What we learnt at Create Leicester

By Laura Browne, Digital Project Manager and Joe Heeley, Senior Digital Designer 

When the inaugural Create Leicester conference brought razor sharp digital and marketing insight to our home town; we jumped at the chance to open our minds with the latest online thinking. Well, that and get a free lunch.

Here are some of things we learned.


Assumptions from the Digitally Privileged

By Helen Joy @littlehelli

For many of us, tech is second nature. An integral part of our lives that guides everything we do. We’re constantly connected with colleagues, friends and family through our phones and we expect ourselves to be ‘always on’. If that connection is taken away from us, we feel it.

But Helen Joy’s eye-opening talk brought home the fact that not everyone feels the same way. There are still many, many people out there with a strained relationships with basic digital products.

  • 1 in 5 people in the UK score 0 for basic digital skills
  • 9 million people cannot use a mouse or touch screen
  • 6 million people cannot turn a device on
  • 1 million people cannot open an app.

Challenging the way we think about Digital Inclusion, Joy offered a timely reminder of how it important it is for digital to work for every user, getting us thinking about adopting a broader approach to accessibility.


The Four Frames of Competence  

By Emma Parnell @worddoodles_ep

In the spirit of self-review, Emma Parnell’s talk followed on nicely as she invited us all to consider our awareness of our own skill levels – using a model called The Four Frames of Consciousness.

  • Consciously incompetent. You’re aware you need to refine your skills further.
  • Unconsciously incompetent. You’re not aware that you need to refine your skills, you’re sitting in a self-destructive frame.
  • Unconsciously competent. Maybe you’re a little hard on yourself, these are the people who suffer from Imposter Syndrome. Don’t worry, you’re doing great!
  • Consciously competent. You’re doing great, you know it, your boss knows it.

Parnell doesn’t want to put everyone in a box, the frames are designed to be a constructive tool for growth. Once you know which frame you’re in, it’s easier to plan a route for personal development.


Emotion Driven Memory

By Johan Adda @johanadda

The day’s most inspiring talk came from digital design guru John Adda. With humour, charisma and an infectious passion, he spoke about the importance of emotional design – design that answers the question, “What do we want our users to feel?”

Adda noted that the stronger the emotion, the more likely the person is to recall it. He summed this up with a magic formula for unforgettable design:

Beauty + Simplicity + Utility

To paraphrase, a simple product or design adapts to a purpose to become beautiful. To show this in action, Adda used the iconic Apple keynote animation as an example of all three key points converging to create something compelling.

And, as a final reminder of why we’re all in the creative industry, Adda left us with the most powerful motivating factor in the best digital design – to quote Edmund Homa, “I simply like humans.”

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