AIGA: 2012 Obama Campaign App Talk

This is the kind of thing I love Facebook for. I checked FaceBook during my lunch hour at work, and saw that a friend posted that they had two tickets to the “Obama Mobile Design and Strategy” AIGA event. I PMed them, and voila, I got to go after work. Thanks Khristine/Oen!

I also got to see who else I might have known that was going to be there. Yeah, it’s a little creepy-creeper, but still handy! I met up with a former classmate that I hadn’t seen in awhile.

So Thirteen23 is a local interactive design studio on Congress downtown. They got tapped by Obama’s people to create the 2012 campaign app, since they’ve done great work before with organizations like LiveStrong and Netflix (my favorite is that Austin Food Trucks one).

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After the fairly short talk (done by Creative Director Ryan Hovenweep), they allowed questions. I asked if they were aware at all of the small backlash against the president and his openness to new technologies like social media (he was the first to have a Twitter and Tumblr, not to mention the hour stint he did on Reddit not too long ago). Some people think he’s only doing it for the “cool” factor, the youth vote (which may very well be true). And if they were aware of this backlash, if this is something they kept in mind during development.

And since I can’t keep my mouth shut, I also asked how they juggled clients during this time, since they had such a quick turn around (two months in development, after months of discussion). They also weren’t allowed to announce (or tell ANYONE) that they were the firm that was working on the app. He said they split the house into two teams… and didn’t sleep much.

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I went up to personally introduce myself (and to apologize in case my first question came across the wrong way). Ryan was extremely friendly, and gave me an invite to their SXSW party that’s next week! I’ll be sure to go.

FYI: They’re currently looking for a mobile developer and a designer!

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