On a Thursday evening in late October, Lost at E Minor teamed up with Adobe to bring together some of the brightest minds in web design, UX and digital storytelling in Australia.
This gathering was for the Lost At E Minor x Adobe Creative Jam, a celebration of creativity in a world made up of countless 1s and 0s. Think band practice, but with tablets, coding and self-described geeks instead of amps, drum kits and ripped jeans – though, fair to say, there were plenty of ripped jeans in the audience.
Thought-leaders shared their insights, talented designers showed off their skills, and the rest of us soaked it all up. Throw tasty food, epic drinks, and the flamboyant MC-ing chops of ex-Bluejuice frontman Jake Stone, into the mix and you have yourself one heck of a night.
The Adobe Creative Jam revolved around a (friendly) battle between some of the sharpest creatives in town.
Split into three teams of two, they were given five and a half hours in which to design a prototype for an app using Adobe XD, the all-in-one UX/UI solution for digital design.
The program has only just come out of beta, so it was the perfect opportunity to show off what it can do.
The brief for the app? “See a Different World”, a broad topic with endless possibilities.
So we threw each team in the deep-end, equipped with a Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Book, Adobe XD and their big brains to work with. Yep, unfair, we know!
The teams were made up of some formidable forces:
Team Conversant Media:
James Daly – Product Designer (Conversant Media)
Richard Tribe – UX Lead (Conversant Media)
The Design Kids:
Jackie Yacoub – Digital Designer (freelance)
Kasia Wojcikowska – Digital Designer (Opteon)
The UX Kids:
Tara Perera – Junior Designer (3DUX)
Lee Barone – Digital Designer (freelance)
While our faithful competitors slaved away at Adobe XD in an effort to perfect their prototype, the rest of us enjoyed sliders and booze while listening to some of the industry’s most creative minds share their insights.
So who got the better deal? Wink wink.
For The People co-founder Jason Little kicked things off with an excellent talk about how his agency tackles creativity in the design space, sharing examples of some of his favourite projects in recent years.
Josie Young, Junior Designer at Christopher Doyle & Co., followed Little with an engaging insight into her journey from confused university student to where she is today. Hint: get out there, rub shoulders and leverage your contacts!
After everyone was given a break to stock up on beers and burgers (lest anyone gets parched or worse, hangry), Chris Panzetta took the mic to tell us what life is like as co-founder and Creative Director of S1T2, an agency focused on telling stories through the use of cutting-edge technology.
Last but certainly not least, Adobe’s Director of Market Development and Evangelism for Asia Pacific, Michael Stoddart, commanded the room with his self-deprecating humour and natural speaking ability. Aside from splitting our sides, he gave us a rundown of Adobe XD and how it enables creativity for modern designers.
At 8 PM, all three teams had to drop their
pens and paper mouse and keyboard and pitch their prototype to the crowd. Everyone was stunned, not just at the unique ideas each team was able to come up with, but also at the amount of detail they were able to put into their prototype in such a short amount of time.
We can’t do them justice, but we’ll do our best to give a quick summary of each.
Team Conversant Media were up first with an app that goes against the trend of ‘curation’ when it comes to online search and content. Their concept was to spin a wheel and be given a random location within a particular country and region, which is then complemented by various APIs to automatically provide you with information, images and options for accommodation and flights, among other things.
Perfect for those who love a bit of serendipity!
The Design Kids were next up with their prototype, which was built on the idea of redefining how we search for holiday destinations. Rather than search for locations as we do now, you jump on the app and choose the weather you desire the most. You’re then provided with a list of potential locations which boast the specified climate at that time of year.
The UX Kids were the third and final team to present their prototype, and they pitched an intriguing app centred on the experience economy. The app makes use of your camera, allowing you to make notes and take photos during a journey (for instance, a hike or a road trip down the coast) and share it all with friends.
The key selling point was that when you travel to a certain place, you can use the app to see all the notes, photos and memories friends have left behind at various points of interest, allowing you to follow their journey.
Guest speakers Jason, Josie and Chris acted as judges for the event and offered their thoughts on each pitch. Amazingly, each voted for a separate team, which goes to show how good each prototype was.
Ultimately, however, the result was determined by a crowd vote (and a close one at that). The Design Kids were crowned victorious for their prototype called Weather Go, which you can check out right here. Only some of the buttons work, but be kind – they only had several hours to put it together.
Thanks to Adobe, each competing designer walked away with a 12-month Creative Cloud subscription for their efforts.
The Design Kids also scored a sweet trophy and well-earned bragging rights for the rest of the night. #Winning!