Life Begins at Ignite Conception

By Juhan Sonin on 23 August 2012

Design Axioms has been a 4+ year journey for me. It started as a Pecha Kucha-type talk at the O’Reilly Boston Ignite 3 in the summer of 2008. It was called the Tenets of Interface Design, consisted of 23 slides, and pitched in 5 minutes. It took place at the House of Blues in Cambridge, MA. The stage was most often occupied by jazz and rock groups but for that one evening, overrun by beer-drinking, nerdy designers and engineers.

First presentation deck for Design Axioms

This was the start of my public speaking education. I had never presented publicly and still am not uber comfortable speaking in front of crowds. Because of my ability to wander off topic and get lost, crafting a presentation takes 1 to 2 hours of prep time per minute on stage.

Juhan at Ignite Boston 3, Photo by O’Reilly producer, Rachel Ford James

Here’s the a video from that night with a younger and [slightly] cockier me: Juhan Sonin at Ignite 3 Boston

I’ve since evolved the ideas by implementing each axiom as an everyday practice at the Invo studio as well as presenting updated content at conferences and corporate venues such as OSCON (having “sex” in the title didn’t have much effect on attracting audience members), TTI Vanguard, MassChallenge, HIMSS, etc.

The card deck is the latest transformation. By asking industry veteran designers and entrepreneurs Luke Wroblewski, Andrei Herasimchuk, and Dirk Knemeyer to contribute their own software design and user interface mantras and experience, it diversifies the idea gene pool and strengthens the message.

Up next: gathering your feedback, honing and editing the current axioms, and designing deck number two.


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