Day 1 at SXSW is about over! (Side Note: did you pre-order your new iPad??) The first general session is tomorrow, but they had a few great panels today. Below is a bit about my favorite panel of the day.
Beauty in Web Design was my first session pick of the day. @cennydd was the speaker. Outside of being smitten with him because of his London accent, his presentation made me laugh. His main points were today's sites, for the most part, suck. Where is the beauty in web design? Humans preform better on things that are beautiful (I need to add this to my "why I need a Mac at work argument"). To do this you need to incorporate the three types of beauty: Universal, fundamental design principles; Social Cultural; and Subjective, aka the "if you like big butts and you cannot lie" principle. To design for these three types you need to incorporate these reactions: Visceral, Behavioral, and Reflective. To do this you need to remember to be a leader and stop designing by committee. Why anyone thought design by a committee of people who aren't designers is a good idea is beyond me. It leads to a dysfunctional product. Be brave and broaden your horizons. Look at the beauty all around you, learn new skills, and don't get stuck in the way things have always been.
So, I am getting the impression that there is a lot less corporate sponsorship at SXSW this year. The amount of corporate sponsored parties seem to be down. Or maybe it is because I am officially "old" now that I have earned the Mrs this year. We also had our first fire alarm during the last session. Joel checked in from the sidewalk on foursquare.
As I write this, Joel and I are sitting in our hotel's lobby bar waiting to see if Leo Laporte or danah boyd walk through. They are both staying at our hotel. Joel is a Twit TV groupie, we went to visit the cottage in 2008 when we were in California, and I am a fan of danah's research. I think our mini-SXSW honeymoon is going fairly well!