beyond tellerrand 2016: My Highlights

Header image designed for btconf by Martin Fütterer

I went to this year’s beyond tellerrand conference, along with Maximilian. It took place at the Admiralspalast here in Berlin and it’s a mixture of design- and development-related talks and workshops.

For both of us it was the first time visiting btconf, after having it recommended to us several times in the last few years. The whole event really felt like a big family gathering, including free coffee, generous break times and ice-cream. But of course, at its core, btconf is all about its talks and speakers.

As the videos from the talks are now available online, we’d like to share our favorites with you:

How the tech sector could move in One Direction

We all giggled at the crazy fan-fiction that people on the internet come up with, be it 3-hour-long music videos, or story after story about Twilight characters engaging in some crazy bondage love action. However, what most people overlook is that “fan-fiction” has some really talented and versatile creatives working on it. Those fans–mostly girls and young women–are self-taught in many disciplines, like video editing, audio production, graphic design and web development.

Not only was this one of the most entertaining talks, but it was also quite eye-opening on many levels (and my favorite talk of the conference).

Let us now praise ordinary people

One of the most highly anticipated talks was by Mike Monteiro. He’s best known for his appearances on stage (like this one, or this one) and the design-related podcast “Let’s Make Mistakes”. He’s also very vocal about America’s problems like racism, gun-violence and the issue of Trump.

In the fortnight of the US presidential election, he talked about people trying to change the world and how this is not possible — because the world is currently working exactly the way we designed it.

Mike has an amazing sense of humor, but also delivers an important message about “ordinary people” and the world we are living in.

Writing less damned code

Most of the developer-related talks were rather technical and somewhat hard to follow for non-developers. But, in this one, @HeydonPickering Heydon Pickering (@heydonworks) talks about how to avoid unnecessary code and find simplified solutions–by not doing them in the first place. Examples include gallery carousels, share buttons, and font-size adjusters. The snark is strong with this one.

Typography is code

Frank Rausch, a self-described “User Interface Typographer/Developer”, shared his approach to working with typography in an app context. He raises awareness for micro-typography in user-interfaces by explaining his design decisions for the banking app “Money Money” and Wikipedia app “Viki”, and also demonstrates how his programs are developed to fix typographic wrongdoings by themselves.

This Article was also published over at Edenspiekermann for their Magazine.