The introductory session gave some great insight into both judging and submitting to this competition, though I’m sure the advice/observations can be applied universally. As the interactive category tends to be relatively new, submitters are often unsure of whether his or her project fits the term Interactive over, let’s say, a social or mobile categorization. It’s important to choose your category with intent and curate the submission accordingly. It is generally frowned upon by judges, who do span topics, to see the exact same entry multiple times. Entering into multiple categories is OK, any warranted for many pieces, but make sure the tone of what you are highlighting is specific to each. Lastly, weighing an interactive submission, think about what role the interface itself plays in the experience. If the idea holds up strongly, independent of that interface, it might not be as strong of an interactive submission than one that does. Once you’ve decided where to submit, remember that a simple video demoing the product works best. Showing something work in a clear, concise way overrides the need for overblown stats like number of shares or media mentions, which don’t tend to impress.
My favorite panel of the day was this one on responsive environments. I really enjoyed Eric Höweler’s vision of the suburb of the near future where the ownership is not so highly valued and everything from housing to “Last Mile Cars” (ones that home from the commuter rail) are shared for the benefit of the environment, the economy, and personal well-being. Continuing the theme community, Mouna Andraos of Daily Tous Les Jours spoke about the group’s musical swing installation. This is a great example of a project that becomes more impactful as more user’s join in. The final panelist, David Benjamin , talked through the great work coming out of The Living. He highlighted some of their NYC initiatives including an East River lighting installation that uses simple sensors to visually communicate a set of data. Also interesting is that fact that, when the goal was to communicate current water pollution levels, the team enlisted the help of live mussels. Apparently, the rate at which mussels open in close is directly related to the quality of the water they inhabit and observing this action proves more accurate than any known sensor.
And now for the winners…
Here are a few that stood out to me. If there’s anything you haven’t seen, each is definitely an initiative worth checking out.
Lowe’s worked with BBDO to product the popular vine series, “Fix in 6″. A helpful, everyday trick is nicely packaged into each 6s piece.
Foursquare Time Machine is an animated visualization of a user’s checkins. Most impressive is the considerations required to make the experience engaging for users spanning a wide range of checkin activity. Ultimately, the playback speed of each animation is relatively to a user’s number of checkins. Another impressive stat is the 90% of users actually downloaded the summary infographic offered after the animation.
Droga5 worked with New Museum to create “Recalling 1993“. The museum wanted to promote a show featuring art from specifically that year. The agency did a great job choosing one only remaining relics of that time, the payphone. By dialing the 800 number posted on about 5,000 working payphones throughout the city, users could hear a story about that year of transition from famous New Yorkers.
Squarespace Logo – Don’t mind the haters. This is a sweet little tool that came out internal project ideas and was designed and build in a week’s time (or so they say on the timing).
RGA’s Nike SB App is really fun, super robust, and well executed. Features include multi-angle videos of the pros landing 100s(?) of trick, all filmed during what became a 24 live YouTube event. Additionally, users can challenge once another and earn rank by uploading their own videos.
Barbarian Group’s Cinder is a C++ library for creative coding.
Pop Secret’s Perfect Pop App from Deutsch is a fun idea. It analyzes gaps between pops and let’s the user know when to stop the microwave. Bonus! It features a really cure kernel character.
Working Not Working is a vetted community that allows accepted freelancers to post their work status and, if they are currently working, post when they will be available next. This prevents recruiters from making fruitless contacts and helps both creatives and employers plan ahead.