Weeknote 305

September 26th to 30th

This weeknote will be about events I attended and some thoughts triggered by them.

Let's start with another short announcement: we'll be part of the next round of the Brand Perfect Tour with dates in Berlin and London. Check out the website for detailed information. We're looking forward to meet all these people again (and of course also many new faces).

Last Wednesday, I had the honor to give a talk about connected digital devices in general and our Multiscreen Patterns in particular at the XING Product Department (it was a public event). I totally enjoyed the evening and some interesting conversations after the presentation. I was amazed how many people showed up and even more bewildered how many raised their hands when I asked who already knew about multiscreen. This has definitely changed during the last couple of months and it shows how the term, but more importantly the phenomen it describes, has arrived in people's minds – and on their agendas. I think we're really close to the point where the need to consider and think about more than one screen, or device, or platform is becoming common sense and we'll be able to move on, roll up our sleeves and make things happen.

There was one question from the audience that I found especially compelling, because it tied in with my current train of thought around the topic. It was about how we mean our Multiscreen Patterns. They're quite high level, rather strategic and conceptual and not so much tools in terms of design pattern libraries. They rather describe or classify our observations of the field – we basically documented the most concise patterns we recognized in the digital devices landscape and people's behaviours. Our aim was to make these observations more tangible for ourselves as designers working in this field. But we also really wanted to give something to fellow creators of digital products to help them sharpen strategies for the multiscreen world – that's why we shared the patterns to the public and gave a lot of talks and workshops around the topic.

Although I totally like the idea to use these patterns as an origin to develop a more concrete and hands-on pattern language, I don't think we are going to be the ones working on it. We would of course participate and contribute in the best way we can, but at the moment we wouldn't be leading it. (*)

As a design studio, we're obviously very interested in topics that surround our everyday work, in discussions with other designers and sharing our learning and insights. But in the coming months, we'd rather use our energy to actually work on projects and products that incorporate our thinking. We want to focus more on building things again. That's also why we have shifted our workshop agendas from giving a lot of impulse and little exercises to kicking-off with a topic and then actually working together on products or at least first ideas and iterations for potential projects.

Yesterday, I attended the first part of Scoopcamp, an event about New Storytelling as they claim it. It was my first time and I really liked the athmosphere – which surely also had to do with the brilliant weather and location (it takes place in a museum).

I was mainly intrigued by the keynote of Shazna Nessa, the director of the interactive department of the Associated Press. She talked about disruptions in the journalism landscape and why newsrooms need to integrate more technologists (and journalists become technologists) to cope with the reader's (or user's) expectations towards the news or journalistic content in general. I really liked the very tangible hands-on style of her talk – she showed a selection of great data journalism examples from the AP and others. But she also introduced some of her team members, talked about their profiles and how some of them actually grew into their roles as technologists to become better journalists – with a striking essence: "Don't wait for your organisation to train you - train yourself!". "The passion has to be in the Individual".

But the best part was something I would call the mindset of her talk: "Dont fight it, feel it". Which reminded me a lot of Future Friendly.

Gotta keep those lovin good vibrations.

* There's already a more problem/solution oriented approach available at Multiscreen Experience (only in German, though).

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