Turing Fest is one of Scotland’s biggest meet ups of tech minds, and includes some big (geek insider) names like Rand Fishkin
and Oli Gardner
Two days of inspiring talks, running two concurrent tracks over four separate subjects: Engineering (coding), Marketing, Product and Strategy. Anyone in software or web tech needs to go – it’s where the smartest minds in tech meet.
Here’s a top 9 of the best bits according to me and my Twitter:
The Conversational Form
Oli Gardner reminded us of the importance of conversion optimising, and demonstrated his excellent user-testing framework with the ‘conversation form’. A conversation form displays the next question when the previous question has been answered, and can appear to work as if you’re speaking with a chatbot (although not necessary).
Google – mobile only index
Aleyda Solis provided some solid evidence on how influencial mobiles are on our lives, and that Google will eventually use the mobile-friendliness of your website as one of the most important ranking factors in search.
Introducing the Chatbot inside search results
A refreshing talk by Purna Virji (from Microsoft) demonstrating the use of their chatbot AI (Cortana) inside a search results page, and the future of chat in accessing services. I’m a big advocate of voice AI and while the tech is a little complicated to both understand and embrace, it’s ultimately how people will want to access your content and services in future.
Joanna Lord – quote of the day
A fast-paced talk by Classpass’s Joanna Lord gave what I thought was the quote of the day. Referencing the value vs. price model, Lord said
Trust that you’re bringing value to the world. See that value by proxy through money, and raise your prices. So long as it’s not detrimental to growth.
A quick way to get lots of rich data about users and user groups – YouGov Profiles.
Organic is dead
The content rich speaker, Wil Reynolds, said – almost under his breath – that “organic will be dead in 10 years”. He later rebutted my tweet, and added a little more depth to this statement, in that featured snippets and paid search are (and will be more so) taking over the search results pages – which is correct.
A great concept brought to the audience’s attention in the Product track, Janna Bastow uncovered the idea of ‘Time Horizons’. Replacing ‘time lines’ or gantt chart style project plans, time horizons provide more flexibility and focus on the task’s importance and size over timescales and deadlines.
Happiness as a KPI
My most popular tweet of the event was a reference to Jane Austin’s reference to using happiness as a key performance indicator (KPI) when designing a user interface. Measuring happiness (or frustration) was another topic entirely, however.
It’s a wrap
I couldn’t leave without bumping into one of the stars of the event, Rand Fishkin.
You can find tickets coming up for next year’s here at turingfest.com.