Each day at Web Direc­tions South begins and ends with a session that will remind you why it’s so great to work on the web. Scott Thomas from the New Media team at Obama for America designs online commu­nities that resonate and motivate; Josh Williams from Gowalla asks where are we going?; Michal Migurski wants to know what we can see in the web of data and Tim Harrison says it’s all about design.

Where Are We Going?

Photo of Josh Williams

Presenter: Josh Williams

Today’s web is being defined more than ever by buzz­words, catch­phrases, fads and trends. Startups are being created for startups sake, stan­dards are being hijacked by so-​​called “social media gurus,” and investors are piling on one after another looking to hop on the next big wave. And we, the designers, devel­opers and inno­vators actually building the web, are left to wonder if we’re still in the drivers seat.

During this brisk discussion we’ll separate fads from the future, debate native apps versus the mobile web, take an honest look at the hype behind geo-​​location, then take a step back to ask ourselves where the web—and we ourselves—are going. Hold on, it’s going to be a wild ride!

Let’s see what we can see

Photo of Michal Migurski

Presenter: Michal Migurski

Piece by piece, the world is moving onto the web. How can we make sense of this new torrent of infor­mation emerging wide-​​eyed and blinking into the internet? Stamen’s Michal Migurski will show how infor­mation visu­al­ization is making it possible to comprehend a live, vast, and deep connected web of data, with a special focus on inter­active and geographic work.

Designing Obama

Creating sites that inspire and connect
Photo of Scott Thomas

Presenter: Scott Thomas

Join Scott Thomas, a lead web designer on Pres­ident Obama’s elec­toral campaign, as he explains how to design online commu­nities that resonate and motivate. All too often, discus­sions of analytics, click­through rates, and search engine opti­mization cloud the important truth that online campaigns and commu­nities are for human beings. Come discover how to use superior design, authentic messaging, and valuable content to deliver resonant messages that connect with your audience through the noise of the Internet.

Banner photo: © Fotomattic.

Designers, designers, designers..

Photo of Tim Harrison

Presenter: Tim Harrison

Design — and partic­u­larly how designer’s think — is becoming increas­ingly recog­nized as a critical component of business strategy — and rather than taking a back seat in decision-​​making, design is now being given authority.

As consumers come to expect better designed products, services and expe­ri­ences — so the world’s busi­nesses are being put under greater and greater pressure to respond compet­i­tively.

The visible success of design-​​driven companies like Apple are scram­bling exec­u­tives the world over in attempts to under­stand and inte­grate better design into their own orga­ni­za­tions.

No matter where we’re located — today’s glob­alized world of cheap air travel, web-​​based confer­encing and collab­o­ration means that better design is more acces­sible than ever.

But what are the most important aspects of design to consider?

Creative Director, Tim Harrison shares some insights on design essen­tials and how we can ALL apply these for success, regardless of our indi­vidual roles, profes­sions or indus­tries…

Minting Mobile Currency in a Socialized, Localized World

Photo of Naveed Anwar

Presenter: Naveed Anwar

Consumers’ lives are trans­forming as mobile, social and local trends redefine how consumers and busi­nesses around the world live, work, play and pay. Today’s leading devel­opers are capi­tal­izing on these trends with the appli­ca­tions they create. The best and brightest of these ideas can be easily mone­tized by hooking into consumers’ digital wallets to enable easy and safe mobile trans­ac­tions. Naveed Anwar, senior director of PayPal’s Developer Network, will showcase how devel­opers can have the vision and ability to build new solu­tions that address both consumer and business demand. With his insights on tools to innovate and remove payments friction, Naveed will open up the realm of possi­bil­ities and oppor­tu­nities in the future of money.