Tag Archives: the nudge

We only want to be answerable to our audience

Hookturn Launches with a Ding

Josh Kinal and Michael Williams engage in pre-show shenanigans by interacting with a stuffed pheasant

Josh and Michael Williams engage in pre-show shenanigans

Last week we launched our brand new media label, Hookturn.

It was a joyous affair with drinks and food and people meeting each other, talking about ideas and the future of media.

Ross Floate, in his address to launch the label, spoke about the business’s plan to expand Hookturn into producing publications in addition to its current stable of podcasts.

“We wanted to develop a platform for experts to express ideas and engage in discourse,” said Ross, “so that we further produce our own style and respect our thought leaders.”

The goal, though, is to earn money from Hookturn’s audience and avoid advertising for as long as possible. As Ross said on the night: “The only people we want to be answerable to is our audience.”

We’ve had amazing feedback from the community and we’re turning to the audience for financial support. It’s like Kickstarter but even more independent.

On the evening, Ross revealed a goal of 200 financial members by the end of the year. Reaching that goal would open up the opportunities to move Hookturn from a largely volunteer concern to a professional one.

“We understand that the best way to encourage the best out of people is to pay them,” he said.

Audience members watching the Nudge, live.

A very engaged audience.

After the ceremonial ribbon cutting, I had the chance to interview The Wheeler Centre’s Michael Williams about their #discuss campaign. That interview was recorded as proof that the crowd enjoyed it and also to be released as a future episode of The Nudge podcast.

More information about Hookturn memberships.

More photos from the night are available to view on the Hookturn Facebook page.

Breaking our own rules, and self-doubt.

When we started The Nudge, our vision was to do something here in Melbourne that was as good or better than what we’re all so keen to consume from abroad. It’s the idea that started us on the road to creating Hookturn.

Over time our thoughts have matured, and we’ve spoken with people from around the world – most notably when Josh went to the United States and interviewed Debbie Millman, Jeffrey Zeldman, and Ethan Marcotte. But up until now, our rule has always been that we needed to speak to people face-to face. It’s a large part of why we created the Hookturn studios.

This week we broke that rule. We’ve just released a special episode of The Nudge where Josh Kinal and I talked with the incomparable Merlin Mann about self doubt.

We think it was as worth it to break the rule as it was to make it. We hope you enjoy the episode.

Empathy for The Devil (or, why we do The Nudge).

Empathy is a powerful word, and a strong emotion. It’s the ability to understand what someone else might be thinking. It’s being able to understand how someone else might feel, or how they might respond to a given situation. It is rarely one’s first response; it requires a certain spark of selflessness.

And it’s fundamental to the way that we view design. To be able to do great work, we need to understand and empathise with our audiences, the users of the products and websites we design, and importantly, our clients.

We at Floate think that learning to better empathise with people who are not designers is a path to growth as designers. That’s why 18 months ago, we started what we think is an unusual design event – one where it’s not designers telling other designers about how annoying their clients are.

The Nudge is an on-stage conversation with someone who works on the client side; it’s a chance for clients to tell us what challenges they face, and for designers to find out what goes on behind closed doors. This way, we can get an understanding of how and why the decisions that affect our work are made.

The on-stage guests are never Floate clients. This isn’t a showcase for us. We do this because we want designers, including ourselves, to understand the context that we work in, and to start to empathise with what clients experience on their side of the project. In a sense, The Nudge is the antidote to the poisonous attitude that gave rise to Clients from Hell.

We’ve also expanded our reach a little and created a podcast where we talk to non-designers about their experiences working with designers, and listen to their views on subjects designers could know more about. We’ve spoken with Marketing Professors and sex workers, and a range of people in between. Even founders of startups. Through it all, we find we learn the most when we ask non-designers what they think designers ought to know about their world.

Tomorrow night (September 25), our guest is Sean Hall. Sean is the General Manager of Brand Marketing at Telstra –– he’s going to talk to us about what it’s like to work on a rebrand as large as Telstra’s, and the challenges that can arise when working with external design teams. We’re very grateful he can join us and hope you can come along. I’m buying the drinks.

 

You can RSVP to the event at Eventbrite.

 

The Nudge is also a podcast. Maybe you’d like it.

Officially announcing The Nudge podcast, and a call for guests.

The Nudge Podcast

Now that we’ve posted our second (or third depending on how you count these things) episode, it’s time to tell you about our podcast, The Nudge. Way back when we started The Nudge events, we wanted to be able to share the ideas behind them with more than just those people who were able to attend on the nights.

So we recorded the events.

And then we started thinking about a podcast where we talked about being a better designer (and making the world a better place). And the result is the Nudge Podcast. On our podcasts Josh Kinal, Jerome Lebel-Jones, and Ross Floate grapple with the issues related to being a better designer, and we ask special guests from around the world for their perspective as well. What kind of issues? Issues like inspiration, trust, being wrong, and the nature of responsibility.

As we continue to present our events, we’ll keep including the audio from the live interviews as special episodes to our podcast – you can hear Elise Peyronnet from Melbourne Music Week on Episode 0.

Future episodes of the podcast (yes, they’re already recorded and in the can) include Ned Dwyer from Tweaky.com, Chris Clarke (now of Black Pixel), Brad Ellis of Pacific Helm, Jayne Lewis of Two Birds Brewing, and Associate Professor Peter McGraw of the Humor Code. You can listen to the podcast at the websitefollow via rss or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Are you interested in being a guest on The Nudge? Do you have something you’d like to hear discussed? We’re all ears. Drop us an email, or let us know in the comments.

Save the Date

After having quite a few chats amongst ourselves and some of our associates about the kinds of design events we’d like to see in Melbourne, we decided to try something new.

We’ll unveil the details over the coming days, but in the meantime, if you want to:

• Enjoy a few drinks in the company of your colleagues;
• Hear a brief interview with two exciting local entrepreneurs; and
• Have an informal chat about the intersection of business and design;

you should mark your calendars now:

WHEN: Wednesday, 29 February, 6:00 PM
WHERE: The Rainbow Hotel, 27 St. David St., Fitzroy

It’s not merely social. It’s not just networking. It’s not a seminar. We call it The Nudge, because we think the design community can always push ourselves to be a little bit better.

We hope to see you there.