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Opening Keynote - Our New Creative Canvas40:13 with Paul Adams
Never one to shy away from disrupting the status quo, Paul will kick off the conference with his thoughts on the future of the web. Designing for the web is dramatically changing because the web itself is changing structure. We're moving from the primary metaphor of a page to something else. Something that works well on screens of all sizes (phones, tablets, screens in stores, etc.). Something that can easily present information coming from many sources (social networks, news outlets, advertising networks, any API or SDK, etc.). Something that can support personalization of content and provide a unique experience to everyone. Something that can aggregate lots of different content and make sense of it. Paul will describe the huge forces driving the change in the structure of the web, how it is changing how we approach design problems, and how we will need to think about systems and networks rather than singular isolated experiences.
[MUSIC]. 0:00 Okay, thank you. 0:09 Hey, good morning, everybody. 0:12 Normally I, kind of sit at, or stand out here at the front and wave my 0:15 arms a lot, but, I realize if I do that, you guys can't see the pictures. 0:19 I want you to see the pictures so I'll probably hang out here. 0:23 So, the internet is a big thing. 0:26 We all think about it in different ways. 0:36 You know, what I'm going to talk about this 0:39 morning is gonna be a little bit strange I 0:41 think, its certainly different to a lot of the 0:43 talks you'll hear at other parts of the conference. 0:45 I'm not going to talk about HTML much, or CSS, or front ends, I'll 0:49 talk about Photoshop a little bit, its not particularly a positive part of the talk. 0:53 So it'll be a little bit different, but, hopefully, it'll challenge you. 0:59 You know, my goal for this is just 1:03 that you guys think about things a bit differently. 1:04 I don't know, I'm gonna like talk a little 1:07 about the future and where I think things are going. 1:08 I'm not sure if this is gonna happen, it's just my opinion. 1:10 It's certainly up for debate, and I just want to 1:14 challenge you guys to think about things in a different way. 1:17 So what do you think about when you think about the internet? 1:22 Do you 1:25 think about websites? 1:28 Do 1:29 you think about apps? 1:33 Maybe you think about mobile apps. 1:35 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 1:36 When I think about the internet I don't 1:40 think about websites or apps, I think about networks. 1:41 I think about connectivity. 1:45 This idea that we've, we're building something that 1:47 connects people, connects things, connects people to things. 1:50 This is another picture of the Internet. 1:57 I think this one is pretty remarkable. 1:58 There are no country borders drawn on this. 2:01 This is just a picture, it was created by one of the guys at Facebook. 2:04 It's just a picture of friend connections. 2:08 It's pretty amazing. 2:10 It's literally the world. 2:13 Literally the, the Facebook network of over a billion people has 2:14 effectively created a map of the world, joint connections between people. 2:18 These are, these are, these connections enable things 2:21 that weren't possible even just a few years ago. 2:24 It's a pretty remarkable thing. 2:26 And when I think about networks and think about things that are being built that 2:28 have hundreds of millions of users, things like 2:32 Facebook, and Whats App, and WeChat in China. 2:35 It just goes back to say if networks and trying to understand this, 2:37 you know, couple of years ago I tried to read about other networks. 2:41 What happened when other networks are built, what happening in the kind 2:45 of public conscientious, how do people talk about them and think about them. 2:49 And there's just some examples that I think we can learn a lot from. 2:53 The first one is electricity. 2:57 So, this is pretty remarkable. 2:59 This is a photograph, obviously from space, it's from NASA. 3:01 Siberian Peninsula, you can see the tip of Africa. 3:05 You can see Madrid. 3:07 You can see Valencia. 3:08 You can see Lisbon. 3:09 The thing that's striking to me about this is that you can see where people are. 3:10 Electricity changed how we live. 3:17 It changed what we could do. 3:19 It led to all sorts of different new things. 3:21 You know, I'm sure, this, this photograph is especially for a European audience. 3:25 These things didn't exist, you know, 50, 60, 3:31 70 years ago and that's not a long time. 3:33 You gotta remember, we're literally 3:36 talking about our grandparents' grandparents. 3:37 It changed where we gather. 3:41 It changed how we eat. 3:43 It changed where we eat. 3:44 It changed how we socialize with people. 3:46 It's pretty remarkable. 3:49 A second network that I think really changed society is the network of roads. 3:50 Which of course came about because of the invention of the combustion engine. 3:56 So again this very recent, this is 100 years ago, the 3:59 car was invented, people didn't really know what to make of it. 4:02 And as a result of that we had this huge network of roads build all over the world. 4:07 And if you go back 40 or 50 years, I don't think these guys, who are here 4:11 inventing the four leaf clover, I don't think they 4:17 realized exactly what they were, what they were inventing. 4:18 They, they couldn't see the repercussions or 4:22 the consequences of this massive, massive infrastructure. 4:25 Because this also changed society. 4:30 It led to suburbia. 4:32 It changed how we lived. 4:33 It changed how close we lived to our families. 4:34 It changed where we shop, it changed how often we go into town centers. 4:37 And it changed commerce. 