SXSWi Take-Aways

Friday, March 18, 2011

Around the office today I've been recapping some of my SXSWi highlights with other market researchers, so I thought I'd recap them here as well.  Really, it was a crazy learning experience.  I think I learned as much in panels and sessions as I did in conversations with others from related interactive fields.  Here are a couple of my take-aways:
User Experience (UX) Researchers.  These folks get research in a quick/fast/cheap way that still gets the job done with integrity.  I was impressed by their agility.  I still can't get over the fact that Twitter did sixteen iterations of research with four users in each iteration.  That goes against many of the traditional research pricing models that I'm used to.
Analogous Stimulus.  I found myself engrossed by things that I could learn from analogous fields.  In a session entitled, "It's Nature's Way:" Innovative Tech Design Through Biomimicry I appreciated the innovation that biomimicry sparks.  Things in nature have become the inspiration for many, simply through asking the question, "what can I take from this that applies to my field?"  Michael Dungan of BeeDance talked about how he found inspiration for waste disposal from bee hive activity.  So, what can we as researchers learn from the things around us that might spark innovation in or on our business?
New Competencies. I walked away thinking about the new competencies needed for researchers.  I can't put my finger on the exact SXSW stimulus, but I noticed that the new world of market research, especially design researchers, user experience researchers and social media researchers must have mastery of all core research principles, but then also understand tech platforms and be able to apply them.  What a challenge, and an opportunity, all in one.
Thanks, iTracks, for the badge contest!  I'm very thankful that I got to go.  If you're reading and you didn't go, but want to know more, give me a shout and I'll give you more of the scoop!  And if you're considering going next year, do it.

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