data meets beauty at ux cocktail hours

This busy evening was focused on an interesting subject. The tension between data and design. Is data the leading force or is design the determining factor? Do the numbers tell the truth or is it all about the design? Everyone was greeted with Mexican tapas (vegetarian too, of course) and a beer to wash it down.
The evening was opened by our host Manouk, who introduces the 50 guests to the night's three speakers. Three We are you professionals sharing their vision on the subject of: data meets beauty.

talk 1: building flexible design systems

Remco Frank, Creative Director at We are you, is the first speaker and he has set himself the goal of creating an umfeld. The theoretical frameworks from antiquity in which we discuss the power of emotion and reason. Form and design play an important role in transferring information in every one of the ways we use to convey a message. Using examples of commonly used expressions from the past and the present, it is clear that considered choices have been made in every communication. Click. Sometimes when the emphasis is on communicating the price, you are influenced by an attitude, or the order of the message is structured in a certain way. Click-click. In terms of design, it is also important to consider precisely when you want to convey which message. 

Remco uses very recognizable examples that clearly demonstrate that specific choices have been made in the choice of expressions. Based on these examples, Remco introduces the Pathos, Ethos, Logos model. This complicated sounding theory is simplified by converting it to the A-B-C model (emotion-ratio seduction). click-click-sigh-click. We are soon taken by the hand through the example of Van Lanschot in which this model is practically applied. It is a meeting of theory in practice. This example clearly shows that relevant content is extremely important, if not more important than ever today. Click Click Click Remco laughs and signals to Gijs to get a new set of batteries, because the remote control is almost empty.

talk 2: this is good design, and i can prove it

The second speaker, Gijs Besselink, Digital Art Director at We are you, takes to the floor and starts with a question directed at the room: "What is good design?". Then follows a written explanation for the preceeding statement. It makes you think for a moment, you doubt that you've heard it right and Gijs is immediately on the alert. This statement is correct, isn't it? According to Gijs, good design can be ugly. Oops. Here and there there's a gentle grunt of disagreement and a whisper to their neighbour. The term data driven design is mentioned for the first time and three golden rules are explained. # 1 Avoid assumptions # 2 Everything has a context # 3 Launch to learn. These golden rules are clearly explained using references to easily recognizable examples from our daily lives. 

The golden rules are explained and elaborated upon in detail using a case study from Gijs' own portfolio. And then proven. Because that's where Gijs started this part of his presentation: "This is a good design AND I can prove it." In the case study, the improvements are systematically  reviewed. Naturally all supported by incontrovertible evidence. At the end of all of the detailed improvements, the numbers corroborate the improvements all over again. Because for Gijs it's all about that data and he wants you to know it is too!
Everyone gets a half hour break to enjoy the cocktails that have been created especially for the night

talk 3: why beauty matters

When everyone has got a drink and has taken their seat after the break its time for the last asset of the evening to be deployed. By far the fastest talking speaker of the evening: Mark Vogelaar, Designer at We are you. He tells a razor-sharp story about his views on the usefulness of design. With an average speech speed of 2.7 words per second (a nice little bit of extra data for you) and a vocabulary that goes beyond the Green-Yellow booklet, words and images are neatly synchronized. Featurism is the most original word and minimalism is the most often used. Functional minimalism is mentioned in the same breath as house building after the first world war. Branded pens are in the firing line, the focus of razor-sharp statements about functionality vs design. And the question: ‘What is the function of beauty?’ unleashes the very best of Mark. Here too, examples are used to show that design is important, but it always needs a function. In just 12 minutes Mark covers what would take an average person 30 minutes. Really a session that we can honestly say: you had to see it to believe it. Before they even realised it was over, everyone was clapping and Mark (like a true comedian) had disappeared from the proverbial stage.
DJ David playing great music at 120bpm adds to the atmosphere and even gets some people ont to the dance floor