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HAPPENINGText: Rei Inamoto

Although the main theme of this UCON was “user experience,” which is a very intangible topic, the conference still gravitated towards much more tangible tricks and gimmicks. The majority of the sessions was how-to’s in various programs (Dreamweaver, Flash, Director, etc) and many presenters shared their insightful knowledge and creative use of those programs.

“User experience” is a topic that can never be discussed enough. And there is never the ultimate answer to many questions that are constantly being asked by designers and developers. This conference did attempt to ask the question “how can we better the user experience?” Unfortunately, it didn’t really answer that question. The problem was that “user experience” was not clearly defined to begin with.

(Exhibition booths)

Although not openly proclaimed, there were two trends that seemed to be underlying the conference: 3-D and narrowband. There have been numerous attempts at bringing 3-D experience to the Web in the past. With the exception of the gaming industry, the attempts have not seen much success. Director 8.5 introduces a much quicker and easier way to incorporate 3-D interface into your online and offline applications. The exhibition area was filled with vendors of 3-D applications and plug-ins.
It’s now up to designers and developers to utilize that capability without falling into the trap of “tricks and gimmicks” of 3-D.

It seems that broadband is something that has been talked about for a long time but is never getting here, and that narrowband is not going away. In fact, with the recent spread of wireless devices (cellular phones, PDAs, etc), Macromedia has been working with various wireless companies to adapt their standards and introduce various ways to utilize current technologies for those devices.

In short, narrowband is still alive and kicking; broadband is a myth that will never become true.

Macromedia UCON 2001
Date: April 10th – 12th 2001
Place: Hilton Hotel
Address: 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY

Text: Rei Inamoto
Photos: Rei Inamoto

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