HOW Design 2010 in review: Part three

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

This is a continuation of HOW Design 2010 in review: Part two.

I am attending the HOW Design Conference 2010 in Denver, Colorado. Below is a quick overview of the two sessions I attended on Wednesday.

HOW Design Conference 2010

9:45 am-11:00 am – 38. Refining Yourself as a Designer in the Multi-Media WorldPatrick McNeil, Cameron Moll & Matthew Richmond
You’ve heard from web design gurus Cameron Moll, Matthew Richmond and Patrick McNeil—now’s your chance to ask them all those questions you thought of after you’d left their sessions. (If you missed their sessions, that’s okay—you’re still free to join the conversation.) This panel-style discussion will be open to questions from the audience.

  • Three web designers. Move toward more minimal, refined design. Focus on typography and hierarchy over stock photography. We prefer new forms of type-driven, searchable layout and there’s no need to put window dressing on top. Recreating the physical world always fails (enter the lobby/town) because there are better models.
  • Cameron: Being expressive online is less about the aesthetic and more about communicating content. The experiences now are more grounded than they used to be and less “silly,” for lack of a better word.
  • The rise of blogging platforms (publication systems that are easy to get, free to use, connected to the rest of the Internet). Has standardized many things on the Internet. A baseline publishing system.
  • Cameron: Universities are the most challenging clients. A design-by-committee environment. He feels sorry for university designers. (Tweet, tweet.)
  • Cameron: Analytics should be treated as a tool, not a dictator.
  • Read this book: ABookApart.com: HTML5 for Designers
  • A rock solid spec is everything.
  • Be the advocate for the user. You don’t need to be an advocate for the customer/client/business owner; they’re going to advocate for themselves. Come across as a champion for the company and are looking out for the best interests of the business.
  • Flash is not going to go away anything soon. HTML can replace the sound and video part of Flash, but drawing and animation will not be quickly replaced.
  • Site: The Johnny Cash Project website: Crowdsourced video and unreleased song.
  • Graceful degradation has been built into the HMTL5 spec. Progressive enhancement and the semantic web: separate content. HTML is the closest thing to a global language that has come along in a couple hundred years.
  • HTML email marketing:
    • You have to write tables and inline styles, which “will just corrupt your mind.”
    • “Kind of dirty.”
    • “It just makes me sad.”
    • Suggestions: Constant Contact and Mailchimp.
  • Crowdsourced design. You hope you can set yourself apart from the website & logo templates (design becoming a commodity?). If you get too worried about it, it’s like photographers feeling threatened by stock photo sites.
  • WordPress, SquareSpace, content management and templating systems, Adobe Business Catalyst, etc.

11:15 am-12:30 am – Closing Keynote – 39. Rediscovering Play: Bringing Fun and Passion to Your Work…and LifeKevin Carroll
Past HOW Conference attendees know that Kevin Carroll is an inspiring, energizing and amazing person. Luckily for us, he’s back this year to share his playful spirit and help you enliven and enrich your work life and enhance your innovation. Trust us, you don’t want to miss this! (And you just might want to bring a tissue.)

  • (Some people that you meet leave you as a much better person than before you met them.)
  • Coincidental meetings as a catalyst for your life.
  • Sports was always about connection and community. A little red rubber ball.
  • Because play is so necessary, a child’s ingenuity is at optimal levels when it comes to play. They will find a way to make balls and toys. Many adults let their creative muscles get weak, atrophy.
  • The Red Ball Project – an invitation for play
  • Portland, Oregon (used to work at Nike)
  • People have creativity in them; sometimes they just need a catalyst. Adults needed permission to play. People need to feel comfortable with you to embrace playfulness.
  • We all need community to create these moments.
  • “Maybe the world needs you to be a catalyst.”
  • Ann Willoughby, graphic designer, and Gordon MacKenzie – their connection, creative catalyst for Hallmark, self-published a book, just like Kevin did later.
  • A quote: “Ann Willoughby and Kevin Carroll had one thing in common: they both promised Gordon MacKenzie (see Orbiting the Giant Hairball) they would carry on his legacy as champions of creativity.”
  • What’s your red rubber ball?!
  • Rainy Day Books – independent bookstore in Kansas City
  • The Katalyst: Confections for the Curious Soul

Finally, from the HOW Magazine Blog: “Don’t let all this inspiration go as you settle back into the real world!

Time to head back to Oregon.

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