Category Archives: Events

Mobile Design UK event Announced – 4th June

The details of the next Mobile Design UK event have been posted, the Mobile Design UK event will take place on the 4th of June at the Tavern Room at RSA on John Adam Street in London.

The last Mobile Design UK event was really well presented and provided some great insight into the technical and cultural challenges faced by designers and interaction designers when trying to target mobile platforms.

You can get the full details and registration information of the upcoming Mobile Design UK event from the Mobile Design UK website.

To get a feel for the target of the Mobile Design UK events and there content you can read my post on the previous Mobile Design UK event.

Mobile Design UK Meeting

Mobile Revolution Last night I attended the Mobile Design UK event held at the RSA Tavern room, near London’s Charring Cross. It was a great evening and the venue was fantastic, a really well equipped space that made the evening feel wonderfully personal. The smaller location really fostered some great discussions following each of the speakers presentations. The mix of content, concepts and ideas presented was really good.

The evening was introduced by Arabella David from Nokia. She outlined the growing importance of user experience in the mobile space and how Forum Nokia is pushing to support Designers and User Experience experts through the Forum Nokia Channel. More information can be found at the Design and Media section of the Forum Nokia Site.

Scott Weiss (@sdweiss) of Human Factors International kicked of the presentations with a dissection and walkthrough of the usability and information architecture considerations when developing mobile applications that use XHTML to reach a broad user audience. It was good to find out that with XHTML as well as many mobile technologies there is often a trade off between features, richness and audience reach.

Antony Ribot (@ribot) from Ribot provided a fantastic presentation on the speed and growth of the mobile information age, and it’s subsequent effects on physical trends, culture and behaviors. Also provided some great ideas on how we as producers might need to change the way we approach concepting, brain storming and designing to target these new user expectations.

Gil Kahana of Seren Partners presentation provided an enthusiastic insight into the challenges faced when dealing with the barriers that mobile applications present to users and the ways developers should research, test and experiment to break down those barriers. There was some great discussions that followed Gil’s presentation around the fragmentation of some of the technology in the mobile space.

The final presentation by Marek Pawlowski (@marekpawlowski) from PMN – Mobile Industry Intelligence showed some brilliant dissection of the minutia of user value that can be extracted by mobile users and audiences from some of the most innocuous of details, the value of battery life conservation, the range of colours a phone or application is available in or how an application provides user feed back when scrolling.

The Mobile Design UK group offers a refreshing and much needed alternative view of mobile development. At the end if the evening I caught up with Bryan Rieger, one of the event organisers, to find out what types of content they were hoping to present at future meetings,

we don’t want to show code

was his first reply. I for one think that’s a brilliant mantra to hold true to. In a space dominated by massively varied technologies, huge numbers of acronyms and a huge range of user audiences and platforms I found it a very comfortable evening of knowledge sharing in a format that felt like a well organized brainstorm.

If you are interested in designing & producing content targeting any mobile platform I would look out for up coming Mobile Design UK events. Thanks to organisers for putting together a great line up os speakers and also a big thank you to Forum Nokia for the sponsorship of the evening.

Fantastic Networking and Learning opportunities at Adobe Max

adobe max08 thumbnail
With Adobe Max San Francisco now only 2 weeks away its important to make sure you have organized your schedule, if you haven’t already. This year Adobe hosting 2 events which aim to bring developers together with some of the industry leaders in the mobile market place. So if you are a developer interested in mobile or you already have content or existing applications that you think might work as a mobile application or service, Adobe Max should offer some great opportunities to get information from the experts.

Mobile Summit
November 16, 2008 at the Marriott from 1pm-6pm

Join Adobe and our partners — Nokia, Qualcomm®, Verizon, Sony Ericsson, GetJar, Thumbplay®, and Zed — to learn about new opportunities for mobile developers this year. Get a sneak peak at what you will see and hear at MAX before anyone else does! Hear from Adobe partners and key industry players as they present the newest mobile solutions, technologies, and distribution opportunities for mobile developers. To learn more and RSVP for this event go to: http://www.eventsadobe.com/mobilesummitmax08/invite.html

Mobile Fast Pitch Networking Party
November 19, 2008 at the Thirsty Bear from 6:16pm-9:30pm

