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Warning This article was written over six months ago, and may contain outdated information.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