While I got a lot out of it, I also felt that some of the talks were pretty routine to many of the speakers. Of course I don’t expect them to come up with something totally new every time, many of them have a bit of a road-show and do the same routine all over the world. So the outcome is a little generic and in some cases patronising. And I thought a couple were poorly targeted for the audience, in my opinion. Of course its easier to criticise than to do, but I do feel that, in our industry, not getting who your audience is is a major fail, as that’s what we are about, isn’t it?
Don Norman was great. I wondered if the fact that he kept it so high level was one of the keys to his success. That allowed each person there to interpret what he said to suit them selves. I am still getting used to his new suggestion that we start considering ‘signifiers’ instead, which he introduced not so long ago as an alternative to the now horribly abused term of ‘affordance’. You can get it straight from the Don here: http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/signifiers_not_affordances.html. I think he has a point, particularly about the social context of the clues we offer, considering the lack of location specificity of most digital experiences.