As I walked around the streets of New York I realised just how strong the design culture is here, evident in every independent coffee shop and boutique store. This place definitely has its own aesthetic like no other city I've visited yet. This is what makes it such a great city to have a web design conference in. The day at FOWD NYC started with Kevin Systrom taking about how Instagram has become the success it is today. By realising the context of mobile use and the amazing features of the phone available to them, they were able to focus on what seems like silly features of their mission statement to create this great, well-tuned app. Through such quick discovery of the Instagram magic to the addictive nature of the social aspects, Instagram is one example of an app done perfectly.
Josh Clark gave a great talk on the myths of mobile context. Mobiles should be viewed as cultures and this does not always mean less, just more focused on the things that really matter in this situation. We need to retain a level of complexity, but without the complication. This can be done very effectively with content only a tap away, and exploring these interfaces can become exciting and interesting to the user. If we start with content, then mobile is just a different way of digesting it - with a smaller screen size but with richer features. Content should be neutral and there is an expectation forming that it should flow (think iCloud). So when designing we need to be thinking of content and design strategies, not layouts for each situation.
Sarah's talk on web design being a cloud was very inspiring to me, and I feel is at the heart of my day to day work. It's a little difficult to explain her talk in this short post, but it boiled down to establishing clear, honest and personal communication within your team from the outset.
The last talk of the day was Swiss Miss, Tina Roth Eisenburg. She went through points good for anyone in the design industry and was very inspirational. She encouraged everyone to get into side projects and used examples from her own. It was a delightful way to end the day and it was great to meet the person behind Creative Mornings that we've been hosting in London.
I've met so many cool people today, web designers and developers from all areas of the industry. We had a great dinner with a bunch of them, and I'm looking forward to what tomorrow brings!