Thursday evening I attended the Atlanta Web Design Group meetup which was held at it’s usual location, the Portfolio Center on Bennett Street. It was a full house with 112 people signed up for the $10 per person meetup.
The presentation was “The Beautiful Web” by Jason Beaird. Jason is the author of the book The Principles of Beautiful Web Design. His talk was centered on design theory around color, typography, texture, imagery, and layout with critique of websites that exemplify these principles. I’m usually too focused on the technical aspects of a website and so Jason’s talk was a welcome and useful introduction to the non-technical aspects of web design. I immediately ordered his book from Amazon and am looking forward to reading it.
Thursday evening I attended my first meetup of the Atlanta Web Designers held at the Portfolio Center on Bennett Street. The meetup was well attended with approximately 50 members. The main speaker was Brandon Eley who presented some great tips on incorporating marketing into the design process for your website. I picked up several valuable techniques that I will definitely use. For example the number one question to ask when building a Website is “What do you want your visitors to do?” Make sure it’s clear on each landing page exactly what action you most want a visitor to take. Make it stand out. Brandon mentioned that often sites are designed around the company organization chart. But it is far more effective to design with verbs and adverbs that guide visitors to take whatever action you want them to take…like “Buy Something” or “Download a demo”.
Volunteers were requested to submit a website for critque by Brandon and the group. I volunteered a website I’ve been supporting and in return received some valuable feedback (and a copy of Brandon’s new book). I’m looking forward to the August meetup of AWDG.
Had a great time at Web Master Jam Session – a two day conference held this year in Atlanta on Oct 3-4. This was my first time attending this conference and I would definitely repeat.
Speakers all seemed to be professional web developers and designers who were good at providing insights into issues and techniques for building world class professional web sites.
Some of the sessions I attended were
There was a general session “Web site smackdown” where a panel of experts criquited submitted websites. Another general session was really interesting as Mike Culver, web services evangelist at Amazon Web Services, spoke about Amazon Mechanical Turk.
The venue for the conference was pretty cool…a place I haven’t been in Atlanta called the Loudermilk Center located on Courtland near the Georgia State campus.
One of the best outcomes of the conference for me was starting to follow many of the speakers now on twitter so every day I’m picking up new tips and tricks from this group…kind of like the gift that keeps on giving.
Since the main sponsor, Coffee Cup Software, has moved their headquarters from Dallas to Atlanta the conference will probably be held in Atlanta next year I’m guessing. Hope I get to attend.