⇾ Meagan Fisher on Motivations and Struggles Behind Redesigning Her Website

Meagan Fisher has redesigned her website recently. I reckon you have heard this already as it was spoken about quite a lot. Now she has written about the motivations and struggles with this. I find this quite interesting and I bet you will find yourself in this 8 minute read as well ;)

⇾ Visit: Meagan Fisher on Motivations and Struggles Behind Redesigning Her Website

Making Future Interfaces: Inline SVG

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Heydon Pickering has released another episode of his Making Future Interfaces videos, I was talking about earlier. This time: Inline SVG. Another one I watch with a big smile on my face – superb, Heydon.

Or watch on YouTube: Making Future Interfaces: Inline SVG

Thanks for the Mention, Sebastian

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Sebastian Greger mentioned my beyond tellerrand events in a nice list of events for 2019 – thanks a lot!

⇾ On Table Design

Hui Jing has written an article about table design patterns over there at Smashing Magazine. It is a nice to read article that shows CSS only options an JavaScript enhanced options.

⇾ Visit: On Table Design

⇾ On Covering Webcams by John Gruber

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A short article by John Gruber, that simply reminds me of checking that my computer’s and phone’s system is up to date.

⇾ Visit: On Covering Webcams by John Gruber

This Was New Adventures Conference 2019

I was lying down with fever and a cold, which I have already felt coming in Nottingham. Friday evening I crashed and crawled out of bed yesterday. Email, to do’s and work is piling up, but if I wont write this personal review of the event now – which I’d like to as I like Geri Coady and Simon Collison (aka Colly) – I will never do it.

Photo showing Ethan Marcotte on stage at New Adventures conference
Ethan closing the event with his talk

When I attend an event, I always wear two hats: the hat of an attendee and the other hat of someone who organises and runs events myself. Some of the details I sometimes see are not what usually attendees see on a first view. And also often I have to remind myself, that I might have seen speakers multiple times already, where some of the delegates just attend their very first event. A very important factor – if not most important for me personally – is, if I leave the event with an overall good impression. Not just the talks where good. Not just the organisation was well done. Not just the atmosphere was friendly and welcoming. But: all this together has been a great package.

For those who don’t like to read longer texts: New Adventures had all this above and more!

The Fear of Not Selling Out – and How This Does Not Matter for New Adventures

I have been at all four New Adventures conferences. From 2011 to 2013 and now in 2019. It took Geri and Simon a long time and really a lot of thoughts (and guts!) before they decided to bring New Adventures back to life. Not only are a lot of events suffering from not selling tickets as quick as they used to, but bringing an event back after six years, an event with a very hight reputation … chances are high you can only loose. People who were at the old edition might compare the event with the good old time, where new attendees who heard “how great the old edition of this event were” are coming with such a high expectation already. So the pressure surely is high.

I have had a couple of conversations with Colly and early after announcing the event and and starting to sell tickets, he had the feeling as if tickets would not sell as they used to in former years. Colly is a person, I think like me, who has a good gut feeling about things like this and therefore he made sure to be prepared to go an extra mile to draw attention to this new event. Yes, a new event, as six years in internet time mean that there might be a lot of people who might have still played with Lego or Playmobil back when the first year happened. People who used to come might have gotten children, moved away for job reasons and to on.

In short: how do you advertise and sell tickets to a group of people that mixes of past delegates and (hopefully) new people who like to come?

I certainly know the fear of not selling out. Even if I am fortuned enough to sell out for the past 8 years, I never, as I often say, take it for granted that the next show is going to sell out again. I always fear Will I sell enough tickets to pay the bills at least? I can only imagine, all the things that Simon and Geri planned to do for the attendees and how they have to re-think their ideas and plans every now and then, when they hit the next level to being able to pay something they wanted to do for the people at the event.

Because of the headline you might wonder: was it sold out or not?

No, it was not. And where I wish it would have been, to get both organisers the money they deserve, for the event itself it was of no interest. I have been at events, where empty seats create a strange atmosphere. Where it feels as if the room is empty and the certain spark of enthusiasm and love does not jump over from the stage to the audience, but in Nottingham? No. It did not matter at all, that a few seats were empty. But it felt wonderfully warm and the atmosphere was positive and great!

