and Kasey, have packed their umbrellas and traveled to Kolkata, India, for a very special project.

In 2016, we connected with a company called Freeset – located in West Bengal, India – with a mission to provide employees with safe working environments and fair wages as they make organic and eco-friendly apparel and accessory items. We loved their work and ordered custom bags for our 2017 holiday gifts. Since then, we stayed in touch with the team at Freeset and have followed their journey to provide better solutions for those who are impoverished in India.

We are excited to share that we are partnering with Freeset again but in a different way. As a part of our year of giving, we are donating our research, strategy and creative services to help Freeset move into the future and deepen their impact. As part of the research phase, Kerry and Kasey are interviewing employees in Kolkata. Upon their return, our team will develop recommendations for brand positioning and creative development.

We’re thrilled to be working with Freeset to support their mission and will be sharing more details at our 15th anniversary party, so stay tuned! 

 


| Creative, Culture, Quote to Self Project, Research

It’s a Small World.

Recently, our principal Kasey Hatzung visited the Portland, Oregon area. There she met a local resident, Levi, and started chatting about what they do, where they live and their life stories. It turns out that Levi is originally from Kolkata, India – the exact city where Kasey and our other principal, Kerry Sarnoski, are visiting this month. She told Levi about our Quote to Self project, and in response Levi gave a simple and impactful one-liner:

“Keep moving forward.”

What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self? If you have a nugget of wisdom to share with us, visit our Quote to Self website to participate. We want to hear from you!

Follow our Quote to Self Instagram and Facebook pages to see other advice we’ve collected thus far.

 


| Creative, Culture, Quote to Self Project, Research

How Technology and Robots Shaped Our Japan Trend Trip.

This spring, we embarked on an international trend trip to Japan, where we set out to find innovative trends applicable to our clients across industries. Visiting Tokyo and Osaka, as well as a number of other areas, we were able to revisit our anthropological roots, touring museums and showrooms, exploring neighborhoods, and observing as well as participating in everyday life.

Key Trends:

AI and digital assistance are on the rise throughout the world, and Japan – long hailed as a leader in tech innovation – is no exception. A key differentiator in Japan, however, is that many new AI features have faces or human elements – making the environment feel much more friendly and approachable.

  • Rather than speaking to a Siri or an Alexa – which have human names and voices, though no figures – we would interact with a friendly robot at the train station, who would help us find our destination or greet us as we walked into a shop.
  • Actual humans were often standing in the wings to help with the navigation of tech.

We saw various examples of what appeared to be cutting-edge technology integrated with older traditions and systems.

  • For example, tapping digital cards to board trains or buses – but being able to load the card only with cash, not a credit or debit card

Beyond the digital realm, we saw an abundance of innovation in technological advances.

  • Pushing a button to call waitstaff to our table at a restaurant and taxi doors that automatically opened and closed are just a few nondigital innovations we saw in action

As the world continues to push toward tech, trends we saw in Japan encourage us to think about how to make the digital and AI realms more approachable and how to make life as efficient and smooth as possible using both digital and using innovative new technology methods.

After visiting Japan, our team produced a video to commemorate their trip! Click to view. 


| Research
 
 

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