Over 80 people attended our April event, "Creating Extraordinary Experiences: How planning inspires greatness" held at Critical Mass' (CM) Chicago location. A full recording of the event can be viewed at: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/6347010
The event began with CM's David Stallsmith introducing us to the art of account planning. He provided a survey of the agency model, from its history to its digital evolution in the information age, along with an introduction to the "Planning Hall of Fame": Pollitt, Chiat, Newman and Doblin. We learned that planning is more than just Gantt charts, due dates, milestones and best guesses. To successfully plan for a client account involves a broad appreciation of the client's business goals and their customers' needs. Indeed planning and UX do go hand-in-hand to create great user experiences.
Val Cohen and Christine Templeton then walked us through their application of the planning process for several of CM's client projects. On their collaboration with Tyco Electronics, the planner acted to create internal empathy, bringing the story of a real Engineer to the other team members. For the launch of the Budweiser American Ale on-line campaign, they employed the unique approach of "shutting down" the web site at 5pm. Doing so encouraged customers to go to the bar for happy hour to purchase the beverage. CM also noted their proprietary crowd-sourcing application, Curious, that they can tap for feedback throughout the design process. The night was rounded out by a great Q&A session!
/////////// Our Next Event (May) ///////////For our May event, we present "Better UX Through Mind Control," featuring a discussion of Jonah Lehrer's book, How We Decide, among other related material such as why zombies eat brains.