I was excited as I headed up to Nottingham, I hadn't visited the city before and I was making the trip to attend New Adventures in Web Design.
The day was full of great talks with a strong underlying theme of introducing "higher" design into our work (I hate that term, but bear with me). This includes using art direction to focus and evoke emotional reactions, traditional print methods such as baseline grids to form a vertical rhythm, and making strong conscious decisions about every element we add to a design instead of relying on old tricks and trends. A lot of this we have already been discussing between ourselves at work, but it's great to hear it from industry leaders; and it was a good reminder of university study.
If I had to choose a favourite it would be Brendan Dawes' presentation. Not only because he's an amazing and entertaining presenter, but because he has been looking at how the web will connect with real world things, such as his script for automatically printing photos from instagram which allows us to discover the imagery in a different way. As I am very active in crafting physical things in my spare time I find this connection fascinating and is something I have not considered before. But it has great implications on how we may obtain and consider goods in the future, hopefully with less waste and more respect for the way things are made and what happens to them when we no longer want them.
But of course one of the best things about conferences is meeting new people and catching up with those you met previously. This conference was even better for that because there was no wifi - it may sound weird for a web conference to have no connection but it meant people left their laptops away and actually talked to each other. What a great idea!