4:42 It fundamentally changed how people buy things and how businesses run. 4:43 The road network meant that businesses could buy very 4:48 cheap land on the edges of towns and cities, build 4:51 massive warehouses, and then use trucks to, and, and 4:54 airplanes, I guess, ultimately to ship goods into those places. 4:57 And people could use their cars and the road network to get to these places. 5:01 That fundamentally changed how much things cost. 5:04 And it meant that people who were you know local 5:07 businesses on, on high streets couldn't really compete with this. 5:09 And you guys all experienced this, I'm sure a whole bunch 5:12 of people live in suburbia, I kind of live in suburbia. 5:15 You all shop at big box retailers on the edges of towns. 5:20 It fundamentally altered things. 5:23 And I think the internet is gonna do the same. 5:26 I think the impact of the internet might even be 5:28 more profound in society than the, than the road network. 5:30 Possibly even the electric network. 5:34 So I think, you know, in my mind, its pretty safe to assume, that 5:38 this is going to lead to the 5:41 greatest challenge to society for hundreds of years. 5:42 You can, the inside is, is very young. 5:46 It's 20 years old. 5:49 So you can already think about the things that it's changed. 5:49 So it's fundamentally changed how news is discovered. 5:53 Fundamentally changed how news is published. 5:57 How journalists think, and how news organizations think. 5:59 It's already fundamentally changed, in parts 6:03 of the world, how governments are elected. 6:05 It's changed how we play games. 6:09 It's changed how we buy things. 6:13 I'm sure all of you guys shop online all the time. 6:16 There's new products coming out, you know, Amazon, 6:20 Google are doing a whole bunch of things 6:22 where you don't even have to go to 6:24 shops anymore, everything just gets delivered to you. 6:25 The internet has fundamentally changed how we communicate with people. 6:30 You know, I have a year and a half old twins now. 6:34 They were born in San Francisco, where I lived I'm back in Dublin now. 6:37 And the internet fundamentally changed my parent's experience 6:41 of that of, of their grandparents being born. 6:44 Fundamentally changed my friend's experience of that. 6:47 It's changed how we navigate our world. 6:52 And 6:54 the striking thing to me about all these 6:56 things is that the internet is still so young. 6:57 It's only 20 years old for all practical purposes, 20 years. 7:00 And if you look back to, again to 7:06 understand this, you gotta look back over you know, 7:08 the last few hundreds of years and understand what 7:10 happened and other media and communication technology were invented. 7:13 And when you look back, you realize that 7:16 the internet, not only is the internet so young, 7:18 a lot of the other technologies that we have: 7:21 TV, radio, print are actually relatively young as well. 7:24 The first example of media externalized by humans is 30,000 years ago. 7:28 So there's just a rapid increase, in the pace of change. 7:34 Things that are fundamentally altering large parts of 7:38 society, and this is happening in our lifetimes. 7:41 So, to understand, you know, to kinda like zoom in into these technologies a 7:46 bit more and understand what's happening when 7:50 they were introduced into soc, into society. 7:52 How did people react? 7:55 This is like huge implications and huge lessons for us 7:56 to understand how the internet is being thought about today. 7:59 I'm gonna give you just, guys, just two examples. 8:03 There are examples, by the way, for all of these media technologies. 8:05 The same patterns happen over and over and over again. 8:07 The first is is print. 8:11 So, you know, the printing press here, you can see, was invented 8:13 roughly around 1440, but it took over 100 years before we saw newspapers. 8:17 When the printing process is first 8:23 invented, they're printing pamphlets sorry, they were 8:24 printing huge, huge tomes, the same kind of things that monks, were hand scribing. 8:27 The printing press was pretty transformational, it 8:37 led, you know, it formed a large 8:40 part of reformation, created this idea, of a public, that there was a public, right? 8:42 Before the printing press, for the most part, news and information 8:48 traveled within the small town or village that you lived in. 8:51 The 8:54 second example is electric technology. 8:56 Things like cinema, radio, TV. 8:59 Again, these took decades to develop, took decades to stabilize. 9:02 And if you look back at this history of things like cinema, things like TV you 9:07 realize that people were doing things that were 9:13 different, then how we think of these things today. 9:16 For example, they were filming plays, or the 9:19 fact that the first movies had no sound, right? 9:22 There's a whole silent era for movies that were, 30, that was 30 years long. 9:25 And if you think about, if you actually look and see the 9:29 first movies that people made, they weren't the movies that we know. 9:32 There was narrative, there was no story art. 9:35 It was literally just pieces of pretty 9:38 random video footage, all just pieced together. 9:41 So electric technology, things like TV in 9:49 particular created this idea of a mass audience. 9:51 This idea that everybody could look at this one thing and experience it together. 9:55 Again, fundamentally changed how we think about things, how 9:59 we think about life, how we think about information. 10:01 The one thing though, aside from all these changes 10:08 to society, the one thing that struck me most when 10:10 I was, looking at the history of all these things, 10:12 was that people at the time made the same mistake. 10:15 Every single time, without exception, any of these technologies 10:19 were introduced into society, people made the same mistake. 