WebVision 2014

WebVisions 2014 Portland

WebVisions Portland was held from May 7-9 at Oregon Convention Center. The event explored the future of design, content creation, user experience and business strategy. First day I attended a workshop, Crafting a User-Centered and Informed-Design That Works for You, by Mark Wyner. We talked about understanding what your users need, how they think, and how they behave – and incorporating that understanding into every aspect of your process and designing with purpose upon a foundation of educated decisions. We then moved on to several small group exercises designing a vehicle for commuters. The information and exercises from this workshop weren’t groundbreaking, but they did validate our design process at Quicken Loans.

On the second and third days, several sessions centered on specifics design techniques, others talked about making technology more human focused. There were many presentations talking about the different input types that we can expect in the near future as we move away from keyboards and mice — more touch, voice commands, and gestures. Both Jason Grigsby in his talk titled, Adaptive Input, and Mark Wyner in his talk, Simplify the Handshake Between Humans and Technology, provided insights around this trend.

My favorite presentation was Dan Saffer’s talk, Microinteractions: Designing with Details. Through real-world examples from today’s devices and applications, he walked us through how little things that turned a good digital product into a great one. Keynoter Tomer Sharon’s talk on WWE Ethnography: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble! was a pure entertainment. While learning a lot about pro wrestling than I’d ever care to know, Tomer showed us the value and importance of storytelling as another way to connect technology — products, services, and apps — to humans.

I also fell in love with the city. I love how friendly the people of Portland are, its urban forests and the eco-awareness in restaurants and other establishments. In conclusion, it was a trip to remember.

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