Ian Coyle on quantifying the unquantifiable

Creative director, designer and interaction developer Ian Coyle on innovation and drawing inspiration from non-web passions.

Enter the code generate100 at the checkout this week to get $100 off your ticket to Generate New York!

Our Generate conference is taking place in New York for the first time next week on 20 June. We've assembled an outstanding speaker line up that includes Ethan Marcotte, Karen McGrane, Dave Shea, Jenn Lukas and Ian Coyle. Together with Duane King, Coyle runs creative studio KingCoyle in Portland, which two years ago merged with Huge to create Huge/KingCoyle. Here, he tells us about his talk, what he's working on at the moment and more...

What are you going to speak about at Generate?

I'll be speaking about the creative process and my approach to creating great work in our constantly evolving industry.

I'm calling it 'Creative Arithmetic', about a designer's attempt to quantify the unquantifiable topic of innovation - it should fun!

What do you think makes a good conference?

For me, the best conferences are made by the attendees, those that really care about the industry and support each other in our collective endeavors. You put those people all in one place and it always turns out great.

What do you get out of speaking at conferences?

Speaking gives me the opportunity to reflect on the current state of the industry. Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day, we don't allow ourselves a moment to look up and survey where things are going.

Coyle's design inspiration blog, Thinking for a Living

What have you been working on recently?

We've been working hard on two new mobile apps that should launch later this year. Recently, we deployed a digital/physical retail experience in Portland and Los Angeles that we're really proud of. It was collaboration between Nike, our design lab, and key team members from three of our Huge offices.

What are the big ideas you're thinking about at the moment?

The digital/physical intersection is very important to me right now. From integrated digital/physical products to wearables, we're entering an interesting time for interface design. Until now, we've simply been placing interactive interfaces onto the next product. The future, however, will be how interfaceless digital devices (e.g. wearables or beacons) integrate with each other and your primary interface, whatever that might be.

Tell us about the Huge/KingCoyle merger. How did that come about?

For three years prior to Huge, Duane and I were a two-person creative team focused on rapid prototyping, interactive storytelling and design. As we thought about opening a new studio, we wanted to be a stronger partner to our clients and have a constant internal charter to focus on innovation. We spoke with a few agencies and Huge approached us about collaborating in Portland. With their history of great design and technology, it was a perfect fit. In 2012 we formed a design innovation lab and now have a local team of ten focused on making great work.

Other passions such as motorcycling keep things fresh

Besides design, what are your other passions in life and how do they influence your creativity?

I always have a lot of external passions - from motorcycles and fashion, to letterpress and film. Currently, I'm finishing a new motorcycle build that I'm very excited about. Fingers crossed I'll be riding it before I head out to New York for Generate. I'm also particularly interested in the future of the editorial medium - expect to see some new things from me there. For me, my other passions allow me to stay inspired and learn new things.

Enter the code generate100 at the checkout this week to get $100 off your ticket to Generate New York!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tanya Combrinck is digital editor on net magazine.