• Louis Peys

  • UX Expert

  • Robin Henderickx

  • UX designer

We selected the best talks of the Awwwards conference in Amsterdam 2020.

Awwwards: the 4 best talks

Foreach went to Awwwards Conference, a 3-day event about design, UX and UI. We selected 4 talks that especially resonated with us, and gladly share the messages we derived from them.  


Paul Boag – How to Encourage Clicks Without the Shady Tricks  

As users, we recognise certain patterns in websites. We know, for example, that if we want to close a window, we should look at the top right of the screen. These patterns facilitate our user experiences online. But sometimes, they are abused so as to trick users into doing things they don’t really want to do, such as signing up for recurring bills or buying additional items they didn’t need. In that case, we call them dark patterns.  

Paul Boag argued that dark patterns should be avoided at all costs, even for the companies using them. In the long term, dark patterns introduce a slew of indirect financial disadvantages. If you sell items the buyer didn’t want, he or she will be more likely to return it, which implies extra costs. In addition, points of contact, e.g. a call centre, get flooded.  

Conclusion: honesty is the best policy.  


Robin Noguier – side projects can take you further than you would expect 

At some point, web designer Robin Noguier realised that Awwwards – the awards of design, creativity and innovation on the internet – gave 80% of its attention to about 20% of the world’s population, i.e. Europe, Northern America and Australia. As a side project, he decided to travel the world and interview several web designers from across the globe. He called it ‘Esperanto’.  

Robin showed that everyone has an interesting story to tell wherever they come from by shining a light on talents and design industries that are sometimes under-represented. In the end, Esperanto changed the lives of the people he interviewed: they received considerably more opportunities and gained international fame.  

Conclusion: broaden your horizons and open your eyes.  


Superhero cheesecake – The homogenization of the web and why it’s important to do things differently  

Design agency Superhero Cheesecake highlighted that these days, the majority of the websites look the same. For efficiency reasons, web developers use bootstrap and the same old boiler plates for frontend and UX design. Logo on the left, hamburger icon on the right, large image to draw attention in the middle – that sort of thing.  

It’s become harder and harder to distinguish oneself. But Superhero Cheesecake stressed that it’s important to keep breaking the mould. To create impactful digital experiences that attract and engage the user, one should keep reinventing himself.   

Conclusion: think outside of the box.  


Mustafa Kurtuldu – Designing for speed and designing for friction  

Once upon a time, there was an airport that received a ton of complaints because passengers had to wait for too long to receive their luggage. The airport did everything to decrease the wait, but complaints kept coming in. Then a light bulb went off: they started parking the airplanes further from the entrance, thereby increasing distance and time between landing and getting the luggage. The complaints were reduced to zero.  

What does this story teach us? Mustafa Kurtuldu explained that a user can be kept waiting, but that he or she needs to be distracted in the meanwhile. UI’s shouldn’t be static. When a page is loading, for example, add an animation that distracts the user.  

Conclusion: Keep the user busy. 

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