Did you know that Bristol was the first city in England to become part of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities? A UNESCO Learning City commits to promotes lifelong learning for all, through individual empowerment and social inclusion among other things. This knowledge, paired with ‘learning at work’ week which fell in May, meant that we just had to choose ‘learning’ as our most recent Creative Breakfast theme.
Our design team gathered as usual to each share something they’ve recently seen on this topic. It’s clear from what they found that for many of us now, learning is first and foremost consumed in a digital way with several of the team choosing to talk about online platforms, AI and apps.
Take a look at what we discovered:
Middleweight designer Emily talked to us about Adobe Sensei, a programme which in its own words uses “artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help you discover hidden opportunities, make tedious processes fast, and offer relevant experiences to every customer. Put simply, Adobe Sensei helps you work better, smarter, and faster.”
This all sounds great.. but what does it ACTUALLY do!? According to Adobe, Sensei understands image and video data a lot more than the programs we currently use. It automatically knows what’s in the foreground and background (making cutting out images a lot faster) and can mask out the background with the click of a button. It looks like it also develops the puppet warp and character animation tools, as well as linking in with Adobe stock to make image searching quicker and easier.
Sensei also analyses customer data and feedback. It then feeds this back into the design process to inform decisions, using data around what works and what doesn’t. Sounds very clever.
So there’s a lot of hype from Adobe around this, but at this stage, it’s a bit unclear as to what Sensei actually is. Is it a single app? Or is it a concept which will eventually reach all of existing apps and help them work better together?
The good news though, is that it’s not putting us designers out of the job (yet). ‘Adobe sensei brings advanced technology and deep learning to the table to help accelerate the creative process’ It just makes our job quicker, which is great, because it means we can work more efficiently.
Cue Senior Designer Jenny and this surprising fact: in terms of time spent, people are now spending more time using messaging apps than social media. And additionally, the general download of apps is rapidly declining. If messaging apps are the platforms of the future, could bots be how customers access their services?
By creating chatbots, companies can enter into dialogue with customers, and develop more personal brand experiences. Developments in AI (think Siri / Alexa) are improving two-way conversations, making experiences more natural, intuitive and instant. Facebook has also opened up messenger APIs so brands can deploy chatbots directly into apps, letting customers talk to businesses in the same way as a family.
There are three main types of chatbot:
Commerce chatbots: Carrying out transactions on behalf of users by engaging in a conversation. For example, ordering food/flowers etc…
Service chatbots: Doing a job on behalf of the user, or answering questions. For example, a customer service representative.
Content chatbots: Imparting information such as the weather, or telling stories in a fun, conversational way.
Recently Pizza Hut used a chatbot as the primary platform for their brand awareness valentines campaign. They could have advertised within traditional channels, but instead gave customers the unique opportunity to flirt with a pizza. Those that flirted the best were awarded a free pizza! By turning the interaction into a fun challenge, they received 30 million views and 15 million interactions in just 4 days (!) radically increasing customer interaction with their brand.
Our Senior Creative Artworker Dan chose to talk about Bob Ross, American painter, author and presenter of The Joy of Painting which was on TV in the mid 1980s-1990’s.
As a teacher, his calming nature and inspirational qualities make him a great positive role model for trying to learn new things. Wherever you’re watching his videos, there’s nothing but praise from people about his ways of working. He has also become something of an Internet meme – most recently as part of the marketing campaign for Deadpool 2.
Funnily enough, Middleweight Designer Jack also chose Bob Ross. He set the team a task. To create a small picture in the style of Bob using nothing but a four coloured biro. The results were great, and a lot of fun.
One of the really great things about Creative Breakfast is that we never know what we’ll be seeing next. Senior Designer Tim gets points for bringing something truly thought-provoking with a look into the life of the Albatross in the North Pacific Ocean. Artist Chris Jordan and Activist/ Photographer Manual Maqueda joined forces in 2008 to document and study the issue of ocean plastic pollution and its effect on these majestic birds. Their film shows the devastating effect our culture of mass consumption is having on the natural world.
Tempt One aka Eyewriter
Tempt One was a prolific graffiti writer in California around the early 80’s. Admired by our Middleweight Designer Sam, his style became unique in combining different lettering styles vernacular to the area.
In 2003, he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. It left him paralysed with just his mind and eyes intact. As an effort to help fundraise money for his family, writers, fans and followers held an Art auction in his name to sell his work. After attending the auction, Mick Ebeling, an inventor, humanitarian and change-maker, was so moved that he set out to unlock the artist once again. Creating hacked versions of eye-tracking technology famously used by Stephen Hawking, Mick developed a set of glasses Tempt could wear to control a mouse pointer. This way he would be able to write again.
Eyewriter, as he’s now known, has gone onto takeover entire art galleries, project his work on buildings, control a robotic arm for live paintings and relearn his craft from an entirely new perspective. It’s also helped other sufferers with physical impairments access this type of technology more easily.
Learn to cook with Hello Fresh
Creative Artworker Jayne talked about Hello Fresh and posed the questions, why not learn to cook? Hello Fresh was founded in 2011 in Germany and was one of the earliest companies to offer meal-kits through the post. Their simple recipe cards and pre-measured ingredients make it easy for even the worst cooks to produce tasty, home-cooked meals. They’ve grown rapidly since their launch with 1.3 million subscribers across Germany, Netherlands, UK, US and Australia.
Jayne was impressed by the simplicity of their recipe cards and their dedication to teaching their customers to cook. Their YouTube channel and social media have tutorials on them and the Hello Fresh site itself allows you to tailor your box based on your tastes and preferences giving a very personalised experience.
The CNA Language School
Our Creative Director Alex chose to show us a clever campaign run by the CNA Language School. To enhance the experience of their Brazilian students learning English, the school has partnered with Bella Vista Pizzeria in Los Angeles.
Customers who call the pizza company can dial ‘1’ to place their order as usual, or dial ‘2’ to connect to a student in Sao Paulo, using call transfer technology provided by CNA. The student answers the call via a dedicated CNA app and starts talking in English to the customer. They are supported by a teacher who can help them as they take the order.
The longer the caller is on the line the higher the discount they receive. Resulting in anything up to 100%. This mechanism could be adopted by any number of businesses that takes orders via phone and this fun way of learning a language has benefits to both the student and the customer!
Last but definitely not least, our UX designer Will talked about his own education into artist Julian Warren. Since moving to Bristol he’s seen curious animal sculptures dotted around the place. His favourite, just up the road from our office, is a discreetly placed monkey with a Rubix cube. You can see him just outside Clifton Down station.
Julian Warren was a ’property guy’ who, after the economic downturn of the early 90s, retrained himself in metal-work and sculpting. His work can be found around various university cities such as Bristol and Oxford. Will particularly likes the way they sit so comfortably in their natural surroundings.