December 6th shindig, Manchester

Hi all,

With it getting close to Christmas we’re going for an informal, light-hearted meeting in December. This will involve beer and wine, and food that’s bad for you.

Update: If you are coming, please sign up for free at Where you can find full details.

Rather than a speaker we’ll be having a evening of amusements, and a chance to get to know each other a bit better, while letting our hair down (hey, I heard that).

So we’re planning a few diversions:

silly signage

Sainbury's silly signage

“The good that bad and the ugly” – bring examples of good, bad, and downright ugly design. Bring photos of any examples or bring the device or software itself if you can. This is one was spotted in Sainsbury’s in york, showing another example of that great tradition of shy signage.

We’re also thinking of a quiz, so if you have questions you’d like to contribute please send them to me, and I’ll collate them. Think pub-quiz style, topics to include anything from design, architecture, general geekery and anything else that you can formulate some excuse for inclusion, however lame. We’ll make up teams on the day, but each team should include people from different backgrounds, so everyone gets a chance to show off how much they know in the chosen field. If you’re lucky their might be a prize.

We’re also planning a mini-awards ceremony for 2011. Yes, that’s right, we’re planning ahead. So come along with ideas for categories. One category we have already thought of is “best prediction for 2011”. So if you’re feeling prescient tell us all what the next year will bring. We’ll post them here on the blog, and if you’re right you might win NUX soothsayer of the year award this time next year. Bring your predictions along on the day, or if you can’t make it email them to me, and I’ll proxy for you. Predictions should relate to the world of usability, naturally – the next big trend, which devices will hit big, which will fail and so on.

For those of you in a more insanely creative frame of mind we’re also thinking of a Heath Robinson usability competition. Design the least usable, and most hilarious interface you can. Inclusion of string, candles, and coal scuttles is optional, but achieving as little as possible with something that looks absurdly complex, but vaguely plausible is mandatory. I’d quite like to see ideas for public information systems, making more effective use of urban pigeons, but that’s just me.

Lastly, if you have any other great ideas for keeping us entertained and amused, especially if there a side effect of us learning more about each other,say something in the comments, and we could all be designing commuter kayaks for fun and profit.

If you’d like to help out, we could use a master of ceremonies, so if you have a loud voice and imposing manner and are good at making a fool of yourself, please step forwards.

If you’d like to sponsor this departure into insanity, we’re looking for companies who’d be happy to provide beer, wine and the food, we’d love to hear from you.

Merry Christmas, or your mid-winter festival of choice (me, I like the sound of Saturnalia).

Update: If you are coming, please sign up for free at Where you can find full details.