10:21 And I feel that we're making the same mistake now, all of us. 10:25 I've made it, I'm making it a whole bunch of times. 10:28 I'm sure a lot of, lot of you guys are, are making the same mistake. 10:32 And, it's not a new thing, older people who 10:35 dealt with all these technologies also made the same mistake. 10:38 An that is, that they look at the new technology 10:42 and they think about it in terms of existing technology. 10:43 They look at a new medium and apply the ways they work with older media to it. 10:46 Film plays is obviously a, a great example. 10:53 So they apply the ways they work with existing media, new medium. 10:59 So the first printing press, printed pamphlets, 11:03 these huge things that monks were transcribing. 11:07 My favorite example is Alexander Graham Bell. 11:14 When the telephone is invented, his pit, his 11:17 pitch was that the telephone was for broadcasting. 11:19 That you would literally put a telephone on a stage, 11:22 like this one, at a religious event, a music sermon. 11:24 And people would dial in from all over the world. 11:26 That would huddle around their own telephone, and dial in. 11:29 That's a, a pretty interesting way of thinking about 11:33 a telephone, that's clearly not what ended up happening. 11:35 So the person who was inventing this 11:37 technology, and trying to get funding for it. 11:39 His pitch was radically different, and the reason was because 11:41 you know Alexander Graham Bell was thinking about existing media. 11:44 And the dominant idea at the time was this idea 11:48 of a mass audience things like newspapers and distribution of newspapers, 11:50 and so it was natural for him to think of 11:54 the telephone as another way to distribute things to mass audiences. 11:56 As I mentioned, cinema was film plays. 12:01 And the internet was pages. 12:04 All right, all the first websites and many websites still today are built on 12:06 this idea of a page, a web page, many, many web pages all linked together. 12:10 And if you think about pages, the, the word itself is from print, right? 12:14 Books are made of pages. 12:20 We're already thinking about existing media, and applying it to this new medium. 12:22 I think Marshall McLuhan described this best. 12:28 He talked about it as walking backwards into the future. 12:31 So when I look at a lot of webpages that 12:36 exist today, on the surface they look incredibly well designed. 12:38 You know the BBC homepage looks very clear. 12:41 But to me it looks suspiciously like a newspaper. 12:46 We've invented this incredible technology that's connecting the world. 12:49 It's connecting billions of people. 12:53 It just doesn't seem right that the, this massive news 12:55 organization, and by the way, I respect the BBC enormously. 12:59 I think they've done incredible things. 13:02 It just doesn't feel right. 13:04 It looks so much like a newspaper. 13:05 So we, we live in this time, you know, Paul mentioned it in the introduction. 13:10 We live in this time of great change, every generation, feels this way. 13:13 Everyone feels like they live in, in times of change. 13:18 You know human beings are typically not very good with dealing with change. 13:21 We're pretty change averse. 13:23 But I genuinely feel, maybe everyone says this, I genuinely 13:25 feel we do live in a time of great change. 13:28 And, and our profession in particular are lucky. 13:30 We're lucky to have this opportunity to shape this change. 13:34 And the reason that I feel we live in a time of great change 13:37 is because if you look back even for the last thirty, forty or fifty years. 13:40 You see that each, each new computing paradigm took about a decade, right? 13:43 So we had mainframe computing in the 60s. 13:48 And it took about a decade before we got to minicomputering. 13:49 Another decade before we got personal computing. 13:53 And another decade before we got the 13:54 desktop internet, AOL here [LAUGH] and their CDs. 13:57 It took about another decade before we saw a mobile internet emerge, right? 14:03 We, we, we got mobile phones and mobile technology 14:07 started to take off, but all these things took decades. 14:10 And if you look at what's happening today, if you look at what's 14:13 happening in this decade, if you take the decade from 2010 to 2020. 14:17 You start to see that they're actually 14:21 multiple computing paradigms all happening at once. 14:23 We always have, have mobile as a, as a huge 14:27 paradigm shift, and how we think of technology and communication. 14:29 We also have wearable computing. 14:34 And, you know, there are lots of early experiments in wearable computing. 14:36 And you can debate whether they're good or not, 14:39 or whether they have a mass market or not. 14:40 But in my mind wearable computing is a real thing, it's a real 14:43 thing and I'm going to show you some examples of why I think that. 14:47 And the third one is that we have connected objects. 14:50 Right, we are literally putting censors in objects and those objects can 14:53 start to talk to one another and start to talk to people. 14:56 So, to kinda illustrate, how these things start to come together. 15:00 I have this, fun video, it's about a minute long. 15:05 It's from Simone Rebaudango, it's a master's project. 15:10 It's, it's, kind of, it's kind of fun. 15:13 It's tongue in cheek, but it paints a picture 15:16 of the future that I think is pretty interesting. 15:18 >> And this is Brad. 15:20 Brad is part of a new breed of products. 15:23 These toasters are connected to the web but 15:27 also to each other, creating a peer product network. 15:29 Like all of the other toasters, brad is programmed to love being used. 15:35 He is also sensitive to the use of other 15:42 toasters, so sometimes he feels a bit of pressure. 