Last week I attended New Adventures in Web Design 2011, and I wanted to write a few thoughts about the day. Instead of a blow-by-blow account I’m going to share what I thought made this conference so special, and why I will be attending again. The photos used in this post are all from the Flickr group pool.
Nottingham is a university city with a vibrant creative community but most importantly it’s located in Central England. This means that those of us who don’t live in the south-east are able to attend without take a week off work and learning what an Oyster card is. It’s also got the East Midlands airport nearby, meaning international attendees are accounted for too.
The Albert Hall is a spectacular venue. I heard it criticised by a few for the size of the foyer area during breaks, but I liked that you were elbow to elbow with web geeks. I attended alone, but managed to speak to loads of great people because, in most part, we were forced together in the cosy foyer.
Throughout all of the talks I didn’t see one line of code. I don’t go to a conference to learn specifics and take diligent notes, I go to be influenced and inspired by industry leaders. Talks were time-boxed to just 30 minutes, meaning they were lean, focused, efficient and left me wanting more.
Both before and after the event it felt like the whole web design community had been talking about this conference. Simon Collison is a prominent member of the web design community and we all wanted to see him succeed. While there, everyone from the attendees and volunteers to the speakers were approachable, friendly and always smiling.