How do you plan for the unknown? The answer is obvious—you can’t—but that’s not a bad thing. Unknowns can be scary, but they also create opportunity. On the web, it’s tempting to focus our effort around what we know (or think we know) about our customers based on analytics data we’re collecting and our own experience of the web.
Every decision we make affects the way real people experience our products. We’ve all heard the rallying cry for user-centered design, but even those of us who ascribe to that ideal often fall back on our own biases and instincts when it comes to making decisions about how people experience our content and our services. Sadly, this often means we make decisions we think will be good for our "users"—that anonymous, faceless crowd—rather than actually trying to understand the perspectives, surroundings, capabilities, and disadvantages of the actual people who we are here to serve.
In this session, Aaron Gustafson will explore why empathy is a good thing, how empathy empowers creativity, and how we, as a community, can inject more empathy into our work.
by Bruce Lawson
The future of the Web is a dangerous Babylon: people talking to each other to do business, organise revolutions, express their feelings, meet their friends, transcend their disabilities and economically empower themselves. Obviously, this must be stopped. Bruce will show you his top tips and tricks that you can use to destroy the web.
Venturing into the unknown is scary, but fun things happen when you try new things. Seb will show you that it's rewarding to get out of your comfort zone and blur the boundaries between artist and coder. He'll be talking about his recent experiments with lasers for his digital fireworks display, PixelPyros, and of course, expect some dangerous live demos
by Marta Armada
There's an ongoing pressure to produce faster, easier, reusable code and websites: boilerplates, frameworks, bootstraps, grid systems... This usually leads to cookie-cut, one-size-fits-all websites. Design patterns are repeated over and over, code snippets are introduced into our projects without second thoughts. It's time us web designers regain control over our tools and start using them for the purpose they were created in the first place: producing tailored experiences for our users.
"On a mission from the web" will get a new dimension after Ben will give us insights on how the web could be a tool to shape a better world
by Paul Annett
Paul discusses the differences between designing for professional and mainstream audiences, comparing design practices from his time as Creative Lead at the revolutionary new public sector website GOV.UK, to those where he now works at Twitter.
Among his topics are user needs, delightful experiences, real-life accessibility and evidence from testing services with both novice and pro web users.
UI testing has been around for years, but never been part of a hype, never made it into the daily workflow of most frontend devs, never has been seen as one of these things that makes our lives easier.
Why is this essential tool in our chain treated like a misbehaving stepson?
In this talk we will answer that question, looking back to when it all started to go wrong, examine the current state and looking into the future and how we can bring the power of UI and e2e testing back to the people who build the frontend of the web.
The process of designing and building software exposes our humanness and diverse portfolio of imperfections. It is your ability, or lack thereof, to understand and work with other people — your project team, stakeholders, and users — that often determines the success of your work, as well as how you feel along the way. And chances are, it is the skill that you spend the least amount of time working on — it's the "soft skill" that's really the hardest to learn.
In The Design of People, Nishant Kothary will take you through some of the most irksome dilemmas of our day, using case studies and research from the fields of behavioral economics, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology. You'll laugh and you’ll cry, but you’ll leave with a more technical understanding of how to work with and influence other people: the key to your best work.
19th–20th September 2013