AwwwardsAMS 2019 – Conference Overview AuthorJelena Rebrnjak

Bornfight crew was extremely excited for this year’s AwwwardsAMS conference – we won the Users’ Choice Agency of the Year title!

To be nominated by Awwwards and to stand next to the top people in the digital design business is a great honor for all of us. At Bornfight, we work hard every day to create awesome solutions that solve problems and give value, and this award landed as a big seal of approval – we are evolving this thing the right way.

OK, now to get back to the team. Our ambassadors of everyone’s excitement who went to Amsterdam for the conference were Mario Šestak, Hrvoje Grubišić, Ana Sakač and Jelena Rebrnjak (hey, that’s me). If you click on our names, you can end up on our Dribbble profiles, so feel free to check them out for a second. ????

Day 1: the overall look & feel

Day one was filled up with many, many great lectures, starting with awesome and fully relatable Pablo Stanley. He just killed it with his presentation and opened the entire conference just right. The main point of the presentation was the balance between wanting to be approved and being the rebel. As with all things, we need the balance and we need to listen to our inner needs. Since we are all humans first and professionals second, it is always good for our professional selves to work on soft skills as it allows us to get the maximum from ourselves.

OK, here’s the thing. It’s hard to keep this list short and just add the highlights when you get watch all of these crazy great people – there were great lectures by Peter Smart from Fantasy, Anrick Bregman, awesome guys from Locomotive, Louis Ansa… All of the speakers did a great job. Max respect to all!

There is one quote I would like to highlight that really stood out for me. It was by Peter Smart, and he said: “design for full human being”. You see, the technology should be our extension and we should maximise the full potential of design by placing the human in the center. Seeing their case study for the Royal Caribbean (which, by the way, looks fantastic), we got inspired on how to approach this – MLP is the new MVP. Minimum loveable product!

After the lectures, we went to dinner and mingle around at the Adyen Office. We got some great food, even better vibes, got to se the amazing view from the 11th floor of the building and also got to hang around with a great crew up there. This kinds of events are great to meet people from the community and it is really important to do so. As we are all passionate about the same things, we should hang out more. So yeah, new friendships have been made. ????

We visited the town afterwards to get some more of the AMS experience and then went to bed too late and too amsterdamned.

Day 2: the big day

As I said, we went to bed too late and unfortunately we overslept the first block of lectures. That was too bad as I’m sure we missed some great talks. We watched Daan Klaver’s (Built in Amsterdam) presentation at the Digital LabIn Conference in Croatia – it was worth watching it again in Amsterdam and revisiting some ideas from their company culture.

Luckily we didn’t oversleep the rest of the lectures. I was busy taking notes, and I think all of them are meaningful. For instance, here’s one from Wonderland: “as a leader, you need to innovate and create value”, or from David Vogel: “make future closer to now”,… Yeah, we watched some really awesome talks!

I’d like to point out the presentation by Claudio Guglieri. It was for sure one of the the best presentations of the AwwwardsAMS conference. In our design team, we often ask ourselves “what would Guglieri do?” and this is for a reason – he knows what design thinking is. He started with an on-point video illustrating how fast we read and once again showed us the level of analytic approach to the design thinking process. One of the key takeaways of his presentation was that legibility of typeface matters, but he also pointed out that our needs and abilities change with time so nothing’s set in stone, it always a response to our life ecosystem.

To sum up some good points:

  1. Nothing is impossible
  2. Everything can be learned
  3. Our abilities change over time

As the conference was nearing its end, it was time to announce the winners of Awwwards’ annual awards. We felt a lot of love for all of the crews that got to be happy and proud, as a lot of great people got their Awwwards. We were also very honored and excited as we won the Awwward for the Users’ Choice Agency of the Year and got a lot of love from everyone else. We also got giant, happy hugs from the Locomotive crew that won the Awwward for the Jury Votes Agency of the Year. Once again, congratulations guys. You are great!

We celebrated a bit at our place as it was a big day for us, and then headed back to the the evening party that we kind of, sort of got late to. Lesson learned, you need to read your agenda!

But everyone just rushed to the next place and had a good time, so we closed the night with some good vibes & mingled with our friends from Prototype who also attended the conference.

Saying goodbye to Amsterdam

We had a great time in Amsterdam. Shout out to the whole Awwwards crew that organized this event, keeps this thing growing every year and bringing around the entire community. It was amazing and we had the best time.

As we had one more free day to stay in Amsterdam, we went out and explored the city. Boys went riding their bikes around the city, while Ana and I snooped around some second hand shops. We also got to eat some good ramen at Ramen Ya (highly recommended), and then we decided to go all-in in Amsterdam, so we went to Melkweg where we had ourselves some good night out.

With too few hours of sleep, we came back to Croatia and shared the excitement with the rest of the Bornfight crew. Progress made!

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