15:44 If he's used more than other toasters he will remark upon how satisfied he is. 15:50 When Brad is left alone for a very long 15:59 time, he will try to draw attention to himself. 16:01 [NOISE] When 16:04 his host forgets about him, and other toasters in the network are used 16:11 more than he is, he'll start to feel a bit of craving come on. 16:15 [MUSIC] 16:19 Brad may start asking for more, showing signs of anxiety. 16:19 >> All right, so maybe we'll have toasters that work that way. 16:28 But I think it's really interesting because, 16:32 what's happening is that, the objects are connected. 16:35 That's gonna increasingly be the case. 16:39 And they're talking to one another. 16:40 And they're starting to, talk to people. 16:42 And people are starting to talk to them in different ways. 16:44 ANd it just changes our relationship with those things. 16:46 So it's a bunch of things that are eh, bunch of themes, I think are higher 16:51 level, that I think all of us should be thinking about again, how this plays out. 16:55 No one really knows, but we have this 17:00 amazing opportunity in front of us to shape it. 17:02 So the first is that the internet is permeating everything. 17:06 It's in our homes, I'm sure you guys are familiar with Nest. 17:10 Who make a whole bunch of connected objects for the home. 17:15 It's in our clothes. 17:17 Nike are an incredible company to watch right now. 17:20 Because they're a company that are only 30 years old, but they've 17:23 moved from being an apparel and sportswear company, to being a technology company. 17:26 They're literally putting chips in all their products, 17:31 in their shoes in the apparel that they sell. 17:33 That's all connected to this Nike Plus 17:37 platform that they're building, which has apps, 17:40 and it's things like this wearable device, this field band which tracks my movement. 17:42 Right, they're building up to this pretty interesting thing, but they're 17:47 literally putting the internet into all the clothes that they make. 17:50 I'm sure almost everyone has taken a Hail-O Taxi. 17:55 The internet is literally permeating taxis changing how 17:57 we think about getting transport, changing our transportation habits. 18:02 Maybe that's bad. 18:06 Maybe, I know I've taken a taxi when I should have cycled or walked. 18:07 The point being that we will literally start 18:11 putting censors in everything, that's already starting to happen. 18:13 And so everything will be connected, everything will be able to talk 18:18 to everything else and it just changes the possibilities that we have. 18:22 It changes the things we can make, the 18:25 types of experiences we can build for people. 18:27 And what's fascinating about this is that it's 18:31 gonna be possible to do this everywhere, right? 18:33 So, here's a a photo. 18:36 This is a remote part of Southeast Asia. 18:38 It's a jungle in Southeast Asia. 18:40 And this lady here, with her phone, if she has a network 18:42 connection, has access to exactly the same types of information that we have. 18:45 And increasingly in the future, we'll have access to 18:50 the same types of connected experiences that we have. 18:52 And this, to me, is actually the key to mobile. 18:55 If you think about mobile as a thing. 18:59 Then, to me, the most important idea behind mobile is not devices. 19:01 It's this idea that everything will be available everywhere. 19:06 To me mobile is about access to information and publishing 19:09 information, it's not about iOS or Android, or tablets or phones. 19:14 So this changes what we do all these things, all these huge, huge trends, these 19:20 huge shifts in technology, this idea of 3 computing paradigm shifts at once. 19:25 Just changes what we do, it changes our job. 19:30 You know I've deliberately not used the term web design. 19:33 I'm talking about the Internet, because I 19:37 think this actually fundamentally alters what we do. 19:38 And I think our tools are just not suited for that. 19:40 Photoshop is a tool that's for print, it was designed to manipulate static imagery. 19:46 It's not designed to deal with time, or 19:53 how things change, or how you build a network. 19:55 How you design an ecosystem. 19:59 It's not built for that. 20:00 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 20:01 So I'll come back to the Photoshop thing. 20:04 but, you know, I often give a talk 20:07 that's is somewhat similar to what I've just said. 20:09 But, and then I leave it there. 20:13 And everyone is very confused. 20:14 [LAUGH] And, like, oh my God, what? 20:16 But today, I wanted to like, give you guys something more concrete. 20:19 Maybe you can go back to your job, and 20:22 directly change some of the things that you work on. 20:24 Maybe change what higher company thinks about their business. 20:27 And again, this is a huge huge opportunity for this community. 20:30 So I kinda ask myself, you know, what is the future of web design? 20:34 And the answer is that obviously nobody knows, 20:37 it's gonna evolve, it is evolving very fast. 20:40 It's gonna continue to evolve very fast. 20:42 But I think there's definitely three themes that I see. 20:44 In my work over the last few years in the, in the you know, my work, I worked 20:47 at Facebook and at Google before Intercom, but at 20:52 Facebook I worked with a lot of externals companies. 20:54 My job was as a designer working with, you know, 20:57 companies like Nike and Starbucks and Coca-Cola and so on. 21:00 So, you know, I saw the insides of these other organizations. 21:04 And I think these, these three things apply to all of us. 21:09 I don't think there's any exceptions and how they play out we're not sure yet. 21:12 So the three things are that first of all, all of us will be designing systems. 21:17 Not even products, but systems. 