#New Adventures

How it feels to make the right decision

25th January 2020

At the New Adventures 2020 conference in Nottingham, I went over to simply say “I really liked your talk” to Akil Benjamin. He thanked me, then stopped me as I was about to walk away and invited me to join the conversation. I thought that was kind but then it got interesting... he asked me really specifically what I liked about it. That threw me. I enjoyed the whole thing but he was wanting specifics.

New Adventures 2020 – Laura Kalbag on defying the mainstream: building technology that respects our rights

25th January 2020

Laura Kalbag knows her stuff when it comes to the intersection of privacy and design. My notes below don't even scratch the surface of all the knowledge she shared. I knew it was bad. I knew how much targeting happens but I didn't have a clue how far it has got with putting us all into precise buckets. Only 15 data points are needed to remove anonymity from most people and yet the large data brokers often have up to 3000 of them for an individual person. It seems impossible to move away from all of this, but Laura is encouraging us to make better decisions with everything we build and that "small tech" is surely the way to beat "big tech".

New Adventures 2020 – Natalie Kane's "Unknown Unknowns: Collecting our digital lives"

25th January 2020

As if working in a museum wasn't already an exciting idea, Natalie spoke about how her job as a curator is far more about collecting stories than it is about collecting objects. I found it particularly interesting how they have to have everything open to the public so, for example, they cannot have an Amazon Echo running because they don't own the software. The solution to this was to collect a gigantic map of everything involved from mining ore to training the models. This was an insightful talk, not all of us will be collecting items for the V&A but it does encourage us to look past the objects themselves and look for the story within.

New Adventures 2020 – Cennydd Bowles on Building Better Worlds

24th January 2020

What a strong start to a strong conference. In this gripping and thought provoking talk, Cennydd looked at the potential futures and how our work affects it. He argued that as good Human Centred Design is, we need to look further. How does design affect non-users (friends, family of the user maybe), how does it affect the animals or the planet as a whole. The choices we make can affect things a lot further than we currently realise. Even more importantly maybe, we can purposely decide to affect these things in a good way instead of just ignoring them.

New Adventures 2019

29th January 2019

Looking back at New Adventures, I'm not sure where to start. By saying it was a great conference? Of course it was. The previous NA Conf was 6 years ago and back then I couldn't afford to go to conferences that far away, so I jumped at the chance to go to the one conference that everyone would always talk about. It was as good and better than I expected. But no, it almost feels like telling people how good the conference was is not the right thing to do...

New Adventures 2019 - Ethan Marcotte The World-Wide Work

29th January 2019

Did anyone at New Adventures read the blurbs for each talk? I didn't. I hadn't even noticed that until the last talk... Ethan Marcotte, who everyone knows for Responsive Web Design was surely going to talk about making websites right? Wrong. Well, right but in a different way. Ethan showed everyone the right way of using privilege.

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