An Event Apart, Day One
July 27, 2010

Earlier this year, I was thinking it would be nice to go to a web conference. While I'd love to hit SXSW, I never seem to have the vacation hours to go and I didn't think my company would find it a proper conference, I mean, SXSW is really it's own beastie.

No, if I were to attend just one web conference, I knew what it needed to be ... An Event Apart by the A List Apart folk. I'd been following Eric Meyer since my newsgroup days on RTM ( ... I am a toy geek) and the Raving Toy Maniac website/web-mag. No, the two Eric Meyers aren't the same guy, but I was into web design already and that's just how I discovered web standards.

So here I am ... at An Event Apart in Minneapolis, getting ready to start day two. Day one was wonderful - I enjoyed all of the presenters - Zeldman and Jared are always both informative and helpful (even if Zeldman made me feel old with the history lesson of stuff I already knew - it was still a delightful presentation and refresher). Whitney Hess spoke about user experience and usability which just validated everything I already thought I knew - and I needed to hear that validation. I'm determined to try again to push user testing ....

Luke Wroblewski's presentation on mobile was another session that was wonderful. Again, I knew the theories and reasonings behind much of the presentation and it was good to glean a few more details and get that validation.

The presentation that made me the most wistful (probably fitting), was Aarron Walter's talk on the emotional web. It was well done and despite what many non-web corporate types would think, very practical. This is the hardest sell where I am, harder than even convincing anyone that user testing is a necessary aspect to our HUGE ecommerce site. Sure, it is in some ways the sprinkles on top when everything else is done right ... but that doesn't mean it's not an important part of the experience ... the problem is that it's not immediately quantifiable. The mere fact that Mail Chimp created a "party pooper" version of their site without all of the funny charm ... and only .007% of their users actually used that version, does tell me that it is quantifiable to some degree.

This post is just a very quick overview before I head down to breakfast, but I'd like to make a particular THANK YOU to Marc Drummond for doing some wonderful 140char notes during all of the presentations. Marc's notes were an invaluable resource to me as it freed me from feeling really pressured to frantically take notes.

Today I think we dive into code just a tad more than we did yesterday (we were mostly hearing about process and such yesterday) and I'm looking forward to a little more nitty-gritty.

Posted by Red Monkey at July 27, 2010 8:00 AM | Design | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


Whitney Hess said:

Thanks so much for the mention! Definitely let me know what UX practices you put into place and what the outcomes are.

July 27, 2010 9:45 AM
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