It’s no secret that when curating this year’s multi-city HOW Interactive Design Conference we appealed to the industry’s best and brightest for our programming needs.
The HIDC Advisory Board is the strategic power behind our event series, and Christopher Butler was a natural fit to head up a dream team of top-notch industry experts including Karen McGrane, David Sherwin and Cameron Moll.
HOW Interactive Design Conference Program Director: Christopher Butler
As a HOW interactive partner since 2011, Christopher has devoted himself to sharing his knowledge of web and interactive design with the design population at large. This is, of course, in addition to his role as Chief Operating Officer for the successful design firm, Newfangled.
Disarming, astute and extremely prolific, Christopher is the kind of designer-speaker you want to meet over coffee to discuss the state-of-affairs in the ever-changing world of web design. He’s bright, approachable and engaging. Because of the recent buzz surrounding the three-city event series, I got in touch with Christopher to take a peek behind the curtain and preview what’s in store.
So, Chris, what exactly does your role entail for this year’s HIDC?
This year I’m the Program Director, which means I provide direction on the overall positioning, content, speaker selection and marketing for the events. I started by working with Bridgid Agricola, HOW’s Content Director, to assemble an Advisory Board. We were thrilled to have Karen McGrane, David Sherwin, and Cameron Moll join us. It was fantastic to have the Board’s insight, not only on what topics they felt were critical to include in the programming, but also on what unique angle we should take on those topics and who would be best to speak about them. We assembled an outstanding list of speaker recommendations, and since then, Bridgid has been finalizing the roster and I’ve been working with speakers on shaping their talks.
Sounds like a very “interactive” process. How do you see this year’s three events as better or different from previous years?
The HOW Interactive Design Conference is only three years old at this point. I feel like with each year, we’ve gotten better at making it a unique experience, which means differentiating it from other HOW events, as well as the many interactive design conferences that happen every year. We’ve worked hard to refine HIDC’s unique identity. And because the HOW events team is top notch, the container — the logistics and delivery of the event itself — has always been spot-on.
Why is this THE conference that interactive designers should consider attending?
Among a growing number of design-related events, we needed one that balances theory and practice. Our industry needed an event that’s designed to keep us current in new design thinking, but also in practical approaches to applying knowledge in the field. That’s what HOW Interactive Design is all about. We’ve assembled an inspiring group of design thinkers and practitioners to share their stories and catalyze a forum for working designers unlike any other. As design practitioners, this is the opportunity for professional development we’re all seeking.
What about your background positions you so well to lead this event?
This is a tough question to answer, because I’m honestly humbled and grateful to be involved. But here’s a little about me that might make this pairing make sense: I’m currently the COO of Newfangled. We’re a small interactive agency that partners with other independent agencies to create lead development platforms for their clients. That means we do design, we do development, and we do marketing. It’s our belief that on the web, those things are inextricably linked. But my particular background is in design. I went to the Rhode Island School of Design, where I’ve remained involved, sometimes as a visiting critic and instructor, but mostly as a proud alumnus and older brother of a current student.
I’ve done a lot of writing — for Print, HOW, HOWDesign.com, Smashing Magazine and my firm’s monthly newsletter which goes out to an audience of more than 10,000 — and speaking — for events with HOW, AIGA, AMA, etc. — on interactive design, which has let me cross paths with many talented people in the field. So I stay busy. I’ve got a lot of curiosity and passion for design, and that’s what I bring to HIDC.
The HOW Interactive Design Conference is the event focused on designers’ needs, the design process and the emerging design tools and technology. Explore topics ranging from responsive design, marketing, front-end, UX, content strategy, cross-platform design and more. Join Christopher and many other industry-leading designers who are eager to share their real-world experiences and knowledge.
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