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Generate Conference 2014 New York

Article by Awwwards Team in News - July 04

On Friday June 20th Awwwards attended Generate Conference in New York City. It's the first time Generate Conference has been hosted in New York, held at the New World Stages in Midtown Manhattan.

The conference featured speakers such as Ethan Marcotte, Ian Coyle, Brendan Dawes and Awwwards jury member, Claudio Guglieri. We were certainly excited to find out what the day had in store for us. The day started with registration, along with breakfast and coffee, while we chatted to some new people as well as familiar faces within the industry. The conference was split into two tracks, apart from the two keynotes at the beginning and end of the day. Below is a brief recap of some of the talks that intrigued and enthralled us.

Generate Conference 2014 NY Generate Conference in New York City 2014

Ethan Marcotte Photo: Ethan Marcotte. Credit: Hee Sun Kim

The opening keynote speaker was Ethan Marcotte (@beep on Twitter). He is well known as person who first coined the term, “responsive web design”. A seasoned speaker, Ethan delivered a concise and fascinating talk about the state of the responsive web today and how we can improve it for tomorrow. Points that really hit home were take a device agnostic approach to responsive web design and support laziness in the time of responsive design as this usually make developers automate and find more efficient ways to complete their tasks.

Ian Coyle Photo: Ian Coyle. Credit: Hee Sun Kim

Next up was Ian Coyle, Creative Director at Huge/KingCoyle in Portland, and his talk “Creative Arithmetic: Great design solves problems”. As a fan of Huge/KingCoyle’s work, I was very interested to attend this talk. He started out by saying he and Duane King were the group who famously (or infamously) created the first parallax site, Nike Better World. His talked covered where ideas come from and his personal journey from bad idea to great idea. Noting that bad ideas, thinking outside the box and not being afraid to fail are all ways to eventually produce a final great idea.

Claudio Guglieri Photo: Claudio Guglieri. Credit: Hee Sun Kim

Claudio Guglieri, Associate Creative Director at Fantasy Interactive (Fi), delivered his talk about his design process at Fi. A memorable point he touched on was “Rethink the established”. He described how he has created so many video player UI’s, while showing us about 30 different examples he has created, following the standard UX/design pattern for video player UI’s. But this does not mean you can get lazy or bored by creating the same design using established UX/design patterns. Rather it gives you a chance to “Rethink the established” about how user interfaces should be designed. His talk featured many of his designs throughout his years at Fi and really showed his attention to the details and achieving a good user experience.

The closing keynote was by David Shea, where he took us through the history of the World Wide Web. With the 25th anniversary of the web this year, we were fascinated by David’s talk and how he described what the web was like in its early years. From the first web browser, to the first time the <img> tag was used, the browsers wars and IE6’s dominance in the early 2000’s. Following the conference we enjoyed a drink at the official after party and got a chance to chat with conference speakers and fellow attendees. We came away from the conference with a feeling of excitement of where the web will take in the future.

Thanks again to the organizers of this fantastic conference for inviting us!