Conference Schedule

Friday 24th January 2014


Opening Remarks

We Don't Talk Anymore

Dan Rubin

Designer, Developer, Front-end, Back-end, IA, UX, Male, Female — we've spent so much time inventing titles, drawing dividing lines around our skill-sets, building silos, and highlighting differences, that we seem to have forgotten what it actually means to communicate and work with each other. This lack of teamwork isn't really surprising, either: Our species is quite adept at segregating ourselves from our fellow humans.

How can we make this better? Not just in our teams and workplaces, but at our conferences, meet-ups, social networks, user groups, cafes, trains, and public spaces? Dan will explore this troubling issue and see if together, we can find a solution.

The Spark

Christopher Murphy

It’s never been a more exciting time to build a product or service. The tools we have at our disposal enable us in ways we could never have imagined before. Services like Kickstarter have completely transformed our ability to access financial support and, in the process, altered our relationship with our customers. It’s an exciting time to be a designer, no question.

In this presentation, Chris will explore how you turn ‘the spark’-the germ of a business idea-into a fully fledged product. He’ll outline the key qualities and characteristics you need to develop to ensure success, guaranteeing you make the most of the golden land of opportunity and adventure we all now have the potential to inhabit.


The Power of Being Afraid

Rachel Shillcock

Being afraid means “to be frightened” or “to feel fear or anxiety”. In our world and in our industry today, where perfection is idolised and we’re under a near-constant pressure to adapt our processes, learn new techniques and still put out amazing work along the way, Rachel wants to ask you to think about what it is you’re really afraid of. She is going to challenge the ideas that form around what it means to be afraid and help us to find ways to harness the power that being afraid can give us. Then, we’ll put that power into action.

MKGN Question Time

Hosted by Keir Whitaker

Rachel Shillcock, Brendan Dawes and Christopher Murphy will be onstage to answer your questions and talk about their work and experiences.

We’ll release a special hashtag on the day - so start thinking about what you’d like to ask our lovely panel.

Lunch - sponsored by GitHub

Something Geeky

Ben Foxall


Jon Hicks

Although traditionally seen as a male retreat, we all need a shed to fall back to. We need a place to escape to for experiments, relaxation and experience the freedom to cast off external briefs and pressures to have fun. It’s good for the soul and enables us to grow beyond our confines and challenge ourselves. This talk looks at how to squeeze shed time in to our busy lives and the kind of diversions we can find there!

My Handbook

Mark Boulton

Over the years, every designer picks up a ton of little tips and tricks along the way. Scraps of code, ways of doing things, stories of how not to do it, and how to do it. In this talk, Mark will share some thoughts from his handbook. You’ll hear tales of designing by committee, the death of typesetting, how to piss off a physicist and what happened when he led a team of designers in India for a week.


Reporting to the Machine

Andrew Spooner

When dying replicant Roy Batty told us that he’s “seen things you people wouldn’t believe” we were left thinking that those were things that we actually wouldn’t want to see-there are some tasks that we as humans don’t want to do. As technology revolutions change the way we live our lives, we increasingly look to binary solutions to make our lives less tedious, more productive, but that means in some cases we’re doing ourselves out of a job. In this talk Andrew will look at the ethics of human task automation and explore when computers should replace humans.

The Combination of All Things

Brendan Dawes

Whilst Brendan Dawes’ output seems somewhat eclectic – from web sites, to apps, to posters and electronic objects – the commonality embedded in all these things are universal constants that transcend technology or fashion. In this session Brendan talks about his need to want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares, and how the collision of the past and the future can help us create wonderful things in the here and now.

Closing Remarks

After Party!