dConstruct 2010 in summary

I attended my first dConstruct yesterday, which was a nice trip to Brighton, seeing friends and drinking a bit too much. My very brief take on the sessions:

The Designful Company
You’re aiming for different but good, but it takes guts to aim for and will test badly as it’s unfamiliar. Sticking with the familiar will test better, but ultimately market badly.

Boil, Simmer, Reduce
Collect ideas, play with them without pre-conceptions “Nobody will die doing this”, prune stuff back again, try and aim for simplicity.

Information is Beautiful
There’s too much information, this needs to be pruned and presented. Don’t do circular diagrams.

The Power & Beauty of typography
Typefaces have emotions and these should be in keeping with the overall site/copy. Much like shoes can set off or kill an outfit. This wasn’t too well received too well by a bunch of men and women attendees who appeared to be of the “what’s wrong with 1 pair of shoes and helvetica” crowd.

The Auteur Theory of Design
Explored the idea that projects need one ultimate authority like the Film Director with Final Cut, and that person is a limiting function on the output, and can drag up or down the overall output.

Jam Session: What Improvisation Can Teach Us About Design
Improvisation can bring about your best ideas, works best within a framework when you’re riffing off other people, and your self-inhibitions are lowered when you do it; removing that self-censorship can lead to new things.

The Value of Ruins
An unexpected standout for me; archives are potentially amazing for the future, but as we turn off things like Geocities we’re potentially losing just as much information as previous civilisations did in fires and the like.

Everything The Network Touches
Eons ago a cunning road network provided the ability to carry messages really quickly, and that communication gave empires advantages. Now we’re potentially building the infrastructure for this kind of stuff in the online world, with Bathroom Scales that tweet. Every time devices get more connected information becomes increasingly contextualised and ever more useful. Winner of the Most OCD-ly amazing slide Deck Animations Award – they really were lovely.

Kerning, Orgasms & Those Goddamned Japanese Toothpicks
Nerds care about things that other people don’t. That’s fine, don’t expect them to, try and make stuff so they don’t. Never get complacent, useful feedback probably hurts. Put the “narcism of minor differences” aside to deliver