The Future of Web Design conference in London this week was chock full of inspiration, information, and provocation (the good kind). We kicked off the show with a keynote from polymath artist, designer, creator and maker Brendan Dawes, who coached us through the process of taking scraps of ideas through the design process to create things that are meaningful.
At the core of design is assembling data (content) in a way to spark an emotion or provoke a reaction. "Data itself is not enough. Data needs poetry," Dawes said.
It was a theme that would pop up repeatedly throughout the week, and one worth remembering as designers try to cope with the rapidly expanding set of devices on which users will engage with their designs. Bill Buxton, principal researcher at Microsoft Research, expanded on this idea yesterday while discussing the explosion of touch-sensitive surfaces. Soon we'll have touch screens of different sizes and shapes not only in our pockets but on subway walls, bus stops, and public buildings. The ability to lower the transactional cost (in money, time, ease or any other valid measure) through web design is higher now than ever, but the complexity of doing so is only going to expand in the next few years as devices themselves are connected into their own social network.
It's ideas and engagement like this that are the difference between a good conference and a great conference. I was awestruck at how quickly and deeply our attendees and speakers explored these concepts in sessions, at lunch, and during our networking events.
If you attended FOWD London but missed any of these sessions, don't worry - we'll be posting all the videos right here in the next few weeks. Check your email or grab our RSS feed (or, you know, twitter) to be notified of when they're ready.
Thank you to all the attendees, speakers, and sponsors for making FOWD London 2012 an amazing event. We can't wait to come back next year!