[Event] report: Boston IxDA NanoConference

3 Jul 2008 - 10:43am
931 reads
Boston IxDA

IxDA Boston is pleased to announce our most successful event to date. We
were honored to have over 75 local designers, developers and thinkers come
to see 9 talks on methodologies, techniques, findings and new technologies.
For those who could not attend we will be releasing the audio & slide decks
as we produce them, the first link is at the bottom of this post.

We would like to thank our event sponsors http://madpow.net/ and
http://www.brightcove.com/ . This was our second event at
https://www.bentley.edu/ and we're very grateful for their continued
support. We're very thankful for the hard work Chauncey Wilson put in to
moderating the event and the materials assistance from Juhan Sonin.

That all said, every one's efforts would have been in vain if it wasn't for
the fantastic content the 9 speakers produced on the night...

1) With his background in distance learning and visualization at MIT, and
now an aesthetic engineer/creative director-type at R&D outfit MITRE, Juhan
Sonin http://www.mit.edu/~juhan/bio.html kicked off with his insights on how
to inject design into an Open Source project and set a blistering pace
getting through +30 slides in 10 minutes. As with all the talks we will be
publishing the slides and audio on slideshare in the coming weeks. For now
you can see Juhan's deck in his flickr account;

2) Next up was the first of our sponsors http://www.brightcove.com/ Jeremy
Merle (Art Director) & David Adler (Information Architect) walked through
the agile processes they have in place, what wasnt working and how they
fixed it. The main take away was to plan ahead, gather feedback and foster
collaboration from team members to truly get the most from the sprints.

3) Ian Muir, lead 'devigner', at http://www.sundermedia.com/ gave a very
witty breakdown of the Designer-Developer relationship. He had the audience
laughing and nodding sagely at the same time. Essentially its about
understanding the gaps in the respective roles to avoid miscommunication.

4) Kris Engdahl, Usability Consultant, Bentley Design and Usability Center &
Malini Gargeshwari, Senior Interaction Designer, Oracle Corporation talked
about using Reality Maps for Task Analysis. The audience was given a walk
through of this non-visual storyboard and how it helps keep focus on task
flows. We are probably to ask Kris & Malini to come back and give a
workshop on this collaboration tool that allows for easy comparison of
alternative flows or with current process/flow.

5) Michael Hawley, VP Experience Design, from our second sponsor
http://madpow.net/ talked about Next Generation Navigational Paradigms. A
side by side comparison of familiar/traditional interactions & next-gen
visual rich designs. Then he walked through a design and how they balanced
the customers desires to make a bold statement with the users needs to
navigate and interact with the brand. I'd also like to note that Mad*Pow
were a sponsor and Interaction08 and it was great to see so many of the team
come down to our event. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeckman/2622433904/

6) Christa Houlahan, http://www.cmhoulahan.com/ Senior UX designer at
Roundarch gave a thought provoking look in to what 'search' can do when its
tightly integrated with content. Using FAST & Flex she demonstrated how
with cheaper storage, faster indexing and more powerful search algorithms
users are able to initiate, refine and preview results inline with content.

7) Matt McKeon: http://www.mattmckeon.com/about.html talked
about Visualisation in the hands of the people based on his research at IBM.
Many Eyes is a free and public website where anyone can upload their data,
create a sophisticated interactive visualization in minutes, and share and
discuss it with anyone else. Matt highlighted the implications for designers
seeking adoption of innovative media by a wider audience. Instead of trying
to create a community from scratch, it's often a better idea to empower
users to re-purpose the content they create in a variety of contexts and

8) Jesse Beach (IxDA Boston's CTO!) gave a 'HTML5 Heads Up'. With the
projected date of release for the standard set for late 2010 and a raft of
new features already under development in major browsers, the question
arises "What does this update to the workhorse of the web mean for
Experience Design?". He talked about the differences between HTML4.X/XHTML
and HTML5 that a designer might find significant and the changes that hold
the potential to improve user experience and our daily work experience.

9) Jared Spool, http://www.uie.com/ , delivered and impressively light yet
powerful approach to comparing multiple designs and effectively evaluating
the most suitable design.
You can hear Jared and see the slide deck on slideshare:
http://tinyurl.com/68w4jt we will publish the rest of the presentations as
and when we upload them - watch this space.

To wrap up we had all the speakers form a panel and take questions from the
audience; http://www.flickr.com/photos/pauric/2633377703/ and it was great
to see so many stay after the talks to discuss the inspirational content

IxDA Boston is taking a little hiatus for July but fear not, you can get
your geek snack on at the Boston Interactions Picnic In the Park. 6-8pm
Danehy Park, Cambridge with members from BostonCHI, UPA Boston & NH, NEC
HFES, Boston-IA, Web Innovators Group, IxDA Boston, UXnet Boston & STC
Boston are invited. We're back in September with a social and informal
discussion hosted by Christa Houlahan from Roundarch and have a pretty
impressive schedule planned for the second half of the year.

Regards /pauric

IxDA Boston organisers: Lisa, Jesse, Harun & Pauric
local site: http://www.bostonixda.org
Feed: http://boston-ixda.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

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