In July, I attended the exceptional App Design & Development Conference in Barcelona with a few of my fellow POSSIBLE Mobile friends. The focus of ADDC, as the name implies, is to bring together mobile designers and developers and explore ways for how we can work together more effectively. The conference had a very diverse audience with attendees from all over Europe, and featured speakers from companies like Lonely Planet, Google, SoundCloud, Spotify, and many more.
The organization of ADDC was excellent. The conference took place in a large auditorium with plenty of seating and the slides were visible to everyone. Between talks we were given plenty of time to socialize and network with the other attendees and speakers. The ADDC organizers also developed one of the best conference apps I have ever used. It detailed the entire conference schedule, gave information on each speaker, and kept attendees updated on conference details with well-timed push notifications. ADDC also featured a Boat Party where conference attendees were sailed into the Mediterranean for a Happy Hour.
A key point ADDC speakers touched on was the significance of bringing developers into the app design process sooner. In her talk, “Solve it. Don’t just build it” Anastasiia Voitova spoke about the pitfalls of a non-collaborative process, where designers research and create their products separate from developer input. She discussed the advantages of bring developers into the design process sooner, which makes developers feel more engaged in the products they are building. Anastasiia also made the point that with this approach, developers can let designers know when an idea is infeasible or technically difficult to implement on a certain platform.
Other talks were more technical. In John Sundell’s talk, “Creating Great Animations on iOS,” John spoke about how it’s crucial for developers to communicate with designers about how animations are being done in the app from a high level. By doing so, designers can create and deliver assets in ways that are easier for applications to import and use in the app. John also demonstrated a great coding example of how he implements some of his animations using Sprite Kit.
Many of the ADDC speakers discussed how they built prototypes for their apps. Roy Marmelstein spoke about the prototyping tools he uses at Spotify in his talk “Motion and building effective developer-designer relationships.” For a simple proof of concept, programs like Keynote can be used to show basic user interactions, while more interactive prototypes can be built using tools like Framer and Origami. Furthermore, when developers need to prove out more complicated or technical ideas, they can build them out in Xcode.
Overall, this was one of the most insightful conferences I have attended yet. While the talks may not have been the most technically focused, I would recommend this conference to any developer that has to spend a large portion of their time working alongside a design team, or vice-versa. This was the inaugural year for ADDC, and hopefully members of the POSSIBLE Mobile team will attend many more in the years to come.
Talks from ADDC are available on Youtube.