Sessions at Webstock 2012 with notes on Friday 17th February

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  • The Anatomy of a Design Decision

    by Jared M. Spool

    What are the habits of highly effective design teams? The best designs come from not one, but hundreds of well-made decisions. The worst designs arise out of hundreds of poorly-made decisions. All that stands between you and a great design is the qualify of your decisions. Where do they come from?

    For the last five years, we've been studying how designers make their decisions. When do they use outside information, such as research about their users? When do they go with their gut instinct? When do the designers look to past decisions and the lessons they've learned?

    What we found will surprise you. In this presentation, Jared will take you on an entertaining deep dive into the gut instinct of the best designers (without looking at all the gooey parts). You'll learn five styles of decision making, from Self Design to Experience-focused Design, and which style produces quality results. Prepare to learn how to be a better designer, as Jared shares the secrets of the best and worst.

    At 9:05am to 10:05am, Friday 17th February

    In Main auditorium, Wellington Town Hall

    Coverage note video

  • In Lulz We Trust

    by Gabriella Coleman

    Agents of activism and naughty mischief, Anonymous has been a constant fixture in the news due to their blizzard of interventions from taking down half a dozen websites in a single day to protest web censorship to assisting the historic revolutions in the Middle East and Africa. Drawing on three years of serious ethnographic research (re: chatting online, a lot), this talk will visit few of their major operations in order to address the political significance of their tactics and most especially, the lulz.

    At 10:10am to 10:50am, Friday 17th February

    In Main auditorium, Wellington Town Hall

    Coverage video note

  • It's not what you read, it's what you ignore

    by Scott Hanselman

    How did we get here? As web developers, we are asked to absorb even more information than ever before. More APIs, more documentation, more patterns, more layers of abstraction. Now Twitter and Facebook compete with Email and Texts for our attention, keeping us up-to-date on our friends dietary details and movie attendance second-by-second. Young people rule the web and are more interested in the news of the last 10 minutes than the news of the last 10 years. Does all this information take a toll on their (and your) psyche or sharpen the saw? Let's find out how to stop being thought-leaders and start being do-leaders.

    At 11:15am to 11:55am, Friday 17th February

    In Main auditorium, Wellington Town Hall

    Coverage video note

  • Pressure, defense, and responses

    by Raffi Krikorian

    From sending out life saving information during emergencies, or letting the millions of @ladygaga's monsters know her latest thought, at Twitter the name of the game is "now." I'll talk about how three key words -- pressure, defense, and responses -- describe the challenges involved in running the world's largest real-time service.

    At 12:00pm to 12:40pm, Friday 17th February

    In Main auditorium, Wellington Town Hall

    Coverage note video

  • When we build

    by Wilson Miner

    “We shape our tools and our tools shape us.” As more of the tools we live with every day become digital instead of physical, our opportunity — and responsibility — as designers is multiplying. We live in a world of screens, and we are the ones who decide what goes on them. We are in a unique position to have an impact — one that lasts longer than the next redesign or the latest technology. What happens when we stop thinking of ourselves not just as developers or experience designers, and take up the mantle as a new generation of product designers for a digital world?

    At 12:00pm to 12:40pm, Friday 17th February

    In Illot theatre, Wellington Town Hall

  • Slashdot- the rise and fall

    by Rob Malda

    The story of the rise and fall of Slashdot, and the rise of social media and current trends. It'll be largely technical, anecdotal, and hopefully kind of funny.

    At 12:45pm to 1:25pm, Friday 17th February

    In Main auditorium, Wellington Town Hall

    Coverage video note

  • Typography through song: an historical and epistemological journey

    by Jessica Hische

    Jessica Hische will combine virtuosic Morin Khurr (Horse Head Fiddle) and Khuumii (Harmonic Overtone Throat Singing) skills to transmit the harmony of Mongolian Shamanic culture through time and space.

    At 12:45pm to 1:25pm, Friday 17th February

    In Illot theatre, Wellington Town Hall

    Coverage note video

  • Lonely Pan Flute

    by Adam Lisagor

    Adam Lisagor is the undisputed king of the pan flute. Famous for his triple-tongue staccato technique that allows him to play three times faster than the average pan flutist, he is known worldwide as “The Speed of Light”. He is also the only artist who can play G major diatonic instrument chromatically in all twelve keys.

    Adam will perform for the first time on an electric pan flute which was built especially for him.

    At 2:15pm to 2:55pm, Friday 17th February

    In Main auditorium, Wellington Town Hall

  • Making Movies is Harder than it Looks: Building Tools for Telling Stories

    by Michael B. Johnson

    Making movies is a complex, collaborative, creative activity. At Pixar, they don't pretend to know exactly what they're doing, but they do have a process. They trust the process, but they constantly test and refine it, based on the stories they want to tell, the resources they have to tell them, and most importantly - the people who want to tell them.

    Technology and art go hand in hand at Pixar — each challenges and reinforces the other. Technologist Michael B. Johnson, a Pixarian since he joined as an intern in 1993, has been involved in most of Pixar's feature films and short films. He will share his perspective on the Pixar film-making process; one which involves both creative story tellers that want things they don't understand how to make and flexible technologists who are more concerned with empowering their users than winning an argument with them.

    Come along as Michael tells stories from inside their process; sharing the how and the why. Join him as he tries to explain how Pixar always manages to keep their eye on the big prize - a compelling story, well told.

    At 3:00pm to 3:40pm, Friday 17th February

    In Main auditorium, Wellington Town Hall

    Coverage note

  • Delivering Happiness

    by Tony Hsieh and Jenn Lim

    Tony Hsieh and Jenn Lim will discuss the different ingredients used by Zappos.com to build a long-lasting enduring brand including the importance of customer service and company culture. Tony will talk about how focusing on happiness, as a business model, has created happy customers, happy employees, and happy vendors enabling the company to expand beyond selling shoes to clothing, bags, and other product categories. They will dive into his research on the science of happiness and how it has applied to business. Focusing on the importance of a higher purpose, beyond just profits, will drive business results.

    At 4:10pm to 5:25pm, Friday 17th February

    In Main auditorium, Wellington Town Hall

    Coverage note

  • Doing Good and Well

    by Derek Handley

    Business and technology drive the human race forward and have proven to be the most powerful force for getting things done.

    But they also screw things up royally. Destroy the environment; turn slaves out of FoxConn employees; create wedges of enormous inequality and drive mass consumerism of stuff we don't need and never knew we wanted.

    Millions across the world have no clean water, food or medicine while we obsess over what rendering our app's 'Next' button should have and what Techcrunch has to say about the latest bowel movements of Silicon Valley. I'll share some ideas as to how we can sleep better at night and change the world (while still getting that 'Next' button spot-on).

    At 5:30pm to 6:10pm, Friday 17th February

    In Main auditorium, Wellington Town Hall

    Coverage note video