Sharpen Your Design Skills with Professional Development

The Commons. Designed by ADP. - 2019 - Randy and Jackie Smith

As the world around us advances, it is up to us to continue educating ourselves on the new best practices and industry standards. The design world is an industry where this is always apparent. Every element of our tech – from the apps on our phones to the voice commands used to control our devices – evolves at such a rapid pace it can feel hard to keep up. We created the Professional Development Track to help you stay on top of the latest developments across various industries.

New for 2020, this track will offer a variety of learning and accreditation opportunities – from Continuing Legal Education credits to cloud services workshops and more – in order to provide in-depth and specialized education.

We've pulled out design-focused sessions to demonstrate the rigor and dedication that this track will give to continuing education categories – because in order to stay ahead in our fields we never truly stop learning.

Design Focused Sessions

Conversational, natural language interfaces are emerging as a powerful new way for people to interact with digital services. In order to design a natural user interface, we need to apply a human-centered design approach. Research by Stanford professor Clifford Nass shows that people converse with computers in much the same way as they do with humans. The Google Conversation Design Workshop teaches the process of creating conversations that result in natural interfaces. Wally Brill (Google) leads this 3 hour, hands-on design workshop that shows how to design and prototype a brand persona and conversational experience.

Imagine a world where every time you raise your phone you see augmented reality experiences all around – now it’s your turn to get creative with AR! Discover just how quickly you can build AR experiences — digital product demos, virtual pop-up shops or just to have fun — then easily publish them. Whether you’re a professional or have a limited tech background, if you want to design, build, and share these experiences From Inspiration to Reality: Your First AR Effect is for you. Dan Moller with Facebook Spark AR Studio will walk attendees through the process step-by-step to create at least one AR effect. You’ll look at asset prep/import, scene setup, logic, and publishing to get you creating in no time. Attendees will walk away ready to create, publish, and distribute to the 1.5 billion daily users of Facebook and Instagram.

The 2020 U.S. Presidential election is unfolding to be the most expensive, most divisive, and most reactive campaign in history. It leaves many voters feeling powerless against systems that usurp their individual and collective power. Designing the President presents an immersive session of scenarios, role-playing, and experiential play. Nancy Murphy (Worldview Studio) and Lisa Kay Solomon (Stanford explore how design can help navigate ambiguity, learn from others, question the status quo, check assumptions and biases, work around constraints, and give form to new ideas.

Accessibility is often overlooked in the designing stages of a website. Accessibility- ‘The Aha’ Moment serves in part as a live demo where internet users with disabilities will test participants' websites to demonstrate whether they can or cannot get around on the site. Becky Gibson and Anthony Vasquez of Knowbility provide advice on the best practices for designing with accessibility in mind that will lead to that sought after "aha" moment.

Browse More Professional Development Sessions

Check out the other learning and accreditation opportunities from across a range of industries in the Professional Development sessions. This Convergence Track is open to all SXSW Badges.

Across our 22 tracks of Conference programming, browse all sessions on the SXSW Schedule and add events to your Favorites list.

Browse Professional Development Sessions

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Dive into 2019 Music Tracks

Photo by Randy and Jackie Smith

By Nicole Cappabianca