deconstructing dConstruct 2007 | September 10, 2007

So dConstruct 2007 is in the bag, and I’ve finally managed to catch up on my sleep. I know I’m biased, being the person behind the event, but I think it went fantastically well this year. Registration was extremely smooth, and there was no queuing around the block like last year. The venue was excellent, and the seats were much more comfortable than the previous venue. The WiFi was a bit up-and-down, but that’s conference WiFi for you.

All the speakers did a great job, and I felt that we got the tempo and narrative just right. Everybody I spoke to had a different favourite or least favourite talk, so it really came down to personal taste and interest. A few people said they would have liked some more practical sessions, but it’s always difficult to fit something tangible into such a short space of time. In fact, this is why we set up the pre event workshops, which were full of hands-on goodness.

The best conferences I find are always the ones that try to inspire rather than educate. Despite having been to a lot of these events, I know myself and the rest of Clearleft walked into the office this morning with a renewed interest in our field and a desire to try out some new techniques and ideas. I hope you felt the same way.

A few people mentioned that lack of time for questions, much like last year. I would have liked to have seen more time for questions as well, but with so much good material, a lot of the speakers overran. I wonder if people would prefer to lose one speaker next year, in order to free up space for questions, or if an extra speaker is a reasonable trade-off?

We were a little worried that there could be too many people this year, and a few attendees did say they would have preferred a few less people. However most of the people I spoke to said the numbers were fine, and a few people said that we should have let even more people in as we had the space. I’m going to reserve judgement on all this until we get the feedback forms in and see what the general consensus was, but I thought the size felt OK to me.

MediaTemple put on a good pre-event party, and the post conference bash by Yahoo and the BBC was a lot of fun. The food and drink did run out a little earlier than expected, but it still went pretty far considering the number of people and the price at the bar. Especially when you remember back to last year.

On the whole I though dCosntruct 2007 went very well, and we’ve already started planning dConstruct 2008. Well, we’ve booked the venue for next year already, anyway. To help make next year an even better event, I’d love to hear what you guys thought.

Posted at September 10, 2007 9:14 PM


garrett said on September 10, 2007 10:47 PM

I had a cracking good time! I agree that conferences are best when they inspire rather than educate and I think d.construct did that well.

I would definitely have liked some more time for questions/a panel at the end of the day though.

Great job!

Nick Lazar said on September 10, 2007 10:58 PM

Hi Andy,

I’ve been to a few different conferences and comparatively speaking, I thought d.construct was very well put together and smoothly executed. (Being a volunteer on the day, I’d like to think I contributed a little to the smoothness!)

Having only flown in from Australia the previous afternoon, it was really great to be involved with the event, and would recommend it as a cure for jet-lag!

The Brighton Dome was a great venue in which to stage it, and although I didn’t get to see all the talks, the ones I did catch where pretty good. I particularly liked Cameron Moll’s presentation (although I reckon he could have used more time).

With regards to attendee numbers, I heard people saying that additional numbers would have been better, as there seemed to be plenty of spare space at the Dome. Didn’t hear anyone say there should be less!

I can understand people commenting on not getting questions in, ‘cos we were ready with mikes on two sessions, but the speakers didn’t have enough time to take any!

I think the after conference party was excellent, and along with the food & drink, really enjoyed the fact that England has finally banned smoking in pubs & restaurants! (About time).

Overall, I’d say that you had a successful event, and should keep the basic formula intact.



Shaun Hare said on September 11, 2007 7:15 AM

My hreview will say it im more detail but one thing is for sure - best conference of the year for me (second year running)

Rob said on September 11, 2007 8:29 AM

I had a great time, I only wish it went on for longer!
Congratulations on the smooth-ness of the event, and I loved the sofa on stage!

Cennydd Bowles said on September 11, 2007 11:29 AM

Would like to add my thanks too, to Andy and all the Clearlefters. Good choice of speakers, excellent venue and very smoothly run. Will definitely return in ‘08. Cheers!

Lucy said on September 11, 2007 12:21 PM

It was my first conference and I really enjoyed the day, but I agree it was more on the inspiring side of things than the learning side.

Having said that I was actually one of the lucky ones who got to attend one of the workshops before hand which was definitely more on the learning side.

I’d love to see more workshops in the weeks before and after the conference or perhaps smaller short ones run alongside the main stage. But then again maybe I’m just being greedy and want everything whether it’s possible or not.

Anyway, thanks again Andy, and all the clearleft crew.

Noah Slater said on September 11, 2007 1:39 PM

We had an excelent time down in Brighton.

I do have to comments though:

1. A Q&A session at the end with all the speakers would have been fantastic. I had quite a few for George.

2. There was no good vegitarian food for me after I had queued for 30 minutes. Not wanting to eat a plate of potatos I gave up and went to the chippy… wasn’t very happy about that.

Two days might be good too, would have loved to hear more speakers or perhaps longer sessions.

JP said on September 12, 2007 8:26 AM

The whole event was very well put together and I particularly enjoyed Tom Coates’ and Jared Spool’s talks.

I’d heard Cameron Moll’s talk at one of his workshops previously, but it was good to hear a repeat, to help reinforce some of the interesting points he had made - although he did feel like he could have gone on for longer.

My only bug bears were the lack of food at the after party and the fact that the staging area between talks was a little overcrowded.

These relatively minor points aside, it was a great day and very well put together. A big slap on the back for the organisers.

Olly said on September 12, 2007 1:59 PM

Like most people, I had a great time, learned stuff and walked away feeling inspired. I would have liked to see more time for questions after the presentations, but that’s nit-picking. Nice work :)

Oh, you wouldn’t happen to know what the music played in the dome between presentations was?

Harry said on September 18, 2007 8:14 AM

It was a great conference, well done. I hope the UX theme is going to continue next year…

Andy Budd said on September 18, 2007 1:21 PM

We change the theme each year to keep things fresh. So who knows what next year will hold?

Nazim Beltran said on September 19, 2007 5:55 AM

Hey, Andy…..really sorry to have missed it this year having attended the first one last year. Any news on when you can post the podcast for the sessions…would love to hear what I missed..

Andy Budd said on September 19, 2007 9:52 PM

Hey Nazim, actually the first one was in 2005, but who’s counting ;-)

We’re processing the audio at the moment, and the podcasts should be up fairly soon. Keep an eye on the events RSS feed for more details.

said on October 1, 2007 6:42 AM

Im looking forwards to web2.0 - i read somewhere (ages ago) that wiki’s were the original concept for websites and that the content supposed to be edited online etc?? - lets hope google and MS dont spoil it for everyone…