Wrap up from OFFF16
This year, like every year, OFFF conference took place in Barcelona.
Only last year I delved deep in every single speaker I enjoyed, explaining how they made a speech and why I liked them. This time, however, I didn’t want to do that. If you want a really detailed resume of the conference my only advice would be ‘go there next year’. I saw many speakers during the three-day event and some of them really, really inspired me, others were boring and some were the kings of the stage!
If you want a really detailed resume of the conference my only advice would be ‘go there next year’.
In this article I’ll write the ideas I took away from OFFF, many of which I don’t even know who they came from but… what makes an idea, a concept, something that is truly interesting is the thought itself, no? If you write something down during a conference that can survive without the designer, that is an idea that’s worth sharing.
Here the list of ideas that I wanna put down, the ideas I don’t ever want to forget.
If nobody hates it, nobody loves it either
The most interesting part about your design and its outcome is that anyone can have an opinion about it. But, if nobody’s paying any attention to what you’re designing, you should step back and ask yourself why are you even doing that?
Step out of your comfort zone
As a designer, everything that really defines who I am is my general curiosity; I’ve spent the biggest part of my design career asking the question ‘why?’. And only when you stop asking, does that then mean you’re in a place where you feel truly comfortable. That could place could be a cool work environment, somewhere where you earn a lot of money, nobody pushes you and there’s no deadline. That is the place you have to run away from! When I see a project I can’t handle, I don’t see it as a difficulty but something I can really learn from. And I hope this feeling never leaves me.
Just fucking do it. Don’t spend days thinking about it if it’s worth doing. When you have a project in mind — just do it. If you can’t do it alone, find somebody that can help you. It’s better to have a lot of half projects on your desk than no project at all.
You’ll never know where your work will lead you if you don’t put it out there
Every project, every sketch, every picture. Just let it get out there! Maybe it’s something, that for you, is a side project for somebody else, but will be ultimately be the perfect thing they were looking for. Or maybe you’re just the person they need.
Work with people who can do the things you can’t
Don’t be afraid of people that are better than you at illustrating, designing, sketching, wireframing. Don’t look at them like somebody to avoid, look at them like a book to read.
If you think you can do better than what’s already out there, it’s worth having a try
Nowadays everyone has done everything. There’s not so much we as designers can invent anymore. But, our work isn’t to invent, it’s to improve. If you think that something that is already out there is not the best thing ever, do your own and let it go.
Let’s push technology to get closer to us, rather than us getting closer to technology
Of course, we have the latest and best technology, we can design a system, an interface with the latest animation or with the latest tech gadget. But, what really matters is the experience that the user will have whilst using our product, not the technology we used in order to build that service. Focus on people, not on technology!
Get away from the screen.
What you design is for someone, someone that is real. I spend most of my day in front of my Mac but what I always look for is not the best pixel in my design. It’s actually the best way to accomplish something the user wants to do.
Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to make problems.
This quote brings me to the idea of waiting. If you wait for something to happen, keep in mind that it will never come. Make you own possibilities and create stuff even when nobody is asking for it. Raise questions that nobody asks.
There’s not one single path to a career
Every speaker we saw at OFFF didn’t fit into one single straight path to a career, each of them did different things that lead them to be the designers they are today. My advice? Live many different situations and don’t stick to one single discipline.
Try try try try try
Do the same over and over! If you don’t like the result, always try do it better. Don’t stop yourself after the first attempt, if you fail the next time you can do only better the next.
Do your own stuff, you’ll never know where it’ll take you
Crate side projects, design an idea that you have. Don’t stick to a single project during your daily working time. You never know what your side project will bring. Hey, maybe you’ll even meet Kurt Russell one day?
As every year, something that everybody is waiting for are the main title of the conference.This year Gavin Strange and Merlin Crossingham from Aardman were taking care of it, here the amazing video they did.
And here the making of.
See you next year at OFFF17.