Before last night, I would have told you that I’d experienced Chief LIFTer Tim Carr in his element. I’d seen him go toe-to-toe with tricky clients, impressing a conference room full of seasoned marketers with his knowledge and passion for Direct Response Marketing. I’d seen him present work he was passionate about and announce huge testing wins, massive lifts in response, and exciting agency initiatives. In short, I’d seen him at his best. Or so I thought.

That was before LIFT’s West Coast (Best Coast) team holiday outing to Spin SF, a ping pong bar and grill, where Tim finally showed us his true colors.

 

The great thing about ping pong is that the best players are the most unexpected ones. It’s Senior Designer Jen Jones, whose serve comes with a nasty backspin. Or it’s Adam Young, Project Supervisor and OG LIFTer, who prefers playing tableless tennis, seeing how many times he can hit the ball back and forth without a bounce. (The answer is 11, in case you were wondering.)

But most of all, it’s witnessing our CEO play with the force of 10 men, waving arms that seem to magically lengthen while returning even the most difficult serves, winning rallies that go back and forth over 100 times before ultimately diving into a metal bathtub full of ping pong balls. Flourishing, excelling, thriving.

So maybe ping pong is a metaphor for collaboration. Maybe it’s an opportunity to “accidentally” hit your Art Director in the face with a light plastic ball. But most of all, playing ping pong is a valuable chance to connect in different ways, see coworkers in a new light, and discover that your CEO could go pro in the competitive world of table tennis. 

Here at LIFT Agency, we’re proud to be the coworkers you want to work with, laugh with, rally with, and take a hiatus from Dry January with. A big thanks to the agency for organizing such an iconic night. And to Spin, SF… I guarantee we’ll be back soon.

Ideas, Insights and Inspiration

 

Config, an annual conference hosted by Figma, sets the stage for over 8,000 in-person attendees to explore the latest trends, innovations and best practices in the ever-changing world of design and product development.

 

LIFT Senior Designer Jen Jones had the opportunity to fully immerse in two days of creativity and collaboration, attending a wide range of keynote sessions and making connections within the Figma community. Here are her key takeaways:

AI and the Future of Design

“We have advantages as humans that lead us to be more creative than AI will ever be.” 

– Ovetta Patrice Sampson, Director of UX Machine Learning, Google

Great news! AI isn’t coming for our jobs. But it is an important tool that will continue to help creatives express themselves visually, accelerate workflows, and assist in creating a good first draft. However, taking AI thought starters from good to great still requires our own human creativity. 

Watch the AI keynote session


Leading Through Uncertainty

“Great design comes from deep understanding of a problem.”

– Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb

This conversation between Brian Chesky and Dylan Field delves into Airbnb’s design-forward systems and operations with the idea that great design goes beyond visual appeal. Instead, it focuses on understanding problems and solving them creatively in a way that’s not limited to a single app or tangible product. 

Watch the Airbnb keynote session


Prototyping the Path

“We look at what works, we look at what doesn’t, we learn from it all, and we keep moving.” 

– Ethan Eismann, SVP of Design, Slack

Slack operates on a series of product principles that guide every aspect of their decision-making, helping them align across functions and ultimately leading to better product decisions. Their principle of “Prototyping the Path” focuses on the idea of bringing in real people as quickly as possible, building on a hypothesis, and quickly moving forward with the answers it provides.

Watch the Slack keynote session.

As we look forward to continuing to apply these takeaways and other key learnings across our projects, our teams, and for our clients, we’re excited to see what Figma has in store for their 2024 conference!

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