New Adventures in Web Design
Published: 24th Jan 2011 in News
This conference (‘naconf’) had come to our attention last summer and we pounced upon the tickets as soon as they were available. We knew from the line-up of speakers (web industry leaders we had followed for years) and topics that this was going to be a high quality event. We were certainly not disappointed.
‘Experimental’ was one of the words Simon used to describe the conference and its themes. We would add ‘exciting’ and ‘inspiring’ to that. With each of the presentations it felt as though you were being led into another level of thinking about the craft of web design and the industry as a whole. There was not one stitch of code placed up on the screens but there were plenty of ideas guaranteed to stimulate discussion and apply to our practice. We particularly enjoyed the abstract nature of some of the subjects.
Dan Rubin’s ‘New Language of Web Design’ was a brilliant choice for the first talk. He encouraged us to think about the power of language and the need for our now grown up industry to develop its own lexicon, rather than continue to borrow misleading vocabulary from elsewhere. This set the tone of intelligent, thought provoking talks for the day. Other highlights were Jon Tan’s insight into our lizard brain, looking at how we might better appeal to those instinctive judgements when making design decisions, Andy Clarke’s examples of movies and comics to invoke storytelling, pace and rhythm and how that may be used in our designs and Brendan Dawes’ amusing and captivating look at what it takes to be a better maker. I swear I could listen to that guy all day!
There were ten talks in total, about 30-40 minutes each and the time just flew by! They all provided something thought provoking and useful to take away. They left our brains fizzing with ideas and so much to talk about.
It wasn’t just the talks that made the day really special, it was the obvious care that had been taken for the whole thing. For example, the exhibitions and book stalls at the hall, the competitions and the pre & post conference social events; One of which was organised by our 2nd Wednesday chums. The conference packs included lots of goodies, the biggie being a New Adventures newspaper full of commentary and articles, written especially for this event, nowhere else. If you weren’t lucky enough to go along you can treat yourself to a pdf or hard copy of the naconf paper.
All that’s left to say is a thank you to Simon Collison, a proper gent, for working so hard in putting on this great conference and for making it affordable and accessible to folks like us.
Oh and if it’s on, we’ll definitely be there next time!