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Conference insights from Vancouver and Boston to Paris and Beijing.

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.

New Ideas for the Economist's Ideas Conference, Part 2

frog design recently conducted a day of design research at the Economist’s Human Potential 2010 conference in New York. The research was intended to look closely at the event (and by proxy the Economist’s global series of events called The Ideas Economy: Ideas That Press Forward), and to find ways to enhance attendee experience during the conference. A small team of designers challenged participants at the event to disrupt normal conference-going patterns by engaging in playful micro-collaborations that could challenge their own notions of what a conference was. They created a game called “Playables” consisting of five cards, each of which had their own challenge or task. To learn more about the thinking and execution of the experiment, see this blog post and video. Following are the results of the research, including a presentation slideshow that you can also find on frog design’s Slideshare page.

New Ideas for the Economist’s New Conference on Ideas

frog design partnered with the Economist Human Potential conference in New York on September 15-16 to conduct a day of design research.


In the summer of 2010 we began a discussion with a team at the Economist about how to enhance the experience of their new conference series, “The Ideas Economy: Ideas That Press Forward,” and we agreed to conduct a day of design research at their New York event, Human Potential 2010. As part of our preparation for this research, we first looked at what it means to go to a conference these days and then we pushed that through the filter of “human potential.”

No Photos Please

Jan Chipchase talks at the Economist’s Human Potential 2010 conference in New York about Afghanistan, “extreme research locations,” and a shift in how design researchers do work. 

frog Executive Creative Director Jan Chipchase gave a keynote presentation at the Economist’s Human Potential 2010 conference in New York on September 16, 2010. The talk was born out of his recent trip to Afghanistan where he did a field study on how people use cell phones to do their banking — known in the industry as “mobile money.” While he is still processing the findings of his research, he revealed new insights on the practice of design research — specifically on doing research in unusual and “extreme research locations” such as the Middle East. “Five years ago when we were conducting street research, one of our team would document the research with a camera; it was a one way process,” he said. “Three years ago …[people] would bring out their camera phones and start documenting us…. In three year’s time you’ll be able to point camera phone at someone’s face and know within a reasonable time-frame and level of certainty who they are, their history and their history of interactions.”