Front-Trends 2016Space Club, Warsaw. Photo courtesy of Jakub Boruch

The Front-Trends 2016 conference in Warsaw is over. Those were nice three days. We had good and fun time being there. Almost as nice as the booking.com commercial played during breaks, showing us how superb it is to live and work in Amsterdam ; )

And speaking about ads – I remember one more, this time made by Allegro. About a father, his daughter and the guitar. The simple word “dzięki” (“thanks” in Polish) said by the girl to her father, that we can hear at the end – It’s so powerful. I think it’s always about emotion, passion and feeling. And these words nicely describe those days.

As we can see by looking at Front-Trends agenda it really tried to cover so many, so interesting aspects of designer’s and front-end developer’s work. All of it? I would say – not even close – as we can imagine or just read here. For me it’s a constant stream – from animation and typography, through css inside js, static site generators, reactive programing, ending for example on Angular 2 as “platform” (sic!)

Today I want to share with you only small part of it. The one that hit me the most – direct into the heart – as designer and human being. I will tell you about people, people like us, designers, developers and the users of software. About ourselves.

It all started from Rachel Nabors and her animations that really matter. She gave a great speech about things that we all know very well but often have tons of excuses (and some technology limitations) not to use them. During her performance Rachel had five or ten seconds in which she showed the animation behind her and changed her voice tone and then she taught us something about power we have to create emotion.

Next we could listen to presentation by Tim Kadlec. Speed and performance and how they affect people. When waiting time is too long or too short. And what we can do to make awaiting more pleasure.

Performance is about the user

— Tim Kadlec

At the end of first day thanks to Meri Williams we heard about leadership, and what it really means to lead people. Why good bosses or team leaders should not know everything and ask for help. Important questions that all of us should ask ourselves are about purpose, our autonomy, mastery and inclusion.

As leaders, our job is to create the space in which people can be awesome.

— Meri Williams

The second presentation on the second day was very strong. Alberta Soranzo in “Our eternal digital afterlife” – spoke about the death of our loved ones and colleagues, about what we feel when we still can see their web profiles and how hard it is just to be gone. Depressing but important, because we are careless as users and designers. I think we all need to hear it, it affects all of us. And some of us need to start design “offboarding”… and do it in very delicate and proper way.

The third day was started by Staś Małolepszy with the speech about his nephews. He showed us how little help and inspiration makes other people to do marvellous things. It reminded me my childhood when I had Atari 65XE and my “mentor” by my side showing me wonders.

Tammie Lister had a presentation titled Pixel Bonding with beautiful pixel art of two hearts bound together by their pixel border. It was about human reaction on human things. Or we can call it Emotional Interface Design. How to make it right, how to gain trust, and when it is too much. It’s a very delicate bond that can be broken. We have to be careful – but without trying we loose in the very beginning.
I have luck to work with really good java developers, who try to understand user more than others. It is so good to know I have them behind my back when I cut or add too much to UI.

friends don’t let friends make mistakes

— Tammie Lister

Brenna O’Brien talked about who we are and who we should be as the programmers. Why we shouldn’t be afraid to show our work in progress, ask for help, help others. And some clever words about friends, the real ones in work. I really love the idea, and I think I have enough luck to have one. I’ve even looked deeper and read more.

But cutting is more fun than measuring

— Brenna O’Brien

The last speech that closed the whole event belonged to Tim Holman and was hilarious. It was about being motivated and creative. Making some fun. Ridiculous ending : )

Summing it up – it was great time with great people full of enthusiasm and wisdom working hard to make better not only tools, techniques but in some way our lives.

I’m happy I’m a part of it.