You the User
You the User
You the User

a little writing, a little code, a little design


I was at dConstruct on Friday. I was also aware of some of the real time feedback and the discussion after. Like most other attendees I drank beer after and discussed the day. My conference pessimism is already well documented but I also have strong feelings that events, their organisers and their speakers need to ensure that events must never settle for set delivery methodologies and the safe ground. Talks and other event content should never be the same and have a responsibility to push against the edges of any formuliac talk format.

If everything is the same conferences will just become dull, predictable and plain boring. We need diversity and challenges. We need to witness things we don’t necessarily immediately understand. Different types of delivery, different subject matters, different approaches, different messages. Simplicity, yes, understandablity, yes but also more abstract, unconventional approaches, subject matter and conclusions. If the event calendar is encouraged to only harvest content that delivers spoon fed experiences and is too anxious to support less conventional content the conference world will rapidly Holiday Inn itself.

It is not the responsibility of established events like dConstruct to dumb down its content to appease attendees who are reticent or negative to programmes that challenge, take risks and attempt to look towards an uncertain future rather than settle for appeasement, naval gazing, and safe. Conferences and events really can’t – and shouldn’t – all be filled up with ‘Be an HTML5 rock god’, ‘UX will eat itself’ or ‘How to use Agile UX to write a children’s book’ type content.

Be glad. Celebrate that someone like Craig Mod is willing to stand up in front of you and try and get you to actually think for yourself a bit. It doesn’t always work 100% but cutting it down ain’t helping anyone.

We need a range of approaches. A range of subjects. And a range of comprehensibility. Life isn’t straightforward (and I can ensure you nor is the future and you might just find that you need some of these strange tales to unlock an understanding of it as it unfolds).

Grown up, mannered disagreement, discussion and debate are all fine and should of course never be discouraged. However, petty public moaning and reactionary squabbling is limiting (and limited) and will progress our communities not much further than the end of our shoes.


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He laughed at the blue plastic iMac…