Adobe is hosting a special Mobile Networking Party to allow developers to showcase their mobile applications using our Adobe® Flash® mobile technologies. If you already have a web-based application and are thinking of going mobile, you can also present your idea and get feedback from our industry leaders. Join us to support fellow developers or to present your ideas. For more RSVP and presentation information for this event go to: http://www.eventsadobe.com/mobilenetworkingparty/invite.html

In addition to these 2 events there are also a number of great sessions on at the conference tailored to Mobile:

  • Open Screen Project: Delivering Rich Internet Experiences Across Devices
  • Creating Mobile Applications: A Real-World Example
  • Mobile Workflows with Creative Suite® 4 and Adobe Device Central CS4
  • Flash Lite 3: Learn How to Package and Distribute Mobile Content
  • Spotlight on Finetune and Teknision™: Building a Multiscreen Application
  • Create Unique Browsing Experiences on Nokia Phones
  • How to Build a Mobile Business
  • Developing the Ultimate Flash Cast™ Channels
  • Project Capuchin – Bridging Adobe Flash Lite and Java ME™

Remember the most popular MAX sessions fill very early, so be sure to register today to secure seats in your preferred sessions. You’ll be surprised by what real live Adobe Flash Lite applications exist today.

Remember to register for UK MaD Meeting – October 21st 2008

A quick reminder to any developers focusing on Mobile Development. If you were planning to attend the UK MaD Meeting tomorrow remember to register for the event by sending an email to UGadmin@flashmobilegroup-uk.org with the subject “I want to attend the UKMaD Meeting oct 2008″ include your name, contact email & contact number . If you dont you will not be entered into the software prize draw to win Adobe CS4.

Full details of the event have already been posted bt Mark Doherty at flashmobileblog.com.

FOTB 08 and a question of Art.

Flash on the beach this year for me was fantastic. John thanks to you and every one involved in putting the event together. This year I found the practical sessions were very informative, and the presenters did a fantastic job of convincing me to look at some areas of Flash I have been shying away from. Thanks particularly to Koen De Weggheleire, Seb Lee-Delisle, Chris Orwig and Dr. Woohoo! (Drew Trujillo) whose sessions I found to be full to over flowing with information and inspiration. There were 3 sessions that stick out in my mind. The reason for this was not only for the content that was displayed, but also for the discussions the presentations generated afterwards. In no particular order, Erik Natzke, Jonathan Harris and Robert Hodgin.

This was my first time seeing Robert Hodgin’s work and the first time seeing Robert present. I had heard the glowing reports from the previous year, but believe it of not FOTB08 was the first time I saw his work. In hind sight I am so glad I got to experience his work first time on ‘the big screen’. It was a fantastic show.

I saw Erik Natzke’s work and presentation at last years FOTB, and was really looking forward to seeing his session this year. Last year his presentation felt like a teaser, a peak in side the early stages of his work. This year I felt the presentation showed where that journey had taken Erik’s work over the last year.

The final session of the conference was given by Jonathan Harris. I had not previously heard Jonathan speak before nor had I seen Jonathan’s work. I found some of the projects Jonathan presented very interesting but his work did not affect me to the same degree as Erik’s or Robert’s did. But then after the main body of his presentation, Jonathan kept talking. What he said really interested me, it made me think. I think it was this last 15 minutes that ‘made people gasp’ and generated the most discussion.

To provide some context to the rest of this post, the core of all the discussions I have heard, read or been involved in largly related to one, some or all four of these slides to some degree or other.

Language – Flickr Link
Questions – Flickr Link
Masterpieces – Flickr Link
Insights – Flickr Link

Or the conversations centered around how Jonathan delivered the last section of his presentation (PlayPen has the audio and also as a download.

It would also be worth reading the post Jonathan has made as a more detailed explanation of his presentation.

The discussions that have taken place since Jonathan’s presentations reminded me of my days in College or University. They are the conversations of people with fire in their bellies, opinions to be voiced and ideas that they needed to be heard. The discussions have often been heated, fiery even.

At university after any of the students presented work to ‘the group’ there would always follow a period of discussion and dissection of the work and also the ideas behind the work. Unfortunately Jonathan left no time at the end of his presentation for questions or discussion. As a result I feel slightly cheated that Jonathan left no time for the crowd to talk to him and provide him feed back on his work, ideas, and the assumptions he may or may not to have made. So here are some of the things I would have liked to discuss with him.

