Friday, 1st November 2019 / Posted in Web | Design | WebBox

Bath Digital Festival 2019 Review: The good, the bad and the nerdy.

Bath Digital Festival brings people and technology together to explore the south-west of England’s thriving digital scene. But did the tech festival’s discussions, hands-on experiences and workshops actually deliver? Here's what our Senior Digital Designer Graham and MD Will had to say.

Bath Digital Festival is a five-day event that showcases the latest tech and trends from the region’s digital community. The annual festival is south-west England's largest event of its kind and attracts industry professionals, tech enthusiasts and curiosity-seekers alike — all wanting to catch a glimpse of (and get hands-on with) the latest developments. 

The festival’s five-day agenda was jam-packed with talks, masterclasses, hands-on workshops and digital experiences covering everything from AI and coding to video design, audience engagement and everything in between. But did the event live up to the hype? Graham and Will provide a candid account. 

Bath Digital Festival


The good

The highlights of the festival were, hands down, the events we chose to attend throughout the week. These included: 

Designing Tech Tools for Crisis & Natural Disaster Relief in Developed and Developing Countries, which was led by Eriol Fox of Ushahidi.
The talk discussed unique and specific challenges when designing for, and conducting research in disaster-affected communities around the world, how to plan and perform research and testing and how to approach building products that aim to solve deep human problems such as: How can you trust your local community to support you in your time of need? How do you mitigate harassment? How do people keep themselves safe? What are the micro-decisions you make in a voluntary exchange? When does helping, become ‘free labour’?

Implementing Project Ethics, which was led by Jonny Rae-Evans of Snook and Rebecca Rae-Evans of Reply.
The hands-on workshop, introduced a variety of techniques and tools to help detect and consider unintended consequences, and to implement an ethical risk framework.

Learn How to Create Interactive Prototypes and Test Your Ideas Quickly with Adobe XD, which was led by Timothy Salter-Hewitt of Just Eat.
The workshop helped learn how to quickly create interactive prototypes using UI kits and Adobe XD.

What the High-Performers Do Differently — How to Do What the High Performers Do!, which was led by Robert Craven of GYDA Initiative.
The workshop brought together ambitious agency directors to meet and work with like-minded agency directors.

Each of the talks we attended were useful in their own unique ways — and time well spent. The idea of ‘tech for good’ was particularly inspiring for Graham and will help the way he shapes his spare time, giving back to those in need.

We also took away some useful methods and technologies that will help enhance our workflow and allow us to further improve our already exceptional agency performance.

 

The bad

Though the event’s schedule was impressive, in certain scenarios there was no time to get from one talk/workshop/masterclass to the next. As the festival was spaced out across various locations in Bath we had to leave events 15 minutes early so we wouldn’t be late for the next one. A 15-minute buffer would be ideal to allow everyone to fully experience each event and get to the next one with enough time to spare. 

For anyone like us who had to leave events early, it would also be really valuable if we were given slides — or access to any video clips — that would let us access the information again.

Lastly, it was more a case of ‘my bad’, but Graham opted not to take a laptop to the festival. In all fairness to the event, he did notice afterwards that it was clearly mentioned in both their programme and on the website that participants should bring a Mac or Windows laptop. Perhaps an ‘emergency supply’ of laptops would be an ideal solution for attendees like him who failed to see this. 


The nerdy

From an industry perspective, the variety of events, locations, speakers and attendees was exceptional. The festival successfully covered everything digital-related. 

We had the flexibility to attend the talks/workshops/masterclasses that were most relevant to us — and we gained valuable and transferable knowledge and insights from each one. After Timothy's masterclass we’re seriously considering the move from Sketch to Adobe XD.

Would we go again? Yes, without hesitation. We’d also thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in the digital industry. We’re already looking forward to next year’s event. 

For more information about Bath Digital Festival, head to: https://bathdigitalfestival.co.uk