Talking about design @ Explorers Festival

By João FerreiraOn November 19, 2013

It was nearly 9:30 on the cold morning of November 7th, when Zamith and I departed from Braga, to attend the Explorers Festival in Lisbon, where we were expected to give a talk each, at 2PM.

Zamith prepared a presentation entitled "2021: A Web Odyssey", while I decided to talk about the "Designer's Secret Sauce".

We thought we'd find an almost empty room, as there were so many interesting talks and events going on at the same time, that we got quite a surprise when we found a good crowd, all of them patiently expecting our arrival.

I started out by introducing myself and showing some slides with design flaws, while i watched more and more people coming in, joining us for our talks.

As I went on talking about design's basic principles and how everyone could help out in the design process, people were raising important questions, sharing their points of view and generating meaningful discussions. I wasn't expecting questions before the end of the talk, but I gladly allowed them and answered the best way I could and resumed the talk, allowing for deeper discussions in the end. That made us a bit late, giving our Q&A session a little less time than I expected. We had a great discussion though, with good and insightful questions from everyone, minding our design process at GB, the design trends of today and what to expect in the future... It was great.

As soon as Zamith finished his talk and we started packing up for lunch, people reached out to us for small questions or to finish out some discussions we previously started. That was when we met Jason and Catarina and carried on talking about design principles, processes and usability questions, which led us to introduce them to Steve Krug's books and talks.

We had a few laughs and I promised I'd email them the slides and some links for Steve Krug's material.

When I got back home, I gathered a lot of interesting links and emailed them, thanking for their interest.

I was honestly thankful.

Jason was kind enough to indulge me with quote to sum up my talk:

"An entertaining design and tech double-act that got everyone on board with an entertaining intro highlighting some design guffaws. It must be hard to compete with talks by NASA astronauts and world champion surfers, but your mix of design principles, thought-provoking ideas and technology pointers will certainly stand me in better stead!"

We had a really stressful and exhausting day, but making people feel pumped and empowered by sharing our process, really makes it all worthy.

Hopefully, we'll be doing it more often.