Personally for me one of the failings of the last 15 minutes of Jonathan’s presentation was the feeling of an underlying message that Art should have a message, a story or something to say to the viewer. That for our work as practitioners of ‘new media’ to be considered Art it must move beyond the tools that are used and say something of value about the world we live in today.

I don’t believe this is true. Yes i agree that throughout art history there have been artist and art movements that concerned themselves with providing a commentary or message on the society of the day, but there have also been great artists and works of Art that are nothing more than the realization of the ideas, concepts, emotions or any aspect of the human condition. We call it Conceptual Art, Art that investigates a concept or an idea rather than presenting a message, story or subject that the viewer must interpret and understand. Additionally and slightly more cynically there are HUGE quantaties of Art works that may only exist because someone was willing to pay for them to be produced, they were commissioned to the artist that went on to produced them. It is no coincidence that Art is referred to as ‘Works of Art’ or ‘Art Work’, Artist coming from the original Artisan.

One trained to manual dexterity in some mechanic art or trade; and handicraftsman; a mechanic

( Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary. MICRA, Inc. 16 Oct. 2008)

Art was generally a paid profession. I defy you to name an artist that has not received some form of payment for their work, and not been considered a failed artist.

On talking about the adoption and application of new mediums into the artistic relm Jonathan had this to say (Time Stamp 1:05:59 from the MP3).

Artists grope with the new medium to say something that needs to be said about the world, to process reality in some way.

I feel this is a sweeping statment that is only I belive is only partly true. I feel it misses the concept of the artist as artisan. Historically new tools, mediums and techniques are embraced by artists artisans or crafts people as ways to better complet their work, expressing their ideas, and bringing their concepts to life, or to a state they are able to call ‘complete’ . For example its been shown that early photographic methods were employed as a tools by painters so they could more closely depict the reality of a scene by way of ‘tracing’ a projection, thus speeding up production. Technology, tools and mediums are not always about the message, they can simply be the means to an end product. The most direct or natural way for the artist to reach a creative destination.

On talking about Language Jonathan said this (Time Stamp 1:08:47 from the MP3)

We speak a new and powerful language, capable of saying things no other language can say.

Once again I have to disagree with Jonathan at a very basic level. I feel that we, as modern society, do not speak a new language. We do have new tools, techniques and technology with which we are able to conceptualise, express, externalise, present, publish and disseminate our ideas, concepts, emotions and yes our messages. But the language is still the same. We use the language of human creativity, a very raw and base form of communicating. It allows us to express ourselves externally to any number of others humans that happen upon us, or that in some cases will explicitly ask us to externalise some aspect of ourselves. This expression is regardless of form these aspect of ‘us’, ideas, concepts or opinions, feelings, emotions might manifest themselves. For example through speech, dance, mark making, or any other activity or action that we as humans embed on the reality unfolding around us. Its a big subject, far bigger than I am able to express. Maybe I could draw it.
😉

I will cut this post short(er). I very much look forward to a future opportunity to talk in person with Jonathan, I feel there some fantastic conversations to have with him, great ideas and opinions to chew over, I only regret I missed the chance in Brigton. As way of closing. Jonathan posed these questions, among others.

Can it make someone gasp or cry

Will it be relevant in 25 years

and

Does it compare to the masterpieces of other mediums

On the first question, I believe it is incomplete. I would prefer.

Can it make someone, gasp, cry, laugh, shout, spit, scream, kick or even kill. For me in order that the products of Artisans to be considered Art, the viewer, user or audience should be unable to contain there own emotions and will find any way they can to express a reaction to that ‘other’ idea which they are experiencing.

On the last two questions, if any of people that we consider masters today had asked those questions would they have bothered to produce the work that we, today, now consider master pieces. Would Picaso have produced Les Demoiselles d’Avigno having compared it to La Grande Odalisque by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, would Jeff Koons have had his Michael Jackson produced having compared it to Michelangelo’s David. Could Leonardo really have know that the Mona Lisa would be such an iconic image today. Would Duchamp EVER, after any of Jonathan’s questions, have conceived his Fountain?

