Another superb two day conference laid on by John and Maxine (representative of the many involved, of course) finished yesterday. The new venue at Darling Harbour was great and the program was, as always, remarkable.
My highlights included:
Andy Clarke – Think Like a Mountain: I grew up with pocket sized B&W WWII comics, The Phantom, Mandrake, then the DC stable and then Marvel, by which time I’d come to know the various writers, artists, inkers and letterers in a personal way (yes OK, “obsessive” would not be an unreasonable description).
I didn’t necessarily know many of the artists and writers Andy referred to in his presentation (except Frank Miller, which is handy ’cause he came up a bit), but I sure as hell did get what he was talking about.
Everything from page layout, font, colour, perspective, imagery, contrast, spacing, directing user behaviour, impact, information through to sheer design beauty. All there in the comics. Andy Clarke is a genius.
Mark Pesce – Mob Rules: What a thinker. What an observer, interpreter, analyst, speaker. What an inspiration.
Scott Berkun – The Myths of Innovation: Great presentation on how inventions are invented, technological breakthoughs break through and innovations really get innovated. A very engaging speaker with an insightful perspective.
Aaron Gustafson – Learning to Love Forms: I’m a sucker for demos by people who know what they’re doing. This format – “live on stage, with Q&A” – is demanding for the speaker, but I love being there for those who do it well (Dave Shea, Eric Meyer in recent years). Aaron definitely joins that list: entertaining, clever, pragmatic, committed to best practice.
As usual, there wasn’t a Web Directions session I attended from which I didn’t emerge informed, inspired, excited and challenged.
If you have any interest at all in the current leading issues, movements, breakthroughs, obstacles and inspirations in web design and development around the world, you should browse the conference website.
It’s a goldmine, especially as podcasts, transcripts and slidecasts are added.
Congrats and thanks to all involved.