Digital Exeter and cows

Share and connect with like minded digital professionals at this free evening meetup

Digital Exeter now has a 1000 members and meets in the evening every other month at Jury’s Inn, near the bus station and Vue cinema. It’s free and is for like minded digital professionals to hear talks and network. You can book a place on the Meetup app and the next event is early Sept.

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What happened

I went for the first time on Tues 6 July to reconnect with the digital world before returning to work in Nov from maternity leave.

It was relaxed and informal with a bar and a room set up in theatre style. The first talk was on UI/UX design from Honeybe Creative. The second on Cows and technology from Milkalyser which was really fascinating to learn about changing from a government scientist to owning a business and applying for grants as well as setting up data transfer about healthy cows from across the globe.

I really enjoyed the meet and recommend it to others from whatever part of digital you are working in. There was lots of insider information on other digital talks, tech talks and discounts.

Summary

Digital Exeter (and Tech Exeter)

Free event run by Rob Glover

Every 2 months, evening

Jurys Inn, Exeter

Book a place on the meetup app

UXBristol is back

UXBristol is one of the best UX events I’ve been to. I went last year and met lots of UXers, took part in hands on workshops and had pizza & beer.

Three workshops that really stood out for me last year:

Sketching notes

We sketched the workshop in notes, learnt shorthand sketch and what pens to use. I’ve been taken no notes that way ever since and it’s saved me time & paper.

Board games 

We created a board game, prototyped it and tested it on other teams. You learn a lot in a short space of time. My team themed theirs around Shaun of the dead.

Quick notebook prototypes

Using a small flip notepad to create a prototype for a game played on handheld devices. It was a cheap, quick and effective way to prototype.

I recommend UXBristol as one of the friendliest and interactive UX events there are. Go and play 🙂

Smashing Conference

sunset in oxford

Make huge leaps in knowledge from Conferences

Last week I spent three days in Oxford at the Smashing Conference learning from Designers and Developers as they talked about their stories and their craft. Most speakers talked in part about their life and the history of culture – experiences which tied into their craft. Where human and technology mix. It’s aptly named – smashing.

As a Designer I learned most from the UX and Design talks and saw ways that these corresponded to my own work. It was great to gain an insight into Development as well.

The talks

Here are the talks with links to the slides (where available). All of the links and also videos of the talks will be added as they become available.

Design talks

  • Understanding People – Chris Shiflett
    Summary: Perception versus reality. What is right isn’t as important as what is perceived to look right. User’s aren’t stupid, they are human.
    Checkout: change blindness (spot the difference in the pictures), ambient signifiers like the chimes on the Toyko tube and the piano stairs that are more fun than easy escalators!
  • Joining up the dots – Heydon Pickering
    Summary: explores the Web as the ultimate outcome of our unique impulse to make systems of shared meaning.
    Checkout: punching salads.
  • Living Design Systems – Jina Bolton
    Summary: creating a design system for a large Enterprise company. Design for scale.
    Checkout: opensource tool called Theo which converts files to several types automatically.
  • Design Systems in Difficult Places (no slides yet) – Mark Boulton
    Summary: talked about working in challenging places with distributed teams, devolved responsibilities and little understanding of users. Create a design system to create change and not just to create pictures. Mark spoke about his work at Al Jeezera and CERN.
    Checkout: stories about GB road team winning the Tour de France by taking a holistic approach and tweaking every possible aspect so that small gains = large overall gain.
  • Overthinking Design and Embracing Minutia (no slides yet) – Jon Setzen
    Summary: good experience is key to happy, loyal customers. It should be holistic and ever evolving.
    Checkout: Snoop gets mad, but who should it be at?
  • Souls & Machines: Designing the Future of Content (no slides yet) – Hannah Donovan
    Summary: Content without context is meaningless. Perspective gives feeling. Humans care about things, it’s how they determine what matters.
    Checkout: designing for desire is ok (just as for needs is ok), cleaning up API vomit, design invents culture.
  • Improving On-screen Legibility (no slides yet) – Tobias Frere-Jones
    Summary: sub pixel rendering causes problems with legibility. Mosaic effect. Small sizes can be legible as proved by printing press over hundreds of years.
    Checkout: his experiments with Mallory to get sizing exact.
  • Building Great Design Teams – Aaron Walter
    Summary: UX teams require Researchers, Designers and Developers. Work together, sit together, respect each other.
    Checkout: Many great insights from his work at Mailchimp, including videos being good ways to share research and knowing each others superpowers and kyptonite.

Developer talks