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Design in service of cultural heritage


Talks / Dear conference organiser:

This guidance has been borrowed more or less wholesale from Russell Davies. Thanks, Russell.

You've asked me to speak at your conference. Thank you!

Here are some things you should know. They might seem unreasonable. Just be grateful I don't have a crazy rider.

1. I'm not going to send you my presentation in advance

I understand why you want it, you'd like to double-check the AV and paste my presentation amongst the others with your logos and sponsors in between, so it's 'seamless'. I understand that.

However, I think you'll get a better presentation if you let me fiddle with it right up to the last minute. That, after all, is part of the point of presentation software - it's a tool designed for last minute changes. I like to do last minute changes. I change the presentation based on what the other people speaking at the conference have said. I think that makes for a better presentation. It's live. Otherwise I might as well just send you a video.

I think the audience would trade the seamlessness for each of the presentations being a bit better.

2. I'd like to present from my laptop, I'd like it on stage with me

I will bring all the requisite dongles, and my Mac has an HDMI port. I will arrive as early as you like to make sure it all works.

I'd like it on stage because I use presenter view. It makes presentations better.

I would also like to be in direct physical control of my laptop. Remotes are too slow, vary too much and they're an extra thing to go wrong. I know what I'm doing with my laptop. Plus, I use a lot of music and video and I need to fiddle with the volume.

Hope that makes sense. See you very early on the day, whenever you need me to turn up to test the setup.

3. I'm usually paid to present

Writing presentations for you takes a lot of effort and time. It's time I enjoy spending, but my time nonetheless. If a fee is difficult for you, let me know and we can see if there's anything to be done about that, but at a minimum, travel and accommodation will need to be covered, please.

I hope you pay women and men equally.


Photo

George Oates Headshot

Photo © Eliza Gregory | View all sizes


Bio

Short

George Oates is an award-winning interaction designer who has worked in and around the web since 1996. She has two companies: Good, Form & Spectacle, a nimble software agency focussed on cultural heritage projects, and Museum in a Box, a new play on the old idea of museum handling collections. Cultural clients include British Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Wellcome Trust, Het Nieuwe Instituut, and MoMA.

Long

George has been working online since 1996. She's a designer, producer, maker; part of the founding team at Flickr, doing interface/copy/system design; invented Flickr Commons, director/designer of Open Library at Internet Archive; art director at Stamen. Today, she runs two companies: Good, Form & Spectacle, a nimble software agency focussed on cultural heritage projects, and Museum in a Box, a new play on the old idea of museum handling collections. Cultural clients include British Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Wellcome Trust, Het Nieuwe Instituut, and MoMA.

George's particular skills lie in designing interfaces people don't have to think about, quickly understanding complex systems, remembering the humans, challenging status quo by asking why a lot, and making people feel comfortable with and excited about change.

George has spoken internationally about her work since 2005. She is a non-executive director at The Postal Museum, serves on the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities and British Library Labs advisory boards, visiting lecturer at the Department of Design, Goldsmiths, University of London, and is a former research associate of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.


Please get in touch if you're interested to have George come and speak at your conference. She likes being on panels too.

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