Words are enough to give one the impression that the talks were brilliant. Let me quote some passages based on the blog posts at Adactio:
You should not be designing just to make other designers jealous. It happens a lot in design but it happens in development too (I’m looking at you, Ajax). Good design is invisible. It’s about the character of the content, not the character of the designer. Let’s get away from showing off get to empathetic web design. It means user-centred design but by abandoning that label we can side-step the religious wars between UCD and agile.
If you’re going to use a framework, it should be yours; one that you’ve created. You can look at existing frameworks for ideas and hack at it. But the professionals in this room are not well served by picking up a framework and using it as-is.
Design for the web has chiefly been driven forward by technology rather than message. Maybe it’s time to go back and start asking what are the stories we are trying to tell. The form of design should be driven by the story.
We make sense of the world in terms of relationships. We don’t know when we smell because we’re used to the smell, but other people notice because our smell stands out. It’s much the same with sight. We can associate or disassociate things using contrast, distance and size. We can use contrast in visual weight to guide the eye and create a flow.
When the universe gives you lemons, make lemonade. When there was unannounced downtime on Flickr, they turned it into a colouring contest: print out these circles, colour them in and the winner will get a prize. Over 2000 submissions were uploaded. The level of creativity was startling. Every one participated ended up getting an extra three months on their account.
User-centred design and participatory design are great ways of involving the users in the design process but that’s still different to actual use. It’s time for a new way of working: designing for improvisation (but remember that no one single process will ever be successful).
Rounded corners are usually a pain in the ass. But you can do them today with namespaced webkit- and moz- border-radius declarations. … What about other browsers? Well, they don’t get rounded corners but so what? Rounded corners just degrade gracefully to rectangles.
This roundup actually covers only day one, so be sure to subscribe to Adactio for the next round of talks for day two.