21:23 Things that are connected. 21:25 All of us are gonna be designing personalized experiences, and 21:29 all of us are gonna have to deal with designing change. 21:32 Designing how things change over time, 21:36 which obviously involves transitions and animation. 21:38 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 21:40 So the best way, I've found to explain this idea 21:43 of designing systems is just to give two practical examples. 21:46 These are obviously examples that I'm personally familiar with. 21:50 I'm sure there're a bunch of other examples that you guys have. 21:53 So the first one is Facebook. 21:55 So a lot of people ask, you know, what is Facebook? 21:58 It's not a website, and it's not an app. 22:01 It's a system, it's an ecosystem of 22:05 lots of different components all connected together. 22:08 And if you think about Facebook and think about the things that are on Facebook and 22:11 in Facebook, if someone said to you, what 22:15 is Facebook, you'd probably start thinking about the Newsfeed. 22:16 That's a part of Facebook. 22:20 The timeline, your profile page, is another part of Facebook. 22:21 A page that a business or brand has is another part of Facebook. 22:25 But all of these things are just aggregations of something else. 22:29 The Newsfeed is just an aggregation of content your connected to. 22:33 Your timeline is just an aggregation of content about you, alright. 22:36 It's things that you posted about your life, or it's 22:40 things you are tagged in that your friends and family posted. 22:43 So the common theme here, is that there's something 22:46 smaller that's in a, an atomic piece of content. 22:49 And the, the Newsfeed, the timeline, our actual experience of Facebook is 22:52 considered, is is is consisted of an aggregation of these smaller things. 22:56 And you guys, I'm sure know this, right? 23:01 If you think about Facebook, you have a Newsfeed, and 23:03 these, on the left here, you have these individual posts. 23:05 But this isn't unique to Facebook. 23:08 Twitter works exactly the same way. 23:10 Smaller pieces of content, your experience is the aggregation of that content. 23:12 You don't experience these things in isolation. 23:16 Instagram is exactly the same. 23:18 Pinterest is exactly the same. 23:20 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 23:21 Twitter, is the same, but Twitter is also doing something interesting. 23:24 This is Twitter Cards, which is actually a product 23:29 that they sell to businesses, talk to businesses about. 23:32 What's interesting to me about this, is that here 23:36 you can see there's a New York Times story right? 23:38 So someone's sharing a New York Times story. 23:40 So the New York TImes obviously you know, historically was a 23:43 newspaper business it's obviously not news that the news sort of business 23:46 is in rapid decline and it's quite possible that the New 23:50 York Times won't sell newspapers in the next, in the forseeable future. 23:52 That's very very plausible. 23:56 What people don't think about, and I think this is equally 23:58 plausible, is that the New York Times won't have a website, because 24:00 the people who are reading New York Times content, or actually 24:06 reading them on these distributed networks, 24:08 they're reading them on social media. 24:11 They're experiencing New York Times content, like 24:13 here on Twitter, much more than the website. 24:15 To the point that the website becomes an overhead and a cost. 24:17 And the New York Times decide, strategically, 24:21 that doesn't make sense to us anymore. 24:24 It doesn't make sense for us to have a website, so 24:26 we're gonna get rid of it, or we're ju, we're gonna focus 24:28 on building our business around publishing the best types of content 24:31 possible, to show up on these other networks that people are using. 24:34 So here are Twitter cards, the New York Times can decide right now 24:38 how to show content, whether to emphasize the photograph or to emphasize the text. 24:42 Right? 24:46 And this is obviously the very very beginnings of something that 24:47 Twitter I'm sure will develop well beyond what you see today. 24:50 But it's an interesting idea that the New York 24:53 Times won't have a website in a few years. 24:55 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 24:57 So the common pattern with these things is 25:00 that there's this atomic unit and it's aggregated. 25:01 It can be a stream. 25:05 Pinterest has a grid you know, horizontal and vertical grid. 25:06 There're different ways to show these things, 25:09 but if you actually take a little bit 25:11 of a broader picture, you start to see that other companies are also doing this. 25:13 Like Google has Google Now. 25:17 If you look at Google Now, which I think points to the direction possibly 25:18 of search at Google, you see that 25:22 there's these independent things, these individual components. 25:23 And depending on who you are, they can decide to show you different things. 25:27 I mentioned Nike already. 25:32 You know, Nike is an ecosystem of connected components. 25:34 So, the question then becomes, what does this mean for us? 25:38 What does our job look like in this world? 25:41 Where there's possibly no website. 25:43 You know, what are we designing? 25:45 And you know, this is a a screenshot of Intercom, I think 25:48 this is the best example I have cuz it's the closest to home. 25:50 But when I joined Intercom, you know this is the, 25:54 this is what you get when you use the app. 25:56 This is the Home page. 25:58 And just like all of you, you're looking at 25:59 this and thinking, there's a lot I'd change about that. 26:01 [LAUGH] alright, looks pretty complicated. 