The third and final Responsive Day Out is done and dusted. In short, it was fantastic. Every single talk was superb. Statistically that seems highly unlikely, but it’s true.
I was quite overcome by the outpouring of warmth and all the positive feedback I got from the attendees. That made me feel really good, if a little guilty. Guilty because the truth is that I don’t really consider the attendees when I’m putting the line-up together. Instead I take much greedier approach: I ask “who do I want to hear speak?” Still, it’s nice to know that there’s so much overlap in our collective opinion.
Keep thinking what a weekend, and it’s not even the weekend.Fantastic day at #responsiveconf, too much to tweet, hopefully in longform soon— Katja Durrani (@kdurrani) June 19, 2015
Had a brilliant day at Responsive Day Out 3 - The Final Breakpoint! Thank you to @clearleft for such an interesting & inspiring day— codebar Brighton (@CodebarBrighton) June 19, 2015
Responsive day out was a really inspiring conference with some great talks. Big focus on accessibility and people. The essence of the web.— Rob Mills (@robjmills) June 20, 2015
Despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the day, I had a couple of complaints myself, and they’re both related to the venue. My issues were with:
- the seats and
- the temperature.
The tiered seating in the Corn Exchange is great for giving everyone in the audience a good view, but the seats are awfully close together. That leaves taller people with some sore knees.
And the problem with having a conference in the middle of June is that, if the weather is good—which I’m glad it was—the Corn Exchange can get awfully hot and sweaty in the latter half of the day.
Both those issues would be solved by using a more salubrious venue, like the main Brighton Dome itself, but then that would also mean a doubling of the cost per ticket (hence why dConstruct and Responsive Day Out are in different price ranges). And one of the big attractions of Responsive Day Out is its ludicrously cheap ticket price. That meant sacrificing a lot of comforts—I just wish that comfortable seats and air temperature weren’t amongst them.
Still. Listen to me moaning about the things I didn’t like when in fact the day was really, really wonderful.
Guess what? The audio from all the talks is already online. As always, Drew did an amazing job. You can subscribe to the RSS feed in your podcatching software of choice. Videos will be available after a while, but for now you’ll have to make do with the audio.
Oh, and speaking of audio, if you liked the music that was playing in the breaks, here’s the playlist. My thanks to all the artists for licensing their work under a Creative Commons license so that I could dodge one more expense that would otherwise have to be passed on to the ticket price.
Now. The number one question that people were asking me at the pub afterwards was “why is this the last one?” I really should’ve addressed that during my closing remarks.
But here’s the thing: the first Responsive Day Out was intended as a one-off. So really the question should be: why were there three? To which I have no good answer other than to say it felt about right. With three of them, it gave just about everyone a chance to get to at least one. If you didn’t make it to any of the responsive days out, well …you’ve only got yourself to blame.
In the end, I’m glad that I ended up doing three events. Now I can see the arc of all the events as one. Listening back to all the talks from all three years you can hear the trajectory from “ARGH! This responsive design stuff is really scary! How will we cope‽” to “Hey, this responsive design stuff is the way we do things now.” There are still many, many challenges of course, but the question is no longer if responsive design is the way to go. Instead we can talk about how we can help one other do it well.
At the end of the third and final Responsive Day Out, I thanked all the speakers from all three events. It’s quite a roll-call. And it was immensely gratifying to see so many of the names from previous years in the audience at the final event.
I am sincerely grateful to:
- Sarah Parmenter,
- David Bushell,
- Tom Maslen,
- Richard Rutter,
- Josh Emerson,
- Laura Kalbag,
- Elliot Jay Stocks,
- Anna Debenham,
- Andy Hume,
- Bruce Lawson,
- Owen Gregory,
- Paul Lloyd,
- Mark Boulton,
- Stephen Hay,
- Sally Jenkinson,
- Ida Aalen,
- Rachel Andrew,
- Dan Donald,
- Inayaili de León Persson,
- Oliver Reichenstein,
- Kirsty Burgoine,
- Stephanie Rieger,
- Ethan Marcotte,
- Alice Bartlett,
- Rachel Shillcock,
- Alla Kholmatova,
- Peter Gasston,
- Jason Grigsby,
- Heydon Pickering,
- Jake Archibald,
- Ruth John,
- Zoe Mickley Gillenwater,
- Rosie Campbell,
- Lyza Gardner, and
- Aaron Gustafson.
Many thanks also to everyone who came along to the events, especially the hat-trickers who made it to all three.
I’ve organised a total of six conferences now and I’m extremely proud of all of them:
- dConstruct 2012: Playing With The Future,
- the first responsive Day Out,
- dConstruct 2013: Communicating With Machines,
- Responsive Day Out 2: The Squishening,
- dConstruct 2014: Living With The Network, and
- Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint.
…but they’ve also been a lot of work. dConstruct in particular took a lot out of me last year. That’s why I’m not involved with this year’s event—Andy has taken the reins instead. By comparison, Responsive Day Out is a much more low-key affair; not nearly as stressful to put together. Still, three in a row is plenty. It’s time to end it on a hell of a high note.
That’s not to say I won’t be organising some other event sometime in the future. Maybe I’ll even revive the format of Responsive Day Out—three back-to-back 20 minute talks makes for an unbeatable firehose of knowledge. But for now, I’m going to take a little break from event-organising.
Besides, it’s not as though Responsive Day Out is really gone. Its spirit lives on in its US equivalent, Responsive Field Day in Portland in September.
This was originally posted on my own site.