Classic Studios

New Adventures in Web Design

Posted by Sanjay // 21.01.2011

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Classic Studios were very lucky to be at the New Adventures in Web Design conference in Nottingham – a genuinely inspiring get together.

Hosted by Erskine Design founder and all round web superstar Simon Collison, the conference was packed to the rafters with designers seeking inspiration in designing for the digital medium.

In its first year #naconf managed to attract the A-list of web conference speakers including Ellliot Jay Stocks, Tim Van Damme, Dan Rubin, Andy Clarke, Jon Tan, Sarah Paramenter and the hilariously charismatic Brendan Dawes all of whom were charged with talking conceptually about a theory, approach and/or philosophy associated with designing for the web.

Elliot Jay Stocks’ contribution was titled With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility (a quote from the film Spiderman) and he spoke about the need for web design to temper it’s obsession with drop shadows, elliptical buttons and generally what has become known as the 'web 2.0' look. Just because we can do it, and the hardware of the most basic machines these days can render it, it doesn’t mean we should design it this way was the message.

Lunchtime was an opportunity to 'network', a term that normally strikes fear into any self-respecting computer geek but with the atmosphere being almost celebratory, talking to our peers and exchanging thoughts on the speakers and discussing the subsequent sprawl of ideas that came out of it became a very natural exercise.

After lunch Greg Wood (Erskine Design) gave a good account of the value of strong editorial design, a topic that has been hotly debated here at Classic Studios HQ – does the form the content takes influence its appeal, effectiveness and overall impact? Do users really care what the content looks like?

The highlight though for us had to be Brendan Dawes (magneticNorth) who's meandering but hugely entertaining talk Produced For Use sent the gathered masses into both hysterics and inspired awe as the creative director enthused about the design process behind his MoviePeg and his love of certain FLASH sites (and yes, there was almost a collective panic attack when he mentioned the 'F' word!).

Sadly we weren't able to join in the after party due to the demands of a busy work schedule back at Classic Studios HQ but we were certainly left with many interesting ideas and concepts to debate and some brand new approaches to take back to our own web design processes.