Like swarm of locusts, you and thousands of other hipster/tech/groupie/auteur/comedian indie producer types will be descending on Austin this weekend.  While we are sure you have plans to attend all the parties, screenings and concerts you can jam into your calendar, don’t forget the hundreds of seminars, book signings and panels taking place daily.

No need to slog through all the offerings, we’ve picked the best 20 SXSW sanctioned events for design minds and creative types.  To simplify things – we imagine you’ll be in a bit of a post/pre-party haze the entire time; the list is in chronological order.

20. Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills

David Sherwin from frog design, a global innovation firm, will share tools and methods that any interactive professional can use to more consistently brainstorm quality ideas for interactive products and services. [via sxsw]

Friday, March 11, 2011
5:30pm
Austin Convention Center

19. Beyond Check-Ins: Location Based Game Design

Exploring common play elements in location-based games.  The presentation will discuss how new innovations will help to create richer and more immersive parallel worlds and why its time to move beyond “social” Check-In systems, to “true games” that engage, challenge, and stimulate players. [via sxsw]

Saturday, March 12, 2011
9:30am
Austin Convention Center

18. How Print Design is the Future of Interaction

The history of Print Design is becoming an important influence in the evolution of Interaction Design. As a craft, design for printed media has a rich history. In the past ten years however, the relevant technologies that support the design of Interfaces have matured to a point that they provide a more capable canvas for design. Meanwhile, our culture has become visibly more comfortable with the technologies that surround it. These combination of trends are creating an important inflection point for designers. The aesthetic experience of the digital surface can now be considered and explored in a more sophisticated manner. [via sxsw]

Saturday, March 12, 2011
9:30am
Austin Convention Center

17. iPad Design Headaches (2 Tablets, Call in the Morning)

The iPad and its entourage of Android tablets have introduced a new style of computing, confronting designers with unfamiliar aches and pains. Learn the symptoms (and fixes) for a range of new-to-the-world iPad interface ailments, including Greedy Pixel Syndrome, the dreaded Frankeninterface, and the “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” bait and switch. Explore practical techniques and eye-opening gotchas of tablet interface design, all grounded in the ergonomics, context, psychology, and nascent culture of these new devices (both iOS and Android). The presentation inoculates you against common problems with close-up looks at successful iPad apps from early sketches to final design. [via sxsw]

Saturday, March 12, 2011
9:30am
Hilton

16. Cinematic Titles: From Conception to Reality

This workshop takes a film title sequence to pieces and explores the different parts of the process that brought it to the big screen, from conception to realization. [via sxsw]

Saturday, March 12, 2011
11:00am
Austin Convention Center

15. The Next Rocket Scientist: You

For over half a century, NASA has inspired people across the world to look to the heavens and wonder what secrets are hidden within the cosmos. Solving those mysteries has long been the domain of lab-coat wearing scientists in government agencies and universities. However, with the advent of the internet, social web, and open source data, it has become possible for anyone to make scientific discoveries about our universe. Find out how you can actively contribute to space exploration and how the collective power of the internet is enabling the future of scientific research. [via sxsw]

Saturday, March 12, 2011
11:15am
Austin Convention Center

14. Inclusive Design: Creating Beautiful, Usable & Accessible Websites

Applying the principles of Inclusive Design to building websites makes sense, but existing technologies and practices in order to ensure its successful implementation is where we are at now. Presenting the principles and how they can be applied to the web, and  hands on practical advice will provide both a breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding. [via sxsw]

Saturday, March 12, 2011
12:30pm
Austin Convention Center

13. Design Across Disciplines

New technology brings broad experimentation and new design challenges. It takes years, if not decades, to establish an effective design vocabulary to discuss what “works” and “doesn’t work.” This panel asks established professionals in architecture, speech writing, and event planning to describe their creative processes and vocabularies and will compare them with the best practices in interaction design. This session brought to you by Meebo. [via sxsw]

Saturday, March 12, 2011
3:30pm
Austin Convention Center

12. Metrics-Driven Design

For every design change you make affecting your user’s experience, do you know if you’re having a positive or negative impact?  In this talk, Joshua Porter will provide you with a simple, easy framework for metrics-driven design. By using a combination of research methods as well as powerful new tracking tools, Josh will show you how to align your design priorities with what keeps you in business.[via sxsw]

Saturday, March 12, 2011
5:00pm
Austin Convention Center

11. No Excuse: Web Designers Who Can’t Code

Some of the most important design decisions happen in code. As our industry grows and roles get more specialized, it’s possible to become a “web designer” without more than a cursory understanding of the fundamental building materials of the Web: the code. Is this just the price of progress? Are the days of the web craftsman soon to be in the past? Or is a hybrid approach to web design and development something worth preserve? [via sxsw]

