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Conference insights from Vancouver and Boston to Paris and Beijing.

CCA Student Annual Launch Party

Among a myriad of interests, we really get excited about design, business, technology and sustainability here at frog so it is to no surprise that four of us are completing our MBA in Design Strategy at the California College for the Arts here in San Francisco—two even fly in from Austin on monthly a basis for lectures. The program is unique and only two years old: “preparing the next generation of innovation leaders for a world that is profitable, sustainable, ethical, and truly meaningful.” The diversity of the student body’s background also reflects the distinctiveness of the program. Case in point, just the four of us from frog represent program management, human resources, interactive and industrial design.  

Designing the Innovation Interface

“Designers are human beings as well”, a software developer commented about frog Technical Director Andrew Upton's talk at the Rich Internet Applications Conference for Developers (RIA) conference held in Munich this week.  Encouraging the role of the software developer, Upton reminded the technology community to participate and contribute to “designing the innovation interface.” 

Mobile Mandate: UNICEF and frog, Together at Last

Today we’re excited to announce our collaboration with UNICEF as the organization’s lead design and innovation partner on Project Mwana, a major mHealth initiative to improve maternal and infant health and welfare in peri-urban Malawi and rural Zambia.

Prototyping Interaction with Video Scenarios

Animal Locomotion by Boston Public LIbrary photo number 4327435571 creative commons share remix attribution

At the Seattle Make-a-Thon on Saturday, November 6—a collaboration between IxDA Seattle, AIGA Seattle, and Interact—Aaron Rincover and I presented a two-hour workshop about how to prototype and communicate interaction ideas using video scenarios:


In our daily work as user experience designers, capturing the nuances of myriad types of interaction has become core to many of our client deliverables. This isn't something that is going to change. Different modes of user input will increase as more sensors and types of data become available. So the medium of video is perfect to capture, communicate, and iterate these multiple types of interaction.

TED Salon - Framing, Constraints, and Play

I was lucky enough to speak at the TED Salon in London last week. Like many of you, I've enjoyed learning about technology, education and design from some great minds through the online TED-talk library, and I was honored to be a part of the event.

Wrap Up: Finance Innovation Forum

frog Executive Creative Director Jan Chipchase gave the keynote presentation at the Finance Innovation Forum in Beijing, an event organized by one of China’s leading business magazines, CEOCIO. Conference attendees included bankers and industry leaders in the finance and insurance industries. Chipchase’s talk, “Insights of Mobile Banking,” included research findings from his recent trip to Afghanistan where he investigated how people are using cell phones to do their banking—known  in the industry as mobile money.

Design Angels

The château in the wooded, castle-dotted countryside north of Paris is owned by Cap Gemini. The event is the i7 Summit, calling together experts and influencers in technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, and society ‘on the dawn of open innovation and in the aftermath of the greatest economic rethink since the Great Depression’.

With a 40 year history embedded in innovation, frog attended. Not just to inspire and be inspired, but also as the facilitators of business ideation sessions leveraging our frogTHINK method. The breadth of the topics and diversity of participants meant that these sessions served as a sort of mental yoga, stretching us in unaccustomed ways. Instead of our usual one to two day frogTHINK sessions, these were power burst one-hour sessions - meaning the results were high-level and in need of deep refinement. Yet the discussions were lively and bright minds bounced ideas.

How Design Triggers Transformation


Last week, frog hosted a design mind Salon in Amsterdam that featured a presentation by Microsoft researcher and computer scientist Bill Buxton. Sixty select guests turned up to the Felix Meritis Building to hear Buxton, frog Executive Creative Director Tjeerd Hoek, and independent Dutch Creative Director Marcel Kampman speak about “how design triggers transformation.” Co-hosted with Microsoft, the event attracted a mix of business leaders, designers, and local influencers.

Looking Back at the Economist’s Emerging Markets Conference

Have you ever noticed that special glow someone has when they’ve returned from a conference? They’re on a sudden high from the wealth of new connections they’ve made and are totally inspired by dynamic presentations.

The Pyramid to Enlightenment is Upside-Down

I've been thinking a great deal about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the one we all learned about in our introduction to psychology class in college. It's shaped like a pyramid (no, not the food pyramid - that's yet a different iconic reference that's been diluted through misuse and only partial understanding), and it describes the various artifacts, emotions, and qualities that we need to survive. At the base are things that most of us take for granted - basic needs like food and water, and needs tied to safety, like clothing and shelter. After these core elements, we move into more convoluted spaces where objects stop being so immediately provocative - things like love, self esteem, and the holy grail of self actualization, where we find things like creativity and ethics.