23–25 January 2019
Nottingham UK

Conference day

Nottingham Albert Hall
Thursday 24th January 2019
Registration 0830, lunch provided

Topics, speakers & schedule

Our core themes for 2019

Digital experiences are forming in new ways, requiring us to think smarter, be more efficient and collaborative. In the face of uncertainty, we must ask tough questions about labour and ethics, education and inclusivity, and rediscover ambition through weirdness and fun.

We work with our speakers to deliver a cohesive programme of big thinking and practical advice. Following one-on-ones with us, speakers share as a group, able to discuss details, find counterpoints, and refine together. Below we outline their presentations within a draft schedule.

PDF icon Convince Your Boss — 1MB PDF


09:30Opening remarks

09:40Jeremy Keith

Jeremy Keith


Every new medium looks to what has come before for guidance. Web design has taken cues from centuries of typography and graphic design. Web development has borrowed metaphors and ideas from the world of architecture. Let's take a tour of some of the most influential ideas from architecture that have crossed over into the web, from pattern languages to responsive design. Together we'll uncover how to build resilient, performant, accessible and beautiful structures that work with the grain of the materials of the web.

Jeremy Keith lives in Brighton, England where he makes websites with the splendid design agency Clearleft. You may know him from such books as DOM Scripting, Bulletproof Ajax, HTML5 For Web Designers, Resilient Web Design, and, most recently, Going Offline.

He curated the dConstruct conference for a number of years as well as Brighton SF, and he organised the world's first Science Hack Day. He also made the website Huffduffer to allow people to make podcasts of found sounds—it's like Instapaper for audio files.

Photo Copyright © Dan Rubin

10:30Clare Sutcliffe

Clare Sutcliffe

Confessions of an Overnight CEO

Clare Sutcliffe went from being a junior designer to the CEO of an international education social enterprise in the space of three months. What followed was a six-year roller coaster of highs and lows and at each of those peaks and troughs lay a golden lesson all juicy and ready to be learned.

As Clare spent six years collecting these lessons she thought it would be the decent thing to do to share them with you. So prepare to hopefully laugh, maybe cry and potentially feel mildly outraged but definitely be prepared to learn from her mistakes and occasional successes.

She’ll go into some of the more practical ways she dealt with the challenges she faced as an entrepreneur as well as dealing with the odd existential threat. She’ll talk about the creative methods she used to test her ideas and how Code Club passes on this approach to inspire the next generation of problem solvers, inventors and world changers.

Clare Sutcliffe is an independent advisor and consultant to early stage technology and education companies in Europe and North America. In 2012 she co-founded Code Club - a network of over 10,000 after school coding clubs for children and led Code Club in a merger with Raspberry Pi Foundation in 2015. She was awarded an MBE for services to technology education in the Queen’s 2015 New Year’s Honours List. Previously Clare was a UX designer and art director in the mobile, tech and advertising sectors. She is also the founder of Cambrolino a new designer ceramics company based in Cambridge, a veteran of New Adventures and co-owner of a rambunctious dachshund called Henry.

11:05Josh Brewer

Josh Brewer

Demystifying Design

In the last decade, we’ve seen Design go from an afterthought to a prerequisite. A company’s technology isn't the differentiator anymore — it’s the experience that matters. Even though Design is now seen as a competitive advantage, designers are still fighting for a “seat at the table”. As our industry matures, it is critical that we demystify the design process. Design is not magic. It is an observable, repeatable process that the whole company should understand. When more of the company understands the value of Design, they become our greatest advocates. And together we can replace fear-based corporate culture with one of learning and understanding. In that new world, transparency, accountability, and consensus are the keys to being taken seriously.

Josh Brewer is a vocal advocate for Design Leadership, writing and speaking about the challenges of building Design-led companies and products. In his current role as CEO of Abstract, an Advisor & Mentor to the Designer Fund, and previously as Principal Designer at Twitter, Josh continues to influence the centrality of Design in early and late-stage companies.

11:20Morning break

11:50Jessica White

Jessica White

The Future is Cross-functional

It used to be that we all worked in our silos. Designers designed, Developers devved, Testers tested. The people in each of these sections of expertise only communicated when the process dictated. It was a world of waterfall.

This is no longer the world we live in. We are encouraged to work cross-functionally, but despite best intentions, it can be difficult to transfer to this way of thinking to develop this culture effectively. Can it be done? Yes! To demonstrate I will cover examples of where I have seen it work and why it did. We will also discuss some of the different flavours of cross-functional teams, and why you shouldn’t just care about DevOps or T-shaped development, but care about all forms of cross-functionality and their benefits.

This talk is aimed at all levels and all professions within technology. Come along, and I’ll show you not only why you should work together in this way, but also offer tips on how to achieve it.

Jessica White is a software developer at UNiDAYS, international speaker and avid learner. Topics she is particularly interested in include community building, monitoring and continuous improvement of systems. She founded and ran a meetup between 2015-2017 and is now organising a conference for 2019. She is easily bribed with coffee and loves hearing about other people’s experiences in technology.

12:25Ashley Baxter

Ashley Baxter

Idea to Execution and Beyond

As designers, developers and makers we’re rarely short of ideas to work on, but dreaming up ideas is the easy part. Ashley provides a run-through of what it really takes to execute and launch your next project. She covers the idea stage, build process, launch, and what to expect post-launch. Idea validation, shipping anxiety, and discovering problems are some of the themes covered.

