Concept, Create and Sell | Generate New York 2017
As we mentioned before on the previous post, the first day of Generate 2017 was an all-day workshop held at TKP New York Conference Center. We chose Irene Pereyra’s Concept, Create and Sell track.
First, Irene gave an introduction on the project; concept and propose a new app for the travel/back-packing guide company, Lonely Planet. We were to do this in groups of four to five people and create something based off the demographic information and pain points provided to us. She then elaborated on some tips on how to successfully pitch projects to clients. Then we were off to the races and creating our apps!
We were allowed to ask Irene any questions and for help and everybody did at least once. She helped my group narrow our focus on one or two pain points and we were much better prepared to present our concept at the end of the workshop. We didn’t end up winning best concept, but it was a good and informative experience.
We learned how to defend ideas and to be more assertive in public speaking. Above all, I learned that doing one or two things very well was better than trying to do everything at once, 100% of the time.
Mina Markham’s talk on building a front-end design system for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign site was probably the most memorable for obvious reasons I won’t go into here. Politics aside, it was informative to see how a design system was built, who and how many stakeholders were involved and the process that went into designing, iterating and testing the entire system, repeatedly.
Sometimes people outside the tech world think digital systems and designs are built with just a few button clicks. This is not the case; sitting in on Mina’s talk and listening to her detail the weeks and weeks of work that went into redesigning Clinton’s site (including digital marketing materials, information sites and donation sites) proves it. Design did not get easier in the digital space, it just got faster.
Speaking of design, before Mina Markham, there was Sara Soueidan and her talk called “Creative Solutions for Creative Design Challenges”. Soueidan went through certain design challenges when building a strong front-end foundation for Smashing Magazine’s site redesign, particularly in regards to communication to the user. She described these as “hacks”, or workarounds to get a desired visual or interactive result. One example was for text with underlines that didn’t cross hanging characters (“y” or “p” or “g”), instead skipped them like this. Another example was boxed previews of posts with several nested links while also allowing the user to go to the article by just clicking on the title.
Later in the second day, was Jen Simmons’ talk was a great intro to CSS Grid, which rather than completely replacing techniques like Flexbox, works beautifully in conjunction with it. As someone who is used to having to combine clear and float, Flexbox and now CSS Grid allows for more flexibility and creativity in site layouts. I can’t wait to test it out on future projects! You can check out examples of both Flexbox and CSS Grid and learn more about both on Simmons’ site here.
This post is only a brief taste of what we learned while at Generate 2017 in New York City. I highly recommend going to a Generate conference because it certainly ups your knowledge game!