Yesterday I attended the Future Of Web Design London event in Kensington (along with my lovely wife). Unfortunately I’ve been suffering from some stinking virus for the past couple of days, which left me uncomfortable, occasionally in pain, and irritated. Please bear in mind that this may have coloured my perception of the event somewhat; also, please accept my apologies if you were at the event and start to suffer the same symptoms in a few days.
I’ll write short reviews of the individual sessions at a later date, but my general opinion is that it was just OK; it dealt more in current design trends than future, almost all of which you probably already know if you keep up to date with sites like A List Apart or some of the better blogs. Although that’s not to say it was a complete waste of time; few of the speakers were less than interesting, and there are always new techniques to learn or existing techniques to reinforce.
Some of the speakers suffered from not having worked (or, at least, not for a long time) in a regular agency position (if I may coin a phrase, coal-face web development), and their advice was therefore useful on a theoretical basis only. Sure, it would be great if we could make mistakes in public and make constant revisions to our websites, but who pays for that? The client almost certainly won’t. We think ourselves lucky to have some clients who are savvy enough to make annual revisions to their sites! And while I’d love to just “get better clients”, that’s just not how the real world works for those of us who don’t work at start-ups or own our own agencies.