I love web conferences – especially the ones in a good location, with lots of great food, and most important awesome attendees. I attended the Web App Summit last week located in my good ole home of San Diego. The three day conference spanned over topics such as Mental Models, Web Form Best Practices, UX Design, and Web App Makeovers. The conference had a great, intimate set up which allowed for us all to network pretty extensively but also become familiar with and recognize our colleagues. We became a little WAS Family! *precious*

The format of WAS showed total organization and had a nice intro with a full day session on Wednesday. I participated in the Indi Young’s Mental Models session which was extremely insightful. She taught us how to solidify a foundation on user types so that we can create designs that help users find exactly what they want. I’m a marketer, so it was very interesting to hear what designers from other companies and backgrounds thought about target audience profiles and user types (which is a marketing tool I work with on a regular basis).

The other two days consisted of 90 minute sessions from 8-5pm. One of my favorite sessions was Jared Spool’s “Web Apps: The Collision of Design & Business”. He is a very funny guy (who apparently likes magic tricks) who brought up an interesting point about how some businesses have rules that ultimately ruin their business! One of his examples was the TSA and why passengers can only have liquids on the plane that are IN a plastic bag – “Oh that’s right, because placing your liquids in a plastic bag means you’re NOW totally safe from a terrorist threat.” – Jared Spool

Not only were the sessions great but the lunches were SO good – salmon, mahi mahi, the list goes on. Jealous? Some of people that I had lunch with were Jeremy Keith, Cindy Li and Hagan Rivers. Some great (and “interesting”) conversations rose out of those lunches.

Sarah Carr - Web App Summit 2008
Photo courtesy of Jeremy Keith’s iPhone.

I’m going to post some notes later this week from Jason Fried’s presentation: Details that Matter. So check back for that post. Thanks again to UIE for hosting such a great conference and great meeting all of you last week! I’m bummed I missed the Karaokee session…especially after I found out Jeremy actually sang! wOOt!