The Food Effect: SXSW Activation and 360 Web Experience

Objective: Land O’Lakes, Inc., a company that has a business unit for each step in the farm to fork production system, wanted to change how people viewed them and challenge perceptions around big agriculture. SXSW was an ideal environment and audience to help achieve this goal, along with a National Geographic partnership that expanded their reach.
Our space featured several interactive experiences as well as panel speakers each day. Our topics ranged from farming, food security, and the future of food. We exposed aspects of farming and agriculture that exposed a different perspective on the topic. We educated through interactions, Instagram moments, and conversations that happened throughout the space.

The gene editor (above) was one example of looking at GMO’s from the perspective of solving real world problems. We asked users to select a problem and then complete a simple color pattern in the gigantic DNA helix. Through that game, we were able to tell three different stories of how DNA hacking can help people, like growing crops in dry climates, making sure foods don’t go extinct, or adding vaccines to bananas to provide medical care in different ways.

I was responsible for the user experience on all experiences and worked closely with the designers, art directors, and copy writers to bring to life experiences people would want to engage with. I facilitated design reviews and made sure we were objective in our conversations in order to build a successful experience.

To complement the space and content at SXSW, we also had a partnership with National Geographic where we created a 360 web experience that allowed users to see four different environments related to food and farming: a dairy farm, a vertical indoor farm, an algae farm, and a restaurant kitchen. Visit the site >

We had 8,137 attendees pass through our space in the 4 days we were open. Our average dwell time was 40 minutes (free drinks helped!) and our survey showed that 83% of attendees now see Land O’Lakes, Inc. as a forward thinking company. Watch the video below for a full recap.

Role: UX Designer

Team: Art Direction & Design – Mark Anderson, Clarissa Hernandez, Taylor Snyder, Lydia Lee and Cole Spiess; Copy and content – Tricia Cornell, Lee Hanson and Danny Walsh; Creative Technologists – Tyler Burger, Tom Ferrara and Charlie Hield; Account Lead – Kayla Bries.