Designer/Developer Workflow Conference - June 19-20, 2010
Whether you're a developer, a designer, or fancy yourself to be a citizen of both worlds, it is nearly impossible for anybody at any place in that spectrum to completely avoid the need to have at least some knowledge of both disciplines. Designers need to have a good understanding of what is possible in the development world so that they know what is and is not realistic design, best ways to represent transitions, animations, and ajax activities in their designs, and how to make their designs re-usable as tangible assets in the final product. Developers need to know how to interpret design specs and prototypes, how to use the tools that make workflow from design to development smoother, and in the case where the developer is essentially the designer as well, how to create prototypes and wireframes that result in re-usable assets. Even if the employer is of such size that the design and development departments are completely segregated, there is still always the need for the two to be able to communicate well and avoid "cultural" conflicts. Any way you slice it, designers and developers are two sides to the same coin, and enhancing each and the workflow between them is a very real need.
The Designer Developer Workflow Conference, the brain child of Designer/Developer/Instructor extraordinnaire Dee Sadler and hosted this month in Kansas City, Missouri, expertly targeted this exact need. As an attendee and humble speaker at the conference, I can honestly say that out of all the conferences I have attended in the past few years, THIS one provided me a large relative percentage of information I found to be new to me and left me feeling like I had gotten a huge return on my investment. The session topics were hand picked from a large number of submissions and seperated into three genres: designer, developer, and hybrid. In all honesty, I had not previously heard of many of the speakers and so was a little skeptical as to how impressive and relevant the presentation contents would be to me. But after only a couple of sessions it became VERY clear to me that I had walked into a goldmine of information that I had not previously been exposed to. Every single session I attended, without fail, kept me absolutely riveted and had me walking out at the end with a mind full of fresh perspectives and concepts I wanted to explore further.
The venue was absolutely perfect as well, being an ideal balance of upscale and moderation, and not three blocks from Kansas City's "Power and Light District", a several square block area of restaurants, martini bars, pubs, and outdoor entertainment. And might I add that the people of Kansas City...well, they're just doggone nice to look at!
Dee Sadler outdid herself on this project. Despite the immense level of stress and work that must have been upon her shoulders, she was like a calm mother hen guiding her flock of bright and excited speakers and guests through what turned out to be, in this reviewer's eyes, a hugely successful first annual Designer Developer Workflow conference! I am very much looking forward to next year's! Congratulations, Dee Sadler. You rock, girlfriend.