Generate NY 2016

This past week I attended Generate Conference in New York - it’s one of many conferences by the name hosted in NY, San Francisco, and London annually. 

I was surprised to hear that the common theme amongst the talks of the day wasn’t so much about design or development even, but rather user experience (spoke from the perspective of designers and developers, however!)

“Design is the rendering of intent.” - Dan Mall

Matt Smith gave a talk about the “human build” of a website - how we can think of the parts in relation to that of ourselves. Skeleton, muscles, organs, and appearance are all crucial in both web anatomy and human anatomy and it’s hard for one to work without the other. He made the point that advocating for users should be something everyone does, and we as creators should care about the users of our products enough to not give them extra stressors.

Think of a travel experience from start to finish and all of the things a person touches - booking a ticket online, checking in on the mobile app, finding your way around the airport, checking baggage, ground travel, baggage claim, on-board the plane, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice if all of these things were more seamless and integrated?

Lots of great content and quotes came out of Cameron Moll’s talk on Unified Design. I’ve littered my training presentation to my peers with points from this talk, so here are a few of my favorites:

“The best interface is the one within reach.”
“RWD (responsive web design) should just be RD.”
“We need to give users a cohesive experience regardless of where it begins, continues, and ends.”

My favorite talk of the day was from Stephen Gates, touching moreso on working as a designer. He used the quote “comfort is the enemy of greatness” to explain how as web designers and developers, we need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. We have the gift of making people pay attention, so we should center our careers around having ideas, not necessarily executing to perfection.

Energy is a finite thing. Spend it figuring out what you can do to kick ass. — Katy Thorbahn