This October we attended the push.conference 2013 at the congress hall in Munich. The conference was held on Friday and Saturday. Entering the conference we immediately noticed that this conference is something special. First of all, we got our entrance pass along with 8 stickers. We had to select 4 out of them to add to our pass showing our interests. This was a good starting point for conversations with other participants.
Grabbing some coffee and pretzels, we headed highly motivated to the first talk at 11 o’clock. The introduction truly lived up to the topic of the conference – interaction design and user experience. We had to stand up and introduce ourself to the surrounding people. Darja Isaksson talked about the digital revolution from her own experience. She adviced the audience to team up and value impact more than pride.
The following talk ‘Multi & Cross-Device UX Concepts‘ got more into detail. Neil Calderwood explained that Mobile first isn’t the right path. He introduced us to the Inside-Out-Design, which takes into account the requirements for different devices instead of just extending the minimal mobile version to a desktop one.
During the lunch break (with sunshine and a variation of tasty wraps), we explored the booths of different student projects.
After the break, Lucia Terrenghi gave a talk entitled ‘Designing technologies for the next billion people: challenges and opportunities’. She pointed out how to design for different cultures, especially in the developing world.
The push.conference organisators introduced the concept of Lightning Talks, which gives new talents the opportunity to present their work and inspirations. Kalle Kormann-Philipson talked about Lean UX, Markus Steinhauser presented his startup Testbirds and Franz Bruckhoff gave us insights on his career path from a developer to a UX designer. He also mentioned that as a UX designer you should also consider driving the users’ expectations in the right way.
Kevin Sweeney’s talk ‘The Unseen Experience: Putting Detail Into The Web‘ increased our awareness of the little details with big influence. For example, he showed how to raise loading performance by predicting the users’ next steps.
Friday’s last talk was given by Mike Lemmon. He talked about ‘Design Languages for Interactions’. We got a first glance on a tiny, little wearable camera called MEME taking party shots in an automatic capture mode. Similar to polaroids, the pictures are shown instantly after the shot.
The second day started with Elliot Woods talking about ‘Digital Light as a Semi-Material‘. Followed by a talk by Wesley Grubbs about ‘Experiencing Data’ who made the point that human beings don’t think in numbers and bar charts, but in images. Therefore, it is important to tell a story with your data.
Sebastian Oschatz delighted us with his talk ‘Untangling Rectangles’ showing five strategies how to get other formats than rectangles.
On the second day there were Lightning Talks as well. Julia Laub from onformative talked about data art and how it differs from infographics. She emphasized that adding data doesn’t necessarily add meaning. The CEO of LAB BINAER talked about his experiments with generative design and shared with us his philosophy: ‘creative design is not a job, it is a lifestyle’. Industrial designers from LUNAR Europe showed examples of their work and how they also consider the inactive state of a product. Jochen Leinberger and Roman Stefan Grasy presented their book ‘Prototyping Interfaces: Interaktives Skizzieren mit vvvv’. They pointed out how important it is to inspire the people in an early phase.
After the last break, Mariana Santos inspired us with her talk about ‘Visual Storytelling for the News‘. She told us about her personal background and digital journalism at The Guardian. She adviced us to keep reinventing ourselves and to fail fast and succeed soon. Her positive attitude and the insights about her work for the Olympic Games in London 2012 charmed and amused the audience equally.
The last talk was given by Marcus Field about ‘Forms of Inquiry’. He pointed out his experiences with generative art and how customers feel about it.
Summarizing the lessons learned from the push.conference 2013:
- take some risks
- take responsibility about changes
- don’t bend yourself to meet unrealistic customers’ requirements
- design and business development must go hand in hand
- your brand is a promise
- you can achieve anything if you know the process
The push.conference 2013 was a great experience for us and we’re already looking forward to next year’s edition.