“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

New SmartExperience.org classes coming this October in New York City

Teaching for SmartExperience.org has been a great experience for me. My previous teaching has been 1-day workshops for the IA Summit and for User Interface Engineering (Jared Spool). I have to say I really enjoyed the camaraderie that seemed to occur among some of the classmates. This seems to only occur when students have a certain type of experience, where they get to remember each other and look forward to seeing each other again and again week after week. In both cases of doing this class for SmartExperience, this occurred. What it meant for each class was something different. For the first class it meant a deeper understanding of studio work, as there was more critique and review and a strong interest in each other’s projects. In the next go around, it led to great theoretical debate and a passion for demonstrating ideas but not so much critiquing them.

This last course also taught me something else. It taught me that I have a passion for sketching, and I saw how that passion came through in the class and through my students (well not all of them of course, but many). Teaching people to use sketching as a design technique for idea generation as opposed to rapid idea communication is a joy for me. That moment when a student gets a light bulb to go off in their head when they discover its purpose and power is just great.

So, when Victor and I were discussing “what next” after the last multi-session course, 2 things came to the fore: 1) Well, I don’t have time for a multi-session course again; 2) I really want to teach a workshop on sketching. This led us to creating 2 separate 1-day workshops (which can be taken together).

The first day is my RIA workshop, ever evolving, but returning to its original 1-day format. It will focus more on the specifics of designing Rich Internet Applications like the original version did, and less on general IxD theory like the latest incarnation did. The biggest addition to this course will be the inclusion of more time to review and compare different RIAs across similar spaces. In the last class this seemed to provide a tremendous amount of value to the students and well was also fun for me.

The second day is a new workshop on Sketching for Interaction Design. This one will be more hands on, more paper and pencil in hand. We will discuss theories and case studies about how sketching is used and why it is so successful as a tool for design, and what value it brings over other idea generating processes. We will practice a bit as well. The main thing I want to tell people is that you don’t need to know how to draw. ANYONE can sketch.

A few logistical things at this point:
Timing: RIA Workshop is on October 16 and the Sketching Workshop is on the 17 (Thu & Fri).
Costs: Each workshop Early $495 / Standard $595; Take both early $890 / Standard $990 (saves either $300 or $200 off the regular price). There is also a discount code of 15%. “Synapse”.

For more information or to sign up go to SmartExperience.org. The RIA workshop the last two times sold out pretty quickly.

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