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We’re working closely with our speakers over the next few months to ensure we bring you engaging, relevant, joined-up themes, and we’ll introduce all eight topics here in late 2011. Note also that our provisional schedule is subject to change.

  • »The Great Hall, Albert Hall Nottingham
  • »Thursday 19th January 2012




Opening remarks


Dan Mall

Dan Mall

Dan is an award-winning interactive art director and designer. He is an enthralled husband, soon-to-be dad, Art Director at Big Spaceship, former Interactive Director at Happy Cog, technical editor for A List Apart, co-founder of Typedia, and singer/keyboard player for contemporary-Christian band Four24. Dan writes about design and other issues on Twitter and his industry-recognized site.

Design-ish: Behind, beneath, and between the comps

Great pixelcraft used to be the mark of a great designer. Now it's barely cost of entry. Let's investigate what the modern-day designer's job really is and uncover some treasures more important than our Photoshop canvases.


Naomi Atkinson

Naomi Atkinson

Naomi is a designer and illustrator passionate about creating beautiful, intuitive user experiences for the web and mobile. Active in the design industry for almost a decade, she has held senior positions at three leading brand, web, and advertising agencies in London with world renowned clients such as Audi, British Telecom, Macmillan Cancer Support and Aviva. She's a regular contributor to .net magazine, been branded as a Rising Star by Design Week, and awarded The Next Big Thing at The Critters.

An avid photographer and gallery-goer, Naomi is co-founder of web animation startup Animatable, runs her own design studio in Newcastle upon Tyne, and always wears a coat in winter.

Going Beyond

Being a true success in your art, industry, or day to day job requires pushing beyond what comes easily and naturally to you. It’s about making yourself stand out in an otherwise endless crowd of others striving for the same.

I’m going to look at how people stand tall in an industry distanced far from ours — the land of celebrity. What behaviors and patterns can we learn from their successes, and how can we bring this into our everyday work ethic?


Refreshments (provided)


Travis Schmeisser

Travis Schmeisser

Travis Schmeisser lives in Brooklyn, NY and is a Senior User Experience Designer for 80/20. He focuses on designing next generation products for the web, desktop, television, mobile and tablets with clients including Comcast, Skype, Vodafone, Motorola and Nokia. Travis maintains a personal site at and thinks there’s a very valid reason Springsteen is referred to as The Boss.

We Used to Build Forts

We're one of the world's most technically inclined, connected and creative industries, but we've lost a great deal of our sense of self expression within the craft. Let's figure out how we can get that desire back and band together to great experiences purely for the same reason we started creating things in the first place - because we have to.


Robbie Manson

Robbie Manson

Robbie is a designer based in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he creates interfaces at FreeAgent. Having started out as a one-man band before moving to a digital agency and now designing for a single application, he’s drank from the fiery chalice on both sides of the client/product divide. He takes care of the details, because he's a good man, and thorough. Visit Robbie’s site.

The Mindful Designer

We face a challenge: to ensure our design responses are informed more by our thinking than the tools we use. Absorbed by day-to-day execution, we can forget the importance of mistakes and accidents — of balancing intent with experimentation. Failure is valuable, provided we're mindful of why. Embrace the unpredictable nature of everything, and stay mindful. It's how we lace our actions with meaning.


Lunch (provided)


Trent Walton

Trent Walton

Trent Walton is founder and 1/3 of Paravel, a custom web design and development shop based out of the Texas Hill Country whose wife has put him on a font allowance. In his spare time, he writes about what he learns at his blog, and is co-creator of and contributor to TheManyFacesOf.

Break Everything

What value lies in pushing the web to the limits by looking beyond current convention and complete browser compatibility? By getting our hands dirty with things like web fonts, responsive web design, and experimental CSS properties we shape the current and future web. It's time to embrace its ever-changing nature, and, in the spirit of fearless ingenuity, break the web. We learn what works best by first trying everything that doesn’t work at all.


Cameron Koczon

Cameron Koczon

His real name is Cameron Koczon but he goes by Fictive Cameron on the Internet. Cameron runs a web company called Fictive Kin based in Brooklyn, NY. They’re currently working furiously on an app called Gimme Bar which is, as they say, neato torpedo. He co-created a to do list application called TeuxDeux and co-organizes a web conference called Brooklyn Beta. Cameron likes co-doing things because it’s more fun to work on awesome things with awesome people. he sometimes post to his off-kilter blog. He smokes a pipe.

The Potential Impact of Design

Design is at a moment of unprecedented attention, demand, and interest. Let's talk realistically about the level of impact that design can have on the world and how the individual designer can take advantage of all this demand to drive big change. Spoiler alert: Every season of LOST after the first one is terrible.


Refreshments (provided)


Denise Jacobs

Denise Jacobs

Denise Jacobs adores being a Speaker, Author, Consultant Web Design Trainer and Creativity Evangelist. Denise wrote The CSS Detective Guide and is a co-author to Interact with Web Standards: A holistic approach to Web Design. Denise has also developed curricula for the Web Standards Project Education Task Force (WaSP InterAct) and was nominated for .Net Magazine’s 2010 Best of the Web Standards Champion award. She aspires to encourage more people from underrepresented groups to Rawk The Web.

Your Brain on Creativity

While creativity seems ethereal, mysterious and often capricious, there is a biological side of the creative process that underlies the sense of being animated by the divine. Creativity is not just a state of mind and soul, but is also complex symphony of neurobiology, neurochemistry, and neuroelectricity. What is happening inside our craniums, amongst the cortex, hemispheres, and neuroglia when we create? How does the science of the creative brain turn concepts of ways to approach things like work, order, serious concentration, focus, and productivity on their ears? If we better understand the brain on creativity, we can hopefully leverage it's power for increased ideation, innovation, productivity, and flow.


Frank Chimero

Frank Chimero

Frank Chimero is a designer, illustrator, and author. He makes pictures about words and words about pictures. He’s been recognized by Print Magazine as a New Visual Artist and the ADC as a Young Gun. His work revolves around storytelling, wit, creative process, and visual experience, and he is the author of a book called The Shape of Design. He doesn’t know where he’s going, but he’s on his way.

It Moves

What is the primary quality of great design? It moves. It moves us emotionally, it moves from person to person, it moves us forward toward something better. Designers shift like the trickster across the borderlands, tell productive untruths, then toil to make them reality. Design shifts like a shadow and moves the target, and when it does so well, the products of the design get passed on like a story and turn into a gift. Pass it on.


Closing remarks