The Design of WordCamp London 2018
There was a lot to take away from WordCamp London (13-15th April). The discussion around the features WordPress offers us and how to deliver better accessibility gave Front End Developer Jonny Bull plenty to think about on the way back to Sotic HQ in Cardiff. But there was one element that stood out more…
What I’ve spent most of the following week thinking about was the design of the event itself.
While all the information about the conference was made clear in the opening remarks, all the information you needed was reinforced in the experience of being at the event. While there were plenty of cheery volunteers and clear signs around, they were a helpful fallback rather than a necessary navigational aid.
Similar events typically host similar talks in the same room, allowing attendees to stay in one place most of the time. This risks attendees struggling to find their bearings when they need to move. The talks in each room at Wordcamp London varied so wildly that I had been gently forced into exploring and was confident in my surroundings by lunch.
The rooms themselves featured excellent, thoughtful inclusive design touches. The live subtitling not only helped anyone with hearing issues, but also anyone who missed something taking notes and covered sound issues in the venue. The screens dotting the perimeter of each room helped those struggling to read the screen due to their eyesight or someone tall sitting in their eye line. Situational impairments were catered for as well as more lasting ones.
At lunch time, we were introduced to another room and encouraged to queue on the right – standard practice on London Underground escalators. Using this rule meant it was already ingrained on regular users of London transport but also helped anyone new to the area better understand their surroundings.
Thanks to WordCamp coinciding with the first warm day of the year, sitting in the courtyard for lunch was a pleasant option. This space was in the centre of all the conference rooms and full of shortcuts between buildings. To avoid the risk of losing people, these weren’t signposted but were left open to anyone willing to explore.
At Sotic, we work hard to deliver the best possible products for our clients. We do that by paying attention to the latest developments in our field, but we also take care to find the hidden details that make for the best experiences.
Front End Developer