This is the final in a series of 3 blog posts that will walk you through our 2016 Red Hat Summit theme process. In this post, we’ll focus on our third phase – theme refinement.
And the winner is: The Power of Participation as shown through Depth Pixels (or if you stumble on your words like I do, you accidentally yell out death pickles instead). After all the work we’d done already, it was a wonderful surprise when people unanimously voted for 1 theme. That had never happened before in the Summit process; usually during our final meeting, we would present 2 concepts that have been fully fleshed out for content and design. Depth Pixels was still in its infant stages when it was presented to the team, so it was very reassuring that our team saw its potential. This gave us, the designers, more time to establish a working design system and apply many examples to make the idea of Summit truly come to life.
Step 1: Explore the ins and outs of pixels
This step was exactly what it sounded like. We needed more time to see where pixels could go, how far we could stretch them, how they would fit in with our brand, and most importantly to see if and where any breaking points would be. Because we had only just begun to explore pixels when we presented it to the team, we divided items we knew would be used at Summit and tried them in every possible way to see what we liked, and where things really didn’t work out. Here are some examples of our exploration below:
All this exploration helped us continue to move forward and was part of the beginning stages of establishing our design system.
Step 2: Establish the design system
By step 2 it was time to tie up some loose ends and create something that everyone working on Summit could understand–a design system. It started with word maps, mind maps, and sketches to see how the design elements connected to our overarching theme (The Power of Participation). Here are some examples of the word maps:
We discussed and explored, and the idea/system began to become a little bit more refined.
After this round we could see where any holes started to appear in our system and knew we had to resolve them to make our system stronger, and more straightforward. As you can tell by the detail above, we all soon realized we needed more simplicity. We didn’t want to create so many boundaries and rules that people couldn’t continue to explore new ideas, but we wanted to apply some structure to the Summit design so when passed it onto other people (designers, writers, event marketers) their work would fit directly into our system. The system ended up being based on the attendee journey at Summit, and the emotions one might experience when going through the conference.
Here is our final system below:
From the word maps to the final product, the system evolved a lot. Turning the pixel on a 45-degree angle was a major decision and gave the theme the uniqueness we needed to make it our own. Additionally, using network, learn, and collaborate as mainframes in our system let us take core principles of Red Hat and put them in visual form. Now there is structure and clarity to Depth Pixels but the possibilities are wide open.
Step 3: Divide and conquer
After our system was developed, it was time to get to work. We had a final presentation on December 2 and we had to take everything we had promised to create and make it a reality. Here is a small sampling from our final presentation:
We worked on things from signage all the way down to the possibility of temporary tattoos, showing a range from serious business events to fun attendee participation moments. This is just the beginning, and we know will we continue to figure things out as the Summit theme continues to develop!
We are so thrilled that our new collaboration methods work this year and that involving different people from the very beginning made a BIG difference. It made the final “reveal” on December 2 more of a check-in with fellow teammates, with less pressure and more excitement as we all had a part in the look and feel of Summit 2016.
Make sure you keep up with the theme Power of Participation as it continues to unveil itself at redhat.com/summit in the upcoming year. It’s something you will not want to miss!