Blogging About the Big Show: ModevCon 2014, Day 1

ModevCons are getting bigger and better each time and after checking in and grabbing my speaker’s badge, yours truly settled in, setup, and miked up for the delivery of my presentation featuring a deep dive into building cross-platform apps and games using Xamarin.  In a MoDev first, I’m crediting my self for creating new phraseology, polymorphize.  As in, “our design pattern polymorphizes the filesystem.”

Push It Real Good

I stuck around to hear Rhoni Rakos drop some knowledge about marrying CrazyEgg and Axure together to aggregate more customer data and usage information to improve the layout of our websites.  Day 1 was full of MoDev firsts.


For the first time in my conference going career, I’ve seen a presenter use a looping clip of Salt-n-Pepa’s ground breaking music video ‘Push It’ as a visual effect.  The Broadcasting Board of Governors’ Bill Sullivan deployed the device in his talk about utilizing browser-based push notifications. Bill urged us to: always deliver value, be transparent when asking for opt-in, and be very judicious about the amount of messages we push.

I rounded out my morning by sitting in Mariya Bouraima’s talk about storytelling.  In her talk she asked us to focus more of our efforts on getting inside the customer or user’s head and to craft marketing messages from their perspective.  Keeping with a new trend among MoDev’s presenters, she gave those in attendance an assignment to craft a story around our businesses and products using emotive words.  I came up with this story to explain why our company does what it does, “we think people have better things to do with their time, so we think of ways to help them use it more efficiently.”  It could use some work, but it’s a start.

Design and Dieter Rams

Lunch came and went as I demoed one of our upcoming, secret products to Mariya, and I had to grab a boxed lunch and rush to the next talk I wanted to see.  3PillarGlobal’s David Rhyne was presenting a talk called, Digitizing Dieter Rams’ 10 Principles of Designs.  The Education Lab was packed for his event and it was standing room only.  For those not in the know, Dieter Rams’ is an industrial design rock star and the source of inspiration for the current King of ID, Jony Ive.


David showed many examples comparing great industrial designs from Rams’ hay day with digital versions of software in our time.  While concluding his talk David encouraged us to stop thinking of ourselves as UX or visual or digital designers, but to think of ourselves as designers who to be helpful to our customers.

Don’t Release Your Product, Launch It


I rushed over to Thunderdome to catch Dann Berg’s talk, Launching Apps with a Bang and not a Whimper.  Dann walked us through the steps of cozying up to the media and crafting emails and messages that will get their attention.  He outlined a 30-day-out launch strategy with tips like building a launch page with email capture, hyping up our products be producing 2 pieces of content each week leading up to launch, making teaser videos, and inviting journalists to be a part of the beta testing process.

I ended my conferencing day in a talk led by Apollo Bravo’s Brad Beckstrom.  He told us the biggest kept secret used for driving customer engagement isn’t an app, swift typing keyboards, or email; but text messaging.  Yup, that’s right, good old-fashioned SMS. Unlock push messages that can be missed.  Most users read their text messages.  91% of adults keep their phones within arms length, and 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes.

I ended my day discussing the philosophical impacts of technology on our world with super cyber security guru and owner of Turn Around LLC, Andrea Armstrong and CapTech Ventures’ Jack Cox and Mark Badger.  We had discussed America’s educational system, automation, and Hugh Howey’s Wool.  If you’re reading this and you weren’t there, I’m sorry you missed it.  If you can, swing by; especially in the morning. Kelly Hoey is hosting an all-star networking breakfast you don’t want to miss.


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