What is Bulgaria Web Summit?
This is the biggest event of the year in Bulgaria in the field of UX, UI and Front End technology. Surprisingly, a hardware section was also included this year, discussing the popular Arduino and Raspberry Pi platforms.
The Bulgaria Web Summit event held another very pleasant surprise – among the announced lecturers were famous names such as Vitaly Friedman of Smashing Magazine, Danish Khan of GitHub, Dave Hogue of Google and others (you can see the full list here ). There were two parties this year: one before the event, organized by GitHub and an after-party, where I could chat with the lecturers and connect with other interesting people.
This was not the first Web Summit planned by those organizers, so keeping that in mind, I have to be a little critical about it. Many of the same-category presentations were happening simultaneously, which meant missing one to attend another or having to leave in the middle of a lecture. There were a few more key points that could have been better planned but the experience with the lecturers and the information I gained from them makes up for it, making my overall experience worthwhile.
As you have probably guessed, the show stoppers of the event were the presentations of Dave Hogue and Vitaly Friedman, which were undoubtedly far more advanced than the rest. Those two lectures surpassed my expectations in both content and delivery. Although the information they presented was not precisely new to me, their structure changed my viewpoint and, if I could say so, I learned a lot more about things I already knew.
Vitaly started his lecture with a little history about the idea of responsive content, how it developed through the years and how it transformed into an adaptive layout usage nowadays. The rest of the presentation was a showcase of the redesign of The Guardian. There was a ton of practical information about identifying problematic aspects of the coding, responsive content optimization and key areas that lead to a worsened user experience. To summarize it all, if you haven’t heard of Atomic Design and wanted to get more practical advise regarding your website optimization – this was definitely a helpful lesson.
Dave Hogue started with a memorable introductory quote – “You are not designing for yourself”! Boy, how much truth lies in this simple statement. He focused around the proper establishment of a Human Experience, not just User Experience. He went on about the key points for analyzing the behavior of the user interface and the important psychological perspectives included in the creation of a great UX design. Mr. Hogue covered the whole cycle in details – Context, Goals, Task and Productivity, Creativity and Play. He mentioned some intriguing examples of failures in the UX, the most memorable of which was the Blackberry Playbook – a business class product lacking the essential features for the users – email clients and calendar.
Both lecturers definitely proved their big-league expertise in the respective fields not only on a local, but on an international level. The Bulgarian side was covered by advanced professionals in development and server administration like Boris Simandov, Stefan Kanev, Marian Marinov and Vasil Kolev.
As it is always the case with such events, there were a bunch of companies, presenting new products and services, some of which were quite impressive:
- Milestonesys – a company for video management and surveillance. The guys who presented the service really knew what they were talking about in the field of IP cameras and streaming. Their stand had an infra-red camera connected to the web for service testing.
- pCloud – I was very impressed by this company and their start up. They offer a service for cloud-based file storage and synchronization for all operational systems and mobile devices. Their marketing team was incredibly well-prepared and answered all technical questions, compellingly presenting their product. For all testers they provided 50GB free storage and I was amazed by both the team and the quality of their product.
Was the Bulgaria Web Summit event worth it?
Definitely yes. There were a lot of discussions and things to learn, as well as opportunities to connect with interesting professionals. If you are a job-searching expert or were looking for one, this would’ve been a great place for you. I left with a feeling of satisfaction and eager to implement some of the new theoretical information I gained during the summit. I hope all of you got a better idea of the experience, as if you were there, and who knows – I may see some of you next year 🙂