21/05/2010

The Future of Web Design has past

Last week saw the return of FOWD to London (May 17th to 19th). The first day consisted of workshops at Wallace Space (which I didn't attend) then 2 days of conference at the Brewery in Chiswell St.

Compared to last year, well there was no comparison. The venue was great and could easily accommodate the number of attendees (600 plus), even the supplied food was pretty good. Every usable room also had wired or wireless networking that worked throughout the conference, though it slowed a bit at peak times (though being reasonably stable with the number of users was an accomplishment in itself).

There were companies demo'ing their products and all had a hosting/prototyping bent.HammerKit showed their prototyping system which allows a user to rapidly develop a prototype site with working elements, unfortunately you cant take the finished product off their hosting platform, maybe that will come in time. HotGloo have a nice wire-framing on-line system that again allows prototypes to be built on-line to test usability with some sophisticated actions for objects. Adobe were also there with Business Catalyst their on-line web building tool that allows designers to delegate authority to various aspects of the site, so copy writers can add text, but not play with the style etc. Adobe have some sensible pricing plans for the service as they allow an organisation to host their site and their customer sites.

Though there were some excellent talks, some were disappointing such as Paul Boag's which just seemed to be a rant, and not even a rant giving out useful information just a rant with some incorrect information.

Carsonified launched their Think Vitamin Membership service whereby customers subscribe and get access to at least 4 on-line conferences per annum, on-line tutorials and discounts to Carsonified conference such as FOWA/FOWD etc all for $25 per month. Allegedly 1,000 people signed up at FOWD.

Anyway overall definitely recommended even though it's an expensive event, there's always a good glass of speakers and generally a better class of audience where most of the value comes from. Looking forward to next year's event and also FOWA which takes place in the same excellent venue in Oct 2010.
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