Future Insights Live 2012 Las Vegas: Part I
Conferences are a great way to enhance networking and knowledge and to promote products and services. This year, Rina Hatcher, User Experience Specialist, and Donny Stiefel, User Experience Developer, traveled to Las Vegas to participate in the first annual Future Insights Live convention. This was the first time the Carsonified team has brought all of their Future Insights events (Future of Web Apps, Future of Web Design and Future of Mobile) together at the same time and place. The event focused on teaching how to make web and application experiences that were equally engaging on all devices. Here’s Rina’s take:
While in Las Vegas for Future Insights Live 2012, I had the opportunity to witness the meshing of minds from different corners of the mobile web industry. It truly was a great combination of development, design, entrepreneurial, and user experience topics, with well-known names mingling with those of us aspiring to their greatness.
Connecting with the Best in the Industry
Among them was Aral Balkan, the first keynote speaker, who moved attendees in his presentation on “A Happy Grain of Sand.” I could listen to him speak all day because he was real and spoke about real things that we could all relate to our everyday experiences. I will never look at a toilet’s flush lever the same way again. Because, in his words, “Proximity provides relation.” Thank you Aral, because you have already impacted at least one grain of sand in my hourglass.
Next up, we’ll move to Steve Fisher. What a swell guy. He really knows a lot about user experience and process, and that was clearly proven in his hands-on workshop, “Rock Solid Responsive UX Deliverables.” The title didn’t lie. I have already used the methods and worksheets that we discovered in Steve’s workshop in my own work. He’s also quite the salesman for Alberta, Canada, where he has lived, worked, and played.
So far, I’ve mentioned two very awesome guys who I feel privileged to have learned from in person. Now, allow me to give a quick shout out to Molly Holzshlag! She has an awesome personality, which is the perfect vehicle to communicate her passion for web standards. She has plenty to say about best practices and could fill a book, or more than 30 books for that matter, with her thoughts on standards, accessibility, and CSS.
Meeting Molly Holzschlag
Most people who know me are aware of my allergic reaction to sudden shifts in awkward situations: I turn an amazing color of red, previously unknown as produced by humans. I typically carry myself casually, yet cautiously, to avoid such situations if possible. Not this time, not when meeting Molly. When asking Molly,“Have you heard of WaSP,” she welcomed my question with zeal and promptly answered with a chuckle, “Do I know what WASP is?” She happened to be a former group leader for WaSP, leading the project from 2004 to 2006. She not only knew what it was, she also held the WaSP torch high, following in the footsteps of guys like Jeffrey Zeldman, who led WaSP from 1999 to 2002.
Lastly, let me say that Rand Fishkin is such a great motivator when he speaks. I enjoyed several conference sessions that he led and found his insight refreshing. I appreciated the attention he showed toward answering my questions about SEO. He knows his stuff, but I don’t have to tell you that. If you’re in the web industry, chances are you have heard of his site: SEOmoz. There’s a reason he’s successful, and if you’re given the chance to hear him speak in person, I highly recommend it.
In all, the Vegas experience was a great one. I made some friends and learned a lot. It’s probably not the typical Vegas experience, but I don’t mind. From my perspective, it’s what happened in Vegas that I could bring back with me and share with the world through every user experience that I help improve.
→ Rina Hatcher, User Experience Specialist, AREA203 Digital; follow… @rinahatcher