5 key takeaways from @netmag’s web design Generate Conference

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  • October 27, 2014
Tami Dillon

Tami Dillon

Digital Designer

Last month, I attended the Generate conference in London. Generate is an event targeted at web designers and developers, hosted by .Net magazine and Creative Bloq.

Held at the swanky Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden, it was packed with inspiring and practical talks from leading industry experts about HTML, CSS, JavaScript, responsive web design, web performance, user experience and accessibility.

At Branded3, we ensure our team are attending the top conferences and seminars around the world to help them stay on top of industry trends in this fast-paced digital world. Generate was no exception, being able to meet likeminded design ‘geeks’ who live and breathe design just like me!

On a day-to-day basis, digital agencies are competing against each other for clients at pitches etc., there’s always a sense of rivalry, but the atmosphere at conferences such as Generate is that we are all a team together.

We were all sharing tips and tricks about latest techniques, technologies and programmes; making jokes about the everyday stresses we face working in such a fast-paced and demanding environment. It was like one big designer and developer family! It’s our job to push the boundaries of what we can create online using the technology we have in our hands, how awesome is that?!

The speakers at Generate were incredibly inspiring and brought individual experiences to the table, I took away so many tips and insight, but here are my top five takeaways from the day:

  1. Be passionate: From the speakers that I saw at Generate, it was so clear to see that they were all hugely passionate about what they did. Design wasn’t just a job for them, it was a lifestyle and they felt lucky to be creatively gifted. Gavin Strange was a personal favourite of mine as his passion for anything design really shone through as he spoke. Gavin (@jamfactory) is a self-titled ‘jack of all trades’ and Senior Designer at Aardman Animations. In his talk, he told us that we have to make our own luck, be passionate and grab design and career opportunities with both hands and make them.


  1. ‘Make things that matter’: As designers, the future of the web is in our hands and we have the power to make beautiful fluid sites that work on all devices. Giving users access on any device as and when they need it. Make every project count. Don’t get bogged down worrying if your next design piece is as good as the rival agency down the road. Remember: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” (Taken from Gavin Strange’s slides).


  1. ‘Don’t make it perfect, make it now’: This industry is far too fast-paced to worry over making websites perfect. The pursuit of ‘perfection’ has always been an unnecessary designer habit. This doesn’t mean that we should rush what we do; every piece of work that goes out through the door we should believe in and love, but we need to focus on the fastest solution to the client’s problem and go from there.


  1. Personalisation of the web experience is critical: This is definitely the biggest trend right now and in the coming years, we’ll all be designing with this at the forefront of our minds. With people accessing the web on such a wide variety of devices, it’s our job to ensure they find what they want easily. Building personalised, memorable customer experiences is key to developing mutually beneficial relationships between customers and brands.


  1. Learn to accept constructive feedback: Whether it’s from a client or a colleague; to be able to grow as a designer, we need to know our weaknesses and make them our strengths. “To listen is to lean in softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.” – Mark Nepo. “Creative people experiment a lot more, therefore succeed a lot more, and therefore fail a lot more.” (Taken from Zoe Gillenwater’s talk).


If you attended the Generate conference too and have anymore key takeaways, leave them in the comments below or get in touch!

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