Highlights of FOWD '08


Future of web design is a conference hosted by Carsonified. The speakers are all influential designers, specialising in fields such as User Experience and Branding. This year’s event took place from the 16th to the 18th of April.

As much as I’d like to, I’m not going to write a minute-by-minute account of the Future Of Web Design conference. I’m suffering from the side-effects of writing 300 pages for my IT coursework and I’m not sure how much more I can type before my swollen fingers drop off. So I’m going to summarise a few of the good and not so good events of the 3 days.

  • The roadtrip to Kensington with Ryan, Paul and Dom
  • Enduring the boys singing Celine Dion songs
  • Re-enacting Half Life in the car park
  • Taking an hour to check into the hotel
  • Overhearing the hotel receptionist on the phone to the police
  • Squeezing into a minature lift and calculating everyone’s weight to see if we’d break it
  • Getting dropped off in the middle of nowhere by a dodgy unlicensed taxi driver
  • Relying on human-sat-nav PaulPaul to locate bars in London
  • Getting a very large Media Temple shirt that I ended up using as a nightgown
  • Dom setting fire to the toaster in the morning
  • Ryan hitting his croissant against his plate to demonstrate how stale it was
  • Getting a cool pass with my name on it
  • Being very geeky and sitting at the very front of the hall
  • Dom twittering EVERYTHING
  • The Silverlight talk by a guy who actually worked for Aston Martin
  • Watching a very funny Photoshop battle
  • Not understanding all the obscure references from the 1970s
  • Being completely captivated by Andy Budd’s and Jon Hick’s talk
  • Getting Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the boys
  • Watching Dom go up to Jeremy Keith and say “Hi, I’m Dom, who are you?”
  • Almost using Paul Boag’s iPhone as a coaster
  • Getting a Stuff and Nonsense badge from Andy Clarke
  • Asking Daniel Burka very school-girlishly if I could shake his hand
  • Being mocked by Ryan for asking people if I could shake their hand
  • Watching Dom use a dance mat
  • Ryan reading me a bed-time story
  • The brilliant Silverlight workshop
  • The guys from Microsoft using Macs with Silverlight stickers on top of the apple logo
  • Being called a “Bloody Northerner” for ordering mushy peas
  • Going on a Mini Mondeo Adventure
  • Telling Ryan to turn off the sat-nav because I thought I knew the way back
  • Ending up in Hemel Hempstead
  • Going round hundreds of roundabouts saying “I think there’s a Waitrose round here…”
  • Saying a very sad farewell to the boys :(

I really enjoyed my FOWD experience, and can’t wait for the next event. Here are a few photos that I took.

At first, I wasn't sure If I should go because I'm not a full-time designer yet, and at over £100 (plus hotel, food and travel costs), it wasn't cheap. But I would really recommend it, especially to people like me who don't have much of a chance to interact with other designers. It's very ineffective and boring to try and learn everything from a book, and I came back feeling very motivated and inspired.