Youth and Creativity: Emerging Trends in Self-expression and Publishing

Evangeline Haughney (Adobe Systems Incorporated), Bill Westerman (Create with Context)
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Digital media creation and publishing – once the domain of trained users with deep software knowledge – has extended to a much larger “casual creative” class, especially among creative youth. In order to better understand this evolving approach to media creation, Adobe recently worked with Create with Context to perform a series of in-depth, in-home, ethnographic interviews with 15-17 year olds to understand how they express themselves digitally.

The research led to a series of fresh insights into this market, including willingness to learn media creation software and websites “on the fly,” a strong bias for learning by doing, collaboration and apprenticeship with an international pool of creatives, a desire for individuality leading to a rejection of standardized tools and templates, and publishing an ongoing stream of mashed-up, throw-away media. Insights from this research are driving the creation of next-generation products and services to target the creative youth today and as they enter the workforce.

Photo of Evangeline Haughney

Evangeline Haughney

Adobe Systems Incorporated

Evangeline Haughney is a Sr. User Researcher at Adobe Systems with a Master’s of Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University. For the past several years at Adobe, she has worked on the experience design of various products and services including Acrobat and the Creative Suite. In her previous career as a technical writer, she was a Documentation Manager for Kaiser Permanente, where she led the development efforts for an online knowledge base to support the use of Kaiser’s electronic medical record systems.

Photo of Bill Westerman

Bill Westerman

Create with Context

Early in his teenage years, Bill built a text-to-speech device to help a stroke victim regain the ability to communicate with family and friends. From that moment forward, he has nurtured a particular interest in how people interact with digital things, and how technology can improve everyday life.

As co-founder at Create with Context, Bill is helping invent the next generation of strategic design firms, creating a unique blend of primary research, idea generation, concept development, and early-stage design that draws a clear line from customer needs through to digital product design. His recent clients include Accenture, Adobe, Panasonic, and Yahoo, as well as a variety of early-stage startups.

Previously, Bill served as a Director of Strategy at eBay, helping chart a course for eBay Mobile in the US, Europe, and Asia. Prior to that, he was co-director at a Silicon Valley technology think tank for Accenture, helping define and publicize business applications for emerging technologies such as mobile and pen computing, RFID, and wireless sensor networks. Bill has also worked as a Director of Integrated Strategy for Sapient as well as an executive in enterprise technology at Accenture.

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Picture of Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton
02/11/2009 5:01pm EST

why weren’t there more people there?! it was useful stuff to know. sheesh, these publishers…

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TOC User
02/09/2009 12:43pm EST

great session.

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