Ashley Baxter is building With Jack, a platform that helps keep freelancers in business. Working in insurance for over a decade and spending 7 years doing freelance photography was the inspiration behind creating With Jack. She enjoys sharing her experience of bootstrapping a business as a solo founder in one of the least start-up friendly industries in the world. Ashley likes video games, photography, weightlifting and her dog, Indie. She gets excited when talking about insurance and is based in Glasgow, Scotland.

13:10Lunch (provided)

13:20Women in Tech, Notts

Women in Tech Notts

Lunchtime Takeover

We're so excited about this. Get to know your fellow New Adventures attendees with some lighthearted networking facilitated fun, brought to you by the team behind Women in Tech Nottingham.

Women In Tech, Nottingham is a monthly meetup for women from all areas of technology and those with an emerging interest in technology. As we are celebrating the women in our industry, and not aiming to exclude, you can attend no matter what gender you identify with.

14:10Brendan Dawes

Brendan Dawes

Universal Assembly

The tools, systems and processes we now have access to — much of it underpinned by the power of the World Wide Web — open up a world of possibilities to the modern day designer, maker or artist. Yet even though this toolbox of possibilities seems to change and expand at a seemingly overwhelming rate we can take comfort knowing what people really connect with is not shiny new things, but universalities such as happiness, joy, anger, love, optimism and many other human, illogical traits.

In this talk, Brendan shows the techniques and processes he uses to combine, assemble and manufacture objects born from his love of the digital, the analog and that curious space in-between.

Brendan Dawes is a designer and artist exploring the interaction of objects, people, technology and art using form and code with an eclectic mix of digital and analogue materials. Author of two books on interaction design, his work is featured in the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art, has been 3D printed on the International Space Station and has been honoured in awards including Fast Company Innovation by Design, Information is Beautiful and D&AD. Clients include Airbnb, Google, Twitter, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Intel, Cancer Research UK, Mailchimp, M&C Saatcci, EE, PWC, The Atlantic, and Arup.

15:00Helen Joy

Helen Joy

Whose Design is it Anyway?

As creators of products and services, we’re pretty good at thinking we’ve got it all sussed. We map user journeys, we create roadmaps, we write user stories. We know what we want people to do; what actions we want them to take. But do we really know who these people are? Do we really know what they need? Do we take the time to find out, or are we building products and services based on our own assumptions and biases?

And what about those who lack our digital privilege? Digital exclusion is a reality for many people. It’s our responsibility to look out for everyone, not just those who are the most visible or the easiest to design for. As designers, we have the power to massively hinder or improve lives; not those of ‘users’ but of people. This talk looks at what it means to be digitally excluded and how by adopting a practical user research-led attitude to design, we can create products that are not just appealing to us, but life-changing to those who use them.

Helen Joy is a UX consultant and user researcher at SPARCK with a focus on universal and inclusive design practices. She's an organiser of Women in Tech Nottingham, working to promote inclusivity within the tech industry and raise the profile of talented female and gender minority speakers. When not consulting or speaking at events, Helen is an avid coffee drinker and hot yoga fan.

15:45Afternoon break

16:15Naz Hamid

Naz Hamid

Diverse Design: How We Build for People

A look at how we’ve designed and built products, processes, and diversity into our craft, and what we can do to involve the right people in how we make them, for an increasingly global audience.

Naz Hamid is a design director specializing in product design, direction, and strategy. He is the founder of Weightshift, a consultancy servicing clients such as About.me, Adobe, Dropbox, Google Ventures, Mozilla, One Medical Group, Rdio, Twitter, and more. His studio operated for 17 years and recently reopened after he concluded a nearly two-year stint at VSCO, where he helped launch VSCO X — a subscription service that gained 1MM+ paying members and is the second fastest digital subscription service (after Apple Music). Naz lives in San Francisco, California, with his wife, where they spend their time rock climbing, cycling, traveling, and seeking offline adventure.

16:50Ethan Marcotte

Ethan Marcotte

The World-Wide Work

These days, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The tech industry is facing a veritable raft of ethical, moral, and political crises. Automation and industrialisation are reshaping our world. And sitting in the middle of all that? You and me. We’re digital designers, we’re developers, we’re product owners. But each day, our work is changing — more quickly than it ever has before.

Here’s the question we have to ask ourselves: what do we want that change to be? In this talk, we’ll look at some of the challenges facing our industry, and ask ourselves: what kind of work do we want to do?

Ethan Marcotte is a web designer, speaker, and author. He’s perhaps best known for coining the term “responsive web design”, to describe a new way of designing for the ever-changing Web. In fact, Ethan has written two popular books on the topic, Responsive Web Design and Responsive Design: Patterns and Principles. Over the years, his clientele has included New York Magazine, the Sundance Film Festival, The Boston Globe, and People Magazine.

Photo Copyright © Joyelle West

17:35Closing remarks



The experience I had first, second and third time round not only landed me my first job in tech, it also gave me years of the best friendships and opportunities.

Dan Blundell, Tech lead at LGSS Digital

I still tell people about the first event back in 2011 — one of my best memories of any conferences in over 10 years. Excited to see it return, and with a stellar line-up.

Dan Rubin, Photographer & designer

The first NA was years ahead of its time. I’ll never forget it, and I'm so glad it’s back. One of the most well-considered conferences I’ve ever been to. You should definitely go.

David Hughes, Designer

A wonderful conference by wonderful people for a friendly, open-minded community.

Smashing Magazine


In-kind partners