Adriano’s Insight

This year, the Design Thinkers Vancouver Conference 2019 curated an impressive and diverse lineup of talented speakers across a range of industries, each bringing a unique perspective from their field.
We have curated our key takeaways from the conference to share with you because we believe sharing is caring.

A New Conversation on Brand Design: Connected brands and the power of language

Jennifer Vano and Augustus Cook (Creative Directors, Business Transformation, R/GA) presented an innovative approach for a Brand Design process. In their perspective, the top-down approach doesn’t fully represent today’s brand demands. Instead, story and the system should intersect in a holistic brand building process. The verbal aspect gains more importance as better wording research allows design-builders to dig deeper – especially at the discovery phase when asking fundamental questions.

These reworded questions can help you understand the audience and create copy that connects with them. For instance, instead of asking: “how can I wordsmith this?” you should think: “how can this idea, represented by these words, inspire a whole world?”. To illustrate this process, Jennifer and Augustus showcased the “Evolved By Nature” campaign, where the language and verbal study refined the visual elements choice.

Game of Thrones: What happens when every designer at a big company puts down their swords and works as one?

Jenny Lam and Hillel Cooperman (Senior Vice Presidents of UX Design, Oracle) presented their top 10 ideas to keep a design team bonded around the same goal and to build more significant experiences:
1. One Team (The Oracle Design Team)
There are no physical divisions between members of the design team. Branding, UX and UI live in the same space.
2. One Design System
The team should work out of the same design system – one that needs to be flexible and approachable. The work that comes from this kind of system is consistent, but doesn’t restrict creativity. For example, the Mercedes-Benz cars are easily recognizable as a brand from a single glance, yet each model is uniquely designed.
3. Digital and Physical
The world is more than digital-only. Gathering with peers in the real world is an integral part of the bonding process.
4. The Font
The method of building a custom font for a client can teach lessons about how a strong partnership is essential.
5. Show and Tell
It’s an important opportunity to share knowledge, recalibrate standards and embrace a process.
6. Design Week
Traveling together as a team develops inspiration and bonds team members.
7. Traditions
Creating traditions, such as a team badge pin for special projects, helps a team feel like they’re an integral piece of the team, while improving morale.
8. Dotted Line Report
This kind of report is less formal and helps participants feel more relaxed and contributive.
9. Share Budget
By providing numbers, the team can build transparency in the relationship.
10. Share Your Commitments
Accountability is a key-point for engagement.

Lightning Talk: How can digital designers participate in the sustainability dialogue

Supratim Chakraborty (human-computer interaction researcher, Simon Fraser University) illustrated how designers can contribute to our society to be more conscious about environmental impact. Sometimes a quick design decision like adding an element can elevate the experience. As an example, a designer adds a checkbox that allows the consumer to put all items purchased in the same box shipped to avoid extra packaging. This gives both brand and user a sense of collaboration for a better world.