The 2019 Something Digital conference brought attention to the current digital landscape and the importance of bringing ‘Power to the People’ during this time of immense technological innovation for society as a whole. On October 24, attendees, both national and international, gathered in Brisbane to investigate and dissect this rapidly changing environment and how technology has impacted how we live and interact in this modern age.
Personally, I was interested in the implications of these efforts towards designers, branding and the development of UI (User Interfaces) and UX (User Experiences). In addition, I was particularly looking forward to discussing how people in the industry dealt with the growing concerns that people are facing in the digital era such as technology addiction, privacy, and misinformation.
One session that unpacked this really well was from Atlassian’s Ben Crothers, who spoke about ‘Creating digital wellbeing through human-centred design’. Ben identified that the current digital environment can be volatile at times and that sometimes technology may not act in people’s best interests. In order for digital ecosystems to thrive, innovations to digital wellbeing must be considered and the principles of user-centred design, such as functionality, trustworthiness and safety must be utilised and implemented effectively.
Angela Stengel from the ABC Content Ideas Lab also had an interesting take on developing the image of a brand through tools of emotion to promote brand awareness and intimacy. Building upon the concept of human-centred design, Angela addressed how strategies based on emotion can help brands to drive their future vision and focus on their audience by understanding the audience’s various personas, including their needs and wants, and tailoring the product or content in order to better suit them.
The importance of focusing on human-centred design and innovation is crucial to maintaining balance and retaining control of our digital experiences. This was my first time attending a professional industry event, and since I’m only in the first year of my degree, this experience was really eye-opening for me. This event was a great opportunity for me to gain worthwhile real-world experience and network with others in the industry that I want to develop a future in.