Barcamp North East 3 Report

eco kettleJust got back from BarCamp NorthEast 3. I’ll assume that you either know about it. If not, you can read up about the event at, or about BarCamps at

The Sessions

Okay, in no particular order – just whatever order I remember them in (not including the one I did – see below):

  • Making ethical cola – tastes pretty damn good
  • Discussion on dashboards – I like the idea of a console widget with status of current projects etc.
  • The Eccentric City – the world’s first dedicated eccentric newspaper – see
  • Session on bad interviews (hope we shared some useful ideas on what intereviews are looking for)
  • A couple of sessions on freelancing
  • JQuery (I really am going to use it me)
  • Frameworks (ditto – if I get back into creating apps)
  • Emotion recognition (very interested in the mechanics of it)
  • PowerPoint Karaoke (using slideshare)  – next time i’d like to have a go
  • About the life science centre (see – what a find – I will definitely be going (and about the Kielder observatory)
  • Accessibility problem  solving (live session)

What I presented on

I presented on ‘a short history of navigation. Someone asked me why I was interested in this. It’s because I’m a pedant. I hate it when the links are wrong and don’t work properly. That’s what makes me a good information architect. I’m interested in evolutionary psychology, because we’re using senses evolved over millions of years and need to design websites that align with how people have evolved – it is unrealistic to expect people to adapt to websites, and I see all the time in user tests how people struggle when we don’t get websites right. So I showed some slides of some of my favourite navigation concepts, including ancient historical wayfinding, animal behaviour (including how bees find nectar), urban signage and some humour.

I’m really glad I did the presentation, because it reconnected me with my passion, and I’m thinking more about navigation. I feel that web navigation could be better. I love the simplicity of SatNavs, iPods etc, and will create a new way of navigating which make life so much easier for users.

Favourite Bits

Final Thoughts


The Big Idea

Mr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog – okay, not really a big idea – but I will definitely be getting a copy. Really, the big idea is to make navigation on the web easier for everyone

The Big Surprise

The fact that wifi wasn’t working too good actually encouraged people to interract more – I was going to do a presentation on ‘usability question time’ but couldn’t get wifi working on my machine or through my mobile. Which leads me nicely to…

The Big Question

What non-IT sessions could I do at my next BarCamp? On the way back, I’ve had a couple of ideas, such as how to get inspiration during a creative block – or communication tips – or whatever I’m intersted in at the time. I’d like to do a session that involves looking at sites live (like the Accessibility session yesterday) – and one that involves just chatting (like the last session today on dashboards).


  1. Hi

    Your presentation sounds interesting – I’m in the North East but couldn’t make barcamp. Are you going to post your presentation online?


  2. Hi Lee

    My presentation consists of a bunch of images, so it was more about what I said. For example, a picture of a tree – while pretty – isn’t going to help much! Maybe I’ll blog on one or two themes or do a presentation again (possibly in York)



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