I was at the Behance 99U Conference last week. Here are my lessons learned and observations:
1. Responsive organizations are more receptive and adaptable to change. Ant colonies, the immune system, and the Internet are all great examples of highly complex systems built on very simple principles that can quickly adapt to situations.
2. Your culture translates into your product directly.
3. Design isn’t a step in the process, it happens at every step of the process.
4. Ship love: value, ease-of-use, and craft (the thought you put into a product’s design that the user just knows when they use it).
5. When rules start to look like blivets, defy them.
Perhaps the most important learning from this NYC trip, however, took place outside of the conference. I learned that empathy is a skill. It’s not an abstract “thing” you should be aware of. It’s a skill you can hone, practice, and learn.