Design Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Web Design Day 2012

Just got back from Web Design Day, hosted by Refresh Pittsburgh, Pgh’s web design meetup group. After a day of excellent presentations by some excellent speakers, excellent drinks and snacks were had at Commonwealth Press for the after party. #WDD2012 win, I’m definitely looking forward to next year. Thanks to Val and Jason Head for all their hard work. Anyways, here are some disjointed notes from a few of the presentations (there were other very good ones I didn’t have notes on, so sorry):

Kevin Hoffman: Designing Meetings to Work For

How much information does a person retain when:

  • Listening – 20%
  • Seeing – 30%
  • Discussing – 70%
  • Making & Managing – 90%

In large meetings, designate people for these four roles:

  1. Facilitator: a neutral person, listens to group member ideas and does not add their own.
  2. Recorder: Someone to capture ideas publicly, a graphic facilitator. White board it up.
  3. Group Member: Everyone else, those contributing the ideas.
  4. Leader: A person to decide why you are having the meeting, its goals, and the outcome. Assumes the role of a Group Member during said meeting.

Collaborative Deliverables: Why not wireframe as a group? Print out a large version of what is being redesigned and mark it up together. Have a group sketching session.

Meagan Fisher: Becoming a Web Design Champion: How to Better Collaborate, Develop Your Style, and Get Designs Launched

Vary your sources of inspiration – if you are making a website, don’t just look at websites. Go to a museum or read a graphic design book.

Get input early and often.

Hovering Art Directors

Have a hack week: take a week off and work on a completely different project. They often turn into important compliments to your main gig, or meaningful work on their own. Check out ChartBeat Labs.

Geoff Barnes: It’s 2012 & I’m Still Writing “Should web designers know how to code?” On All My Checks

Don’t say should. Maybe is a better word – it implies that we don’t have sufficient knowledge to make a statement, should implies judgement and guilt. I do hate that word.

Book: Being Wrong by Kathryn Schulz

Confirmation Bias: When everything you hear confirms what you think you know.

Creativity is a mood. An open minded mood.

Rephrase judgements as questions.

Play is good. Conditions for play:

  1. Space
  2. Time
  3. Confidence (shed your Confirmation Bias)
  4. Humor

Two kinds of play:

  1. Artistic play: Like improv, interpretive dance, etc.
  2. Heady play: Subverting for humor, satire, be ridiculous on purpose, take everything literally (humorously).

Dan Mall: Hulkmania & Design

Yes, a Hulk themed presentation. Not as tacky as it might sound, and was possibly my favorite talk of the day. And as usual, another freaking beautiful slideshow.

Photo credit @Joeldinkel
About deliverables: a lot more goes into creating it than actually working on the thing – factor in other activities that will get you there. Taking a walk or going to the library may very well be more productive than adjusting a margin for 3 hrs.

Be a client: We spend so much time thinking about and trying to please clients, but have we ever been a client? Try to find a way to be a client, maybe offer a website in exchange for a logo, etc.

Article: The Genius of the Tinkerer

Most Awesomest Thing Ever – this site was a side project and got 9 million hits in 3 days. Or something like that. I can’t really remember why this was relevant, but it was.

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