Atlassian Design Week 2016: An attendee’s story
For the many of you who might not know, once a year all the Atlassian designers, writers, researchers, and a few select others get together in Sydney for a week of learning, sharing, camaraderie and work. It’s part conference, part hack-a-thon and part social event; all of which combine into a truly unique and amazing experience: Atlassian design week.
This year’s design week was — I think easily — the highlight of my time at Atlassian to date, and that’s saying a whole lot. The day-to-day here is pretty hard to beat and I love my product and my team.
If that weren’t enough, there have been many remarkable moments; design week last year, a few nice product launches, the excitement, and fun that is the Austin office, etc.
But this year’s design week takes the prize. It was so well put together, so fun and so educational that it beats most external conferences I’ve been too.
In fact, sitting here at the end of it, I can’t help but want to compare it to how it felt to have the early years (think 2005–2008) of SXSW Interactive wrapped. Anyone familiar with those early days will know what I mean and how special it is. You head home energized, full of ideas and ready to make some serious awesome. Design week this year had the same effect, with the added bonus of experiencing it with people you actually work with.
Rather than try and break it down, I’ll sum it up: it’s a week of intensive design exploration and learning. We had many Atlassians share their work and thinking, had some customers come out and give us their thoughts on our products and had a two-day design ship-it focused on micro-interactions. Along the way there was a bit of fun, lots of brainstorming, some awkward dancing, lots of artisanal paper folding, a few bowls of laksa (YUM), many smiles and some hard work with some of the best and smartest people around.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Sydney. I love Sydney. It’s fast, it’s vibrant, it’s livable and it’s full of nooks and crannies to explore. The people here are Texas-style nice and from all over the world. Oh, the food? Amazing.
Can’t wait until next time y’all. I didn’t capture too many photos during design week itself, was too wrapped up in it, but did spend a lot of time wandering Sydney during the bookends, here’s a solid taste of what I saw:
I also did a whole bunch of street art crawling while I was there. So much awesome ephemeral art. Here is a smallish sample of what I found.