The Web changes every day. As new technologies and methodologies arise, former industry standards fall by the wayside in favor of more efficient and effective tools. 

Staying up to date with the latest trends and best-practices of the Web helps you stay relevant and ensures your work can stand up when compared to sites with ten times your project budget. 

 

One of the best ways to improve the your work is to take the time to see the envelope-pushing things your peers are doing. Web-focused conferences (such as the phenomenal Converge SE 2013, hosted right here in Columbia, South Carolina) provide this opportunity in spades. 

Converging at Converge
The truematter crew made the short trek from our bohemian office in West Columbia (The WECO) to the heart of downtown Columbia to attend Converge SE this year. 

Multiple venues (all with ample snacks and drinks) housed series of presentations. Seating was tight at times, but chalk that up to the extremely high quality of the presenters. No one wanted to miss out!

We experienced some fantastic presentations covering a wide range of topics in the fields of design, development, business and marketing. Industry luminaries (such as Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co. and Daniel Burka from Google Ventures) flew in from around the country to impart their wisdom. 

The combined enthusiasm and passion of the presenters and the audience created a real energy that left conference attendees invigorated and with new sense of excitement about their work.

Mobile Madness
The hot topic this year? Mobile. 

Designing mobile experiences presents new challenges. Instead of viewing this as problematic, take hold of the opportunity to connect with users in new settings and in new ways. 

The industry as a whole still wrestles with issues surrounding optimal user experience across a constantly increasing range of devices. We used to ask ourselves “Who is using this site or application?” and “What devices are people using?”. Now, the prevailing question of interest is “Where, when and how are people using new tools?” 

Learning about Learning
Conferences serve as great opportunities to network with other professionals, meet industry icons and learn about things you’ve not yet tried.

The biggest takeaway for the truematter team from Converge SE 2013:

“That was AWESOME. We need to go to more conferences!”

We would love to attend conferences for a living, but we love our clients too. For now, it’s back to the keyboards, energized and ready to go.