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Recently I had the pleasure of attending a local AIGA Raleigh event with a presentation from Abe Crystal of More Better Labs. The presentation was titled “Focus & Empathy.”

AIGA Lunch & Learn

Abe started the lecture off by talking about the user experience, which is what determines if an experience, whether it be with a product, service, event, presentation, etc., is successful or not. In turn explaining that good design = a clear and understandable message and great user experience. Abe then proceeded to show examples of good and bad user experiences by juxtaposing certain websites. The bad ones showed cluttered messes of information that were hard to navigate through, and the good ones showcased slick designs with easy navigation that communicated everything they needed to.

Another interesting thing Abe brought up were the statistics for companies with similar products & services. When he showed us the good vs. bad user experiences, he would also include financial information about the company, and the companies that had the clear & understandable “good” user experiences always seemed to be more successful financially.


Abe went on to discuss FOCUS in relation to strategy and defining the mantra & key experience principles of an organization. Showing examples of companies with a variety of missions within their mission statement, when instead, things could be simplified into a “mantra,” or small phrase that encompasses things in an easy to understand way.


The next topic was relating EMPATHY to research. It seems, in some companies, when products or services seem to be doing well, the user is then forgotten. A mediocre product or service could be selling well, but a great one that the users fully enjoy will perform much better. A very important point was brought up here. You need to be able to define your user group(s), and also be able to know how to communicate with them effectively. Reach out to your users/consumers/customers, find out what works and what doesn’t. This way you will know what can make your products/services better and everyone will be happier.

We found this to be a helpful and informative lecture and want to thank Abe Crystal of More Better Labs, as well as AIGA Raleigh for making it happen.

*Also, on a side note, I finally attended The Designer’s Eye, another AIGA Raleigh event. This event is held the third Thursday of every month (now at Morning Times), and it was a fun small gathering to basically talk about creativity. I went with a co-worker, and we met the host Jason Rizzo, who was a pleasure to talk to. I would suggest to anyone in a creative field to go sometime just to check it out, and talk about things that are inspiring to one another. AIGA Raleigh Events