When the news is dominated by stories of volcanic eruptions, corporate bankruptcies and layoffs, or yet another example of Wall Street malfeasance, it’s easy to get depressed. Especially in this grey Seattle spring weather…
So it was a wonderful contrast to enjoy some stimulating conversations over the past 24 hours with two vibrant and accomplished women: one, a consumer marketer par excellence, and the other a top-notch interaction designer.
It felt like we’re members of the same tribe, even though we’d never met each other before.
In our “Candy Jar”
In no particular order, here are a few of the things we touched on during our brief time together:
- Memories of introducing experience/interaction design to the New Zealand business community
- Memories of introducing capitalism to Hungarian bottlers right after the Berlin Wall was taken down
- HyperCard — remember when?
- Seattle versus Silicon Valley — pros and cons
- The pleasures to be found in fine white burgundy wine, especially when you can find it at a reasonable price
- The many joys of Seattle for “foodies” — or for hikers, bikers, yoga or pilates enthusiasts
- The fun of designing the initial user interfaces for first-generation digital cameras
- Marketing those early Macs…
- What it feels like to talk to newcomers in the workplace who can’t remember what life was like back when cameras required film
- The exciting new options for listening to the marketplace and seeing the changing perception patterns as they unfold across traditional and new media, such as social media
- What can happen to a staid business (like an insurance company) when you introduce experience design into the mix, and then mentor and train a core cadre of people who diffuse this discipline more broadly throughout the company
- Travels to Europe, wine tasting in France
- The difference between design, when approached as a strategic problem solving and communications discipline, versus its more common function as business “cake decorating”
- Microsoft and UX/experience design — pro forma, or the real thing?
- Marketing as art or as business architecture
- Daniel Pink and his notions about the growing import of “right brain” qualities and thinking styles for business and society
- The impact of serendipity or luck in our early career opportunities
- And a whole bunch of things I can no longer remember
Yes, we enjoyed free-wheeling conversations, moving fluidly back and forth between business and pleasure, without being all that conscious of the transitions.
Brain candy for right-brain thinkers…