Chief grumbler, Paul Robert Lloyd’s closing back-handed compliment turned out to be borne out.
With the 5-star lineup, this careful curation could very well mean New Adventures In Web Design is the must see conference for 2011, and I’m intrigued to see what presentations will feature.
Yes, the conference included many faces well known to regular conference attendees, but these speakers are there for two reasons – they are T-Rexs in the UK web-scene (even Dan Rubin because he’s an honorary Brit) and they are friends of Colly’s.
That this conference was Colly’s first and because of the high regard with which he is held, all the speakers pulled out the stops. Colly’s curation led to a series of ground-breaking thought pieces that had each speaker bringing there own particular spin to what became a couple of consistent threads that connected the sessions: The new maturity of the web industry and how art direction can develop better design.
Dan Rubin kicked things off discussing use — and misuse — of language in relation to the web industry which can lead to inaccurate metaphors and difficult to explain concepts. His call to action? Let’s start looking at the language we use to describe things, is it effective, does it work when explaining to people outside the industry?
Everyday I see this is a necessary change, looking forward to the conversation.
Mark Boulton was hot on Dan’s heels with an introduction to some work he has been doing on developing a New Canon for web design. Mark is well known for his work on typography for the web and his current project seeks to re-establish some rules that have been ‘lost along the way’.
Alongside Rubin’s comments on how we view, describe and understand what we do, Mark’s input seeks to bring rationale to the design process so that design remains about the choices made to best deliver the content — not the best way to shuffle boxes in photoshop.
The New Canon is based around 3 themes: Responsiveness, Connectedness and Binding. The core idea revolves around binning the notion of the page which, as we design for a wider range of viewport sizes than ever before, is becoming increasingly difficult to work with. Ignore edges that aren’t physically there and design out from your content. Create scales and designs based on content. Embrace the em and eschew the pixel. Bind your design decisions to the content and to the device.
While a brief introduction to where this can go, it lays the groundwork to a shift in how we approach web design when it is possibly most needed.
Sarah Parmenter delivered a great session that blended design psychology with CRO. A refreshing change on the design conference circuit, I loved her approach to design based on understand the cultural and personal significance of design to the viewer/user and how that could lead to significant changes to increase the effectiveness of the site.
Andy Clarke was on fine form, telling the story of story, using western comics — detectives are so last year — to illustrate how pace and rhythm in the narrative can be reflected through layout, design and art direction. Enthralling subject matter and superb visuals, delivered flawlessy, made this a truly inspirational slot. I just wish i’d had design lecturers like that while I was at uni.
And @gablaxian’s cookies were great.
All in all a great day. Colly you should be very happy with yourself. Same time next year?