SPAN LONDON 2015 - Google Design


In November last year, I was fortunate enough to be invited to Google's SPAN2015 conference in London.  SPAN is an invite only event that brings together design talent to talk and share perspectives on where the industry is heading.

SPAN was a great event with lots of interesting people from across the European design community in attendance.

Google design has already pulled together a great writeup of the event

From my perspective, a few highlights were:

Thoughts on Privacy

Justin McGuirk, curator of the London Design Museum talking about privacy and what it means for a generation of people where everything is always connected.  It is well worth watching the video of the talk.  

Being someone who is trying to disrupt the insurance space I recognise that we have to walk a very careful line between using data to provide better and tailored services to customers and being downright creepy!  My new startup Wrisk is taking a novel approach to this challenge (more soon!).

Experiments in design

Learning more about conditional / rule-based design from Luna Maurer.  This talk reminded my of some early experiments around recursive drawing.  Google is famous for its tech so it was interesting exploring the place where an algorithmic approach could impact the otherwise largely freeform creative process. The talk shared some interesting case-studies.  I especially loved the co-creation around "Save the Mouse-Pointer"! 

Disrupting Design Tools

For many years the only credible option for designers was to use the Adobe product suite.  Recently there has been a tremendous move towards tools that are designed to work within collaborative teams.  Google hosted and amazing panel featuring some of the rockstars behind new tools such as Form, Pixate, Framer, Sketch, and Zeplin.