dConstruct is a little bit different.
It's not going to teach you how to build scalable applications on node.js; it's not going to teach you previously unheard of selectors in CSS3. Instead, once a year (for the last seven years now), around 700 web technologists have spent a day together having their minds collectively blown.
Every day we solve technological problems. Every day we work hard to help other businesses succeed online. Crucial to that innovation is the need to step back and make space for creative thought – and dConstruct delivers that in spades.
Of the many great speakers this year, personal highlights were:
- Don Norman – encouraging us to move beyond designing user experience to designing 'user memory' –the residual feeling that using a website creates that causes visitors to want to return.
- Frank Chimero – advocating that as our digital 'trail' increases (with bookmarks, tweets, status updates, likes, +1s and favourites), there's a need for an 'Architecture of Serendipity' – curating in the same way that Victorian gentlemen would record important phrases in their reading using a 'commonplace book'.
- Bryan and Stephanie Rieger – with a barrage of thinking on digital product design and how often the best products stop short of fully defining the experience, allowing users to adapt them to their own environment.
Last year's conference continued to stimulate conversation and thought process for many months. This year's will no doubt do likewise.