The Preferred City would see brands take over entire urban communities,
like the Google Sidewalk Lab - the first neighbourhood developed from
the internet up as a blueprint for other cities. Citizens could vote
which brand is awarded part of their infrastructure, like the Nike Run
App owning the morning school run. This transparent brand/citizen
collaboration could also see the city rearrange overnight as it
constantly optimises to provide a better service.
City result will be more of a trade-off between brands and citizens.
Data would be exchanged for better services and resources. In this
scenario brands will be in charge of the infrastructure, which could
mean self-preference and the charging of other brands to be part of the
In the Potential City scenario, the power is
weighted towards the brand. Consumers may need to pay for favourable
access, such as public space. Which could mean the socio-economic divide
----The Trade Hall: The good, the weird and the why?
trade hall at SXSW is a hotbed of companies, start-ups, universities,
cities and countries all trying to sit at the forefront of the
cutting-edge. With over 300 exhibitors you could spend the whole
festival trying to speak to them all. But it's a bit of a gamble whether
your effort will be worth it.
Some of these booths create
really interesting and compelling products and sales pitches. But a good
portion of them miss the mark entirely. It's a mix of the fascinating,
the new and the utterly useless. Some good examples included scalable VR
gaming environments by Brazilian start-up Arkave and the new 3D
printing technologies being developed at the University of Texas.
However, some shonky lemons included a clunky,
exoskeleton called Lunavity that's entire purpose was just to increase
your vertical leap. Not to mention the twerking, grinding robotic arm
that had a 40-inch LCD display at the top for no other reason than to
display seductive anime eyes.
While there's a lot of "tech for
tech's sake" in the SXSW Trade Hall, one of the best things about it is
chatting with exhibitors about their local markets and their ambitious
applications for their (occasionally misguided) tech. If you want to be
confused, inspired and entertained all at the same time--or just want a
weird talking point--it's a must see at SXSW.
----Animation in UX: the subconscious influence of motion
of what we understand in a conversation is from non-verbal cues, like
body language. So, what happens when we can't rely on body language,
like when we're engaging with others online?
Lead UX Strategist
for Allstate Online Marketing, Katie Swindler, suggests that we can use
motion to fill this gap. The argument is that, when online, animation
subconsciously gives the user better understanding of the content, UI
and brand personality. Swindler went on to clarify that a "Brand" is not
just a logo or colours or type, but a decision-making tool. It is the
promises we make to our users. A promise we are responsible for
delivering on, no matter how small the interaction.
Ok, so what do we need to do?
We need to:
• Make the experience easy for the user,
• Reduce clutter.
Make the experience (at least seem) fast through embracing the new
"Optimistic UI" approach by assuming success. Oh, and don't make the
user sit through a loading screen - it's just disrespectful to your
• Tell a story - they are up to 22x more memorable than facts alone.
• Celebrate progress.
course, this is all dependant on whether or not we stay with interface
interactions. But whatever the case, if we're not leveraging interface
animations, then we're missing a critical component of great UX design.
----Creating a purpose-driven brand by design
Chicago ECD AJ Hassan--the mind behind Throw Like a Girl--and Todd
Kaplan, PepsiCo VP of Marketing spoke to us about purpose driven
marketing in the context of launching "WTR", a new PepsiCo water
LIFEWTR's #ArtByAWoman campaign is a case study of how a
global brand can execute a purpose-driven strategy in an authentic,
organic way. The platform came from the insight that 51% of working
visual artists today are women, but they only make up 5% of permanent
collections. This campaign engaged, promoted, and integrated with the
product - ensuring and creating a $200MIL brand in a $16BIL (domestic)
bottled water category.
campaign, which included a Super Bowl commercial and New York City
activation, forged a long-standing brand platform immediately. The US
market may have scale on its side, but creating a $200 million brand in
12 months is no mean feat. Bravo. Daily SXSW 2018 highlights are brought
to you by, Sabrina Riedel, Emma Tait, Brendan (Bob) Forster, Fraser
(Franklin) Nelson, and Ben Kidney pictured above.