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August 03, 2011

Insights from Re:Build 2011

August 03, 2011

Last Friday, I attended the one-day Re:Build conference with a few other SmallBoxers. We returned to our Broad Ripple headquarters re-energized and with a little validation of some of the practices we have put in place at our own office. Below are some of the insights that really struck a chord. (Justin also shared some of his takeaways here).


We need more girls! The ratio of male to female attendees was somewhat expected, yet still surprising. I hope it was a fluke in terms of attendees and not the state of our industry.


Don't go it alone! Involve your clients in your process— it can build trust and value in your work and can make the approval process go more smoothly.

And don't abandon your client either. Don’t rely on your client contact to be able to sell your creative internally without you. Always arm them with your rationale, in a way that the creative will “present itself.” One great way to do that is to submit creative and rationale via video.

Adapting the experience. As internet capable  device technology continues to evolve — creating a wide variety of viewing experiences across a multitude of different screen sizes — the best designs adapt.  Enter responsive web design. What's that you ask? To put it simply:

Responsive web design appreciates what the user wants to view where they want to view it, ALWAYS.

Who are you calling stupid? Sometimes the infinitely simple things need to be said. Don’t make your users feel stupid, stupid.

Embrace your limitations. Creating within strict limitations often takes MORE creativity.

Watch out Mad Men. Much like art directors and copywriters, I'm betting that Designers and Developers will be the "creative team" of tomorrow.

Hey forest, don't forget the tree! Dig into the details, but always remember to step back once in a while to see the bigger picture too, and don't be afraid to recalibrate where needed. It's imperative to find the right balance, to see the forest AND the trees.

Fun + Work = FURK SmallBox prizes our ability to laugh together while we do good work. If we focused only on work, we feel we'd lose some of the playfulness that sparks our creativity and fuels our work. In fact, FUN has its own category in our recently published Manifesto.

Many of the insights expressed at the conference were things that I have espoused throughout my career (and of course also at SmallBox) though it was exciting to see them presented in such a fresh and compelling manner.

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