What I saw at FoWD 2008

Warning This article was written over six months ago, and may contain outdated information.

As promised, slightly more detailed notes on the sessions at FoWD (further links to presentations to follow). In chronological order:

Finding Inspiration for Design (Patrick McNeil)

I missed the beginning of this, but it seemed to be pretty sage, if not rather commonsense, advice (don’t just use websites for web design inspiration), as well as some notes on current trends and tips on future ones; soft colours, more use of horizontal space, more video.

User Experience vs Brand Experience (Steve Pearce and Andy Clarke)

Set up as a confrontation, but in fact both speakers were at pains to point out that both should be thought of together. Andy Clarke adds: don’t be afraid to fail, we learn from our mistakes.

Sponsors Presentation: Silverlight

Oh dear. While the demo showed off Silverlight pretty well, the presenter didn’t. Already at a disadvantage by talking Microsoft in a room with a majority of Apple-heads, his nervous speech was uninspiring and he was almost yanked off stage.

Designing the User Experience Curve (Andy Budd)

How to ensure that the customer gets the information or experience they want from a website. Revealed: Silverback is a usability testing tool.

Photoshop Battle

Low point of the day for me. A panel of some of the top designers in the field swig beer on stage while teaching us nothing about Photoshop or their working habits. Pointless tittering smuggery.

Print is the New Web (Elliot Jay Stocks)

How to gain inspiration from print; not only in terms of typography, but layout too. Didn’t break new ground, but interesting and really nicely presented.

From Design to Deployment (Jon Hicks)

A polished presentation as always, but better for designers learning to be better coders than vice versa. How to set up your file structure, use grid layout, code across browsers.

Sponsors Presentation: AIR/Flex

Better than the Microsoft one, but still failed to captivate. What the new products can do, and how to add them to your regular work flow.

Unconventional Ways to Promote your Site (Paul Farnell)

Give away free stuff, get involved with message boards, blogs, chat forums, social networking sites; not that unconventional, surely? Pretty good for a first-time speaker, anyway.

Evolving the User Experience (Daniel Burka)

Better your site incrementally; listen to and learn from your users. Thought-provoking stuff, much of which is completely impractical for most coal-face web designers (I hope that phrase catches on).

3 comments on
“What I saw at FoWD 2008”

  1. Thanks for all your comments on FOWD. It really helps when planning next years content. I am interested in hearing what else you would like to see covered next time.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Jo. I’d love to write more detailed notes about each of the sessions, but time forbids. I’ll put together some thoughts about what I would like to see at next year’s event and let you know.

  3. Darn I wish I went.