Flash on the Beach 2011

“With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” Elliot Jay Stocks  @elliotjaystocks This was an insightful talk, with a bit of a moan at the beginn…


“With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”

Elliot Jay Stocks  @elliotjaystocks

This was an insightful talk, with a bit of a moan at the beginning; we should drop the new stuff and concentrate on the core principles of design, go back to basics!  He took us through some of the bad bits on the web, focusing on some use of drop shadows and why it shouldn’t be used.  The main theme being just because we can, why do we feel the need to use every effect and new piece of software?  Then, and I liked this bit, he took us through some of the good bits, for me this is what I find interesting.  Design and Creative can be rather subjective, so I find it really interesting who finds what good and not.  These were a few of his favourites;


http://nizoapp.com/ – “Nizo — a camera for the iPhone that captures all the charm that only Super 8 film can deliver”

Elliot then went on to discuss that his offline passion @8faces magazine which he produces, was his inspiration for going back to basics, using the baseline grid principle for web design, using Typography as the starting point for all web based projects.  In essence he hammered home to question each design decision made, focus on the details, and keep away from unnecessary effects unless of course this enhances the user journey in some way.

This talk reaffirms the notion that internet, mobile, touch screen, gestural interface anything interactive needs to be well thought out, engage the consumer and function, rather than just showcase beautiful design.  If a consumer has a positive brand engagement then this in turn will provide loyalty.

Idea to Interface

Aarron Walter  @aarron

Aarron knows his stuff as a UE Design lead and international speaker; he has good ideas but how does he get to them?  The first part of this talk was related to ideas, we all have ideas so what makes a good idea and how can we harness these good ideas and make them into actual solutions rather than ideas floating in the abyss.  He stressed that no matter who you are or what role you play at home or work you will have 1000’s of ideas over the years.  He talked about how we should keep note of these ideas and “shelve” them!  A really good example of this that he gave was the case with Jack Dorsey, who created Twitter, which launched in 2006.  But, what was interesting to find out via short video clip, was that Dorsey in fact had an idea about 8-10 yrs before, at university in a park of all places.  He knew there was some substance to this idea, but not knowing how to harness it he “shelved” it.  Some years later he re-visited this idea and then Twitter was born.  What Aarron was illustrating is the process that ideas don’t always come in a flash with a full solution.   He went on to talk about “ideate or Ideation” which is the process of when an idea is born; at this stage its all about brainstorming, sketching, making notes anything to log this idea and its growth; he suggested a few places that you can collate ideas; www.dribbble.com and http://huffduffer.com/ – a place to create your own podcasts with inspirational content.   Then there comes “incubation”, what I found wonderful is that we even incubate ideas in our sleep, it’s when we are not trying to think that the “Eureka” moment comes to us.

From this he went onto Sketch Boarding (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVFTBj_BYy0) which is a bit like brainstorming but more specific to UX solutions, he advised these sketch boards always be public, and to always involve your team and wider staff; an idea will evolve with collaboration from others.  He then went into some quite heavy UE principles like Patterns, Object Orientated CSS by Nicole Sullivan and JQuery Tools.  All very interesting but getting slightly out of my comfort zone in terms of understanding.  Here is a link to a similar Idea to Interface talk he did which details the whole talk; http://aarronwalter.com/2011/05/03/links-and-resources-from-an-event-apart-talk-idea-to-interface/

For me, I found this talk very engaging and inspiring, I like that I am generating thousands of ideas in my sleep, I’m now going to try and note them all down, shelve and maybe one day have that winning idea that will change the world or make me a million.  Both the talks I attended actually didn’t even touch on Flash, but the common themes were to question, think, and evolve your idea or designs.

I’ve come away with some interesting industry insight, some hints and tips that I can use in my work as a Creative / Design Recruiter AND life in general.  So all in all a big thumbs up from me!  I’d definitely like to go to FOTB next year, hopefully for more than one day next time.

Reporter; Gaby Dutton – Creative / Design Recruiter @gabydutton 

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