One Net Studios at UX Week 2016: Human XD + the feminine

“In 2013 I was asked to produce and direct the transmedia for a feature film that followed the lives of a few female rising stars the electronic music scene.  And if I am going to be brutally honest…I had a knee jerk “Nope” reaction.” – from Human XD: A New Model for Resonant Storyworlds at UXWeek 2016

Earlier this month, our Transmedia Director Nicole was invited to give a talk at UX Week 2016 in San Francisco. For those who haven’t heard of the awesomeness that’s UX Week, here’s a rundown: hosted by Adaptive Path, it’s the top annual UX event in North America. The four-day conference features amazing speakers and workshops led by diverse instructors who are innovating in their field. Highlights of this year’s event included keynotes from Cindy Gallop (founder of MakeLoveNotPorn) and the inimitable Alan Cooper.

We were thrilled when Nicole was approached by Adaptive Path last spring to give a talk about the feminine, and how it influences the storyworld design process and the broader creative experience. The idea of balance and equilibrium between masculine/feminine was a common thread in several of the talks and garnered many ‘head nods’ during the speeches, hinting at a significant culture shift in the tech scene. Using Amplify Her as the case study, Nicole’s 45 minute talk combined some of her latest boundary-pushing ideas, with One Net’s signature epic slide decks, and some inspiring video clips (because audiences love a good video clip). You can watch the full talk at the end of this post, or read on for some key points from Nicole’s talk, Human XD: A New Model for Resonant Storyworlds

Challenge the Holy Grail of Data.

Audience data is important. But is it everything? Design driven solely from data insights mean telling a story of a typical day or customer use case. This is a reductionist process, rather than an intuitive, relational process that explores the ‘why’ that lives beyond the who/what/where/when. Why are we focusing on what’s ordinary, when we all want to be extraordinary?

Tech makes it easy to work apart – but what’s missing?

It’s no coincidence that in today’s hyper-technologized world, Augmented Reality (AR) games like Pokemon GO! hit stratospheric popularity. We’ve designed machines to help us communicate across expanses, but inevitably we seem to be craving experiences that bring us together, out in the real world. This doesn’t feel like a coincidence. The further we advance into these innovations, the more crucial it becomes to remember what humans really need – meaningful connection.

Modern culture is built upon – and reinforces – masculine characteristics.

From a young age, we’re taught to compete. To get the answers ‘right’. Solve problems ASAP, while concealing those unruly emotions so we’re taken seriously. Many women have successfully navigated the business world playing by these rules. But the world doesn’t need more masculinity. The world needs balance; the world needs more of The Feminine.

What does a feminine approach to creation look like?

Safe spaces. Mentorship. Face-to-face collaboration and co-creation. Fearlessness in the face of vulnerability or failure. A process where authentic expression and emotional intelligence are valued over competition. But what does that LOOK like? I’m glad you asked! Watch Nicole’s full talk below to see how the whole Amplify Her experience unfolded.