Sunday, March 13, 2011
12:3opm
Austin Convention Center

10. Viral Marketing with The Oatmeal

The author, artist, and founder behind the one man operation known as The Oatmeal (http://theoatmeal.com) talks about his amazing viral success.   [via sxsw]

Sunday, March 13, 2011
12:3opm
Hyatt

9.  Open Architecture Challenge: Revisioning Decommisioned Military Facilities

Every two years Architecture for Humanity changes the design world to tackle a global project.  In 2011, given that the most sustainable building is already built, we will look at re-purposing decommissioned military facilities. This includes one of the most high profile facilities in the world. In this talk we will present this program, its’ aims and objectives as well as other open source architectural programs from Architecture for Humanity. [via sxsw]

Sunday, March 13, 2011
3:3opm
Austin Convention Center

8. Does Online Openness Kill Creativity? Digital Planet Live

Is creativity stifled or stimulated by the openness digital technology offers? The internet allows content to be accessed and shared more easily than ever before. At the same time, barriers between professional creators and consumers are broken down, while non-professional artists now have open platforms to publish and publicise their own creations.  Join Digital Planet presenter Gareth Mitchell for a discussion on openness, creativity and control with June Cohen, Executive Producer of TED, Steve Rosenbaum, author of Curation Nation, and broadcaster and blogger Jamillah Knowles. See the radio programme put together live as we hear from creators and curators around SXSW. [via sxsw]

Sunday, March 13, 2011
3:3opm
Driskill

7. Of Fanboys & Fidelity: Adapting Comics For Broad Audiences

As the film industry digs deep into the world of comics and graphic novels for source material, how do writers, directors and producers assess the best way to get it to the screen to entice fanpeople and newbies alike? For some of the indie, more idiosyncratic books, how do you retain that uniqueness while broadening access to it? Director/writer/producer Robert Rodriguez and comics creator/writer Greg Rucka (“Whiteout”) will discuss the challenges and pleasures in going from panel to screen. [via sxsw]

Sunday, March 13, 2011
3:3opm
Austin Convention Center

6. Fun With The Lights Off: Interactivity Without Graphics

The pictures are better on radio, they say, and the same is also true in interactive experiences: games, for example, are possible using sound that are more realistic and immersive than the most complex 3D polygon-fests. The panel will discuss the process, the constraints, the vision and the philosophy behind a radical new genre of game and what this generally reveals for good game and experience design. [via sxsw]

Sunday, March 13, 2011
5:0opm
Austin Convention Center

5. Jeffrey Zeldman’s Awesome Internet Design Panel

He brought us The Web Standards Project, A List Apart, Designing With Web Standards, A Book Apart, and so much more. Now legendary blogger, designer, and creative gadfly Jeffrey Zeldman brings us a SXSW panel. There will be discussion. There will be special guests. Quotable insights will fly faster than your fingers can peck them into Twitterific. Combustible wit will fill the room. And in the end, we’ll all be a little wiser than we were. [via sxsw]

Sunday, March 13, 2011
5:0opm
Austin Convention Center

4. Where Web Typography Goes To Next

The future of web typography is as uncertain as any other aspect of the medium, but one thing is for sure: it’s got momentum. At no other time has typography been taken so seriously by so many involved in the web, and that means there’s an awful lot of change and innovation to keep up with if you want to stay on the cutting edge of online type.  This presentation will give you everything you need to know to keep right on the spur of the serif, the apex of the ascender, and the edge of the curve. [via sxsw]

Sunday, March 13, 2011
5:0opm
Austin Convention Center

3. Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty

There are plenty of tools and tips available for technically applying design to an application or website; but the classical fundamentals that make websites and products beautiful and engaging remain a mystery. David Kadavy – freelance designer to Silicon Valley clients such as oDesk, UserVoice, and PBworks – will provide a sneak preview of content from his book, “Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty.” David will explain important differences to be aware of when choosing fonts, as well as present “all of the fonts you’ll ever need. [via sxsw]

Monday, March 14, 2011
3:3opm
Austin Convention Center

2. Designing for Android

It’s time to stop creating “Android versions of iPhone apps” and start creating apps made especially for the unique technological and design features of Android. What many designers are approaching as challenges – the multiple devices, the buttons, the lack of rules and constraints – others are taking as an open invitation to innovate without bounds. [via sxsw]

Monday, March 14, 2011
4:3opm
Austin Convention Center

1. Title Design Finalists Screening

An essential ingredient in setting up the tone of a film, TV show or Web Series, the talented people involved in creating these 2 minute wonders will be awarded for Excellence in Title Design, part of the SXSW Film Design Awards. [via sxsw]

Monday, March 14, 2011
7:0opm
Vimeo Theater