I mentioned in passing about my attending the Future of Web Design conference in New York yesterday. Thought I’d go into a bit more depth about it, seeing as how it was kind of the impetus for my resurgence of creative energy.
Things were held at Roseland Ballroom, which seemed to be a strange choice of venue. One thing for certain was the need for Roseland to get better folding chairs. By the end of the day there were quite a number of people sitting on the floor because of their ass-numbing quality. But aside from the seats, the occasional awkward speaker and the over-exuberant promotion of the after party, it was a day well spent.
Now, for some of the highlights as I saw them:
Dan Mall talked about the “Experience Layer”, which focuses more on designing for content, style, behavior and experience instead of for certain technologies. Other topics touched upon included emotional design and progressive enhancement. In all, this really realigned my view on how I should be approaching my future designs.
Derek Powazek spoke on “Crowdsourcing” (and has posted his slides). The man knows about the habits of communities and was one of the few fine folks I hoped to model my career on when I was still learning the ins and outs, so hearing him speak was a special treat.
But I’d have to say the most influential speaker in my opinion was Mike Kus, who asked the question of “Whatever happened to the art in design?” — something I have been pondering for some time. His hand drawn slides were probably the biggest single impetus in getting me to get the new design online last night.
In the end, all of what I heard reenforced my belief that this is a great time to be a web designer. Bandwidth and standards compliance have grown and matured to a point where designers should be free to push themselves more readily, and I think the world will be richer for it.