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Web Directions Gov wrap up

People at Web Directions Government
Photo credit: Nathanael Boehm

Web Directions Government started with a very fresh morning, complete with frost on my car that took ages to defrost! My car told me that it was zero degrees when I left the house… Anyhow, Web Directions Government is the first Web Directions conference to be held in Canberra, targeted specifically at the Government sector. Here’s a quick run down of the day:

  • I started the day with Jason Ryan‘s breakfast talk about Government 2.0 – The public challenge. I really enjoyed Jason’s talk about the challenges with Government 2.0 with the key themes of Change, Strategy and Control. Key ideas included encouraging everyone to engage, have a good understanding of your people and of the environment. Key quotes from the session, “most importantly, you have to trust your staff”, “when it comes to engagement, mediocrity is not an option” and “just bloody well do it!”.
  • eGovernment by José Manuel Alonso – “removing the e from eGovernment”. He talked about the challenges facing Governments doing business online and the need for participation and transparency. Check out eGovernment at W3C.
  • Real world web standards by Scott Gledhill – a case study of the redesign of News.com.au and associated websites. Interesting learnings about the need for clear communications and established rules, even in a team full of people who know their stuff.
  • One paper clip, a box of matches, and some JavaScript by Patrick Lee – Patrick covered lots of examples of using JavaScript in the real world. Love the MacGyver references!
  • Usability: more than skin deep by Lisa Herrod – I heard this at last year’s Web Directions South but it’s still as enjoyable the second time round. Lisa is always a great speaker to listen to and I love how we have a very similiar holistic approach to our user experience work!
  • ABC’s election site: making the most of dry data by Andrew Kesper – Andrew covered a range of design decisions taken for the ABC election site. Very interesting look at the various technologies involved, especially the interactive maps.
  • The essential elements of great web applications by Robert Hoekman Jr – a great presentation to finish the conference. Robert covered his seven key principles for great web design, including my favourite, “reduce, reduce, reduce” (minimalist designs appeal to me both online and in the real world).

Thanks to John and Maxine and their team of helpers for putting on a conference in Canberra! I had a great time and will definitely attend next year.

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One Comment

  1. My car was actually beeping when I left home with “2C” flashing on the temperature display! I pulled over … not sure if it was ok to drive! MINI usability issue ;-)

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