When I heard the ‘Digital Thinkers’ Awwwards conference was happening at Amsterdam’s De Le Mar, I thought I’d stop by.
And I’m glad I did.
Kicking off with a childhood anecdote from Pablo Stanley, exploring insecurities that were oh so real, we instantly felt at ease that these designers on stage endured struggles just like us. We heard from leading agencies like Locomotive, Build in Amsterdam and Active Theory. Speakers chatted around machine learning, new realities, ethical and cultural impacts of design – to name a few, and independent animator Louis Ansa dropped some tips.
With 20+ talented, influential speakers jammed into two days, there’s only so much I can distil into a short article, but here are a few highlights:
As well as the chance to hear first-hand what the Adobe team has been up to since the beta release of XD – a key topic of discussion was Voice User Interface (VUI). If you’re looking for the segue here, it’s that XD can now handle voice triggered prototyping.
No presentation on VUI would be complete without a virtual assistant to serve some fast facts, and Alexa had it covered.
VUI is gaining traction, and we’ll likely see a shift from GUI in web browsing. But designers, don’t fret! We won’t be made redundant, not in this lifetime, anyway. Stripping out cognitive visual load and focussing purely on language poses an additional set of UX problems, but doesn’t eradicate the existing ones. Just like the rise of mobile didn’t replace desktop – it’s another layer to consider and we need to adapt.