Web design conferences are fantastic for keeping up to date with the industry changes and for gaining useful advice from big name contributors. Unfortunately with there being conferences held around the world from Brighton to New York and beyond visiting just one (never mind all of them!) can be a challenge. Thankfully, some of the design conference organisers embrace the social aspect of the modern web and provide videos of the conference sets online, here are my top five web design conference speeches for 2008.

Andy Budd – Designing the User Experience Curve – FOWD, London 2008

Andy Budd is an internationally renowned user experience designer and web standards expert from Clearleft. In his speech at the Future of Web Design conference in London he compares the user experience of websites to various real life examples. He highlights the importance of user experience in web design with some useful little tips that can be put into effect on your future projects.

Andy Budd – FOWD London 2008 from Future of Web Design on Vimeo.

Paul Boag – Educating Clients to Say Yes – FOWD, New York 2008

Paul Boag of Headscape is well known for his Boagworld podcast alongside Marcus Lillington. In his recent talk at the Future of Web Design, New York he outlines some extremely useful points and insights into how to educate clients to say Yes! This is a speech every designer can relate to and offers some great advice for designers to avoid the usual downsides of client related work.

Stefan Fountain – How the Future of the Mobile Web is Going to Change Everything(Highlights) – FOWA, London 2008

Stefan Fountain of Eight Media is part of the team behind Soocial, a web app that helps sync contacts between various devices. In his talk at the Future of Web Apps he presents his thoughts on the future of the web through mobile phones and portable devices.

Gary Vaynerchuk – Building Personal Brand Within the Social Media Landscape – Web 2.0 Expo, New York 2008

Gary Vaynerchuk is a master of internet business building and has had fantastic success with his site, Wine Library. In his talk at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York he puts across some great advice with extreme passion and humour on how to achieve your goals and earn money from what you love.

Elliot Jay Stocks – Print is the New Web – FOWD, London 2008

Elliot Jay Stocks is a popular face at design conferences, participating with many speeches throughout the year. At the Future of Web Design in London, he discusses how inspiration for web design can be sourced from print design, such as books, leaflets and magazines for implementation into design for web.

Elliot Jay Stocks – FOWD London 2008 from Future of Web Design on Vimeo.

In my opinion it's a shame only a small number of design conferences provide their content online. Carsonified are the masters of this, which I think really showcases their knowledge of the modern, social web. This is the main reason the majority of these videos are from FOWD and FOWA, two excellent Carsonified events.

I hoping to head down to one or two of the UK based conferences next year, so I'll look forward to seeing you at an event in 2009!

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  1. Do yourself a favor and watch the Gary Vaynerchuk clip last. Everything else seems less interesting after he speaks. What a great public speaker.

  2. Great stuff. Of course there are plenty more great speeches out there to check out but a concise selection serves best.

    Josh is right, watch Gary’s last, it really is ‘exhilarating’. The guy is so passionate.

    It’s funny how 3 are from FOWD, but no surprise. I’d also have to recommend Andy Clarke and Steve Pearce’s talk on User Experience vs Brand Experience:


    Cheers Chris

  3. Agreed with the other commenters. He’s a real inspiration. Really enjoyed watching the FOWD speeches again… I’m glad they put them out on video so you can do a good refresher! Thanks for this list.

  4. Nice…I wish travel was cheaper so I could attend these type of this. Quite good though! And really inspirational.

  5. Hi,
    I know less than 0.1% of all the magic that is possible in designing.

    I have a vision of how the internet will soon (not distant future) land up in our hands (mobile phones).

    The coming generation school/college is internet literate in developing countries. Use of Mobile in Metro city, Mumbai, in India is three times more compared to the use in New York.

    Chris, I am glad that I can follow you, and keep learning.
    I appreciate your generosity in sharing knowledge.

    Dr. Ashok Koparday

  6. Why don’t the camerapeople show the slides in stead of just the speakers. With the Elliot Jay Stocks one it’s particularly annoying.

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