SXSW - Day 4 | March 21, 2005

Note - I wrote this the following morning but haven’t had chance to post it till now

Another fun day at SXSW. The first panel I attended was Does Design Matter with Jeffrey Zeldman, Jason Maria, Joe Clark and Kelly Goto. It was a very interesting and lively debate, with lots of feedback from Joe Clark. I wasn’t expecting this talk to be funny, but at one point Jeffrey bought up Virtual Stan while Jason “Stan” Santa Maria was talking, causing my side of the room to attempt – unsuccessfully –to stifle their giggles.

Staying in the same room the next talk was How to Inform Design. I really enjoyed this talk, primarily because Jeffrey Veen is such an accomplished speaker. I’m a huge fan of Jeffrey’s work and especially his book, The Art and Science of Web Design. While It’s now a good few years old, It’s still as relevant today as it was when it was published.

We then headed over to the bloggies in the hope that Jon Hicks would scoop best British blog. Unfortunately Tom Coates cleaned up again, but that’s understandable considering his huge reader base. I was quite looking forward to the bloggies, but they actually turned out to be quite an amateurish affair, so I was glad when they finished. Everybody headed off for BBQ but being a veggie it didn’t really appeal. Instead I grabbed a bit to eat on my own then hung out with Andy Clarke till the next session.

Design Eye for the Information Guy was the big hit of the day for me. Andrei organized an excellent session based on the Design Eye posts on his site. Utilizing the talents of Keith Robinson, Cameron Moll, Ryan Sims and Paul Nixon, the panel walked us through the process they used to makeover Dirk Kynmer’s website. Unlike some of the panel sessions I’ve been to, there was a great dynamic between the panelists and it really felt they were enjoying giving their talk. It was especially interesting seeing how each person tackled their part of the project and how it all fitted together. Of course it helped that they ended up producing a fantastic looking design. The concept of this panel was great and I fully expect to see more “Design Eye” talks at future events.

That was basically it for the day. A large group of us headed over to the Hilton for dinner. However it was pretty pricey and not very good for vegetarians, so me and Ian Lloyd did a runner and walked up to 20/2. For those of you not familiar with 20/2 (which included me up until yesterday) the idea is that 20 people will get up on stage and perform for 2 minutes on a pre decided subject. This years subject was “What’s the word” and people did a variety of things from poetry and prose to music and multi media presentations. Pretty much all of the acts were good, although one of the funniest in my book was Shaun Inman’s name dropping song about catching up on his RSS feeds.

It happened to be Nick Finck’s birthday bash so we all jumped into taxi’s and headed to 6th street. Derek, Rob, Stan and myself were all hungry so went to grab a bite to eat before hand. The idea was to get takeaway but we couldn’t find anything so ended up in PF Chang’s. We had a great meal and this was one of the first opportunities I had to have a proper chat with people, one that lasted more than 5 minutes before getting interrupted or side tracked. It was midnight by the time we finished, and feeling pretty shattered we all decided to call it an early night. It’s a shame as Nicks party sounded great but I don’t think I could have handled another late night.

Posted at March 21, 2005 9:55 PM


Phil Sherry said on March 22, 2005 7:21 AM

I’d wondered if there was much in the way of vegetarian food in Texas. I always had visions of turning up there (one day), and surviving on beer alone. PF Changs is always good, though. If I can get there next year, I’ll be looking towards you for some veggie pointers! :)