I’ve submitted two talks for the 2010 SXSW Interactive conference. As you might know, SXSW’s selection process includes a period of public review to gauge general interest in the panels submitted (they call them “panels” even though many of the submissions, including my own, are single-speaker sessions).

I would be deeply grateful if you, gentle Graphpaper reader, would put in a vote for my sessions. If you want to comment on my ideas — and I’d love it if you would — please do so at the SXSW site. (You have to register to vote, but it’s an easy and painless sign up.)

Here are my proposals (click the title to see the voting page):

  • The Human Interface (or: Products are People, Too!)
    More and more, users are interacting with web sites and software on a conversational, physical, psychological, and emotional level — just like we’ve always interacted with other people. UX designers, then, must stop thinking about interfaces as dumb control panels and begin using technology to envision interfaces (literally!) as human beings.
  • Re-Invent the Wheel!: Redesigning your Design Process
    It’s the start of a new project. You’ve got requirements, guidelines, data, research. Now what? Like an artist staring at a blank canvas, designers of interactive products often don’t know where to start. Instead of following a rigid methodology or waiting for the perfect idea to appear out of the blue, designers must invent new tools and tricks to foster real UX innovation.

I’m particularly excited about the first one, as it ties together so much of what I love and/or things I know a lot about: interaction design, science fiction, culture and literature in design, artificial intelligence, human behavior and emotional design. It’s kind of like “The Experience, Live!”

Sharing the love

There are a few other talks I think you ought to consider voting for, as well, from people I like and think people should be listening to:

In the spirit, literally, of my “Human Interface” talk, there are several talks about the literary, cultural, emotional, and storytelling-based foundations of interactive design:

A few good panels about the past and future of interaction design theory:

Seduction, a topic I spoke and presented about at last year’s O’Reilly Web 2.0 Expo, is now being more compellingly addressed by some great people. I’ve seen most of these talks and they’re all fantastic.

There are quite a few panels in the same vein as my “Re-invent the Wheel” talk, addressing the process of design:

Content Strategy, the idea-whose-time-has-come of 2009, is on the march!

And this is one I wouldn’t want to miss for the world. Some of my favorite people in the business all on one panel:

I feel like I am putting together my own SXSW schedule here. I unfortunately had to miss it last year, but do hope to show up this year. Thanks for your support!!


9 responses to “Please vote for my SXSW panels!”

  1. You know I love you, Chris, but there’s not a single session on that list that I would rouse myself out of bed for.

    It’s not your fault, of course, but 99% of the above – and I do not exclude myself from this – are the same got-damn faces that have been peddling content at venues like SxSW since Jesus was a private. By and large, it’s the same folks shuffling and reshuffling the same set of ideas to (and this is what really amazes me!) the same faces in the audience.

    Meanwhile, of course, outside the Convention Center doors the Republic is in the process of delaminating itself and the ocean-floor methane plumes have started up. The networks all say we’re coming out of recession, but tell that to the folks forced to Krazy-glue their wounds together because they can’t afford to see a doctor…let alone the folks who live in tent cities in the railyards at the edge of town.

    The insane disconnect between everything that really matters and the list of frankly trivial concerns iterated on the SxSW Panel Picker really gets to me. We were all of us made for better, more serious things.

  2. Chris, this list alone makes me want to attend! And yes, if this was the schedule, SXSW would rock!
    +1 for Re-Invent the Wheel!: Redesigning your Design Process

  3. (I guess my disagreement with Adam’s comment comes from not having attended SXSW before and being exited about the opportunity.
    I do agree with his statement that there are more important things to fix in this world than, say, the ideal design process for your next project. But then again, ideal design processes can also be applied to Good Things: that’s how I try to keep my sanity…)

  4. Far be it from me to rob anyone of their first SxSW. It was and still can be a blast.

    Go a few times, though, and I’d wager that you’ll begin to see different things. It’s all a bit much of a muchness.

  5. @AG: Well, it’s been a while for me, and I feel like going. And I won’t go unless I am speaking. And I want to make sure that the other speakers don’t stink, even if they are familiarish faces saying familiarish things (you should see the other 6,000 submissions). What else can I say? I haven’t gotten my invitation to speak at Picnic yet.

    Anyway, whenever SXSW attempts “more serious things”, it’s even more tiresome than the practitioner stuff.

  6. I too am oh so world weary and wise and am forced to point out that things were cooler back before well you know.

    sxsw is like Nerding Man.

    thanks for the plug!

  7. Whenever SXSW attempts “more serious things”, it’s even more tiresome than the practitioner stuff.

    Heh, you’re so totally right. I take it back.

    I don’t know what I’m all het up about, anyway. Everybody deserves a place to go where they can feel like they’re among their own kind for a few days, and if SxSW is that place for you, fantastic. Austin is great, the heat is great, the bats under the bridge are great, the BBQ and chilaquiles are great, and that’s sufficient.

    But that wonderful sense of affirmation and self-recognition – of seeing yourself and your struggles and daily concerns mirrored back to you a thousandfold – that’s the kind of thing that gets old pretty quickly. (I correct myself and speak only for myself: it did for me, by the second day of my second SxSW.) And the stasis in what this particular community seems to want to talk about – even when offered the chance to listen to anyone a’tall talk about anything on this green Earth – well, that only makes it worse, by my lights.

    I’ll shut up now. You just wanted to shine a spotlight on some stuff you thought deserving of wider notice. I don’t want to get in the way.

  8. Chris – thanks for the shoutout; I’m going to check out the talks you’ve flagged here and vote for ’em. Thanks for taking the time.

    Adam – I’ve never been; I’ve been cynical from afar for a few years, seeing The Kool Kidz disappear from SF and the Internet for those few days, but meanwhile, this isn’t a quality I admire in myself so instead of grousing from the sidelines, I’m going to check it out. I have the (dis?)advantage of not really seeing myself as doing the same work as the people at most conferences I attend, and so I get to be a bit of a participant observer at IxDA/IDSA/etc. I calibrate my expectations, and I always learn something new, whether it’s about the state of a field (positive or negative), how to be a crappy presenter, how to be a great presenter, or whatever. If our panels are approved and I do get to SXSW I expect it to be a fun time with people I like as well as an opportunity to collaborate with new people in assembling the panel sessions and to learn a lot by doing that (both about the ideas and about working with new folks). So it’s all upside for me, as far as I can see.

  9. Chris,

    Thanks for the mention, and yes — +1 for both your proposals. I’m pumped!