I enjoy talking about design in front of people. Here’s a selection of presentations from the past few years.

What designers can learn from old-school role-playing games (2011)

I’ve given this talk a few times, it’s a lot of fun. Every time I give it I’ve given a 2-sided die to every member of the audience. That gets people in the right frame of mind. The genesis for the talk was a realization of just how much my early gaming history had influenced my career as a designer combined with an immense frustration at the overuse and misuse of the dreaded gamification (which was reaching peak hype in 2011). More recently, Christina Wodtke pointed me to this sentence from an article by Margaret Robertson:

“What we’re currently terming gamification is in fact the process of taking the thing that is least essential to games and representing it as the core of the experience.”

Consider this talk my attempt to do something a little different.

Oauth, OpenID, Facebook Connect: Authentication Design Best Practices (2011)

This is the more recent of my two talks about identity and authentication online. An immense amount has changed in the one year between the two talks; that pace has since slowed only somewhat. I tried for a practical “this is how you should make concrete decisions” approach, which I think made for an effective talk which may date swiftly, at least as far as the technical details. On the other hand, you get the deep origins of the phrase “log in,” which is a treat in any circumstance.

Pragmatic Designer’s Guide to Identity on the Web (2010)

My first talk on identity and authentication, back in the Dark Ages of 2010, when we were first grappling with the wild world of Facebook Connect and such. Contains genuine original research–the weird blob on slide 42 was my attempt (using a limited dataset and my rudimentary knowledge of Processing) to figure out where on the screen sites most commonly put their login boxes. Science!