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Flying Southwest Airlines Southwest to South by Southwest

March has arrived, and since college basketball doesn’t interest me any more than a zombified messiah figure selling chocolate or an ophidiophobic Irish folk hero selling Budweiser, March means just one thing: South by Southwest. In just a few days, I will descend on Austin for nearly a week’s worth of quality time with good friends and good ideas. If you see me there, I hope you won’t hesitate to say hello. Here are some easy opportunities to do so:

Everyone’s a Design Critic

Stan and I are teaming up on a presentation that outlines our method for conducting design critiques. If you find that discussions surrounding your designs are routinely unproductive, this one’s for you. We’ll detail some landmarks to hit and pitfalls to avoid before, during, and after the critique, including the elements of valid criticism and a handy guide to getting useful feedback from clients.

Battledecks II

The nice folks at Mule Design have invited me to participate in this sort of “Power Point karaoke” competition. As I understand it, my competitors and I will each have to give an impromptu five-minute presentation on a random topic, using a random slide deck. A panel of judges will score us on jargon, gesture, and credibility; the two top scorers will then compete in a final battle. If only complete nudity were a requirement, this thing would bear a striking resemblance to humanity’s most common nightmare. It will be neither your first nor last opportunity to see me publicly humiliate myself, but I urge you to come check it out anyway.

Regarding Happy Cog

One last thing, since the subject will be impossible to avoid in Austin: I am no longer working for Happy Cog. I have some personal issues whose relationship with my work is perhaps best described as adversarial, and neither seems willing to negotiate with the other. The time for me to address this is long overdue, and so Happy Cog and I have parted ways amicably, if not cheerfully. After SXSW, I’m going to take some time off to sort myself out, work on some personal projects, and figure out my next move. I hope to emerge refreshed and with good things to share.