The Opportunity to Curate a Full Day of Topics

I won’t write about every single presentation and other people have done a great job here already (here, here and here for example), but I wanted to quickly say, that Simon had a good mix of well respected and known speakers and new faces on stage. When I have seen the first round of announced speakers in the beginning I was a bit sceptical, but I was wrong. Topics and presentation quality were excellent and did not disappoint at all. Most of the talks had a great message, pushing everybody into a positive future, but making us aware, that we have a job, where we are responsible for what we design and create, but also that we are builders and creators of things, which means, that we have the option, the tools and – hell yes – the obligation to change things!

So well done with choosing some very important and motivational topics for this day!

The Fun of Being the Host

Photo showing a lot of cupcakes which were given out at the event

One part that I hugely enjoy also is, to be the host of an event. As much stress and work as it is, it pays so much back, to have the opportunity to welcome people from all around the world and create a welcoming and friendly space and atmosphere for them.

Also here, I can only say that Geri and Simon made a fantastic job. All the fringe events around the main event, the care and – of course – their friendly personality have shined through.

Not in a Million Years Aka Maybe

So, was that a one-off show or will New Adventures return? If you ask the attendees, I bet there is an overwhelming majority of those who directly say yes, bring it back.

When I asked Simon on an evening before the event he said …

Not in a million years!

… which over the time of the event and until after the event turned into a subtle Maybe. Let’s see how we feel afterwards and if people would come back.

All delegates gave feedback to the question, if they would return next year. But those things have to be taken carefully of course. Everybody at the event is on an emotional high and surely tends to say yes. An event’s organiser now has to evaluate the answers and come up with an interpretation on which she/he can base a decision to run or not run another edition next year. One year is a lot of time and many things can change, which might lead to a different answer than the one given on the piece of paper, when Simon asked.

But if you ask me, New Adventures should be back. We need more events like this, who inspire and motivate. Where the people behind the event care. And New Adventures just hit a time to come back, where running events is not the easiest thing you can do and times are a bit difficult (for too many reasons to write about this right here).

Next to this, I have had a fantastic time and I met so many people I know since years, plus I had the chance – and used it – to meet many new people and chat about a lot of different topics. Wonderful.

So yes, Geri and Simon, bring back the show next year. I love kicking off the year in Nottingham. At New Adventures!

First Things Brendan Installs on a New Mac

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I like these quick and easy to read lists of little helpers for your daily work. In First Things Brendan Installs on a New Mac Brendan Dawes shows a few programs, which he installs on a fresh computer, helping him to be quicker and more productive on his machine.

My list would nearly look the same. I haven’t heard of Default Folder before though and will have a look at it.

I’d like to add TextExpander to his list in addition. For me a fantastic tool to define shortcuts for returning text snippets, coding tasks and even writing emails.

⇾ Taking Your Newsletter to the Next Level – a Newsletter Guide

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If you plan to or run a newsletter, maybe this guide holds some useful tips for you as well.

⇾ Visit: Taking Your Newsletter to the Next Level – a Newsletter Guide

Off To Nottingham!

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After six years I packed my bags again to travel to Nottingham for New Adventures Conference (naconf in short). Very much looking forward to meeting a lot of nice people and kicking off the event year.

How Comes, That I See Myself so Much in This Quote?

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I just read “The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture by Scott Belsky and while I was reading it, I made a few notes here and there, which I go through right now. Especially these days, I catch myself in this situation very often:

Over the years, I have come to recognize the amount of time I spend checking things: Daily sales data, website traffic trends, what people are saying on Twitter, analytics for our customers, team progress on projects, the list goes on. For you, it might be diving into a spreadsheet to manipulate budget numbers or scanning through your unanswered emails again and again. When you’re anxious about your business, there is no easier quick-relief antidote than checking things. The problem is that you could spend all day checking things and fail to do anything to change things.

And when I catch myself doing this, than this is what makes me angry: “The problem is that you could spend all day checking things and fail to do anything to change things.” I am angry with myself then and think, that I could have done so much better today.

On the other hand, after being angry with me, I tell myself, that it is ok. It is part of me and my way of working. But is it? If I’d accept this reason or answer, I would not get angry with me the next time again.

How about you?