Meeting with Dave Gray

By Tim Caynes @timcaynes

“Who wants to hang out?” This is where it started. Dave Gray was coming to town and just wanted to hang out.

I mean, he had really important stuff to do, like meeting with people from banks and a summit or two to present at, but, you know, it would be nice to just kind of hang out.

This pretty much describes Dave. Insightful, artistic, clever and thoughtful, but more than anything, just a great guy to hang out with. So when Dave announced he was coming over to London, I thought there was probably a way we could facilitate some kind of meetup, whereby we could invite a few folks over for a bit of a chat.

After assuring Dave that yes, more than three people would turn up, I quickly set about the logistics of getting the thing set up and in a few hours, everything was in place.

Fireside chat

The first thing you notice about Dave is that not only is he larger than life, he’s larger in life. I’m pretty tall. Dave is taller. The second thing you notice is that he’s just so enthusiastic about everything.

We chatted about his time in London, we chatted about the venue, we took a few photos, we chatted about lenses, we looked out the window, we chatted about architecture and it’s place in modelling communities and behaviours. We chatted about lots of things. In fact, we just chatted until attendees started arriving, and then they joined the chat. And then more joined. And we had beer. And chatted some more.

And that really set the tone for the evening. I’d set myself up as some kind of compere, but really, it just turned into something of a fireside chat, with 30 friends. Dave and I sat at the front of the room and I occasionally acted the debate host and fielded questions, but for the next hour or so, it was really just about Dave meeting new faces and just, you know, hanging out.

Of course, we did cover a wide range of topics, including gamification, connected companies, UX strategy, best and worst experiences, most trusted methods, and some great tales of corporate workshops. I’ll go into more detail on those in later posts, so look out for messages about those.

We finished pretty much as we started – just chatting together in the loft as the cleaners tried to clean around us. As people said their goodbyes, it was extremely gratifying to hear how much they had enjoyed the evening, particularly the informal, open format. I had similar conversations at the UK UXPA careers event the week before. It’s so nice to come to event like this and just, you know, hang out.

Who wants to hang out?

A huge thank you to Dave for being so engaging and entertaining, and to Raj at Sense Worldwide for helping us out with the excellent Sense Loft. If I had to sum the evening up, I don’t think I could do it any better than the photo of Dave within this post. A great time was had by all.

Tim Caynes

I’m a Principal Designer at Foolproof which means I’m responsible for the integrity of the design thinking that shapes the work that we do.

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