Design Eye for South By
Andrei Herasimchuk, Principal, Involution Studios
Bronwyn Jones, Sr. Writer, Apple Inc.
Paul Nixon, Sr. Art Dir, Apple Inc.
Keith Robinson, Creative Dir, Blue Flavor
Ryan Sims, Lead Designer, Virb Inc.
Design Eye is an experiment in which a team of designers and writers collaborate to bring a fresh vision to an existing web site. You can check out their site to see their new ideas for Craigslist and a couple of other sites. This year, they’ve decided to change the online registration page on SXSW’s web site.
The team wanted to showcase the actual experience of being at SXSW. They broke the idea down to:
SXSW is not just about the information you learn from all the different panels, but it’s also about meeting people and having face-to-face interaction. I find this very true. I’ve met several people already. It’s so easy to strike up a conversation at one of these conventions. SXSW has even incorporated “hallway-conversations,” a place where you can discuss the panel you just saw with others.
The redesign is a portable social network. Instead of focusing on the 3 major conventions – music, film and interactive, the team chose to focus on profile, events and parties.
The new profile page captures all the other social networks you use (Twitter, FB, Vimeo, Pownce, LinkedIn, etc.) in one place – your profile page. By having one place for this, you’re able to share and interact with people on a grander scale. A user can go to your page and gather all the information they want about you. It encapsulates our normal behavior of how we already do things.
In the events, the user can include all the panels or other events she’s going to. This page will enable another user to find out if she wants to attend too. A quick, interactive map is also necessary to navigate around the city.
Lastly, the parties page is quite straight forward. Which parties are you going to? I want to go too! Photos and videos are highlighted a lot more on this page, because seriously, that’s all we care about.
The actual process is supposed to be easy. Filling out a form really quickly to include what you and don’t want on your personal space. From there, it will dynamically feed from all of the user’s other networks.
The pages use the original SXSW design style (block, 3D letters, grainy background), so I personally, don’t think it is amazing in that sense. In terms of the content of the pages, I really like it. I think it’s smart to have one page with all your social networks. It’d be easy for me to find out which panel that random person I just met is going tomorrow. The redesign is a lot more accessible than having to go to that person’s Twitter and then having to go to Flickr to see her photos.
It’s an interesting concept and really captures the greatness of SXSW – interacting with each other. It also enables the user to get ready for the conference, enjoy it and then relive it.