Adobe MAX: Forms gone wilde 2008, Microsoft sucks and some annoying things

by admin on 18/11/2008

Right after lunch Kai joined me for “Forms gone wilde 2008”, this year’s edition of Duane Nickull’s legendary talk about forms. Fun and inspiring Duane presented his personal Top 10 of worst forms he had to deal with during the last 12 months. The message is quite simple: don’t force your users into doing things you hate yourself. Should be a no-brainer, but everyone who ever had to fill out an online form before, knows that form designers still often just translate existing print forms into some online content without putting further thought into it. Funny enough the evaluation form that is handed out to rate each session/presenter has one question on it that doesn’t make any sense at all (“The session was at the educational level I needed” with tick boxes to answer “excellent”, “above average”, “average”, “below average” and “poor”). Excuse me, Adobe, if you have in-house form-specialists, why don’t you use them to check your own forms?

The next session I tried to attend was called “Designing with Web Standards Using CS 4” by Alan Musselmann and I would have loved to learn more about this topic. Due to technical issues with Alan’s Microsoft notebook (why are presenters not required to use Macs????) the session couldn’t take place and will be recorded after MAX. It took them half an hour to make this decision, so it was already much too late to go to a different session – so an hour of wasted time, thanks to Bill Gates.

Some general thoughts on this year’s MAX: With more than 5,000 attendees this is the biggest MAX ever and with some more people to attend MAX Europe and MAX Japan in the near future,¬† an incredible number of people will have seen the keynotes, presentation and hands-on sessions. But there are some things that are really annoying and should have been better thought trough from a user experience perspective. First of all, the venue is split between the Moscone West Conference Centre and the Mariott Hotel. While I can understand that it might be easier to set up the labs for the hands-on sessions in the Mariott across the road, it’s quite annoying for those who have to go there and who get lunch over there, missing out on precious catch-up time with others in the Moscone.

Another big issue is the time it takes to scan everyone’s tag. While in previous years attendees carried a card with a bar code that was scanned, this year they use a different technology and it takes ages and multiple attempts of the scanning staff to get people into the sessions. Having to wait in a long line to attend a session people have paid heaps of money for is just not good enough.

But the number one spot in my personal Top 3 of things that annoy me is the limited internet access! While wireless works fine in the Community Pavillion and in some of the lounge areas, it completely sucks in the session rooms. This is a technology conference, people want to blog or twitter or share their experience in social networks – and yes, they want to do it DURING the sessions. Not afterwards, or when they accidentally get some free time because the session they have booked is cancelled because the presenter uses a PC.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: