If you haven’t been to Webstock, you haven’t lived.
Not only does the two-day Webstock conference take place in the beautiful surrounds of Wellington, New Zealand, but it is perhaps the best web conference on the circuit these days (not just my opinion!) Light on the technical content, the annual conference is more of an exploration into life and culture in our time.
Matt, Luke and I were fortunate enough to attend the ninth Webstock conference last month, and it didn’t disappoint. There were way too many notable moments to fit into one post, but here are a few of my personal highlights.
Kris Sowersby made me proud to be a kiwi (all over again). In his flat accent, he deadpanned his way through one of the most entertaining technical talks (if you consider the inner workings of the eye to be a technical subject) that I have ever had the pleasure of sitting through. After a moment of panic (along the lines of “F&#*! I only printed out half my notes!”), Kris had us in fits of laughter, and we all learned something about typography. For more details, check out Matt’s sketchnote below.
There are times when I feel that I’ll explode if I hear one more person speak of the gender imbalance in the ‘tech industry’ today, so it was with great trepidation that I sat down to listen to Janet Crawford present on The Surprising Neuroscience of Gender Inequality. I needn’t have worried. I was riveted. Crawford’s case was grounded in solid (social) science, and any biases displayed were carefully explained. I left the auditorium at her conclusion with a keen feeling of responsibility for my part in changing the story.
One of my favourite UXers, Derek Featherstone, charmed us with photos of his children, while imparting a very important message. Too often we confuse context with the way in which (or device on which) people engage with a site, and forget about a number of other important factors (time, proximity, and state of mind to name just a few of Derek’s examples). We collect enough data these days to make truly great experiences that have nothing to do with the device on which they are viewed.
Unfortunately Matt took a well-deserved break during my favourite session of the entire conference, so there is no sketch record of the amazing journey that Auckland architect Nat Cheshire took us on. If you’d like to take that journey, you can do so here.
And now for the really good bit … below you’ll find Matt’s beautifully illustrated records of most of the presentations that took place over the two days. I was relieved to hear that he didn’t sketch the after-party, but that relief was short lived, because …