SRT Solutions hosted a “User Interface Smackdown” yesterday. While the “Smackdown” part of the name was a little off what happened, it was a great event with some great discussions. James Ward (a Flex Evangelist from Adobe), Drew Robbins (Developer Evangelist for Microsoft), Chris Bernard (User Experience Evangelist from Microsoft), Dianne Marsh (SRT Solutions), Bill Wagner (SRT Solutions), Mark Ramm (Contributor to Turbo Gears and author of the best book out on the subject), myself and a number of other technologists and business owners totaling 34 in all got together and discussed a lot of different options on the user interface and creating the best user experience possible. The event was in an Open Spaces format which means that none of us lead the conference but all of us contributed, none of us knew what the topics were going to be when we started but all of us got to vote on them and suggest new topics and none of us knew what the outcome of the event would be but we all helped shape it. I don’t think that the Open Spaces format is the right fit for every event, but it is a great format for learning and promoting discussion. I learned a lot more about GWT, Flex, Turbo Gears, Ruby on Rails and more. I also learned more about what people are thinking in the areas of design, Rich Internet Applications, Smart Clients and more. We talked about everything from WPF to WPF/e to the Web Services Software Factory to Click One Deployment to an amazing number of other topics. It’s really hard to capture all that we talked about yesterday.
It was not a smackdown at all – it was a coming together of minds, technologies and disiplines that I think everyone who attended was able to take something positive away from. I really enjoyed the event and hope that we will have more like in the local area.