These pieces are considered Masterpieces now, but what evidence is there that they have always been Masterpieces to every age though history. When does a Natzke, a Harris or a Hodgin turn from a piece of modern virtuosity in the medium of ‘New Media’ into a Masterpiece of our modern time? Who has the right to declare they haven’t already? The term Masterpiece is as subjective as the term Art.

I very much enjoyed the presentation Jonathan gave, I may not have agreed with everything that he said, but I love the fact that it brought back some of that fire, there is nothing like a conceptual conflict to get the mind racing.

Today, I feel like an Artist.

Upcoming Events for London Based Creatives & Coders

Next week London based creatives and coders have 2 events going on that they might want to sign up to attend. First up is the Poker Coder poker tournament. Previous Poker Coder tournaments have offered a great networking opertunity and are also great fun as well. Bonus. Full information and sign up instructions can be found at pokercoder.com, while you are visiting, take a little extra time to check the prizes. Tasty! Those of you that have signed up to previous Poker Coder tournaments should have received a priority email with the sign up instructions already. However if you email is client is any thing like mine then its quite possible it this email has been filtered into the junk folder, so you might want to have a quick look.

Poker Coder Bet Fair Poker Tournament
Web: pokercoder.com
Date: 29th July 2008 (29/07/2008)
Time: 19:00 sharp
Venue: Grosvenor Casino London Victoria, 150-162 Edgware Road, W2 2DT

Also next week is the London Flash Platform User Group. Held at its now familiar location of the Cosmo Bar in Clerkenwell. Full details of this months meetng can be found and sign up instructions are at lfpug.com . Here is a breif summary of this months presentations.

Source control for Flash (19:00 – 20:00) – Juan Delgado
Source control is probably the very base of software development. This is going to be a very practical session to get you started on SVN where we will go through the basics: creating a repository, check out, commit, revert, diff, etc.

Developing Flash Content For Mobile (19:00 – 20:00) – Dave Williamson
With the increased interest in the mobile internet I will to provide practical tips and information on how you can leverage Flash Lite Player on Mobiles and how that content can cross to other devices

The more observant of you will notice that I will be presenting some of my Mobile Flash Development Knowledge.

London Flash Platform User Group
Web: lfpug.com
Date: 31st July 2008 (31/07/2008)
Time: 19:00 – 23:00 (doors open at 18:30)
Venue: CosmoBar, 50-54 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5PS

BitTube Goes Over the Air

Thats right, its all very last minute but I will be presenting a session at the upcoming Over the Air event in London this week.

My session is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

Flash Video Nokia Masterclass – Dave Williamson (Adobe)Learn how to create live video applications with the most popular online video format on Nokia devices.

Over the Air is all sold out now, but you can find all the information about the event over at the Over the Air Blog

I look forward to catching up with you if you are there.

The Adobe sponsored London Poker Tournament, registration open!

Sean McSharry contacted me last night to let me know about this event that he has organised with Adobe. I am only to pleased to pass the information on to the rest of you :D.

The Adobe sponsored London Poker Tournament is now open for registration(www.pokercoder.com). The event is completely FREE and will take place on the 1st November at 7pm at the Grosvenor Victoria casino in Warren Street.

Adobe are providing the food, drink and prizes. This event is open only to those who use Adobe products professionally and places are strictly limited, so register asap.

Don’t worry if you’ve never played before as the casino are laying on training for 20-30 minutes from the dealers at your table. Don’t worry, there will be lots of beginners.

For those of you who already play and want to improve your game, Andy Hood will be running a some slightly more advanced training during the same training time and you can ask him for advise and tips.

Check out the www.pokercoder.com site. A little more information can be found at Sean Mcsharry’s site www.flashcoder.net but just for reference a couple of quick reminders:

  1. The event is free but you must be a professional user of Adobe software
  2. Adobe are providing the drink, food and prizes
  3. There will be training for all the beginners attending (don’t worry, you won’t be alone)
  4. Places are strictly limited so register asap
  5. 7pm – the event starts promptly with introductions and explanations and an opportunity to ask any questions
  6. 7:30pm – You will take your seats and get 20-30 minutes training with either the dealers or from Andy Hood, depending on your experience
  7. 8pm – let the game commence and may the best man/woman win.

If you have any further questions, contact the organiser at.

sean at flashcoder dot net .