Droidcon Italy 2016

On April 7th and 8th, I attended and spoke at Droidcon Italy 2016 in lovely Torino, Italy. For me Torino was both a first time in Italy and a first European Droidcon.

The speaker list included an impressive number of GDEs and Googlers. The content was fantastic with a few common threads running through different sessions. One of these threads was the role of the developer in UX. By far the best thing that I took home from Torino is an empowering feeling that developers and designers share equal and important roles in building UX.

Also cheers to the amazing Android folks that I had the pleasure of meeting. Y'all rock.



I worked remotely from Torino before Droidcon and visited a couple of amazing places:

  • The Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum): Magnificent, awe-inspiring collection. If you like Egyptology even a little, you have to see it.
  • The Museo Nazionale Del Cinema (National Cinema Museum): A unique experience with plenty of hands-on fun as well as quirky exhibits that celebrate all aspects of cinema. Located inside the beautiful Mole Antonelliana. If you go, get there early and take the panoramic lift for me (I didn't make it early).

Also, thanks to Mike Wolfson for the recommendation of Eataly. If you find yourself near the Centro Congresso Lingotto (the Droidcon Italy venue), stop by Eataly for food. Delicious and perfect for an after-a-long-flight meal.




First, I loved the venue. The Centro Congresso Lingotto worked well for the conference and is super convenient to the Torino Metro: the Lingotto stop is literally 30 seconds from the front door.

Second, the attendees of Droidcon Italy definitely love Android. I met so many Android folks from Italy and elsewhere in Europe who were all enthusiastic and excited to talk, share, and learn.

Third, Droidcon Italy had some fantastic sessions. There were three that really hit me, and as I mentioned, they all had to do with the role that developers play in UX.

Developers + UX

The second day of the conference was basically "UX Day" for me.

Think Like a Designer

It kicked off with a second day keynote by Nick Butcher: "Think Like a Designer". One of my favorite points of Nick's talk was this: developers design too. When you, as a developer, help to guide and build an app, you are designing.


Nick also discussed "Design Sprints" as a 5-phase process of generating, prototyping, and testing new ideas. It is definitely something I would love to try.

We're all UX!

Later Lydia Selimalhigazi and Caroline Smith gave a Pokemon-packed presentation titled We're all UX!".

In their talk, Lydia and Caroline, as designers, reached out to designers and developers and said, "Hey, we are all in this together. We're all on Team UX!" Beautiful and wonderful UX is about uniting the domain knowledge, skills, and experiences of both sides: one cannot do it without the other.

…also stickers!

One of the best parts of Droidcon Italy for me was chatting with Lydia and Caroline, sharing the frustration of the often-present gap between design and development, and connecting through our shared passion to do cool things.



Wiebe Elsinga told his story on why UX matters and more importantly what UX really is. Good UX should be useful, meaningful, and hopefully fun (like Wiebe's talk), and he gave concrete and common sense examples of good and bad UX. In the end, UX matters and good UX should not be that hard.


Also there were biscuits. Not for me. But for some lucky attendee.

My Talk

Thanks to everyone that came to the Droidcon Italy version of my "Loving Lean Layouts" talk. Yet again I have slightly updated my slides with lessons learned from the last time, and those updated slides are up on SpeakerDeck, and the code samples are on GitHub.

Android Dialogs

I interviewed a few of the fabulous speakers in Torino. Watch for those in the coming weeks.

Also huge thank you to Roberto Orgiu who helped me out enormously by finding a place to record interviews and actually grabbing interviewees for me as I set up. Roberto, so happy to have met and chatted, and congrats on becoming a new dad!


Ciao, Droidcon Italy!

All in all, a great conference with great people and great talks. Hoping to get to reconnect with all of you fabulous folks soon, and hoping to see y'all next year!

Grazie mille!