26:03 So, of course there are. 26:07 Of course there're things you would change about it. 26:08 But that's not what I, what I did. 26:12 You know when I joined the company, what was 26:15 important to me was to understand the system behind it. 26:17 Right, so you, so for Intercom specifically, you have this list. 26:20 You know these are all the users of your app, Intercom 26:23 by the way, I should, I should say is a communication platform. 26:26 The idea is that it simply co, connects businesses and their customers. 26:29 All right and it's a simple way for 26:34 businesses and their customers to talk to one another. 26:35 So here, a business, an app who is using Intercom can see all their users. 26:37 And they can talk to them. 26:40 They can message them. 26:41 Right. 26:43 [UNKNOWN] activity feed to see what's going on in your business. 26:43 And there are conversation threads and profiles and so on. 26:46 However, the details of the of the UI don't actually matter. 26:49 What matters is that the most important way to 26:52 think about this, is not to think about the UI. 26:55 It's to think about the objects that are in this system. 26:57 Okay, so there's a user profile, there's a 27:01 company profile, there's a message, there's a reply. 27:03 There are tools if, if, if we want, if 27:06 we're dealing in messages, we need a message composer. 27:08 We need a reply composer if we want people to reply. 27:11 We need to figure out where this reply composer goes. 27:13 Where does. 27:17 Where. 27:17 How can a user of an app who doesn't use intercom reply? 27:18 Right. 27:20 This is suddenly a pretty complicated system, and there are different views. 27:21 And so, this was what, this was you know, one of the earliest 27:24 things that I created when I joined, and obviously the details here don't matter. 27:27 What matters is that I didn't jump in and start redesigning 27:32 parts that, of the UI or even parts of the experience. 27:35 The most important thing to understand was, what's in this? 27:39 Like, what is it? 27:41 What are the objects that are in here? 27:43 Where do they show up? 27:44 What are the cascading changes? 27:46 If I do make a change to one part of the system, what happens to the rest of it? 27:47 Are there other things that are gonna change because of that? 27:52 And I actually made a bunch of mistakes when I joined. 27:55 I didn't understand things well enough, I changed 27:57 parts of the product and broke other parts. 28:00 And this is gonna become a common experience for all of us, 28:02 because we're all gonna be dealing in this wor, in this connected world. 28:05 And it's gonna be harder for us to 28:09 comprehend all other permutations of all other things. 28:11 And so we're gonna need to start designing systems. 28:14 We're gonna need to start drawing it out and really internalizing what it 28:16 means to change one part and know that it will impact other parts. 28:19 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 28:22 So I believe all of us are gonna be designing systems, 28:24 and it's gonna become a critical component of what we do. 28:28 Second thing is designing for personalization. 28:32 Again, I think all of us are gonna be dealing with this. 28:36 I spend a lot of my time when I was at Facebook explaining what social meant. 28:39 So, you know I would have these really large businesses 28:44 in the world asking me if social was a thing. 28:46 This is like a fad you know, this social media thing, 28:49 we've hired a bunch of interns to manage our social media. 28:51 You know, they're pretty cheap, so that's goin' okay. 28:54 And it's a kinda crazy, like we don't, we don't, we don't walk around life, 28:58 you know, saying hey John, like the party on Friday like, can you make it social? 29:02 That's not a thing, right? 29:08 We don't think about social in the abstract. 29:10 It's part of who we are. 29:13 Human beings are one of the most social species, 29:14 if not the most social spec, species on earth. 29:16 This is just the internet catching up. 29:19 Of course, social interaction, human connectiveness, is gonna be 29:21 a core part of every experience that we build. 29:25 It's how real life works. 29:28 And there's really only two parts to it. 29:31 You can intellectualize this all day long, but for me, 29:32 it, you can simplify them to two things, two simple things. 29:36 One, people want to feel unique. 29:38 All right, all of us today got up 29:40 this morning, chose what to wear, chose where we 29:42 sat down, chose the people that we, we 29:45 spoke to and said things that projected some sense. 29:47 I'm making everyone paranoid, I'm sure. 29:50 [LAUGH] Projected things, right? 29:52 Said things, and decided not to say other things, because 29:54 they want people to see themselves in a certain way. 29:56 And the paradox of this, is that people also want to feel connected. 29:59 Right. 30:03 We have a innate desire to feel part of a group, part 30:03 of a movement, all right, that's why we have family and close friends. 30:06 And these two things are, are almost in tension with each other. 30:10 We wanna be connected, we wanna feel part of the 30:13 group and be the same, yet we wanna feel unique. 30:15 And this is gonna be a part of the experience, I 30:18 think, for all of us, all the things that we design. 30:19 And the reason this is really really important, 30:23 is the reason that I believe personalization is gonna 30:25 come to everyone's doorstep that's here, is that 30:27 the internet as we know it is fast disappearing. 30:29 The internet as we know it, is this, is this idea of pages. 30:31 Things that were linked together. 30:35 This idea of a destination, of driving traffic to a certain place. 30:36 But that's fast disappearing. 30:40 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 30:41 We're moving very very quickly to a world where every time data is served 30:43 to you, whether it's in an app or a website, you bring with you information. 