BD Conf Follow-Up

Lea Alcantara

My Beyond Static tour’s final stop this year was at BD Conf DC! I’ve written at length about the different conferences I presented this talk at — including Web Afternoon: UX Edition and ConvergeSE — and it underlines that while different conferences may have similar talks, the experience is all different!

BD Conf was no exception.

Low Key

BD Conf is an intentionally smaller conference that boasts a low attendee-to-speaker ratio. While Web Afternoon offers a similar intimate atmosphere, BD Conf takes it further by focusing on the most practical talks.

While every subject and speaker is inspirational, there is a theme within BD Conf that emphasizes immediately actionable steps or examples of work in progress.

Genuine Speaker Interaction

Perhaps due to the smaller space, provided lunch and the aforementioned speaker ratio, most speakers actually stuck around!

Now, if you go to conferences regularly — especially larger events — the ability of the speakers themselves staying to learn from their peers isn’t always guaranteed. At BD Conf, the majority of speakers stuck around, listened and even asked questions during the talks! This lends itself to a really candid sharing environment for everyone involved.

Design Mind-Bend

One of the things we strive to do as web workers is keep up with all the vast technologies afforded to us. Which I why I loved the takeaways from BD Conf.

Clarissa Peterson reminded us to test our mobile device colours in daylight. Her talk sparked a discussion on the speaker panel about mental perceptions of color and, while data gathering such as A/B testing is important in design, context is essential! Data can be deceiving, especially when everyone perceives color differently!

And in a web design world moving toward pattern design thinking, I really enjoyed Patrick Fulton’s talk on Element (Container) Queries!

I was also delighted that we were a small few who saw preview clips from Matt Griffin’s upcoming documentary on the web, What Comes Next is the Future.

BD Conf in Your Town

In short, attending BD Conf would be your jam if you want a really focused, low-key and useful learning environment with easy access to speakers. Basically, this is the conference your boss probably wants you to attend. With the events spread across the US, there may be one near you!

And if you missed it in my other posts, here are my slides:

And if you want a high-level list of key points from my talk, read my ConvergeSE talk breakdown!

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