Back from the Future of Web Design

just over a week ago my future of web design experience finished and have since been recouperating and relaxing in sunny hailing Leamington Spa, my brain filled from two days of web design and dulled by a wee bit too much socialising networking.

the conference, and the subsequent workshops i had the good fortune of attending, were in a word inspirational. there have been a range of excellent write-ups from sam and roan and Jeremy Keith did an admirable job of summarising the conference talks so i won’t delve into too much detail but taking the lead from andy budd’s excellent presentation i thought i would summarise my brief trip to london through my own experience curve:

My FOWD experience curve


Pre-conference party. After going to the wrong party I eventually arrived at Covent Garden where promptly met a wide range of thoroughly interesting people and a few idols to boot. Sadly, drank far too much free booze and mixed my drinks leading to some chronic vomitting in the small hours. Oh dear.

Andy Budd’s talk. Sheer inspiration. Andy’s talk considering the user experience curve was captivating from start to finish. Attention to detail, personality and customisation are ideas that will stick with me in future web projects.

Jon Hicks’ talk. A great summary of the web design process from idea to deployment. Necessarily basic at times it was great to step back from the minutia of web design to see the bigger picture and a holistic overview of the process we are all involved in. Plus one of the best web straplines ever:

Oh what a friend we have in cheeses.

Daniel Burka’s talk. If Jon Hick’s talk was about getting website up and out there, Daniel’s super talk considered responding to user feedback and the necessarily iterative process of developing websites in an age of user generated content. It was great to finish the day on such a high and with a speaker with such enthusiasm.

The whole shebang. Paul Boag put together a fantastic array of speakers that worked really well in outlining the web design process, from conception to development to deployment to evolution. I have a notebook (the paper variety) full of ideas, inspiration and techniques. Cheers Paul.

Pub standards. The exodi from the after-conference soiree (see below) led to a conversion of like-minded individuals at Pub Standards in the Brick Layers before hitting the Spanish Bar and hanging out with Sam Brown, Tim van Damme, Malarkey, Jason Cale, Larissa Meek and the thoroughly enjoyable Erskine gang

Miguel Ripoll and Elastic Design. Having been booked onto Elliot Jay Stocks' workshop on Photoshop and not being a Photoshop user I was delighted to get onto Miguel’s workshop on Elastic design. Fascinating discussion which focused on elastic thinking behind the design process. Got so much from this workshop and to boot the guy is a fellow Mac hater – a dying breed in this industry it would seem.


Not many but for me the lowlights were Benedict Ireland’s completely unnecessary talk about the Aston Martin website and the after-conference soiree. Free bar expired in half an hour with subsequent bottled beers @ £5 each and the music too loud to hear self think, let alone chat to other delegates, hence exodus to Pub Standards.


Hey Cole,

Nice write up, and a chart as well! Very impressive :)

Was a pleasure to meet and hang out with you @ FOWD.

I’m looking forward to the next time everyone descends on mass, as it’s sure to be a laugh – and of course educational.

Catch you soon.

Was awesome to meet you Cole, even if I did have to travel all the way to London for it to happen! :)

Hopefully we can catch up sometime again soon, a little closer to home perhaps?