30:47 You bring with you, with you information about your interests, 30:51 your friends, your friend's interests, behavior, things you've done before. 30:54 And that means that all these businesses, depending on 30:58 what you share with them, can personalize experiences for you. 31:00 And all the, all the data that I've seen so far, points in the direction 31:03 that people will openly share information, if the value they get back, is is enough. 31:07 You know, we have this with loyalty, with loyalty 31:13 programs like Tesco Club card, people who have Tesco 31:15 Club card are telling Tesco everything they buy, in 31:18 return for like, just a little bit of money off. 31:20 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 31:22 So I think it's, this is gonna radically change how we think about things. 31:25 We're gonna have experiences where we have all of this information about 31:27 people that they will share with businesses, and then you've got all 31:31 of this third party services and data like social networks, and Google, 31:34 and loyalty cards, and these big companies that aggregate all this data. 31:37 And it's gonna change our experiences. 31:41 It's gonna change our experiences of news. 31:43 Where we won't get the same news experience. 31:45 We won't all see the same news. 31:47 We will get news based on our interests. 31:49 Local news based on where we are. 31:51 News your friends have read. 31:53 News people like you have read. 31:54 I think TV will be exactly the same. 31:55 Currently, TV is a pretty terrible experience. 31:59 We turn on our TV and it's like 999 channels. 32:01 Unlike, I don't know why there isn't 1,000 and its just, I've no idea 32:04 what to watch, so I'll just watch the same things over and over again. 32:07 And I think we'll go, move quickly to a world where we'll see 20 things. 32:11 And they're all interesting cause they're movies that our friends watch. 32:15 They're shows our friends watch, they're movies based 32:18 on our interests and shows based on our interests. 32:20 [BLANK_AUDIO] 32:21 I think the same is true for commerce, 32:23 when we go to e-commerce websites, we'll see 32:25 products your friends liked, products your friends bought, 32:28 products we save for you based on your interests. 32:31 This, we already experienced this, any of you guys use Amazon in any 32:34 way shape or form, Amazon are recommending 32:37 things based on things you've bought before. 32:38 It's a personalized experience. 32:41 I think, I think it's even gonna happen to offline stores. 32:43 It's already happening, where people get individually 32:46 priced items based on what they bought before. 32:48 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 32:50 This is already happening. 32:53 Personalization is already happening. 32:55 I don't know if most people realize it, but when you 32:56 search on Google, you're getting different results based on who you are. 32:59 And you don't even have to be signed in. 33:03 It's based on cookies and a bunch of other things. 33:05 All right. 33:07 So all of us look for the same 33:07 information on Google, we will actually get different results. 33:08 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 33:10 So I think personalization is a big deal. 33:13 And I think all of us are gonna have to deal with it and try and figure it out. 33:15 And more and more and more of our experiences become personalized. 33:18 And the reason I think that this is gonna, 33:21 this is almost inevitable, is because it's just better. 33:22 All right. 33:25 People will engage more. 33:25 They will watch more shows. 33:27 They will read more news. 33:29 If things are tailored to people, you're just gonna see higher 33:31 engagement and p, that will obviously drive businesses to push this forward. 33:33 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 33:36 So the last thing. 33:40 That I'm gonna talk about is hard to describe. 33:42 It's designing change, designing things that change. 33:46 And I love, I, I used to sit in the Ace Hotel 33:50 a lot in New York and this is an amazing sign they have. 33:52 They had an ugly exit sign, and they 33:56 just wrote, every exit is an entrance somewhere else. 33:58 I think that's a really powerful idea. 34:01 The idea that all of the things that 34:04 we design, people are coming from somewhere else. 34:05 And after they, like, deal with what we've given them, they go somewhere else. 34:08 And they bring with them biases and how they move changes how they think. 34:12 And we, I think we have a lot to learn 34:18 as a community from architecture and urban planning, because these, these 34:19 people have been thinking about how things change over time and 34:23 how people move through space, for, for many, many, many decades. 34:27 And there's many great lessons learned. 34:30 So I wanna share with you guys a quick 34:33 video, this is from William White, who is studying 34:35 why some some town squares and city squares are 34:38 full, while other town squares and city squares are empty. 34:41 [BLANK_AUDIO] 34:44 [MUSIC]. 34:44 >> This is the plaza of the Sigmund Building in New York. 34:46 Late morning, with a time lapse camera, we were testing a hypothesis. 34:50 The sun, we were pretty sure, would be the chief 34:55 factor in determining where people would sit or not sit. 34:57 Now, just after 12, they begin to sit. 35:01 Right where the sun is. 35:05 I was enormously pleased. 35:07 What a perfectly splendid correlation. 35:09 It was quite misleading as we would see later, 35:11 but it was a very encouraging way to start. 35:15 [NOISE] We were studying the Seagram's Plaza 35:17 because it was one of the most popular. 