niedziela, 30 maja 2010

SparkUp conference

So the SparkUp conference is over. It was short, but quite an interesting event. Especially that no conference on this subject had existed in Poland before.
Yes - the subject. The title of the conference was "webdev, ux, design"; and there were two paths: ux/web design and web development. I decided to choose the first one. Was it really ux/web design oriented?

Logistics
What was the most important to me: Poznań is really far away from Kraków and going there by train is a trouble. It would have been better if the conference had lasted for at least two days; but now for eight hours spent at the conference there were over sixteen hours spent on a train.
It was the first edition of SparkUp. Participants may had seen some minor shortcomings: a voice from the other room or brioches sliced in pieces (another point to neverending war between Kraków and Poznań - in which city do better scrooges live). I was surprised by lack of exhibitors - only Helion and Microsoft decided to come and show something (but the latter brought a Surface!).
But - free beer and M&M's during conference after party were such a big advantage that no shortcomings were important.

Sessions
Andy Budd: Persuasive Design: Encouraging Your Users To Do What You Want Them To!
An inspiring talk. Andy showed many interesting ways of attracting people in real (off-line) world and tried to translate them into on-line equivalents. Did you know that tiles in luxury alleys in supermarkets are smaller, so you hear click-clacking of your trolley more frequent, so you think you walk faster, so you slow down, so you can see more expensive stuff? Quite a general session but brought some interesting thoughts.

Marek Kasperski: Mental models vs. www sites (in Polish)
It was the only session in Polish. It's striking that seven on ten sessions and six on nine speakers at the conference in Poland were from abroad. Does it mean we don't have UX experts? Maybe... However, Marek talked about designers trying to understand people's needs. He said that the most important element in a human-computer interaction is a human so we shouldn't rely on programs judging whether a website is usable or not. He also showed a meaning of metaphors in user interface.

Inayaili de León: Stop Being So Clever
The most beautiful slides seen during this conference! Yaili talked about CSS3 and how to make a web designer happy so she can go drinking on Friday night. Yaili pointed out that no-one but the designer himself would notice some little shortcomings of a website such as rounded corners or some shadows. She said that web developers shouldn't be so precious and shouldn't fight with IE6 for life and death. And all of this shown just with a few lines of CSS code.

Remy Sharp: jQuery for designers: the essentials
Well, I found this session quite interesting but I do know what jQuery is, I do know how JavaScript works and I do know how to use it. But a friend of mine, an UX and interaction specialist, who, I believe, haven't written a single line of code in her life, was bored to death. Remy showed some jQuery tips and tricks but said little of how designers should approach to this framework. One think to remember: design your site with and without jQuery effects and then continue with jQuery.

Antony Ribot: The Future of Mobile UX
This session wasn't on the future of mobile UX. Honestly, it was on something between UX, mobile, chat and fun. Antony talked about everything he found interesting and was somehow connected to the topic but he did it with such a charm that I believe everyone was attracted. However I don't know if anyone has remembered any "hard facts" - I remember that Poland was the third greatest exporters of cherries to USA in 2003. Nonetheless - great fun.

So...
I think the conference was worth time spent. But I know I won't decide to come to Poznań next unless some there is a real hit (for instance one of the UX gurus) or the conference lasts longer. But this is only because of a distance. If SparkUp was placed in Warszawa I would willingly go.

1 komentarz:

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