Yesterday, I visited Zagreb for their annual FFWD.PRO conference. Wanting to know more about UX design, the company decided it would be beneficial to me and the company, if I went. So I did and I must say it was probably best conference I have experienced thus far. Sure, organization could be a tad better. Sure, some speakers should be checked for their English language speaking capabilities prior the conference, but all in all, the conference rocked.

I specially liked lectures about sketching and UX design process (kudos to: Eva-Lotta Lamm, Janko Jovanović and Milica Jovanović), but others were great as well. Being a developer and not a designer, I had fears the conference will be too designer oriented. I came back with hell of a lot knowledge of UX process, design psychology and design responsiveness and am now looking at how to implement some process principles at the place I work. Hence, I highly recommend visiting FFWD.PRO next year.

So, the day started with Spirit of the web lecture, which was a nice lecture about transience of web contents and gave a nice perspective of what our future will most likely be like. Next lecture was Psychology for designers which could easily be called Psychology for developers. Some basic pointers are:

  • design and develop applications to behave like conversations were needed,
  • applications should follow mental models of relevance
  • and you need to develop smell device.

Next up was Eva-Lotta Lamm with Sketching UX. A lecture that talked about how sketching improves problem comprehension. Being a visual guy myself but not good at drawing, I liked this one a lot as it also gave me a few pointers as to how to enhance my sketches, so that others will understand them better. I am sad that I had to miss a workshop that is on today.

The last lecture prior lunch was Get your hands dirty which was basically a UX process ‘show and tell’. I liked it a lot, as it gave me insight in steps needed to do a project UX style. Although, I have a suspicion that some steps were taken only at a lecturers pleasure.

After lunch, Vitaliy Friedman explained I have wrong impression of what Responsive web design should be. His tips & tricks are precious and I will definitely use some in my next projects (e.g. SVG stacks, web icons etc.). Type in media lecture was lecture about typography in various media. This was probably the only lecture that disappointed me. Perhaps I expected some more tips & tricks and not a commercial for products of speakers company.

Last two lectures were about Revolutionizing government content in UK, where UX design implementation brought more comprehensive content for end user and decreased budget costs of UK government and about Prototyping UX.

So all in all a day well spent in Zagreb and am looking forward to next year event.