UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

IWMW 2012: The Feedback

Posted by Brian Kelly on 2 Jul 2012

“Thank you to all the organisers – another great IWMW!”

Over the 16 years of UKOLN’s annual IWMW event we have always valued the importance of user feedback for the event and this year is no exception.  When the rain stopped on the opening morning of the IWMW 2012 event I had the feeling that this year’s event would be special – and the analysis of the evaluation forms confirms my suspicion.

There were a total of 172 participants at this year’s event and we received 64 completed evaluation forms. As can be seen from the accompanying histograms, no fewer than 73% rated the organisation of the event as Excellent, with 41% regarding the content as excellent and 50% regarding the content as Very Good.

The highest ranked plenary speaker was Rob Borley.  His talk which asked “Do I Need an App for That?” scored 4.42 (on a scale of 1=Poor to 5=Excellent).

The other highly ranked plenary speakers were Keith Doyle and Paddy Callaghan, whose talk on “Serve Two Masters: Creating Large-Scale Responsive Websites” received a score of 4.32; Stephen Emmott whose talk on “Measuring Impact”  received a score of 4.32 and Dawn Ellis whose talk on “What Do You Really Want?” received a score of 4.24.  It was also pleasing that all of the plenary speakers received scores of Very Good or Excellent.

The general comments received on the content included:

  • Very good range of speakers in plenaries and interesting parallel sessions.
  • First time at IWMW – excellent conference, great speakers.
  • Was a bit scared that, as a learning technologist, the content would go completely over my head. Was pleasantly surprised that I understood much of the content so kudos to the presenters for putting their ideas over in a simple way.
  • Great topics, well presented.
  • Generally the content was well considered for the audience type and there were some interesting topics of discussion

The comments on the event organisation included:

  • Very well organised event, working like clockwork!
  • Well organised. Kudos.
  • Really well organised and a big shout out to the catering staff who rustled up some lovely gluten and dairy-free lunch for me!
  • Very efficient.
  • very smooth, under 1 roof, the technology worked well.

Comments made about the plenary talks included:

  • really good overview, hopefully his talk will be online and i can get colleagues to watch it“; “i fully intend to implement some ideas at my own institution” and “Some humour helped the drier “medicine” about data, go down very well. And I will definitely be trying out that Tag Galaxy which was demoed” – talk on “Data and the Web Manager” by Kevin Ashley
  • This talk in particular has driven me to open up our data where safe“; “Good to see Edinburgh Council embracing open data and the possibilities it gives for developers” and “Excellent presentation by a very dynamic expert who is always willing to share her knowledge, experiences and to learn.  Sally is a great ambassador for Edin City council. Suraj and Sally are a well rehearsed act. ” – talk on “Open Data Development in the City of Edinburgh Council” by Sally Kerr and Suraj Kika
  • Really thought provoking. Visualisation is cool!“; “Interesting to see the different ways to visualise data” and “Great innovative ways to present data and information” – talk on “Data Visualisation: A Taster” by Tony Hirst and Martin Hawksey
  • I already know A LOT about KIS as I am on the University’s KIS Project Board but it was good to get everyone up to speed with the KIS.  Generated some healthy debate and discussion later.  Andrew explained it very well and was very ‘human’ about the whole thing!” and “For me, this talk was the star of the whole event. A great speaker, who got stuck in and really told us the good, the bad, and the ugly about KIS and how it was going to affect us. Now all I have to do is worry about that widget….” – talk 0n “Key Information Sets Data” by Andrew Oakley
  • Excellent presentation skills and very informative“; “Well polished presentation and speaker outlying the pitfalls and benefits nicely. Well paced with good content” and “really comprehensively argued case that reinforced views that i didn’t realise i had” – talk on “Do I Need an App for That?” by Rob Borley
  • Interesting and useful. Have shared with colleagues back at the Uni and will reflect further with them“; “I knew a lot about this but it was a very good talk and brought together the area very well. She did very well when there was an incident in the audience – obviously an old hand” and “Very good to have this included, as I think Web Accessibility was one of the issues which we used to all worry about a lot, and in recent years has been pushed aside. Particlarly liked the speaker’s approach of showing practical solutions eg the AT Bar.” –  talk on “Beyond WCAG: Experiences in Implementing BS 8878” by EA Draffan
  • “I didn’t agree with everything he said but it was by far the most entertaining and lively talk we saw. Controversy is good”; “He was excellent, even though most of what he said was complete rubbish! Very entertaining.” and “Good speaker and probably the session that we’ll all remember from the conference. Some very good points, but I think it highlighted more the problem of senior managers imposing their somewhat selfish views on university web sites. ” – talk on “Going Online – Do Universities Really Understand the Internet?” by Ferdinand von Prondzynski
  • “This is what IWMW does best – inform about emerging trends and demonstrate approaches that other universities have taken.“; “Very useful, great to have the theory paired with practical implementation and expert voices on both” and “Was completely right to have a plenary on RWD, as it has become so important in the last 18months or so”  – talk on “Serve Two Masters: Creating Large-Scale Responsive Websites” by Keith Doyle and Paddy Callaghan
  • Dynamic busy individual would works with a mix of in-house and outsourced services which might well be the future for better or for worse“; “Great presentation and interesting to see the range of solutions and strategies been employed” and “Something of a twist in the tail from Stephen. I had expected a possible approach to measuring impact so to have Stephen eloquently and logically argue that it’s not our job was thought-provoking and refreshing. One of my favourite IWMW presenters over the years.” – talk on “Measuring Impact” by Stephen Emmott
  • Interesting to see the direction they’ve taken with their website which I think goes against the grain of what everyone else is doing. Also fantastic to hear about open source technologies that are being used.” – talk on “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Two Years of Running a Content Management Service” by Helen Sargan

But although the plenary speakers and facilitators of the parallel sessions provide the content for the event, it always seems that the sum of greater than the individual parts.  Here are some aspects of the IWMW 2012 event which were particularly liked:

  • Very well organised event, working like clockwork!
  • Well organised. Kudos.
  • Really well organised and a big shout out to the catering staff who rustled up some lovely gluten and dairy-free lunch for me!
  • “Spectacularly organised as ever. Everything seemed to run really smoothly from meeting up with everyone on the Sunday to getting bits and bats for our session to lunches and so on.
  • Well done all!”
  • Spot on
  • I liked the central venue which was easy to find and get to by public transport.
  • Generally very good.
  • The venue this year was excellent. The space available (both accommodation and conference space) were of a high standard. The food should get a special mention. The only slight downside was the distance between the accommodation and the conference.
  • It was nice to see a mix of old and new attendees and I know from talking to some “”newbies”” they really saw the value of the community.

And to conclude:

P.S. To whom it may concern:
Please, please, please. please, please keep funding this event. It is a lifeline to HE institutions and their hard-working web-related staff. It is the only event on the calendar which really gets to the heart of the issues we are all looking at, at the time we are looking at them


2 Responses to “IWMW 2012: The Feedback”

  1. […] IWMW 2012: The Feedback […]

  2. […] at the IWMW 2012 event which took place in June at the University of Edinburgh. I have previously summarised the participants’ feedback from the event. When I received an email from the Scottish Web Folk mailing list about a regional meeting taking […]

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