Davy Rennie's Adobe Summit Diary: Day 1

image2 (1).jpgFollowing his time in Austin, Texas, Davy Rennie, experience design director, The White Agency is covering the Adobe Summit 2017 in Las Vegas, exclusively for Campaign Brief.

Adobe Summit - Day 1: Partners Day

After spending a few restless days in Vegas following the buzz of SXSW, Adobe finally rolls into town and it's my saviour. Vegas seems like the place you go to for 36hrs at most, not 5 days.

First thing I notice is that the baseball caps and t-shirts that were a standard feature at SXSW are nowhere to be seen, while suits abound.

Low and bloody behold, it's all about experiences. They talk about a wave, aptly named, the 'Experience Wave', which they (like most) believe is the most disruptive force in the market at the moment. Customers are demanding experiences from brands, as opposed to products (let me get my drum).
image3 (1).jpgAdobe themselves are making experiences their business. They have moved away from single products for single purposes, and have instead moved into multiple products that own the entire journey; from Experience Design, to AEM, to Sensei and onto Audience Manager and Campaign. They literally own most of, and will continue to, the experience design value chain. If they added a program that created physical experiences they'd own the whole damn thing.

Today is Partner Day, so it's just snippets and teasers (plus the off case study).

But I'm out of my Vegas funk and pumped for a number of reasons; namely:

    • Sensei - Machine Learning that promises big things
    • Experience Design - I heard a bit about this at SXSW, but I'm looking for more
    • Connected Experiences - Connecting all channels and touchpoints
These three areas will be explored in the ensuing week, and I hope I can absorb as much as I can and pass it on.

*BEATS DRUM* It's amazing how much experience design is being pushed to the fore. I joined Avanade a few years ago, and they had a practice called XD which confused people to no end, but it's so pertinent today. Experience design is now the cornerstone of the digital industry. Whether you are a B2B or B2C, experience is the dominant and disruptive force in market today, and will continue to be for quite some time.

ESPN have a big slot of time here in the opening keynotes, and it's amazing. It's also amazing to see two women on stage dominating two male-dominated markets- Sport and Tech. More of this please.

ESPN is the biggest player in the sports arena today. It is also a trailblazing leader in sports experiences. They primarily achieve this through narrating, servicing and disseminating large amounts of content through a multitude of channels, including Snapchat, Youtube, and Cable. Their mantra is simple, 'we follow the fans'. With a Youtube experience in the pipeline to accommodate the shift to online streaming, it's not hard to see why ESPN has taken the lead in the sports market.

So, with my drum in full voice, it's into my first breakout and it's all about fluid experiences.

The experience business is not static. It's constantly in a flux of destruction and reconstruction, which inadvertently results in a constant rise in user experience expectations. Every time someone has a good experience, that instantly becomes their new benchmark (hence the saying "once you go 'X', you never go back").

You can see this today with the shift from taxis to Ubers. Following the superior user experience provided by Uber, there is simply little to no reason to return to the traditional (read: inferior) experience provided by taxis (that is, until someone else disrupts the market).

Of course, I have to relate all of this back to my sector; my speciality: design. The tools we are seeing could be used to automate the design process. Humans simply cannot operate and evolve at the same pace machines can. We are slow and cumbersome, but we can augment our creativity and brilliance with the speed and agility of machines.

I'm not worried as a designer about this, because my skills aren't binary. If your skills are then... Auf wiedersehen, mein freund (probably).

Overall, today has reaffirmed my belief that design and UX professionals must, now more than ever, embrace the machine.

Now it's off to the welcome party, Topgolf. 

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