35:20 Many people didn't think that it would be, but it was and we wanted to find out why. 35:23 [BLANK_AUDIO] 35:28 I love his voice [LAUGH] people don't speak like that anymore. 35:29 It's just, it's, it's fascinating. 35:36 You know, why do people sit in one parts of the square and not in others? 35:37 Why do people, why are some squares full and others are empty? 35:41 And it's a lot for us to learn about that. 35:43 Why are some of the experiences we design not used by 35:46 anybody, and why are other experiences used by lots of people? 35:49 And I think a lot of it comes down to how we think about time. 35:52 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 35:53 If you think about the best buildings in the world, you know, many 35:56 of the buildings that win architectural 35:59 prizes are actually horrible to use, right. 36:00 But they're amazing externally. 36:02 But some of the best buildings that stand the test of time, like 36:04 Grand Central Station in New York, ha, ha, deal with, deal with change. 36:07 They deal with how people move through that space really well. 36:10 [BLANK_AUDIO]. 36:12 I think a wonderful example of this is 36:15 these town squares that exist in many European cities. 36:16 So the experience of the square, you know, to look 36:20 at this photograph this does, this doesn't look that dramatic. 36:22 It doesn't look like a square that 36:25 you would particularly, you know, write home about. 36:27 It just looks like lots of other town squares in Europe. 36:29 But the reason when you walk into the square, the 36:32 experience is incredible, is because of where you came from. 36:35 You came from somewhere like this. 36:39 You were walking down this dark narrow alley, and 36:41 suddenly this square just opened up in front of you. 36:44 And it's that change over time that makes that experience amazing. 36:46 And I just, in my, it just isn't something that we think about a lot. 36:51 We don't think about time. 36:54 We don't think about things like change. 36:55 And the reason that this, to me, is really, really critical for us as a, as 36:58 a community to think about and adapt our 37:02 work is, is really enca, ca, encapsulated by this. 37:04 Another Marshall McLuhan quote, who's, clearly influential in my thinking, 37:09 [LAUGH] we shape the tools and the tools shape us. 37:14 So if we build these tools, like Photoshop, they shape what we do. 37:18 If you're in Photoshop for a large part of 37:22 your life, you're just not gonna design change well. 37:24 It's not designed for that, it was never built for that. 37:27 Right, equally if you're in After Effect for most of 37:30 your life, which is a tool for designing time and change. 37:32 But After Effects is like pretty hard core. 37:36 You're also probably not gonna think about systems. 37:38 And the fact of the matter is, these tools that we need don't exist yet. 37:40 We're using tools that were built for other media. 37:45 Tools that are built for print. 37:48 Tools that are built for filmmaking. 37:48 And there's a whole load of conversation on the internet about building new tools. 37:52 But I think, I just wanted to put it 37:56 in your heads, I think it's really really important that 37:57 you critically analyze the tools that you're using and how 38:00 that changes your work, because it will change your work. 38:02 And maybe the best work that you'll do is the work 38:06 that you'll do on sketch pads and on white boards where you 38:08 can actually sketch change and look at how things play out over 38:11 time and design these systems and figure out how they all interact. 38:13 [BLANK_AUDIO] 38:17 And to me, you know, the BBC website just looks like it was designed in Photoshop. 38:20 It just looks like that. 38:25 So it changes our horizon. 38:27 It changes what we think is possible and you know, when I wake up every morning and 38:30 go to work,you know, I'm, I'm working in 38:34 a in a small startup that's trynna change something. 38:36 It's trynna change how businesses and and their customers interact. 38:39 They're trynna change the fact that the 38:43 experience that we have today is just poor. 38:44 If you wanna talk to an internet business, you have to click 38:47 on a form, fill in a big thing, it goes into the ether. 38:49 No one really knows where it went. 38:52 Then you get an email back that's automated that says, hey, thanks for 38:53 your, thanks for your question about our business, we'd like to sell to you. 38:56 Your ticket number, blah, blah, blah. 39:00 By the way, do not reply to this email. 39:02 Like that is not a good experience and I just think we can do better. 39:04 We can do better than that. 39:09 When I look at all the things and when I 39:11 wake up every morning, I feel like I can do better. 39:13 I feel like I'm stuck looking at print and things like that. 39:16 Things like graphic design, and just that I can do better. 39:19 So, I guess this is a, I, I don't know what this is. 39:23 A request [LAUGH] to you guys to think about your work differently. 39:27 And you can debate this. 39:30 This isn't necessarily the ultimate outcome. 39:31 I don't really know. 39:35 But I just wanted to place these things in your head. 39:36 Because I think we need to, we're at, we're 39:38 at this amazing point in the history of humankind. 39:40 We have an amazing job, because we get to shape this. 39:43 We get to build this. 39:46 We get to design these things. 39:47 We get to decide what the internet of tomorrow looks like. 39:49 That's our job. 39:52 And so, I just wanna leave you with this, with this this quote from 39:52 Charles Eames, and a really wonderful post read thing, from Tim Ballmer, at Facebook. 39:56 Which says, eventually everything connects. 40:00 So thanks a lot. 40:04 [SOUND] >> Thank you very much. 40:05 >> Right on. 40:11
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