I’ve returned from Portland, successfully capping off the little Summer Tour. It feels really good to be back, save for the immediate dive into a pile of work. I had a great time at Webvisions — my first time attending the conference (and the state of Oregon).
It was a fun event, and one that feels more intimate despite the full schedule over several tracks. I left feeling like I missed a lot in terms of the panels and presentations, but am looking forward to the podcasts.
My own presentation went well, I think. It was early on Day 2 (8:30am), but the turnout was excellent, and I felt _slightly_ more relaxed this time around. For those that attended, the Bulletproof Web Design slides are available (18MB PDF). They are slightly cryptic without the commentary, but possibly interesting if you’re feeling adventurous. Thanks to those that came out and listened.
The Design Panel (the actual title, which I love) went well, too, in lieu of myself being a bit drained after the morning’s session. There was a great turnout, many of whom brought interesting questions. For instance, after talking about the importance of good copy (a rareity) as interface design, one attendee pimped her own copywriting business (multiple times). Now normally this would be bad practice — but she managed to pull it off humorously. Bryan Veloso did a bang-up job as moderator (excellent meeting him for the first time) and Mike and Keith were spot on.
As with any post-conference rambling, you’ll often hear that the social aspect is just as (or more) important than the program. Very true for Webvisions as well, where it was fun to meet many folks that I hadn’t met before. And it being a smaller conference, that gave way for more time to chat in-depth on things.
Non-Webvisions highlights of visiting Portland included:
* The amazing Japanese Garden (with a free bonus view of the city and Mt. Hood). I was really blown away by it, and the location way up in a rolling hill above the city gave more of a hint at Oregon’s landscape.
* Stumptown Coffee. I had the best mocha I’ve ever tasted here, complete with marked foam.
* The Doug Fir Lounge. Like a pancake house that was turned ultra-hip and cool by the use of giant fir logs, fur-lined walls and crystal moose heads.
* Greek Cuisina. This is where the wrap-up party was, and I’ll let the photographic (and probably videographic) evidence speak for itself. Crazy place.
More photos of Portland (and mostly the Japanese Garden) are over at my Flickr stream. Thanks to Brad Smith and Nick Finck for the invite — they and the rest of the team put on a great show.