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Conference insights from Vancouver and Boston to Paris and Beijing.

Health 2.0 Recap: New Approaches to Health Care Funding

The 7th Annual Health 2.0 fall conference kicked-off with the Health 2.0 co-founders Matthew Holt and Indu Subaiya discussing how the future of health care lies at the intersection of consumer technology, enterprise and policy, highlighting the need for a holistic ecosystem.

The day was a mix of optimism and nervous energy.  Speakers, panelists and attendees touted advances in technology facilitated health care tempered by funding challenges that were magnified by the potential government shutdown, now realized. It should come as no surprise that in addition to the key topics of personalized care and big data, the subject of funding was a major theme of the day. Representing a wide variety of perspectives, from startup founders to investors to government administrators, speakers and panelists addressed the challenges of creating sustainable business models in an industry that is largely dictated by a reimbursement model that doesn't account for the current ways in which technology is transforming health care.

frog Event: Speaker Kim Erwin at Wordpress

How do you align your organization to realize a great idea? Kim Erwin, an assistant professor at IIT Institute of Design, is tackling this question in her new book, Communicating the New.

As IIT notes, "For those tasked with innovation, creating anything new -- whether a product, service, experience, or process -- requires more than coming up with the best idea. It requires the engagement and alignment of the many individuals inside organizations who are important to its success. In Communicating the New, Kim Erwin calls out the role of communication in the innovation process as a powerful integrative tool for individuals and teams to define, accelerate and explain The New."

Hiring our Heroes App: A New Resource for Veterans

Military veterans face tough challenges when transitioning to civilian life, especially when job hunting and planning a post-military career. To help veterans and their spouses, a launcher app called Hiring our Heroes – designed by frog and co-sponsored by Verizon and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – offers access to tools, links and resources. Jen Blake, a program manager in frog’s Austin studio and a co-lead of the project with Carl Sieber and Jeff van Horn, says the app design “enables veterans to organize their journey step by step instead of doing it haphazardly or own their own.” The app took shape during a quick, three-week concept development program that began with the team interviewing friends and families of frogs who have served in the military, to better understand their concerns. “We enjoyed working on this project,” Blake adds, noting that an enhanced version might be in the works. “It’s a good product and a good cause.”

Evan Guzman, Head of Military Programs & Veteran Affairs at Verizon, spoke with design mind about the app and what it means to veterans. 

Connecting With Users: A Design Research Primer for Healthcare

The more I work with early state healthcare companies, the more I hear that user experience is a big concern for CEOs. Patients and providers are now, more than ever, driving the decision for which products get purchased and how they get used. Much of this choice is based on whether or not the product is usable and fits within their workflow and needs. Reaching out to users and gaining insights on how they work and what they respond to is the underpinning of good user experience and key in shaping product decisions.

In this post, I provide an overview of design research and focus on some areas to help early stage healthcare technology companies plan and execute research to  gain insights from connecting with users.

Attention Retailers: The Future is Now

 
The digitally connected, social media-savvy shopper of today wants to make a purchase. She browses online, texts friends and checks aggregation sites that filter the best products at the right price, just for her. In the store she Instagrams pictures of merchandise and product displays, clips e-coupons and pays with a smartphone while tweeting to celebrate her finds.
 
For retailers of the future, imagine this scenario on steroids. It’s shopping as a seamless, stress-free journey that merges the functional and the emotional and adds memorable emotional moments along the way. The retailer of the future will choreograph every step of this journey, based on reams of deep quantitative and qualitative data that reveal the wants, needs and behaviors of shoppers.

Design and the Coming Iceberg

I am a product designer. I have been part of frog for nearly 20 years. In that time I have seen our industry change quite a bit—yet it is nothing like the changes I see coming. Our industry will have a choice to make: either change radically, or be relegated to decorating the surfaces of the world.

TEDxKC

Kansas City is Cool.  While this is not their official slogan the number of times the phrase comes up reminds me very much of the Austin is Weird.  In deed there is a lot going on in the city and it has a great density of culture and food to people along with the most miles per-capita of freeway for U.S. cities.  I was secreted in by Mike Lundgren one of the principal organizer of TEDxKC to help open eyes to the possibility of Mass Transit without wheels on the ground and present a refreshed and updated version of The Wire.  As I was wandering the streets in search of BBQ and a Town Topic burger I found out this notion of Mass Transit in Kansas City is actually quite a controversial thing right now.  I was hopeful for a small and understanding TED crowd.

Instead TEDxKC turns out to be one of, if not the largest TEDx event out there.  Well over 2,000 attendees.  This gigapan shows the view I had from stage. This was a pretty incredible site but there was also a second theatre full of people next door watching a live simulcast. 

The Powerbroker

The Powerbroker, a documentary by frog senior film designer Taylor Hamilton, screens at the White House 

Interview by Ernest Beck

The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington will be commemorated today, Tuesday, Aug. 27, at The White House, with an event that includes a screening of the documentary film, The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights. Directed by frog senior film designer Taylor Hamilton, the documentary is an intimate portrait of “the inside man” of the Civil Rights Movement. The drama escalates throughout the film as Young, who aligned with business and government leaders to create greater opportunities for Black people, comes under fire from all sides, especially the Black Power movement of the late 1960s. We spoke with the 29-year old Hamilton about the film, his connection to Young (who was his great uncle), and how video is critical to telling frog’s story about design.

frog's SXSW 2014 Panel Picker

The SXSW 2014 panel picker is now live! Several frogs are in the running this year, offering their perspective on everything from the emerging consumers of Myanmar to the enterprise software revolution. 

Take a look at our submissions and show some love by giving a thumbs up on the panel picker page.

Project Ansible: Anywhere Workers of the World, Connect

Today, Siemens Enterprise Communications introduced Project Ansible, a new visionary communications platform bringing together voice, video, social media and search into a smart, seamless, intuitive experience. (For additional details: www.siemens-enterprise.com/projectansible and www.frogdesign.com/work/project-ansible.html)

Project Ansible is the result of a research and development partnership between frog and Siemens Enterprise Communications. We spoke with Justin Maguire, executive creative director in frog’s Munich studio, about Project Ansible’s potential impact on businesses and communications, collaboration and productivity in the age of the flexible, mobile Anywhere Worker.