The Critters – Voice of the Year Nominees

Getting to go to so many events in a year means we get to see a load of amazing speakers every year from across the globe. Once again, you guys, coupled with our judges, have managed to do what we couldn’t and narrow down the Voice of the Year category to just three nominees…

Aral Balkan

Aral first made an appearance at dConstruct in 2005, and has since worked his way across the globe speaking at events including Future of Web Design, @media, Big M, Fronteers and Future Insights in Las Vegas. Last year saw Aral organise Update Conference, a different breed of conference around mobile and touch that saw some amazing speakers teaming up with music, art installations and a rather euphoric musical-theatre style opening from Aral himself. However, anyone who has seen Aral talk will know his passion for user experience is contagious and his talks finish leaving you inspired and wanting more. In the words of nUbelly writer Laura Kalbag:

“Aral Balkan is unlike any other voice in our industry. He is as fearless in sharing the importance of experience design as he is in advocating for political, social and educational change. With his unique perspective, having spent time with such a variety of technologies and communities, Aral challenges the accepted norms in passionate pursuit of better user experience across all platforms. Anyone lucky enough to hear Aral speak finds he has a lasting effect: who else could inspire people to send him photos of lifts, ticket machines and toilets constituting poor user experience all around the world?”

Check out a few of Aral’s talks here.

Frank Chimero

Frank is a designer, artist, writer and speaker extraordinaire. He wrote the book The Shape of Design, has spoken at conferences including SxSW, Build, dConstruct and New Adventures in Web Design, design this rather lovely showcase of web typography for Microsoft and is generally seen as a design maven within the industry. His talk at New Adventures in Web Design left most people in awe, talking about how design is constantly moving and that we need to embrace moving with it. In his words, ‘when everything moves – the only solution is to dance’. David Hughes, co-founder of MK Geek Night, was at New Adventures and saw Frank’s talk…

“Frank’s talk at this years New Adventures conference was one of the highlights of the day. Frank delivered ideas, philosophy and inspiration with an unassuming yet quietly commanding presence. I’ve seldom seen an audience so captivated by a speaker and I’ve never heard a venue so quiet during a talk.”

Watch some of Frank’s talks here.

Wilson Miner

Wilson is a digital product designer, who is currently working as head of design for Rdio. In past lives, he was an interactive designer for Apple and co-created the original version of the Django web framework. However, it was his talk at Build 2011 that seemed to illicit a truly amazing response (read Simon Collison’s response here) and a standing ovation, which is practically unheard of in conferences. In the words of Ed Henderson, who was at Build:

“I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of Wilson Miner before. As I sat in the back row at Build 2012, cosy and comfy, awaiting the next speaker, a tall lanky American guy appeared who told us that his wife told him not to do this “kind of talk”. My heart sank a little as I wondered what nonsense we would be subjected to.

As he began to tell his story about his Father, cars, mediums, bikes and nipples, the audience was transfixed by both the astonishing visuals and every word that came from Wilson’s mouth. The empathy in the room dripped down the walls while you could hear a pin drop as he spoke. His videos were inspired and his words, commanding. As he finished, you could sense his relief as he realised he had got through what was a personal, important and nostalgic talk. The audience rose to its feet and gave him an incredible and well deservedovation.“

You can see some of Wilson’s talks (including his Build talk) here.

Where’s my invite?

We’re giving away a daily invite to The Critters so you can come along and vote for your favourites on June 20th at Cargo in Shoreditch, London. All you need to do is tweet this article with the hashtag #thecritters, and we’ll select someone at 4pm today and send them an invite!

If you’re too lazy to tweet yourself, we’ve made a handy tweet button below to tweet for you…

Published by Luke

Luke is one of Ubelly’s resident social media guys, occasionally switching hats for a bit of design. He is the in-house meme expert, uses foursquare a little too much and gets hot under the collar when it comes to design, usability and gorgeous code.

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