Web Directions 2015 A Quick Storybook

Before we start

I took these mindmaps on an iPad3 which I had just updated to iOS9. And of course the keyboard was laggy as it could be. So I think I've got all of the autocorrects, but if you find anything let me know on Twitter: @ssofnosaj


Brisbane weather was pretty ordinary, but otherwise the trip down was uneventful.

Bleak Brisbane

I landed in Sydney about 5:30. Caught the train to Central. Walked to the hotel. Checked in. Dumped my luggage. Walked back to Central station. Caught train to Milson's point. Walked down to the Aqua restaurant for dinner. About 10 minutes late, that's not too bad.

Except I was a day early. Dinner was Thursday night, not Wednesday night. Not a bad place to go for a wander though.

Not a bad place to spend the twilight hours

As an aside, a decided to add all my notes using Adobe Slate, which was on demo at their site during the conference. I really like it! Just hope that this record is permanent and still online here in 10 years time...


Day one. Let's get into it!

Design Everything - Cap Watkins

Cap spoke about culture change - and how you might go about doing that in an organisation. It's hard, but worthwhile.

Building Empathy Through Data - Alisa Lemberg

Data is everywhere. But a lot of it is also meaningless. Ultimately, data is about people, and affects people. So it kind of makes sense to tell your stories through the eyes of people.

Customer service as a core feature - Matthew Patterson

Break down the silos! And do the other things. But seriously, how important is this, and how often does it get neglected?

Build for speed - Daniel Burka

Robots. Robots that bring you towels and toothpaste. That is all. More here: http://www.gv.com/sprint/

Cognitive bias in software development - Julia Clavien

(Sorry. Didn't take a photo of this session. Anyone got one they can send to me?)

The human brain is a crazy, messed up thing. Logical? Not as much as you think.

From zero to four million - Cameron Adams

Canva is now at 6 million users, and I'm number 4 thousand and something. Cool, hey! Some great on boarding tips here. Now, I just have to get around to launching something...

The perils and pitfalls of A/B testing - Nathan McGuiness

This seems to be what all the cool kids are doing now. Some good advice here for the beginners (like me!) both positive and negative.

The website obesity crisis - Maciej Cegtowski

I didn't take many notes during this one, but it was very good. Much of the humour has been lost in my notes I'm afraid. Watch the video when it finds its way out into the wild.

End of Day One

Luna Park opened a few rides for family. How cool was that! If only my kids were a bit closer...

The weather was perfect.

Ideal location for dinner. Great company.

The view from my seat at dinner. Not too shabby at all...


Not a big night, but a late night (by my standards) so it was a bit hard to get up on Friday morning. Nothing that can't be addressed with caffeine, of course.

Souls and machines: designing the future of content - Hannah Donovan

Hannah explored how recommendations work - not from a technical view, but a contextual one. I hadn't given this topic any thought before. Interesting stuff.

Hacking the creative brain - Denise Jacobs

Sorry. This one is quite large! Probably my favourite presentation of the conference. So much ground covered. And oddly enough, this popped up in my Twitter feed waiting at the airport on the way home: http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2015/11/the-productive-sexy-zen-life-of-single-tasking/

Designing connected products - Martin Charlier
Real life responsive web development - Vitaly Friedman

Vitaly had lots of good stuff, but my note taking skills just weren't up to the task. Better check the video instead when it's made available.

Designing spaces for creative professionals - Alastair Simpson and Nat Jones

We don't all have the budget of Atlassian to spend on our offices - but Alastair and Nat were quick to acknowledge that (to their credit). Start with quick hacks and see how these ideas work for you.

VR: discovering a new medium - Robert Tilt

I didn't take many notes here at all (I can't see me needing this at all in the near future) but it was a really interesting story of Isobar's experience in moving from an idea, to a working demo, then convincing their client to go for it in a big way. Sounded like fun!

The new age of indie - Kai Bracht
Make something worth paying for. Live within your means. Enjoy life.

Says it all really.

Enough lipstick on pigs - Tom Loosemore

What a way to finish. The challenge has been issued to the Aussie DTO! Go get 'em!

And that's a wrap!

Two days went very fast. The whole conference seems to go faster each year in fact.

The theme? I think there was less of the new shiny, and more of the "slow down, take a breath, make sure you're doing this properly" about many of the presentations I saw.

Which was good with me. This industry moves so fast.

The after party

Post script

There were some thunderstorms in Sydney airport on Sunday evening, just in time for my flight home! The hour delay meant I missed my connection in Brisbane, so Virgin had to put me me up for the night at the Pullman Mercure. Nice hotel actually - they didn't skimp. So home on Monday. Eventually.

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Jason Foss

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