A Remix of AVID Designers and Developers
A bunch of the AVID Design guys went to Remix South 2012 this last weekend, and we are continuing the conversation as we jump back into our work with online healthcare experiences. Remix South is an annual conference of developers and designers getting together to talk shop about user experience, web and mobile, technology, and innovation.
At AVID, we see these conferences as not only a great opportunity to get out of the office on a nice fall day (plus free lunch) but also a time for us to go out and meet other like-minded people, people who do what we do, and see how they work.
Here is a list of the top 8 ideas our guys learned or talked about during Remix South 2012:
- Nothing beats the “bar napkins and Post-It notes” approach to brainstorming a design. As Creative Director, I’m a huge proponent of drawing things and having a tactile representation of ideas. I use this tried and true method because it helps me quickly navigate through all of the ideas to get to the great idea that applies to the particular challenge.
- Defining your target audience will ensure that you can give them what they want. Does your website cater more to women looking for information for their children or significant other? Or are you an academic medical center or a more specialized healthcare facility that sees more web traffic from referring physicians? Figuring out all of your audiences is the best way to get into their mindset and deliver your key messages to them.
- You and your coworkers are great, but you get boring living in a vacuum. Sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone and interact with some like-minded people to get a fresh perspective of what’s going on in your industry. In fact, two of our designers came back to us with a new text editor, not because it was a topic at the conference, but because they met some designers who used it and they liked it better than what they were using.
- The way to innovation is half creativity and half planning ahead. Moore’s Law, in basic terms, states that the capabilities of technology double roughly every 2 years. By thinking about where technology could be 5 years from now, and by building your designs for technology that will exist a year and a half from now, suddenly your brilliant idea which won’t work right now seems a lot more achievable. This is the philosophy of keynote speaker, Bill Buxton, who spends his nights thinking of where technology will be years down the road.
- No one really needs a button for popcorn. The other side of innovation is functionality. Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones, and you find that the greatest innovations bring back the core functionality. All of those bells and whistles might seem great on paper, but nothing beats a simple, useful tool that gets your audience what they need. For instance, your symptom checker is great, but only if your website also defines the conditions you treat.
- Technology is changing, and so must we. All of our attendees heard about responsive design (creating websites that work with multiple web browsers and capabilities) this year. Mobile web usage (smartphones and tablets) is increasing by the day. Even now, our own clients have seen their mobile numbers double, with mobile traffic representing up to 20% or more of their visitors (Hint: It’s time to start thinking about your mobile site). We were excited to be so far along in the mobile game, creating effective responsive websites for hospitals.
- Some people lean forward and some people lean back. People use different types of technology in different ways. If they’re on your hospital website on their tablet, for instance, they might be shopping for a new specialist in the area. But if they’re on their smart phone, there’s a good chance that something has gone terribly wrong and they need certain information quickly. A part of responsive design is recognizing what your target audience would be looking for based on how they’re doing their search.
- The TV remote started shrinking our attention spans, and it hasn’t stopped. Bill Buxton gave us this little gem too. When the remote control became available, the television industry changed more than it bargained for. People were able to effortlessly change the channel in the middle of a boring television show or (more to the point) a long commercial. The attention span shrank and producers had to find ways to grab people’s attention quickly. Sound familiar? Technology progresses, and the faster and more available a technology is, the less patience people have for getting what they need, and for errors.
Thanks to those that joined me at Remix South 2012 – Keir, Jonathan, Mike, Duan, and Pique – and bringing back so many great inspirations for the work we do at AVID Design!
AVID Design offers full-scale written and visual communication services for hospitals and healthcare systems, including Web design, SEO and PPC, content development and assessment, online video and rich media, analytics and measurement, content management systems and more.
Evan Daeschler | Creative Director | AVID Design
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Tags: innovations in technology, Remix 2012, web design, web development
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